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Tidal Wave in Southern Thailand

11:28:20 PM

- - - some off-topic posts deleted by moderator.

Please keep this thread on topic. - - -

11:53:25 PM
On 26/12/2004 shaggy wrote:
>Hey al, hows your trip going anyway? Hope all's good.

Yeah, trips going well. Just staying with my brother in Singapore at the moment. Weird place... pockets of
seemingly genuine SE asian culture forming a hybrid with rampant capitalism, all with overtones of
authoritarian fear-mongering. However, the food's sensational.
Found a pretty funky bouldering gym (yet to partake in the island's very limited natural climbing). It's like a
2 storey, single fronted terrace house with the front rooms completely done out, floor to ceiling. Will post
pics (and most likely start a trip report thread) soon...

11:11:04 AM
What a shock... Please look after yourselves everyone.

11:43:51 AM
On 26/12/2004 shaggy wrote:
>so, where the hell are you????
>What kinda drugs are you on?
>Turn your damn phone on?
>And what the hell do you mean, check my room?

oooh theres something special waiting in ur room i reckon shaggy.. better check it out ;)
i just spoke to jac and shes on her way to buffalo now.

11:47:07 AM
Relieved to hear that most of the people i know who are over there have checked in and are ok. Notwithstanding the terrible disaster and loss for huge amounts of people but hopefully someone over there might be able to log on and let us know the story as far as available bungalows, food etc as there will a number of us arriving there shortly.
12:51:06 PM
-Long post warning- News report into personal feelings.

Tragedy struck South-East Asia, as the Western world celebrated Boxing Day, as an earthquake in the Indian Ocean sent tsunami waves crashing through villages and resorts on the coasts of South-East Asia.

Over 10,000 people have been reported dead, in what is believed to be the most powerful tidal wave in the Asian region for over 40 years. Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and India are in a flood of ruins with lives, cars, houses and businesses destroyed.

On the coast of Thailand, the worst affected areas were fishing villages and tourist areas between Krabi and Phuket, with the island of Koh Phi Phi (famous for the location of the shooting of the film ‘The Beach’), having 200 bungalows and two resorts swept out to sea. Helicopters and rescue personnel have the massive task of searching the ocean for bodies and survivors of local and foreign fishermen, divers and swimmers who were in the water or boats when the tsunami struck.

World Class climbing destinations, Ton Sai, and Railay, located between Phuket and Krabi have both suffered massive damage to bungalows, restaurants and resorts. It is unknown the injuries or fatalities of locals or foreign climbers in the region, but many people are now temporarily stranded with all local long tails and boats sunk, destroyed or swept out to sea.

The development and economy in these areas is completely reliant on the tourist dollar, with tourist resorts and bungalows at Ao-Nang and Railay and simple climbers accommodation at Ton Sai. In the last 7 years the area (for good or bad) has seen growth and development almost entirely due to western discovery of spectacular rock climbing and scuba diving.
12:51:15 PM
The death of so many people in one incident is a reminder of the power and dynamic forces of nature. This reminder comes at a time when much of the worlds population and economy is unsettled and suffering great losses at the hands of one and other, through war, famine and terrorism.

Whilst the earth is forever going to have droughts, floods, earthquakes and fire, one must wonder why if we have to fight to survive these elements, would we choose to fight each other as well.

So many individuals that have family and friends, as well as a place in a community have died. More have been injured and lost homes and businesses. If Mother Nature can give the earth one big almighty shake that not only hits South-East Asia, but also sends shockwaves all the way to both Canada and Tasmania surely the world will recognise this power and pull together to offer aid and support.

Today for so many people, amongst so many incidents throughout the world, unless immediately affected, or threatened, people find themselves detached, even desensitised from the reality of death and suffering. Even more-so people continue to ignore or remain ignorant of the suffering in war torn regions, constant drought and famine-riddled countries, wide spread Aid epidemics and others. People live and die through these every day, whilst other people complain of a paper-cut or a small Christmas bonus.

