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How could you ever gain money out of a few coconut palms and a beach?

Kai Bae beach was one of the primary areas where locals first unfolded their houses to travellers. I’ve faced people who sojourned on this beach with local families in the mid-80s at a time when there were no establishments, bungalow resorts, roads or even power – other than old dynamos. The locals have now impelled on from renting out their frugal room, and many now own their own hotels.

In reality, one outspread family owns virtually all the land in the southern half of the shore and inland.  They prudently refused to sell to outsiders and are now harvesting the rewards.

The story of the inspiring village of Kai Bae goes that although a few Thai trawlers lived around the island, most of the current population of the island are descended from immigrants who came to Koh Chang by boat from southern China.   They stopped off, looked around, saw plenty of good wildlife and thought that the island would suit them nicely.

The families here formerly resided in Salak Phet, the large bay in the southeast of the island,  and then travelled off to traverse the island and ultimately settled here.   A few generations later and the elder of the family that dominated most of the land in the Kai Bae area chose to split his inheritance between his children.

The favoured kids, the males, got the valuable, domestic farmland where they could grow rubber and fruit. The four unlucky kids, all woman, who must have upset Dad at some point in their lives, got the practically worthless, infertile land by the sea.

How could you ever gain money out of a few coconut palms and a beach?

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April 6, 2019
1990 THB
Tuscany House Restaurant
Tuscany House (The Elysian Pearl Resort) Koh Chang - Dan Mai
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