The Great Wall of Tonsai

By campodegelo

Finally time to enjoy the crystal clear waters and natural Thai beauties.
Bangkok is a city that offers many options, but the chaotic transit and excessive pollution, makes an exit to the coast necessary.

With Christmas (which is not celebrated here, because of its Buddhist majority) came the perfect opportunity.

At a good price, it was possible to fly to Krabi and from there I had a few places in mind.

Much is said about Railay Beach, or Rai Leh, a small peninsula between Krabi and Ao Nang, further south of Thailand. The photos did not leave me in doubt and from Krabi airport I took a songthaew (which is nothing more than a pick-up adapted to carry passengers) to Ao Nang, and from there a longtail (motor boat with 10 passengers) to the beach surrounded by hills, which attract thousands of climbers and tourists.

Facing the beach an imposing resort received us, located in Railay West.
I was bemused, but the simple bungalow I booked was across the beach to the other side (Railay East), just a quick walk less than 10 minutes away.

On the other side, the resorts still dominate the area, but with a few reggae bars, Muay Thai fights and pool tables sharing the area.

Friends had already alerted me to this atmosphere of high society around, and with the warning came a recommendation: Tonsai Beach.
What none of my colleagues knew was what had happened to that little paradise a few years ago.

Leaving Railay East, I walked along with a longtime friend, to Railay West, where we would trek to Tonsai.

Before a stop by the cave and beach of Phra Nang, with its calm and transparent water, and two temples with a worship at the least peculiar. Two protrusions in the rock formations kept several objects of wood, that by the proximity could be identified: penis, dicks, cocks, of all the forms and sizes!

According to the plaque, it is believed that the spirit of the goddess Phra Nang inhabits this cave, and fishermen before going offshore, ask for the blessing of the Goddess. If the wishes are fulfilled, an offering is made, usually constituting flowers or incense, but in some cases a special gift: the lingams. This offering is believed to generate fertility and prosperity for the whole earth and humanity.

Each one with its own belief, right?

After we refreshed ourselves in the waters of this beach, it was time to head for Tonsai. A trail through a hill would take us there, but we did not pay attention to the tide, which watered all our belongings. From the other side of the beach the hills continued with their climbing ropes, but no seafront construction, except for one resort.

We asked a tourist how to get to the bungalows and bars, and he pointed us a trail in the middle of nowhere, with a warning that we should cross the wall by a ladder located further ahead.

Wall? Ladder? How come?

A giant terrain stretching for several meters and a tremendous emptiness. Sewage on one side and a high wall surrounding everything ahead.

And the ladders were there, positioned on either side of the concrete. We crossed and what we saw on the other side were several images and paintings of protest.

The Sheraton Hotel chain bought the land two years ago and put all the buildings, inns or bars, of the area. But so far nothing has been built.

The residents and merchants could not do anything, because in a move of the government, with doses of corruption and the hotel chain, everything went by the air, or rather, a few meters inside.

They destroyed a paradisiac place that was a stronghold of climbers, bathers, monkeys, hippies and good people.

It is still possible to see lively places  and people trying out a good conversation, or just to lure you to their bar.

As one of them was screaming at everyone passing in front of his place.
Why not? Where you go? Never try never know. Why not?

Hopefully the wall will fall someday and those people will have a better way to enjoy it all.

This entry was posted in Asia

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