Views #1517 | Intermediate (B1)

Island Stress

Jerri explains some of the problems facing Thailand's islands.

Todd: So I’m here with Jerri and she is from Thailand, and we’re talking about islands. So these islands in Thailand get a lot of tourists.

Jerri: Yes, right.

Todd: Thailand probably gets more tourists to its islands than any other country in the world. Is there like any concerns about the environment or development on the islands?

Jerri: Yes, of course. Wherever there are people, there’s always an effect on the environment. And you see this a lot, especially on the most visited islands such as Phuket and Samoi with the development of condominiums, schools, malls, leads to deforestation, of course, and more pollution. You also see the effect more on the more vulnerable islands like the smaller islands such as, I think, Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. All of the islands used to be full of trees and it used to be like national parks. And now with the people taking speed boats and everything, you really see the oils on the sea. The coral reefs are not as colorful as they should be. All the plastic that comes with, you know, getting food boxes, plastic straws. Yeah. And you really see the ecosystems in the sea are affected.

Todd: Yeah, that’s what I tell – that’s a problem that we have to solve everywhere in the world, it seems like, especially the plastic. Do you know about Easter Island in Chile? You know, with the big stone statues?

Jerri: No, not so much.

Todd: Yeah, that reminds me of Easter Island which is, you know, famous in Chile for its really large stone monuments like the stone faces. And they couldn’t figure out how the people disappeared or why they disappeared, and now they think it’s because they cut down all the trees.

Jerri: Oh, wow.

Todd: And after they cut down all the trees, that basically destroyed the environment, and the people couldn’t survive anymore so they had to leave the island. So islands really are vulnerable, especially with their trees, right?

Jerri: Right. Yeah, absolutely.

Todd: That’s one of the reasons I really like Koh Chang, because you can only develop on one side of the road, you know.

Jerri: Yeah.

Todd: So there’s a road around the island and if it’s on the beach side you can develop, but anything inland on the other side of the road, there’s pretty much no development.

Jerri: Yes. But there are also on the positive side you see, you know, when – there are things like bad things happening to environment, you see innovation, people actually coming up with ideas. So a lot of hotel chains, for example, are becoming more sustainable. They’re incorporating metal straws, paper straws. So you do see some changes but there’s a long way to go.

Todd: Yeah, you know, I think that’s a great point. Like eventually, business can find the solution.

Jerri: Yeah, yeah. That’s always…

Todd: It’s in their best interest, right? Oh, that’s really nice. So what about the economy? I guess the biggest jobs are the resorts?

Jerri: Yes. So the Thai economy relies on tourists. Yeah, like the hotels, the restaurants, that’s where we get our money flowing, I would say.

Todd: Right. So that’s your [inaudible 0:03:19.4] of the capital influx from other countries.

Jerri: Yes.

Todd: Right, okay. So, you live in Bangkok. Out of curiosity, how often do you get to a resort or to the beach?

Jerri: More than I should, to be honest. Like I love the islands so every opportunity I get, I’ll fly down south, and then visit the different ones. But yeah, as I mentioned, my favorite one would be Koh Pangan. Yeah.

Todd: Can you fly directly from Bangkok to Koh Pangan?

Jerri: Yes. Well, not directly, but you can fly to the mainland which is Surat Thani. And it’s actually nice just to spend a day there because Surat Thani, there’s like a culture there and then you get to try the authentic Southern food before you actually go to the islands and it becomes a little bit more like Western, with the taste and everything. So that’s my recommendation. And then the next day, you can just go to the pier and take a ferry to the different islands you want to go to.

Todd: Oh, wow. So I definitely, definitely want to take your advice.

Jerri: Thank you.

Todd: Well, that’s really nice.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

figure out


They couldn’t figure it out.

You figure out something when you come up with an answer. Notice the following:

  1. Computer technicians figure out how to make new programs.
  2. Did you figure out the answer to this question?

come up with


People actually are coming up with ideas.

When you come up with something, you think of an idea or solution. Notice the following:

  1. Jack came up with a proposal for his boss.
  2. My friend came up with a plan to find his dog.

hotel chains


There are a lot of hotel chains.

A hotel chain is when one company owns many hotels with the same name in different locations. Notice the following:

  1. Marriott is a hotel chain with hotels in many countries.
  2. You can actually trust the quality of a hotel chain.

a long way to go


But there’s a long way to go.

When you have a long way to go, you will need to do many things before you reach your goal. Notice the following:

  1. Peter has a long way to go before he graduates.
  2. The young girl has a long way to go to be eligible for the Olympics.

best interest


It's in their best interest.

Something in your best interest will be helpful to you. Notice the following:

  1. It is in my best interest to save money instead of spend it.
  2. His mother thought it was in his best interest to go to a local college and not leave home.

capital influx


You get the capital influx.

Capital influx is when money comes to a business or country for a large project. Notice the following:

  1. The capital influx from many countries helped Nepal rebuild after the earthquake.
  2. Without capital influx from investors, many small companies would never survive.

Vocabulary Quiz

figure out • come up with • hotel chains
a long way to go • best interest • capital influx
  1. It is in our to support the plan.
  2. There are many cheap by the airport.
  3. This problem is not easy to .
  4. We are not done yet, for we have .
  5. We have not a solution yet
  6. It will take a lot of to develop the city.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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1520 Bangkok Shopping
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1519 Bangkok Transport
1519 Bangkok Transportation - Part 2
More ways to get around in Bangkok.

1518 Bangkok Transport
1518 Bangkok Transportation - Part 1
Getting around in Bangkok.

1517 Island Stress
1517 Island Stress
Problems facing Thailand's islands.

1516 Thai Island Life
1516 Thai Island Life
The wonderful features of Thailand's islands.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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