Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: Paradise found

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: I lived on Racha Yai Island for five years, teaching English to the staff at the luxury resort there, and I support the local conservation group that wants to ensure that restaurants and hotels deal properly with their wastewater and garbage, and allow streams to flow freely to the sea.

I love nature, but I’m no enviro-activist. I don’t have fecal counts for you or stats about the cuttlefish population going down.

I just love Racha Island.

I never minded the day-trippers who created a commotion every day from 10am to 3pm, crowding the beach and sea, snapping photos against all the pretty backdrops. Why shouldn’t everyone enjoy this special place?

In fact, stay overnight so you can see the grass in the buffalo field turned silvery-green in the slanted morning light.

Then have a coffee overlooking Batok Bay while it’s calm and quiet, with just a few boats nodding in the waves. There’s always someone there gazing silently at the scene, getting filled up with the loveliness.

Stay longer and you’ll realize that the sea has as many moods as a friend – one day clear and sparkling, another cloudy and lukewarm; rough then calm. Sometimes it offers precious sights: an eel rippling across the seabed, a shy squid rushing off with his buddies, a sea snake making a beeline for the surface right in front of you.

Sometimes it gives up other treasures somewhat less Jacques Cousteauy, like a baseball cap and pair of shorts, a cleaver and two 1,000-baht notes floating on the surface.

If you stay longer still, the memories pile up – bush walking up the mountain in the rain, swimming down to the sunken boat, jumping off kayaks, playing tennis ’til past dark. There were the pythons Khun Suk caught, Nhum’s arm burned by cashew-tree sap, the time a squall overtook the boat as we came from mainland and everyone fell instantly silent. There were the 40 whales that beached themselves, Lung Chai selling his sugar cane juice and Aran, starting a surfing craze.

The island, after a while, stops being a backdrop and becomes as precious as all the other players in the action.

Go. Enjoy it, fall in love with it and help keep it healthy.

— Leslie Porterfield


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Myanmar8 hours ago

Burmese military media outlets say ethnic army killed 25 workers

Thailand10 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says drug suppression should to be a national priority

Thailand11 hours ago

Purchases of fancy street lamps being investigated for possible corruption

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | BKK parks re-open… nearly, tropical storm, airport security upgrade | June 14

Thailand12 hours ago

Missing fisherman’s body found in sea off Nakhon Si Thammarat

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

CCSA: We’re out of vaccines

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Ayutthaya hospital to test all staff for Covid after 18 test positive

Thailand13 hours ago

13 teenagers arrested in Chon Buri for partying, gathering

Crime13 hours ago

Crime Suppression Division seizes dozens of illegal firearms in a series of raids

Crime13 hours ago

Marijuana valued at 10 million baht seized in Nakhon Phanom, 2 arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,355 new cases, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Almost 100% of teachers and staff vaccinated in Bangkok

Thailand15 hours ago

Almost 8 million register for stimulus scheme, app briefly goes down

Best of16 hours ago

Top 5 best temples in Bangkok

Thailand16 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | What’s happening in Pattaya, Phuket sandbox, reopening for tourism

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8