Thailand beach nuisances

Longtail boats in Thailand

Standard Thai marine and river transport (including Bangkok), the longtail boat.

Two nuisances with many Thai beaches

Longtail boats

Longtails are native not only to Thailand but throughout Southeast Asia. They are simple narrow boats driven by a second-hand car or truck engine. The long propshaft is necessary to keep the engine reasonably dry, helps with steering and swiveling the prop up effectively puts the motor into neutral or to avoid weed or flotsam.
Longtails are a cheap and efficient way to power third-world boats and can be very fast.

The problem is the noise. Since the exhaust pipes have no silencer attached (see the rusty pipe on the left of the engine above) the thunderous bellow of an uncovered, unsilenced V6 a couple of metres away becomes very tiring when in the boat, drowning conversation and degrading sight-seeing for tourists.

But even worse is the effect outside the boat when you’re in a spectacular, tranquil bay (Phang Nga Bay or the Phi Phi Islands spring to mind) chilling out and absorbing the amazing limestone peaks, white powder sand and turquoise waters.

In comes a load of tourists in a longtail. . . BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Another group leaves. . . BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. More arrive. . . BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. And so on, endlessly throughout the day, and possibly night too. You might as well be sunbathing at Heathrow Airport for all the tranquility you get!

Put a bloody sound suppressor on it! How hard can that be? A small, cheap mass-produced suppressor could change the sound to silence!
Are you hearing me Mr Thai Environment Minister? No? Probably went deaf a while ago after years traveling in longtail boats.


cabled buildings in Patong, Phuket

And another thing! Cables! Like pot noodles only more black and less tasty! Everywhere! Can’t even read the shop names half the time, tho’ I do know an AC/DC when I see one. Guaranteed to turn any cute town into a malevolent refugee from the 22nd century.