Following the opening of the Phuket island, Thailand has again reopened another island destination that was set in Surat Thani’s Province: Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. It is known as the Samui Plus (Samui+) Plan. After weeks of the opening of the first sandbox scheme, on the 15th of July, travelers from all over the world were welcomed at the gate of Samui.
Opening the gates to travelers in the first sandbox scheme in Phuket was, undoubtedly, a hit to travelers around the world. The influx of travelers did not just stop at the island of Phuket. Now that the Samui+ plan is open for travelers; they have been given a choice on where to set their next island destination.
Before the Samui+ opened, there was a goal set by the Centre of Economic Situation and Administration (CESA). Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the spokesperson of CESA, stated that the opening of the island is expected to have 1,000 foreign travelers. And it was also expected to generate THB 180 Million ($5.4 Million) in a month.
However, the number of travelers that booked seats between the date of the opening of Samui+ and the month of October, there were only 80 travelers recorded. On the 15th of July, the first batch of foreign travelers that arrived were mostly journalists and some are content creators that help spread the word of the opening. The first day of the opening was deemed to be a slow start.
There are currently 1/3 of the facilities on the island. There are 177 hotels open and 8,629 rooms are available rooms.
Samui+ Requirements to Enter
In order to enter the gate of Samui under the Samui+ Scheme, make sure to bring all these requirements:
- One must have a passport with at least 6 months validity
- One must be from an approved country by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration
- One must have a Certificate of Entry (COE)
- One must already be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) or World Health Organization (WHO)
- One must have booked and purchased return air travel
- One must have booked and paid accommodation and required RT-PCR tests at Samui Extra Plus hotels and SHA Plus (SHA+) hotel
- One must have purchased medical insurance with Covid-19 treatment coverage of at least $100,000
- One must have been tested negative for Covid-19 not more than 72 hours before travel
What makes the Samui+ guideline different from the Phuket guidelines? Unlike Phuket, Samui+ travelers are required to stay inside Samui Extra Plus hotels, which is different from SHA+ hotels, for the first 7 nights upon arrival.
Also, upon arrival, travelers must follow procedures of their travel stay on the island:
- Day 0 (Arrival)
First RC-PCR test while at the airport and stay at the Samui+ Extra hotel that one booked.
- Day 1 to 3
Travelers can leave the hotel room, roam around within Samui+ Extra hotel grounds. (If one has a negative result from the first test).
- Day 4 to 7
Travelers are free to do any activity and can travel within designated seal routes. This will also be the time travelers have their 2nd RT-PCR test and if the result is negative, one can check out at the Samui Extra Plus hotel that they stayed in.
- Day 8 to 14
The traveler cans and will continue to stay at the SHA+ hotel that they booked. This will also be the time that the traveler will have their 3rd RT-PCR test and if the result is negative, the traveler can freely travel around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.
Note: Even upon completing the stay for 2 weeks with a negative result, and can freely travel the place. They are reminded to stay at SHA+ hotels only.
Samui Extra Plus Hotels
To make it easy for travelers, the Samui Extra Plus hotels that are government-approved are listed below:
- The Fair House Beach and Resort Hotel
- Fair House Villas and Spas
- Avani+ Samui
- The Briza Beach Resort Samui
- The Lamai Samui
- The Spa Resort Koh Samui
- Baan Hin Sai Resort and Spa
- Aura Samui Best Beach
- Panacea Retreat
- Clay Beach Samui
- Moonstone Villa
- Soparadise Villa
- Angthong Villa
- Suralai Villa
- Ban Suriya
- Baan Puri Villa
- Tawantok Beach Villa
- Samui Beach Resort
- Rocky’s Boutique Resort
Samui SHA+ Hotels
Now, that you have the list of Samui Extra Plus hotels for you to stay, here is a list of SHA+ hotels in Samui:
- SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort
- Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort
- Amari Koh Samui
- The Library
- Sareeraya Villas and Suites
- Buri Rasa Village Samui
- Chaweng Regent Beach Resort
- Synergy Samui
- Banana Fan Sea Resort Hotel
- Baan Chaweng Beach Resort
- Sheraton Samui Resort
- Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort
- Chaweng Noi Pool Villa
- Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi
- T-Ritz Carlton
- Cape Fahn Hotel
- Meliah Koh Samui
- Six Senses Samui
- Hyatt Regency Koh Samui
- The Lamai Samui
Islands to Soon Open
Assuming that the scheme will not be suspended, by the month of September, Phuket and Samui will not be the only island that is open for travelers. Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, and Buri Ram are some of the places that the scheme will be applied to. Therefore, travelers will have more choices when it comes to choosing their island destination.