Over Songkran I spent one night in a hotel in Rayong on Bangchang Beach. I was going to stay longer, but I was appalled at the amount of rubbish in the sea there being swept in with every wave. My guest preferred to swim in the sea, quite rightly saying that you can swim in a pool anywhere, so we walked the extra distance past the swimming pool, down the steps and to the waterfront.
I went running into the sea and dove under only to emerge with a large torn transparent plastic bag on my head! Quickly shaking it off I looked around me and it was like diving into a polluted khlong. There were plastic bags, straws, containers and every other source of this manmade poison floating on or just beneath the surface. Where, what and how Thai fisherman catch anything is unbeknown to me as they were hundreds, literally hundreds, of short, long and tangled lengths of nylon fishing nets, rope and line.
I did not feel comfortable in the surf so soon left it for the shoreline where I watched many foreign and Thai tourists gathering up the detritus as they swam less that 10 metres from the shore and then bought it onshore throwing it above the waterline. They were obviously as disgusted and disappointed as I was.
I sat on the sand, managing to find a cleanish area to plant myself, and looked left and right to see rubbish strewn all over the beach from the waterline to the trees. For a country that makes 22% of its GDP from domestic tourism and foreign tourists flocking to its shores. I hope that TAT will wake up soon and instead of constantly patting themselves on the back congratulating themselves about the wonderful job that they are doing. They do something positive about the environment and ecology.
Clean up your act Thailand or the tourist dollars you so badly need and and rely upon to prop up your economy will move on to somewhere that does!