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Thailand Party Islands Swamped by Floods

Reported by JontySkrufff on April 11, 2011

Thousands of tourists were stranded on Koh Samui and Full Moon Party island Koh Phangan last week after torrential rains caused widespread flooding and landslides. 

Samui’s airport was closed for several days and several hundred backpackers were evacuated by a Thai aircraft carrier after stormy seas left small ships unable to dock on the islands. Britain’s Foreign Office issued a formal warning advising against ‘all but essential travel to the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao’.

“Storms and heavy rainfall have caused flooding and damage along the southern coast of Thailand,” the alert continued, “There are power cuts and food/water shortages in some parts of Koh Samui. Some roads and towns, including coastal areas popular with tourists, are flooded. Transport to and from, and around the island is currently disrupted.” (Foreign Office: )

British photographer Marco Ryan described how landslides washed villages away and stormy seas destroyed five star hotels’ sea defences, in gripping detail on his blog.

“Here on Koh Samui I watched in awe as cars, shacks and the contents of small business were washed down the main street now six foot deep in raging flood waters, impossible to cross even with a rope, such was its power and height,’ he said, “It gave me an uncomfortable perspective on just how devastating the Tsunami and recent events in Japan must have really been.” (Marco Ryan: 

Britain’s Foreign Office advised Brits on the island to ‘consider leaving if it is safe to do so’ though Koh Phangan resident and legendary British house and trance DJ Graham Gold told Skrufff he intends to stay and described the circumstances leading up to the floods in equally graphic detail. ( )

‘To be as brief as possible, the weather has been pretty much shit off and on since November. Nov is monsoon season so expected, but it continued through much of December and even when the winds died down, the rain kept coming, and I can honestly say there has not been a time where you could really say "tomorrow will be fab",” he recalled.

“Rainy days have outnumbered sunny days by at least ten to one in marked contrast to last year when we had about three days of rain between mid December and Mid May, so when it did rain finally we all danced in it, it was awesome This is just fucked up now,” said Graham.

“On Phanghan we’re experiencing major flooding, many roads are only passable in very high off road 4x4's, and of course there are power cuts. Some parts of the island have had no power for three days. I live on a hillside, which thankfully (as far as I am aware) is not prone to mudslides, and also protected from the winds.” 

“This latest period of heavy rain started ten days ago, and the weather has deteriorated daily. Today the navy came to take tourists of the island as no boats have run for 3 days due to three meter high waves.  The next island north has had buildings smashed and its roads have been totally ruined. They also have zero internet. Samui airport was closed for I believe at least two days. So between the three islands, tens of thousands of tourists have been stranded. I just hope most were insured.” 

“And last week, I played a joint stag/hen party for this couple who used to come see me play at Passion in Coalville. They brought 34 friends with them. They were supposed to get married on the Thursday on the beach, at least that was the plan, but it couldn't happen. They are the people I feel so sorry for: the stag/hen party was awesome though.”

“Today (Wednesday) was meant to be double the severity of Monday, but though it has continued to rain, the winds have subsided and the rain is nowhere near as ferocious as two days ago, so we are hoping that's coming to an end a little earlier than anticipated. 

For those that have come to Thailand for the first time, I am sure they will never return. So together with the problems at Suvarnbhumi Airport 15 months ago, the problems in Pattya at the Asia summit and of cousre the on-going protests in Bangkok Thailand is surely set to loose millions of dollars in tourism over the next three years. 

“Fuck, that read so good,” he added, “ I think I should become a news correspondent.. Ahahahaha. Anyone want some cheap suntan lotion?” (Samui flooding, Youtube)

Jonty Skrufff: