The history of Beachmeter
The idea of a Beachmeter was born after several experiences showing that two beaches on the same island can be worlds apart.
First impressions of Koh Samet
More than a decade ago, I visited Koh Samet for the first time. I went with a dozen of people on a weekend trip, and while I had a joyful time there, I did not find Koh Samet ranking anywhere near my top beach destinations in Thailand. Too many people, too noisy, not the best underwater visibility etc.
Koh Samet made an epic comeback
A couple of years later, I joined a couple of Bangkokian friends to Koh Samet. I didn’t expect too much because of my previous experience, but my friends knew the owner of one of the resorts further down south on the island. Who would say no to cheap beaching with good friends? We arrived at the resort, and immediately I sensed that this was not the Koh Samet I thought I knew. What met us was a small isolated beach, only a few people, a little boat anchored 30 meters out – a perfect haven of all the things I was looking for.
Our days were spent the following way: We got up late in the morning, found our table and base for the day, and throughout the day we would order food and sample delicious Thai food in-between sun-bathing, swimming, and making silly jumps from the little boat. At some point, a Sang Som (Thai whisky/rum) would appear on the table, and we would enjoy the evening Thai-style with eating, drinking, games and laughter long into the night.
While I could go on about the joys of beachlife with Sang Som and my deep connection with this combination, my point is that my perception of Koh Samet changed, and the island since became one of my favourite islands in Thailand. The beach lecture is this:
Don’t judge a destination by a single beach!
Same-same, but very different
Countless times, I experienced that the beach destination experience is highly dependent on tourist season, weather, expectations, personal preferences, and perhaps most importantly, the particular beach you are visiting. I experienced that even on the same little island, the beaches vary a great deal on characteristics such as accommodation options, visitor types, activities offered, suitability for swimming, surfing, snorkelling etc., entertainment and shopping options, price level, beach facilities and numerous other qualities.
Simply, this is why we need to build a Beachmeter.