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Paradise Lost – end of chapter two.

Here, for the moment at least, on this palm tree lined beach front lies paradise.

The music plays, drinks flow, spliffs are smoked, ad-hoc football games are organised in the soft sand and you get the merest glimpse of what it is like when people are just content to 'be.'

There are few agendas here, the inhabitants and backpackers seem just happy to be in the moment. People lounge around doing nothing but smiling at their own luck.

There's another side of human nature on display here. A kinder gentler one, where everyone is friendly to each other and no one really has anything to worry about. Nothing to worry about apart from when you will have to finally pack your bag and leave.

Still, a dark shadow hangs over Ton Sai beach. It would seem the ever present spectre of progress marches irrevocably on.

The whole place has been bought by property developers, their plan? To bulldoze the lot and build a swanky new resort for rich western tourists. In a short period of time this shambolic, crazy, beautiful place will be razed to the ground and replaced with yet another sterile, characterless overpriced resort full of drunken boorish yobs.

Still, at least you won't have to flush the toilet with a bucket, so there will be some improvements after all.

Me? I'm just happy to have spent some time here. I don't think you can ever kill the spirit of Ton Sai. The current inhabitants will pack their bags, get in a boat and head to the next undeveloped bay to start all over again. And as long as I have a few baht in my back pocket I'll come looking for them.

Thus, in a strangely fitting way it seems to me I draw a close to my travels in Thailand. It's been a different kind of adventure, gentler, stress free a more reflective chapter perhaps.

So dear reader, have you enjoyed the adventure too? Are you ready for the excitement of the open road and what China may bring? Have you got your universal sink plug and mosquito repellent to hand?

If so, join me for more when we get to Hong Kong.

'Robinson Crusoe'

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