One hour flight out of Bangkok, fifteen minutes cab ride, and ten minutes on a long tail boat; and you are at Railay Beach Krabi.
One of many examples where paradise struggles to maintain beauty under an onslaught of tourism which has lasted decades. It has all of the elements required to rank as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but it is tired now. The traffic of humanity weighs heavily on its shores and there is no sign of easing.
Thailand established a Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in 2002, but it appears that any actions to improve the issues here are not being focused at ground level. There is no evidence of a local effort to control waste, set standards for construction, police the use of plastics and recyclable materials, or work to reverse the existing problems.
Dont get me wrong, this place is still a phenomenal destination and I have just spent a blissful week in a beachfront house swimming in the sea and playing in the sand with my family. It is a long way from forsaken! But the tropical veneer is becoming translucent and through the haze you see plastic in the surf, refuse in the tide line, and a constant flow of tourists who come for paradise and leave a little of themselves behind.
If you want to get there, there is only one way. By Boat.