I recently took a one-month holiday on Koh Lanta in Krabi province.
On arrival by boat at the island, all visitors were charged Bt10. Above the counter was a sign explaining that the fee was to help keep the island clean.
Unfortunately not only were the beaches covered in rubbish, so was the entire coast road running from the quay.
I was swimming at one of the beaches on the south of the island when all of a sudden my head was covered in a huge black plastic bag.
That was the last time I entered the water for the rest of my holiday, but it made me check other beaches for cleanliness. What I found was very disturbing, with rubbish of all sorts everywhere, including needles.
I did not once see anybody cleaning up the beaches, which makes me wonder who keeps the money they collect from visitors on arrival. Also tainting my stay was the gross overcharging by motorcycle taxis with sidecars. A 3-kilometre trip cost Bt400, which is daylight robbery.
They must think that tourists are all idiots who don’t know how much these services should cost. In Chiang Mai, for instance, I can go up Doi Suthep and back – 20 times as far – for less than that. This is the last time Koh Lanta will receive a visit from me, and I will spread the message.
There are other nice places in Thailand where one does not get robbed in broad daylight.