The Tongsai Bay was established in 1987 with the philosophy of preserving nature in
mind. The accommodation was firstly built among trees, and not a single big tree was
cut down during the construction where Cottage Suites stand. The hotel was created
in compliance with Tongsai’s and Koh Samui’s own landscape and environment. At
the time, the island was still very much covered with forests and coconut
Various wild animals still roamed around. There were not many hotels or
most roads were not well-paved and many parts of the island did not even
However, between 2001-2006, Koh Samui has been developed rapidly. Lots of
investors local and international have flocked onto the island, purchasing lands from
the locals. They cut down big trees and coconut trees - a symbol of the island - in
order to build up resorts and houses or sell the land for profit. Some local residents
have transformed their own properties into rental rooms or houses. As a result,
wildlife has been disturbed by human beings, losing their natural inhabitants.
In addition, more workers from mainland Thailand have moved in and settled down
on the island. They sometimes even eat (in the name of “Jungle” food) wild animals
such as squirrel, monitor lizard, snakes etc., causing the imbalance towards the
island’s nature. In the earlier days, nature had its ways in dealing with the ecological
system. For example, in the woods, when fallen leaves piled up, natural microbes
helped disintegrate them into a natural fertilizer. A number of animals had been
properly controlled in the food chain by natural predators e.g. squirrels eat coconut
weevils: one type of animal eats another and then is eaten by another animal.
Naturally, a dead animal will finally be granulated by natural microbes.
In the old days in Thailand, as an undeveloped agricultual country, we used natural
materials to wrap food and things e.g. banana leaves. Synthetic materials such as
plastic and foam were scarcely used. Therefore, the garbage problem in the past
was manageable and controllable. However, when the community has adapted itself
to development, the synthetic materials were brought in, causing a garbage problem
in terms of improper disposal location, inadequate waste land, insufficient management
budget and garbage increase. Landfill and burning in an incinerator pollute the earth
all the same.
Another problem is that more people moving into the island, hence consuming more
resources such as water and electricity. The water consumption has always been the
major problem on Koh Samui, particularly during summer when most water resources
are dry. Even though a Reverse Osmosis plant has been built and in operation, it does
not really solve the problem efficiently. One of many reasons is the number of hotels
and resorts collective rooms (there are now over 15,000 rooms on a small district Island
of Koh Samui) are not controlled in compliance with the resources provision e.g. water,
electricity and oil.
There is also an air pollution problem although small comparatively, usually caused by
local people who have incorrectly burnt the garbage e.g. foam and plastic. Although
there is a garbage incinerator, its ability to burn and manage pollution is not good enough.
The garbage incinerator produce ‘Dioxin’ (acid rain), created from burning synthetic
substances with insufficient temperature. Besides, they cause ‘greenhouse effect’,
destroying the ozone layer that protects the world. Once the ozone layer is destroyed,
the sun’s ray can easily access to the earth, making the world’s temperature increase.
With the environmental destruction, there will apparently be a chain reaction that affects
everything in the ecological system. We do see this now with the ever changing seasons
which are not as consistent as in the past – 2004 Monsoon season was one of the
driest while 2005 Monsoon saw a huge flood with torrential rain.
Due to the above environmental problems within the past 4-5 years, The Tongsai
Bay’s management have realised the significance of nature and environment. In
terms of Tourism industry, Koh Samui’s outstanding feature is basically nature. If
entrepreneurs do not realise this, in the near future Koh Samui will be unable to
maintain itself as one of the top destinations in Thailand, let alone the world. Hence,
The Tongsai Bay has set up ‘Green Project’ in an attempt to preserve the balance
among human beings, animals, trees and environment. Even it is merely a small part
of the whole society and Samui community, we all strongly hope that Tongsai’s staff
would apply Green Project’s practices and guidelines to their own households and
disseminate them for wider usage. At least, they could be regarded as good examples
for Koh Samui. In order to improve the sustainable tourism on Koh Samui, the material
development should be carried on together with the environmental management.
Although, the above practice could only be a small part in the society, the hotel would
like all staff to realise the significance of nature and endeavour to conserve it for the