Phuket and other tourism centres along the west coast reap cash from thousands of visitors while the heritage of future generations of Thais is being comprehensively ruined by mass tourism.
Islands in national parks off the coast where visitors are supposed to be limited are being exploited with hundreds of tourists degrading precious sites - and couldn't-care-less boat tour operators reaping a fortune they probably share with outlaw park rangers.
Sustainability versus selfishness. The photograph comparing the same coral reef at Phi Phi Lae shows its shocking degradation between 2002 and 2015, with the large numbers denoting those years in the Buddhist calendar.
Marine biologists and environmentalists, horrified at the damage that is being done to Thailand's irreplaceable marine heritage, are scrambling to save what's left.
Leading the campaign is Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a member of the National Reform Council who is spearheading a campaign that is calling for a public gathering at Parliament in Bangkok on March 24.
Dr Narinee Tongtam of the Marine Biological Centre recently surveyed 32 tourist boats anchored off Tachai island and found 24 of them had anchors dragging through the coral reef.
''Up to 73 percent of the coral reef has perished,'' Dr Thon said, ''mostly because there is too much activity in terms of tourist numbers and boat numbers.''
One island where up to 70 tourists at a time are permitted actually has to bear the damage from 1200 people a day, according to investigations.
Allegations are being made that rangers allow far more tourists into the national parks than they should, with someone benefitting from the park entry fees that are often paid for without receipts.
''Unless the parks are operated to strict limits from the end of 2015, visits to the coral reefs of Thailand are likely to end with this generation,'' Dr Thon warned.
Money talks louder than coral but once the coral is dead, the money will fall silent.