My latest story with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review from our temporary lockdown sanctuary, Koh Phangan in Thailand.
KOH PHANGAN, Thailand — In the late afternoon sun, a long line of sandals snakes down the beachfront road in Thong Sala, the main town on Koh Phangan, a tourist island in the Gulf of Thailand famed for its scenic settings and laid-back beach life.
Visited by 1 million travelers in 2019, Koh Phangan’s primary draw has long been its monthly Full Moon Party, which attracts between 10,000 and 30,000 young revelers a month from around the world to Haad Rin Beach in the southeast corner of the island.
But the footwear in this queue belongs to migrant workers, and a few stranded tourists, waiting for a “charity booth” in front of the Signature restaurant to open. Every afternoon at 5:30 p.m., Signature’s Belgian owner Quentin Seynaeve and his team serve free food to anyone who has run out of cash...