TRAVELLER MOURNS FRIEND, ISLAND

In Features /

By Megan Granville

For the month of June 2004, I spent my time travelling all around Thailand. My favourite part of the country was ofcourse the islands and their beautiful beaches.

I visited all the major tourist places as well as the hidden backpacker secret hideaways. A few days of my visit were spent on the island of Phuket, a large island in comparison to the others close by.

While there, I stayed in a beach motel and soaked up the rays on the southwestern beaches. The waves here were stronger than most places in the country. I remember exactly what the horizon looks like.

On this island we met a few other Canadians and a lot of Thais who helped us on our way.

One Canadian in particular had made this island his home and ran a small bed & breakfast catering to Canadian tourists. He took us around the island that day and showed us all the beaches the island had to offer.

I am sure his hotel is in ruins. The death toll from this island alone is around 8,000, and I constantly wonder if anyone I met while I was there is still alive.

One of my days there I took a day excursion to the islands of Koh Phi Phi, a popular but small group of beautiful islands. This is where the movie The Beach was filmed in all its beauty. I snorkelled and tanned and fed wild monkeys on these islands. I deemed this place my favourite place on earth.

My photos can prove this. On one of the larger islands in this cluster was a little community of Thais and travellers from around the world. It was quaint and beautiful. Now I know that everything I saw there is gone.

Photos from CNN show the ruins of this village. There is nothing left. When the reality of it all sank in, my heart sank and I cried. Other than losing my favourite place in the world, I have two other reasons to worry.

My uncle is a resident of Thailand; I finally got word that he is OK. Where he lives was not as affected as other places. The other reason is a good friend from B.C.

He had been travelling in Europe and had finally made it to the shores of southwestern India. I have not had word of his condition as internet access is limited. I continue to wait to find out if he is OK.

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