Koh Samet fights and fails to recover
While the island is set to welcome the return of tourists, environmentalists fear that Samet's ecosystem will never be the same again after the July oil spill
As our speedboat approached Ao Phrao on Koh Samet, what immediately came to my mind was an image of blackened seawater and an oil-encrusted beach following the pipeline leak on July 27. But the seascape before me was different that afternoon.
The sky was blue and the high tide was a clear turquoise. The effects of the oil spill of about 50 tonnes from PTT Global Chemical's (PTTGC) offshore pipeline were not visible _ at least not to my naked eye.
The trip to this tourist spot wasn't for a vacation. Instead, the trip that took place weeks after the spill was an invitation from PTTGC as a part of its efforts to revive tourism.