Thursday , 27 February 2020
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Destructive Tourism

I never thought I would do something very destructive to nature personally and deliberately, but I did. My wife and I were newlyweds vacationing in Thailand in the south along the Andaman Sea. We found a fantastic bungalow to stay at and not only was the scenery amazing, there was hardly anyone else around and we would often have the beach to ourselves.

Just across from one beach was one of those odd ‘upside down’ islands, and we were eager to explore. Between it and us were a blue-green sea and a coral reef. We could easily snorkel over to the island.

We weren’t disappointed either. We saw many colorful corals, anemones, and fish, and on the island there were hundreds of brightly colored crabs, the likes of which I had never seen before. We found caves to explore on the island, and there were all sorts of exotic trees and odd tropical vegetation.

We stayed too long on the island though and it was already low tide when we tried to make our way back. I figured we’d just swim back the same way we came but I was in for a surprise: the reef, it seems, grows all the way to top of the water surface level when it is at low tide. This meant that I didn’t have enough water to swim in to clear the coral, and I got a nasty scratch straightaway. I think now that I should have tried calling for somebody to bring a floating device, but instead we just walked through the reef, crushing live coral right under our feet. We also stepped on numerous sea cucumbers, which spit out a sticky glue substance at us.

I feel pretty bad in the sense that although the damage that we did was not that great, when you multiply it by hundreds of thousands of unaware tourists it must be crushing.

Source by Dinah Jackson

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