29 October, 2020

Beaches Of Sin

Will big-ticket, wall-to-wall tourism reclaim Thai sands? Or will the tsunami force a return to innocence as it were?

Beaches Of Sin
When the giant tsunami waves lashed the coastline of Thailand last month, it had seemed to me that the angry sea wanted to wreak vengeance against the tourist tsars who had destroyed the pristine beauty of the country's islands through their dollar dreams and sex for money. In those good old days, when I'd go there, the island of Phuket would boast miles of golden beaches, marine blue-green waters, and barely any of those from the chattering classes. There weren't those seaside resorts offering rooms on websites, nor anyone around to teach deep-sea diving. Phuket was the port of call for hippies. They enjoyed most things free—the sun, the sand, and the marijuana joint they were willing to share; sex, of course, was free and consensual.

In the first week of the tsunami tragedy, the tourists on Thailand's beaches of sin—Phuket, Pattaya, Samui and Samet—were all driven away to the mainland. Only the adventurous and old-timers stayed behind; the desolate beaches a reminder of the innocent past, minus the ghastly wreckage of hotels and restaurants.

Last week, I...


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