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Thailand Tourism Authority

Thailand`s Andaman shining again

Nearly three weeks after the Tsunami catastrophe that wreaked havoc and destruction on the Andaman coast’s tourism industry, there are already signs of reparation…

Nearly three weeks after the Tsunami catastrophe that wreaked havoc and destruction on the Andaman coast’s tourism industry, there are already signs of reparation and normalcy with many hotels, resorts and other tourism-related operators conducting business as usual. This can be especially seen in Patong Beach, Phuket, Satun and Trang.

Others, in contrast, are starting more or less from zero like the village of Bang Tao that was totally levelled by the December 26 incident. However, the locals are not the only ones involved in the resurrection of this once idyllic tourist destination, but also a small group of people who do not normally engage in strenuous relief work.

The majority of these individuals are traveller-turned volunteers with little or no construction experience who have put aside their vacation time to assist the 100 families of Bang Tao restart their lives.

Before December 26, this coastal village was full of accommodation, establishments and shops facilitating tourists of various nationalities who had come to enjoy the sun and the sand, but all of that soon changed.

These ‘Angels of Mercy’ from eight different nations – Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States – are knocking down and rebuilding houses and shops, clearing debris, and mending and buying fishing equipment from donations. Prior to the Tsunami, some of them were enjoying the diversity of Thailand’s tourism attractions and destinations while others were in their home countries, but all of them soon changed their minds and quickly came to the aid of the local residents.

Initially, the villagers were a little wary of the assistance from outsiders but have since changed their minds, and are now working side by side with one goal in mind – for Bang Tao to be back on its feet and open for business before Chinese New Year in early February.

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