Even wars that rage for years and kill hundreds of thousands of people do not necessarily affect the same amount of people as one incident of the fury of Mother Nature. Hopefully, whether through sympathy, empathy, education, guilt, religion or awareness people take the time to do something, for someone, somewhere else in the world, suffering more than they are.

It’s the time of year people may use their Christmas spirit to make a New Years Resolution to do whatever is possible in their circumstances, from pledging a donation, sending a care package, taking time off to travel to a region and assist in rebuilding, to the least that one can do and anyone can afford is to spare a thought for other people who are truly suffering and struggling to live and survive, without the leisure and luxury of the western world and our trivial industries and interest that can seem so important, whilst others live so much more simply, yet purely, working a lifetime just to exist. In life they may have nothing more than food, family and some sort of shelter, yet remain happier, have some sort of faith/belief and give and receive more love than others with merely material wealth.

Stephen Hunter

--- Note; I travelled to some of the worst affected area’s in Thailand and Malaysia from the recent Tsunami, including; Penang, Kho Phi Phi, Phuket, and Krabi in 2002/2003. I spent weeks climbing and resting at Ton Sai and Railay, and have fond memories of the community, sense of humour and happiness of the staff and locals in these areas. My thoughts and best wishes go out not only to the climbers, but these locals and their families who have suffered true loss and hardship. I hope climbers respect the death, injury and destruction to the life of these people and countries above and beyond, thoughts and feelings of their own pending holidays.

Climbing partners of mine are heading over to Thailand in mid-January, and not only will I twist their arms to try and do some aid work over there, but will send over some cash to help re-build and restart the economy that is now almost solely reliant on climbers and tourists in the region. I have set up a donation tin at the Northern Beaches Rockhouse to go directly to the affected areas in Thailand.---
2:22:38 PM
tonsai beach is trashed... have pics and will try to post them to someone soon.
all the thais have left tonsai and theres no longtails left to get water and food in and or people out. we have just swam to aonang. its going to be a crazy week or so.
tonsai is not the place to be.
chang mai climbing sounds good.

2:43:55 PM
thanks for the update joe, can u confirm that all climbers made it ok?
and whats ur estimate on how long it will take before tonsai will be operable?

White Rabbit
3:03:29 PM
Hey Guys!

Crazy huh? who would have thought a tidal wave would hit ton sai?

I haven't heard about any climbers getting really hurt.
Jow and Hahn I hope you made it to Krabi ok?

Don't know how much you know but the Ton Sai beach front was pretty trashed, Railey is far worse though there a long tails in resturants, up trees and in the pools. No one really knows when Ton Sai will be back to 'normal' but it'll be a very long time.

I'm stuck here though, even if I do get a boat out of Ton Sai. Every pom in Thailand is going to try to get a flight out of here, so I'm stuck in Thailand untill my flight to London on the 19th of Jan. It could be worse, a friend of mine lost his bag when the wave hit so any form of ID, his passport, his camera, rope and wallet are all gone and he's over stayed his visa.

Right now though no one is in the climbing mood most of us are just helping the locals and cleaning up the beach.

So rich am I going to see you and Jackers down here?


3:07:10 PM
Good to know you guys are safe Val. Did you actually see the waves come in? How big were they?

3:22:58 PM
hmm well jac is gonna be there on the 4th i think and im leaving melb on the 17th.. so i guess i might see u after all.. however where we go will depend on what the updates say around the time as i certainly want to climb.. maybe we may consider heading up to vietnam and laos if the situation is no good there.. what do u reckon about getting ahold of a sea kayak there and ferrying food and water back from ao nang with a 'trailer'? Wat im getting at is - is it possible to continue staying there and climbing or do u think not?
jac obviously is wondering what the hell shes gonna do (as am i) as shes due to leave in less than a week. so observations from u are certainly appreciated.
bugger about ur mate losing his stuff.. that happened to me a few years ago. so i cn empathise (a lil).
keep us updated!

