'Thai hippies' drop out to the beach and set up funky bars
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Bob Marley and his reggae music are the unifying factors
They wear dreadlocks, funky old clothing, smoke ganga and play Bob Marley in their wild-looking beach bars decorated with the ocean flotsam that washes up at their doorsteps. Can we call them Thai beach hippies?
The beach boys of Thailand who worship Bob Marley and some version of his anti-establishment philosophy seem to have discovered their ideal career – running weird and wonderful beach bars in backpacker beach resorts. They form a very, very thin layer of Thai society, which generally looks upon them with miscomprehension and mild distain. It's no wonder they drop out and land on the beach – the very place mainstream Thais don't want to venture. And they hang out with backpackers, another group that 'normal' Thais find somewhat incomprehensible. The young western backpackers who hang out in the beach bars find the Thai drop-outs like-minded and interesting. And sometimes good sources to score hard-to-find substances from.
For most 'normal' tourists who visit Thai beaches the funky monuments to Bob Marley, along with their wild-looking Thai out creators, are both interesting and fun, adding a little spice to the overall beach experience.
Here we gather images of some of the country's more interesting and funkiest beach bars, and invite beach lovers to tell us about any deserving establishments that we have missed.