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Since opening in 1987, The Tongsai Bay has established itself as the leading family owned hotel on the beautiful island of Koh Samui, Thailand. Hidden amongst 25 acres of breathtaking natural beauty and overlooking a sandy bay, the hotel is renowned for its privacy and tranquility, its passionate love for the environment and last but not least, the friendliness and professionalism of its staff.
With the environment in mind, over the recent years, The Tongsai Bay has tried to reduce hardwood for repairing and have begun to use other materials as substitution (of course, beauty and practicality has not compromised) materials e.g. cement with tiles finish at Pool Cottages, pine wood at many Seafront Cottages, and special cottages such as McGuigan Cottage, and Hideaway Cottage as well as the deck at Po-Lad Beach Bistro & Bar, cement bridge at main pool and around the Cottage Suite area.
Recycling of hardwood is another option they take into consideration. “People do sell old wood from their old houses which are usually good quality and it is definitely better to buy from them than not knowing where the wood comes from” they say, showing a real commitment to continuing the care and consideration they give to the environment.
The Green Project
What the Tongsai Bay have to say about their green policies
When the Tongsai Bay was established it was done so with the philosophy of preserving nature in mind. The accommodation was firstly built among trees and not a single tree was cut down during the construction where the Cottage Suites stand. The hotel was created in compliance with Tongsai’s and Koh Samui’s own landscape and At the time, the island was still very much covered with forests and coconut plantations. Various wild animals still roamed around. There were not many hotels or resorts since most roads were not well-paved and many parts of the island did not even have electricity.
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 latter generations.
Visit the Tongsai Bay webpage by clicking here