Over the last three months in Thailand, particularly, Koh Samui I have noticed what it’s become impossible to avoid noticing – the incredible amount of land for sale. This land, I believe, belonged to generations of Thai families but thanks to modern culture infiltrating the ranks in this part of the world with our “education” and business savvy lust for profit the Thai people have become more than willing to part ways with their heritage by selling their land to the Farang (foreigner) and in exchange, drive around fancy SUV’s and buy modern furnishings.
The even smarter Thai, although a woefully small percentage, have learnt that this cash injection will eventually run dry and have started their own aspiring enterprises. The Thai, as entrepreneurs, have really impressed me and those that don’t come from wealth – the vast majority – are incredibly hard-working – it must be said.
There are so many points to discuss, so many spin-offs from the above that want to draw me away and write about but I cannot, now, for lack of time and indeed knowledge. Three months here is not that long after-all. Getting back to my main point, though, It is because of this ridiculous frenzy of land sale that has, in my opinion, turned much of Samui into a Town that was once a breathtaking destination. Of course it still is an incredibly beautiful island to look at – from the air or from the sea or even if you have very deep pockets – but the average person won’t get much sense of this majesty from the land itself. Why?
The answer lies in the title, all this selling of land has resulted in almost entirely inaccessible beaches thanks to the resorts that “own” them. Resort upon resort block your view from the street and if you are only here for a holiday and don’t have the money, to foot the bill of the prime estates, you will miss out on incredible views. It is only down to our exploring natures and common sense that my wife and I have, that has led us to discover the places we have. Often being refused entry to a beach from a resort we have found another way “in.” Exciting as it is, the average tourist does not want to waste time doing this and rightly so.
All said and done, there are wonderful beaches that are open to the public and freely seen by all but my gripe is that all of them should be. Especially for the people that call this country home. The Thai. I cannot imagine what my Cape Town would turn into if, bit by bit, all the beautiful places were taken away from it’s people. It’s tragic and I can only hope that things are better regulated around these parts.