When we arrived in Tonsai the first thing we noticed when we started walking towards the beach was a tall, concrete wall surrounding the perimeter of the bungalows. The wall is set maybe about 500 meters back from the beach in a semi circle giving a path to the beach.
We thought maybe it was to protect the bars and bungalows in Tonsai from extreme weather conditions but that was not the case. A resort company bought the land and kicked all the local bars off the beach (only one remains) and forced them back a ways from the beach. They built a concrete wall to separate Tonsai from the resort being constructed.
On the wall is a collection of graffiti. One reads, “don’t destroy the wall, destroy what it stands for.” When I found out about why the wall was there I asked Matt, a guy who has been to Tonsai many times, if he thought this would change Tonsai. He replied, “well, yes and no.” I asked why. He said, “well- climbers.”
Tonsai has amazing climbing and I think he’s right. The climbing culture here won’t be taken over by resorts – climbers go where the good climbing is. And resort goers don’t exactly want to be surrounded by dirty backpacking climbers.
Here are some photos of the graffiti fighting back against the wall of Tonsai