News of the tropical storm Pabuk passing through Thailand’s southern island of Koh Samui from last Thursday had Bangkokians caught up in worry, as were millions around the world who had family and friends staying on what many call paradise island. The storm that passed through the Gulf of Thailand had most hotels and resorts evacuating their premises even though Pabuk finally dissipated once it hit the mainland. So far, one person has been reported dead, with, fortunately, no other casualties or losses reported on the popular tourist island. 

Hotels, ferries and airports have now returned to business as usual. After a two-day suspension following safety concerns, ferry and boat services to and from the major piers of Surat Thani and Samui finally resumed on the morning of 5 January. On the Saturday morning, normal operations in and out of Koh Samui airport also commenced and additional flights are already being scheduled to accomodate for high-season traffic.

Tourists who had already booked holidays on the popular island paradise have been reassured to continue with their plans as good and sunny weather – peppered with mild showers – are forecast for the week ahead. Nonetheless, all visiting the island should avoid swimming in the ocean as ‘red flag’ warnings are still in place. Though electricity and supplies were indeed affected, the nearby islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao lisewise didn’t suffer too much damage.

Largely reporting minimal destruction caused by strong winds and torrential downpours, travellers will be glad to know that most hotels, resorts and businesses on Koh Samui and its neighbouring islands are back in full operation.

Remko Kroesen, general manager of luxury resort Banyan Tree Samui, located on the southeast coast of the island, gave an update on the resort’s situation:  “I am pleased to report that we are all fine and have suffered no damage. Storms [like Pabuk] are not anything unusual on Koh Samui, but we did experience some very large waves which brought in a lot of debris. After a bit of domestic cleaning along the beach, we will be back to business as usual”.

For more information on Koh Samui island, please visit www.kosamui.com

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.