There's something undeniably captivating about the shoreline at the beach. Maybe it's the rhythmic pulse of the surf, perhaps it's the lulling sound of the waves, or the relaxed feeling we get merely by being in the relaxed setting and away from the routine stress and obligations of daily living - who knows? I'll think more about it the next time I'm woolgathering in my beach chair and get back to you.
Some are staunch believers in the power of the air itself: charged by the water with negative ions, rather like you'd find near tumbling surf or a waterfall; helping raise your serotonin levels and give a feeling of peace and euphoria. I suspect there's something to that, myself. There was a craze some decades ago to buy negative ion generators in foo-foo electronics stores such as Sharper Image and Brookstone, but personally I'd rather sit near the surf or stand beside the waterfall.
Although the Thai are just as fond of being at the beach as people in most warmer climates (and that can mean ocean, lake or reservoir shore) they are far more reluctant to do any tanning. As in many other countries and cultures - especially Asian - they feel lighter skin is more desirable, so you're far less likely to see a Thai doing an impression of a "shrimp on the barbie" than you are a farang. Sunblock and tanning oils aren't something you see by the rack full in stores there (it's an expense many wouldn't or couldn't afford, anyway) but people more covered up in the surf or along the shoreline is a common sight.
I've read on a forum about a farang who'd gotten what he thought was a nice, deep tan while off on a break from his Thai partner, only to be told by them when he returned "Now you black! I shame [to be seen with] you now!" However, children are children all over the world, and while parents may chase them down to get them to cover up, it's an ongoing challenge. Caution (like prejudice) isn't inherited - it has to be taught.
Today's pictures were taken on morning and afternoon walks along the beach, where I (slathered generously in SPF-50) spend as many mornings as possible - the earlier the better. By late morning when the beach chairs are filling up, I'm ready to move back indoors for a bit.
Odds are certain you'll see a number of additions to these photos in further posts as we go along.