Koh Samui burst into local and international news over the weekend. A Singapore arm of the massive Priceline.com web-based marketing network awarded Gold Circule Awards to three hotels on the southern island. They offered ”a great online product” according to the citation. Southall Travel of Britain began a new campaign to boost trips to Samui as ”a truly luxurious holiday”.
And on the island itself, residents and tourists staged an impressive Saturday afternoon protest against oil exploration due to start in the Gulf of Thailand, in the general vicinity of Koh Samui.
The demonstration saw an estimated 30,000 people link hands along the 52km road which rings Koh Samui. Symbolically, the visitors and Samui residents sent a ”no oil rigs here” message. To back up the demand, fishermen based out of the islands off Surat Thani province vowed to try to block exploration vessels and rigs if it comes to that. The mayor of the island told the media that Koh Samui will file a lawsuit in the Administrative Court later this week unless the government rescinds its permission for exploration.