People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.
~ Paulo Coehlo, Author of The Alchemist
There have been movies, television sitcoms and even reality tv shows all based on the theme of being stranded on a lonely and mysterious island. Lost, Survivor, Gilligan’s Island, Castaway, and The Blue Lagoon, just to mention a few.
To find a Utopian island paradise away from the confines of society, to me, always made an intriguing and salacious fantasy, until I saw The Beach. I know the fantasy of living in some kind of perfect Utopian civilization just isn’t realistic.
However, I’ve had many occasions throughout my travels over the years to play out some of these castaway scenarios in very remote and secluded locations. I’ve run barefoot through uninhabited island jungles in the Bahamas, with a surfboard under my arm, slept in cliffside bamboo huts, beachside bungalows and even built a bamboo shelter with a friend on a secluded beach in Costa Rica, just so we could have some shade while watching our buddies surf.
Where Dreams Are Made
Yeah, sometimes I really do want to get away from it all. I think it’s healthy for a short while, but then of course it’s back to reality.
Just a short trip to get away for a week or two can really change your perspective. I prefer longer, but take the time you can.
I don’t mean staying at an all-inclusive hotel or cruising in a luxury cruise liner. That’s nice too, but I’m talking about really getting away somewhere closer to nature and further from technology and crowds of people. It could be a log cabin in the mountains, a tent in the forest, or my favorite, a beachside hut.
I really believe these are places where dreams are made. Many authors, artists, scientists, and other creative types have found their inspirations or made breakthroughs when they took the time to get away from it all.
Wherever you choose to getaway, or however, just do it. If you haven’t before, or it’s been a long time, plan something within the next year. It could be the catalyst that totally changes your life.
Tonsai Beach is a small beach located next to the more popular Railay Beach. You can access it by boat during high tide, walk along the coastline at low tide, or take an hour-long hike over the mountain and through the jungle. Melissa and I chose the latter because of the timing.
Melissa is one of the first people that planted the idea of traveling to Thailand in my head. We met at a reggae concert in Fort Lauderdale and had some mutual friends from the reggae band The Fourth Dimension. After running into each other a few times at the Fourth Dimension shows and getting to know about her love of old-time reggae and rock steady, she shared with me about her recent summer adventure in Thailand.
She raved about how I would love this serene and remote island in Thailand where they played reggae music in all of the bars and restaurants. Thai Rastas, dreadlocked hippies, backpackers, and vagabonds all congregated in this far away island paradise that I just couldn’t really imagine existing.
Little did I know that less than a year later after she told me, that I would be actually meeting her on Railay Beach. It wasn’t actually an island, but I found out before arriving that it was a peninsula in the Krabi Province of Southern Thailand.
A year later after Melissa’s first trip to Railay, a lot had changed, but it was still amazing to me and yes, there were quite a few reggae bars on East Railay but probably more places playing loud electronic music.
She recommended we visit Tonsai beach at least once before we left that area.
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
We decided to hike through the jungle and over the mountain to get to Tonsai from Railay. It was a fairly easy climb, I think we were both wearing flip-flops, so it couldn’t be considered too difficult.
It took about an hour to walk and as we came down the trail on the opposite side of the mountain, we began to see little bungalows tucked away in the hillside. On the way down this trail, we did not see many people at all. The closer to the beach we got, the more we saw vendors in little shacks, selling drinks, and offering lunch specials. It was a really, really interesting way to arrive in what was really a little village with a few local Thais and a handful of hippy travelers, napping in hammocks, practicing their fire dancing and balancing on tight ropes. Yeah, seriously.
For the next few hours, we relaxed, napped, ate, and drank freshly squeezed juices and later coffee. I brought a little Bluetooth speaker and began playing my own reggae music and within a few minutes, a few guys showed up and began joking around while I took some pics.
Melissa had met Lek a year prior and he was our coffee barista at the coffee shop where we spent the entire afternoon. I really enjoyed my short time here, and the next time I hope to stay longer.
Thinking about Tonsai brought back such a beautiful memory, even though I only spent a day there, the first words that came to mind were from the song “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” by PM Dawn.
I hadn’t even heard that song in years, but I decided to look it up and even though it is about a girl. I thought the video/song illustrates in a very surreal way, exactly how I feel about the day I visited this secluded beach paradise. ☺️