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Koh Samui: For sale and gathering dust - island that catered to foreigners is completely deserted

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11 hours ago, geisha said:

All these islands and towns that have been ruined is a crying shame. Thanks to the idiocy of authorities, the lack of planning permission has turned these places into ugly dumps . They want high class tourism , what a laugh.

Yeah..a few years ago I ended up staying in Surat Thani for a week or so and asking locals about spending a couple of days on Koh Samui, they greatly discouraged it saying first I'll be dealing with the taxi Mafia upon arrival and then the sharks from all other businesses will swoop in. I enjoyed my time in Surat Thani...altough not exciting by any stretch ..better than being ripped off left and right. 

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6 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

I first went in 92, so it only took 5 years to go from your experience to 5 * resorts and the big Reggae disco etc.

Still couldn't get Bkk Post without a special order though.

Great though- nothing higher than the palm trees and low key buildings set back.

I stayed in JR Mansion first time which had a wonderful and huge open air restaurant. Burnt ( I heard by arson ) some years later. Replaced by a horrid modern shopping mall now I believe. Plenty of nice cheap places to stay and over the years I stayed in many of them, normally Chaweng village which had individual huts; cold water shower, no tv or AC which was the norm.

It was a very nice beach stay spoiled only by the aircraft flying in to land right over the middle of the best area.

Had a wide range of places to stay from 5* to cheapie bagpacker places like Charlie's Hut. I even got to visit the Ark Bar while it was the original thatch roof version

Sand was wonderful to walk on, unlike Lamai, and I used to walk half the beach each morning before most were awake.

 

I thought when I posted my first on here that I'd be slagged off by loads of posters that love Samui, but there have been surprisingly few that defend the place.

It was a great few years visiting it, but that stopped when they went trendy, expensive and stopped showing VDOs in the restaurants.

Then it was time to move over to Phangan, even though none of the beaches there had a patch on Chaweng.

Great days before greed ruined it, but they live on in my memory.

 

We arrived the same year. 

We all have our opinions of when it started going downhill. I didn't particularly like sex tourism moving to Chaweng and the young lads running to me, excited about "being able to get a bird for a tenner". That for me was the beginning of the end. I guess I saw them as the wrong kind of tourist.

Lamai already had the Germanic sex scene, so if you were interested in that, you could go there.

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Man those motorbikes look like the ones that the police lock up from the racers, surprised they havent been stolen as they look abandoned, as for the Karaoke where are all the girls gonna sit and play on their phones?

 

Id like to be there, riding my bike in peace and enjoying a clean quiet beach for once.....without the touts...

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13 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

The island that sold its soul for greed got its comeuppance!

I for one have no sympathy.

I stopped going there last century when it went trendy and expensive. Kicked the cheap places out ( like Charlie's hut ), destroyed the old Ark bar and built horrid concrete places everywhere.

Couldn't believe it last time I sailed past on the ferry to Phangan- concrete villas destroying every hillside. Used to be a great place to holiday- Chaweng is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, but ruined by greed and aircraft.

Only people to blame are the Thais that destroyed it to get rich.

You're  right. We need tourist into the island who have money to spend. Greedy and low life tourists don't do any good for the tourism revenue. I think government will look into this after the  pandemic, they too realized that backpackers and greedy tourists don't do any good but just crowd. Thailand needs money spending tourists, I mean money, not 20 dollars a day.

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Posted (edited)

as others have stated, first hit samui on my se asia bike trip in 82/83. stayed at Mae nam beach. a frame bungalow,( no toilet or electric other than 6-10 via generator)  was 25 baht ($1), small bottle of Sang Som and 2 plates of pat Thai/day...
chaweng an lami had video bars, bungalows on the beach and restaurants plus the weekly buffalo fights and MONKEYS fetching coconuts!!!

Frequently drove over from phuket during the late 80's early 90's

last went in 2008 and had booked for 3 nights, left after 2... 

Even compared to phuket it was expensive and the the local thai's unfriendly..
never again....

 

Edited by zzzzz
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The result of relying on around 20% of GDP, which is now showing as being far too high in the event of a financial event, like now.

As the OP mentions, most tourist businesses will never open again.....Pattaya and Phuket will become deserted dumping grounds...rents have vanished, now property prices will crash.....billions will be down the gurgler. 

Not that it really matters to Thais, but this is global. Europe, UK, the Americas will likely come back to some degree, but Asia and especially Thailand, are pretty much done.

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13 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

The island that sold its soul for greed got its comeuppance!

I for one have no sympathy.

I stopped going there last century when it went trendy and expensive. Kicked the cheap places out ( like Charlie's hut ), destroyed the old Ark bar and built horrid concrete places everywhere.

Couldn't believe it last time I sailed past on the ferry to Phangan- concrete villas destroying every hillside. Used to be a great place to holiday- Chaweng is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, but ruined by greed and aircraft.

Only people to blame are the Thais that destroyed it to get rich.

The Ark bar was a center of noise pollution and should have been closed years ago. It was a great island 20 years ago, now not so much.

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1 hour ago, thaibeachlovers said:

If Cambodia and Vietnam ( and perhaps Burma ) play it right, Thailand will never recover to what it was. I'm sure the horde will be back but that's even more reason not to go there.

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1 hour ago, parallaxtech said:

If you are retired in Samui with money and a lovely place to live then it's still paradise, even more so now without the aggravating tourists or hoards of Covid bots.  I was enjoying the pristine Chaweng beach yesterday, when the jetski mafia arrived and told Thais and farangs to clear off their patch.  Most of us were hoping that this business would end, but they probably spotted a few farangs who needed fleecing.  Samui will return one day, bigger than ever, along with all the greed and corruption.  No lessons will be learned.  I still love it, relative to living in Florida, and have no plans of ever leaving.

I agree completely.

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We considered a visit to Samui.  However, when we did our research and included other islands on our list of possible destinations we found, Samui is much more expensive.  I know there is talk of 'savings' for locals and expats but, its is still expensive. Some of the high end places can attract people like us if they lower they rates.  The rooms are empty.  Why not charge 2000 a night instead of 10,000?  The only true costs are housecleaning and time.  The owners /managers are on site anyway.  You can change your food service options. Include breakfast.  Which, is also cheap.  There are so many possible opportunities.  We would pay for a massage if the rooms were cheaper.  We are going to Koh Yao Yai first because, the 4-5 star properties there include some which are 3000 or less a night.  

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Unfortunately at the sharp end of continuing government lunacy as skint little China emerges 🤔 

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