TOURISTS who drove to eastern Trat province and then took a ferry to cross over to beautiful Koh Chang island over the weekend found themselves stuck in a five-kilometre-long tailback today (July 5) on their return journey, Naewna newspaper reported.
A lot of tourists checked out of their hotels bright and early and headed to the ferry pier at Ao Sapporot which at 8 a.m.had 500 vehicles queued up to be ferried back to the mainland. However only three ferries were working because the others could not sail in the ebb tide only able to join in at 1 p.m.
As the morning wore on more cars joined the queue which then stretched three kilometres to the front of the Mo Koh Chang National Park office.
The three ferries were together able to take 150 vehicles per trip lasting 45-minutes. At island’s second pier, Centerpoint, there were also lots of cars waiting for a ferry with the queue here being around 500 metres.
By noon more cars joined the queue at Ao Sapporot with the tailback now stretching five kilometres .
Mr. Kampon Chareonkhachonkul, vice president of Trat Tourism Business Association, said that he had told hotel operators to fix the check out time at 1 p.m., which is when the sea water rises and more ferries can operate, but the tourists were afraid of not getting across and left bright and early leading to this long a queue.
He added that the association took care of the tourists distributing drinking water and making sure no vehicles jumped the queue.
Meanwhile Mr. Theerasak Saroumcheepmasua, deputy mayor of Koh Chang subdistrict, Koh Chang district, said on July 4- 5 lots of tourists both came and went from the island in their cars.
At the Centerpoint pier 542 cars came in bringing 2,023 tourists while 216 vehicles left taking 223 people back.
Around 3,500 vehicles came in via Ao Sapporot pier bringing in 8,000 tourists while 500 vehicles left taking 1,500 people back.
The total crossings at the two piers were 4,042 vehicles arriving bringing in 10,023 tourists while 716 vehicles left taking 1,723 people to the mainland.
Massive tailback on Koh Chang today. Photos: Naewna newspaper