Tourists and residents are clamoring for better infrastructure to make sure that the international reputation and revenue of Samui and Phangan doesn't suffer again from a disastrous three-day outage that ended Friday morning.
PHUKET: High season was being redefined on the Thai holiday islands of Samui and Phangan today as tourists were forced to go without showers because of an extended power failure.
Food was rotting in kitchens without refrigeration and visitors were clamoring to leave the islands as fast as possible.
The power has been out to both international holiday destinations since 9am on Tuesday, when a planned outage turned into an unplanned total power failure.
''It's total chaos,'' said one visitor. ''So much for the holiday of a lifetime.''
Authorities were hoping to ration power today to each of Samui's five geographical zones one by one for a few hours at a time, using an old cable network. A newer cable system is down and out.
Resorts and restaurants reported rotting food, no power to pump water for showers, and skyrocketing fuel prices.
The clamor for people wanting to leave Samui will not bring a response. Samui Airport is a private airport, run by Bangkok Airways.
Because it's high season, with about 3000 arrivals and departures a day, all time slots at Samui airport are taken.
Resort managements fear news of the unreliability of power supplies is likely to affect the islands' prospects for tourism.
The unexpected blackout occurred at midday on Tuesday. Electricity authorities had planned an outage from 9am to noon for work on the undersea cable carrying the power supply to Samui and Phangan.
But at midday, when the switch was thrown for power to be restored, the whole network went down and has resisted efforts since to restore it.
A return to full service was predicted for midnight but could not be achieved. Authorities remain ''hopeful'' that full power can be restored soon.