How is Ko Tarutao not more popular?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a massive part of me that definitely doesn’t want it to become more popular. What makes it so amazing, in fact, is that it is not very popular. It is remote, beautiful, and wild, and I absolutely love it.
So returning after thirteen years, you might think there’d be a bit of bad feeling about the changes? Not at all. The moment the boat turned the corner around the cliffs, the huge, white beach stretched in front of us and I was instantly transported back in time. The beach has not changed. Not one bit. And long may it remain like this. A National Park it should be protected from development like this.
Our stay in Tarutao was not as smooth as perhaps I would have liked. In fact, on our first night we were bitten to death by bedbugs (I had over 70 bites, our family total was over 300); as a result we ended up moving out of our rather nice looking bungalow into tents (where there were no bedbugs, but also no refund for us); then I had to return to the mainland for follow up treatment for an ear infection; just as we were getting into the swing of things Tettie had a bike crash (see Me and My Lucky Landings); it was only really during the last few days of our 10 day stay that we managed to have some proper ‘island chill out time’!
Despite all this, Ko Tarutao has always been, and remains, a very special place for me. I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s somewhere in the shade of blue that deepens towards the horizon, the contrast with the white of the sand, and the complete lack of any buildings of any kind on the coastline. The eagles and other birds of prey soaring overhead, the wild boar, the monitor lizards and the call of the crickets, plus of course, our trusty hammock, all just seem to combine into some kind of island perfection that I find irresistible.
We left today. But I already know I’ll be back.