• Chris Edwards

Life's A Beach - 2015

thong nai pan yai, koh phangan, thailand (feb 2015)

The scene from my shady place...

Wide sweep of white fine sand, cerulean waters gently lapping the shore, calmer now than two weeks previous.

Halfway through our stay...

Thai long tails bobbing in the bay, dark brown jungle wood hulls or perhaps painted aquamarine with orange stripes, ferocious open engines rigged onto the back, steel shafts protruding to the water line, firing up like a speed dragster, shuttling tourists to isolated beaches for day trips, small fishing boats at anchor, juxtaposed by speedboats, jet skis, quieter now than previously, unpopular with the locals and the “water walking” power pack, deep sea diving or snorkelling trips.

In the shade, our beachfront dining room,toes in the sand, thick bamboo chairs and tables seemingly built by the same craftsmen as thirty years before. The ubiquitous roll of toilet paper dispenser as napkin, another throwback.

Restaurants offering mouth-watering Thai and western dishes; menus offer a variety of dishes of such scope as to boggle the mind: full western breakfast, luxuriant curries, noodles, rice, seafood, superlatives unnecessary, unami: hot spicy salty sour sweet.

That dumpy looking joint down that side lane might be the best food in town- ie- Som Seafood! Fresh fruit cut to spec- lest we forget Charlie the pancake man in front of the 7–11, decadent martabak style for $1.

Martabak for $1!

Westerners, largely Euros, tattooed from head to toe (men and women), children in strollers, families back with their charges after visiting before kids (we imagine- how else to explain the number of kids here unless of course the internet spilled the beans).

A wide range of ages- newborns to octogenarians- everyone coming by boat as the airport remains incomplete- unlike Samui, our favoured place ruined when the airport finally opened, everything changed, more than a million visitors a year!

Beach dwellers, various states of undress, from shameless Speedo to butt floss bikinis, Euro women less inlined to be concerned about exposing booties, although the floss likely provides some discomfort!

Wifi invites social media check ins... electronic devices now as common as sun screen... ebook readers, smart phone, tablets, laptops...digital nomads and retirees, long term stays and quick visits, here today gone to Maui.

Once isolated, now discovered, soon overrun- low key beach bungalow development yet signs of expansion everywhere, feed the beast.

But where is the market? Currencies tumbling particularly the Ruble this year which is fine by us as the Russians are not well loved- coming next- the Chinese invasion, a tsunami.

Wade in the water, tide out, float on a mattress, bob like a seal, idyllic, the very definition of paradise: sea, sand, sun, cheap food, booze, fruit drinks, oh my.

No small wonder why Thailand is beloved by tourists; the Thais have an innate sensibility when it comes to beach hospitality, years of practice.

Staff more likely Burmese, so much more opportunity for Thais these days (imagine 30,000 people descending on one beach every month at full moon... cha ching!).

Despite the warnings and life lessons regarding the harmful effects of sun, many lay in the noon day sun, the all day tan... yet one has to admit everyone looks better with a bit of colour.

And ladies how can I put this delicately? That two piece you’re sporting...that thing is thirty years past it’s due date- ain’t working no more...they call them moo moos for a reason and girlfriend you need one ASAP.

Beach mutts: healthier now than in the bad old days, previous generations chewed up, emaciated, mean spirited after being beat down.

Euro trash: tattooed cigarette smoking unpleasant never smile too cool fucktards.

Over and out.

It's Better When They Leave

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