5:41:59 PM
hey val so good to hear from you, glad to hear everyone is unharmed too cannot believe jow and han really swam to ao nang thats crazy stuf. well yeah all of us are pretty much wonderin what we should do now, im jus waitin for jac to get back so i can chat to her, stay safe

7:06:11 PM
i'd climb in chiang mai to start with if you're coming early and see how tonsai is in a couple of weeks. don't think any climbers were injured. still a lil chaotic here.

val- made it to krabi ok. we walked to east railey and then to ao nammao. the walk was fine. it was low tide then got a local bus to ao nang and then to krabi.

aonang: longtails in the street, lara the yoga chick is there

sent mike some photos, maybe he could post em up


4:22:11 AM
Anyone know if Andy haskell was also in Thailand? Nicky says that was his plans..

Cheers, Richard

7:44:07 AM
According to, the tsunami that
hit Railay Beach and Tonsai was very mild compared to what hit other coastal resorts. Photos of the
devastation in Phuket during and
after the tsunami hit.

The Age reports that 6 Australians have been killed in Thailand. No
climbers have been killed or are missing according to the article on 8a.

We now resume our scheduled broadcast.


10:02:40 AM
The photos are very clear, thanks for posting the link.

White Rabbit
5:35:21 PM
Hey everyone,

I was climbing on a ledge above the beach when it hit so I had the unfortunate pleasure of watching it all unfold.
The waves that hit Ton Sai were nothing compared to the waves that hit other parts of Thailand. By the time they reached the beach at Ton Sai they were only 3+ meters high. Not too sure about height, jow back me up here.

It's calming down in Ton Sai most of us spent yesterday helping clean up the beach. It's funny the mentality between the people in Ton Sai and Railey. I went to Railey to check out the damage yesterday. There's hardly anyone there, and hardly any foreigners are helping clean up the beach (the ones who were are mostly climbers). Compared to Ton Sai where every body is helping to clean up.
The other strange thing is that the Thai's are burning everything, there are things that can be re-used like big planks of wood etc but they are just burning everything

As for long tails, kinda few and far between, but the army is bring in free food and water so we're fine.

Rich: I think I've seen more long tails/rafts with motors then sea kayaks, simply because many of them were smashed up or washed out to sea. Some people climbed yesterday, more are climbing today, some of us think it's too soon to be climbing and others just want to stay and continue to do what they were doing before the wave hit. In general we've decided to stay because we think it's the best thing to do right now especially for the locals (spending baht). I think I'm going to climb in the next few days, as for Jackers coming down it's up to her Ton Sai is functioning, people are climbing/smoking/drinking/sunbaking and going on border runs.

Jow: Good to hear that you made it, I'm in Ao Nang Shamick and I were lucky enough to catch a long tail this morning. Saw Lara yesterday at Ton Sai she was saying that people in Ao Nang were saying that there was nothing left of Ton Sai and don't go because there's no water or food there, that and the waves that hit were 40 meters. By the way they found Jessie's rope bag/rope, and he saw some Thai woman walking around with his bag. It only had his passport in it she claimed that there was no wallet or camera when she found the bag.

Take Care

5:39:24 PM
hey val

yeah thinkin a will still come over hey i mean it will be good to put some money back into the place if no one comes it will be bad for them (the locals).


9:33:35 PM
nobody was helping clean up on rayleigh west yesterday because most of the tourists were evacuated to diamond cave. There was a lot of work being done there today (farangs and locals together) moving the long tails out of the restaurants and back on the beach where they belong, etc. etc. Boy they are heavy beasts! It takes about ten blokes to just hoist their truck motors around...

If you are planning on coming to Ton Sai I would wait a few weeks; let people rebuild their restaurants etc and get supplies in. But after a while it should be back to normal and they'll need your money to make it through the season.

I managed to watch the whole thing from a sea kayak off shore. Rode a very big wave then turned back and watched three yachts get smashed onto the beach. Will never forget that.


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