07 Jun Things That Troubled Me In Krabi
Get ready because this is going to be a ranty post.
We were in Krabi for a week and saw several things that almost made me lose my patience. I kept storing them in the back of my mind, but as I was writing the posts from this amazing week, they kept popping up. So much so that I realized I had material for an entire post.
This is not a traveling-is-amazing-everything-is-perfect kind of post. So, if you’re looking for a light read and a list of amazing things to do in Krabi I suggest that you read this.
If you can handle some ugly truths, then read ahead.
As I wrote in this post, one activity we did in Krabi was go kayaking to Ko Hong Island. The beaches, the secret lagoon and the caves are beautiful. There are still some places in Thailand with that raw beauty that enchants. Something about that day though, made me pretty uncomfortable. Our guide, as sweet as he was, kept messing with the marine life. Whenever we saw jellyfish, and we saw lots of them, he held them up on his paddles for us to see. He even captured some of them on a plastic cup he’d brought along.
In the course of the day he successfully grabbed a starfish, a sea urchin, many jellyfish, and a slippery sea cucumber.
I believe this is wrong on many levels. It’s harmful, not only to them, but it can definitely be harmful to us. Playing with jellyfish doesn’t seem so smart. Ask Will Smith.
As Scuba Diver For Life clearly says: “One should never touch, tease, or take anything from the marine environment.”
It’s one thing for tourists, who don’t know better, to disrupt marine life, but another thing is for the guide (!!!!) to act this way. Respect for the ocean is a huge part of being a responsible diver, kayaker, snorkeler, swimmer… Everyone who goes out on the water, period.
I’m not saying that he was doing something he knew was not okay on purpose. Because he’s also a fisherman he probably doesn’t care much about marine conservation. What I’m saying is that he should!
We, as humans, should never disrupt wildlife just because we want to take a closer look. On the contrary, companies who specalize in these kind of adventures should train their staff on ways to protect the ocean as much as possible, and pass the information along to every single guest who books with them. We must remember that out on the ocean we are privileged guests and we should act accordingly.
For the second and third rants of the day I’ll take you back to Wat Tham Seua aka Tiger Cave.
The whole complex is special. There’s an entire community of monks and nuns living there and it’s an important meditation center. It’s not just one temple. There are several places of worship and the golden Buddha at the top of the mountain is worth climbing the 1,237 steps. The thought that kept coming back to me that day, though, was: Why can’t people just be respectful?
I mean, there are signs all around the center clearly stating (in words and illustrations) that you should cover your knees and shoulders when being in a sacred place. Sadly, most of the tourists I saw were standing in front of the Buddha statues in shorts, tank tops, and even bikinis. I get that we’re not used to covering too much, especially in that heat. But c’mon! If you’re in a foreign country, which has opened its arms to you, you should remember that you are a guest and in being so, the least you can do is respect their requests. Believe in them or not, understand them or not, I don’t care. Just respect them.
Sadly, the image of all travellers gets stained when just one person acts this way.
Thailand is such a laid-back place and locals are friendly, accommodating and always smiling. The only thing they ask in return is that we show respect in places of worship. And is it so crazy? Would you go in a bikini to a church? A mosque? A temple?
That’s what I thought. So do everyone a favor, dance around naked in the privacy of your own room if you want to, but if there’s a gazzilion signs asking you to PLEASE dress appropriately, cover the hell up.
We are privileged guests and we should act accordingly.
That same day, on our hike up to the golden Buddha which is filled with monkeys from the first step to the last, I almost screamed in frustration again.
I can’t, for the life of me, understand why some people think they’re so above the rules.
1.- If it says don’t feed the monkeys, don’t feed the monkeys. It creates a vicious cycle which is harmful for both monkeys and humans. When humans feed monkeys, the monkeys get used to this. Over time they start demanding more and more food. If you deny it, they can get aggressive. I’ve heard lots of stories about monkeys getting nasty when they don’t get what they want. They’re so used to humans that they sometimes climb into people’s backs in search for food and end up stealing belongings. It can also get more serious than just a lost phone. Just last night a couple we met from New Zealand told us that their daughter got bitten by a monkey on the nose and she had to fly back to New Zealand to get her rabies shots. It’s serious, guys. There are some rules that are meant to be broken. This isn’t one of them.
2.- If it says do not litter, do not litter. Apart from making a place with such beauty as this hike look neglected and dirty and giving it a foul smell, it’s bad for the animals. Almost every monkey we saw was eating some sort of litter- whether it was water bottles, plastic bags, or cans. A monkey eating a plastic bag just tore me apart. It was so sad. And so harmful. And just plain wrong.
I’ve seen this in Thailand again and again and if everyone, tourists and locals alike, continue with complete disregard for nature, I worry for the ecological future of this amazing country.
We are privileged guests and we should act accordingly!
It makes me so sad to see that some people truly have complete disregard for everyone and everything except themselves. They’re so self-absorbed that they can’t be bothered to see how their actions affect the people, places, and nature around them.
Don’t get me wrong. Of course I make mistakes as well. Everyone does! As travelers in foreign countries, with cultures so different from our own, we’re bound to. But I do try to look around, pay attention, and read, in my best effort to be respectful. To always remember that I’m a privileged guest and act accordingly.
Krabi, and Thailand in general, are amazing places and we should do everything in our power to keep them that way.
As travelers, that’s our responsibility.
Phew. If you made it this far, thank you for sticking with me and my rant. I know this is not usually my style, but this time I felt like I had to say something.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree, disagree? Why? Talk to me on the comment section below.