Special Places 5

Isn’t it strange how a couple of seemingly unrelated events can trigger the thought processes?

My 17 year old son was very ill last week – he was in hospital for a week, and you have to be almost a goner to squeeze that much out of the NHS. So, between hospital visits I did think about him quite a bit.

quiet enough?

Then one evening I watched a bit of a travel documentary (on iPlayer – haven’t had the TV on in months). It was about Thailand, and the grotesque goings-on in resorts like Phuket. I only watched a few minutes – too absurd for words.

This started me thinking about special places in Thailand. One in particular. I haven’t been there for about 12 years, but maybe it’s still an unspoiled beach. Should I give out its name?

sand, sea, sky, small boy (mine)

Actually, the name is unpronounceable for most foreigners so maybe it doesn’t matter.

Its location helps keep it normal. At least 4 hours drive from Bangkok. More than an hour by road from the nearest resort. Then of course, it is camouflaged.

I’m not joking.

Mark - on the secret beach

Between the town and the beach lies an air force base. You have to know where you’re going. You have to know that if you drive up to the guard post at the base entrance, they’ll check your ID and wave you in. You have to know to look left and right (and left again) before you drive across the runway.

But you will be rewarded – during the week at least – with a peaceful, beautiful, undeveloped beach. Easily one of my top 5 anywhere – up there with Dune Road in Westhampton Beach, the Back Shore at Findhorn, that long empty stretch at Karpathos, and the little cove near Sfakia in Crete.

It will be busier – with locals – at the weekend, but that’s fine. It’s their beach.

© iain taylor 2011


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