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Context is Everything: A Tale of Two Beaches

[Sorry for the post delay and the switch to photographs for this one. I'm searchng for a better illustration method than the way I was previously drawing on my iPad, and anyway photos are more appropriate for this post anyhow.]

Both times I've been to Tonsai Beach I've gotten food poisoning.

This time I learned it has a name: Tonsai Belly. Food handling practices aren't up to Western standards, I guess. But then, neither are standards for garbage (most of it is burned in piles), water (bottled is the only fresh source), and lodging (most bathrooms are outdoors, hot water is a luxury.) The economy of Tonsai is so small that cash is a problem: the ATM dispenses thousand-baht notes, and most food and drink is tens of baht. There are maybe thirty stores total on the entire beach, so there's not much commerce.

In spite of its challenges and small overall size, Tonsai has two things in abundance: rock, and people who climb it.

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