What’s the difference between a beach in Thailand and one in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland?
Quite a lot you might say, but that didn’t stop Thai tourist officials from promoting Kai Bae Beach by using a picture of the Isle of Berneray. The give-away is the picturesque range of the Harris Hills in the background.
The subterfuge was first spotted by the British writer Ian McNamara, who runs a small guest house on Koh Chang island where Kai Bae Beach is located. It seems the Thais lifted the picture from the website www.isleofberneray.com.
Photographer John Kirriemuir took the shot four years ago. He said: “True, there are some similarities – great sand, unpolluted sea. But also some differences: if you swam off both beaches, you would very quickly realise what one of them is.”
A VisitScotland spokeswoman said: “Here in the Outer Hebrides we are fortunate to have some of the most spectacular scenery in the world right on our doorstep.”
“They do say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so although the use of the photo of a beach on the Isle of Berneray to represent a Thai beach is somewhat misleading, I’m sure it’s a compliment in disguise.”
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers the best rates at 27 luxury hotels in Thailand.
Former James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, says it saddens him to return to places that have been spoiled by mass tourism – in one case, partly due to him.
In the feature series, ‘My Hols,’ in the Times newspaper in the UK, he singles out Ko Tapu, a small island in Thailand, where The Man With The Golden Gun was shot in 1974.
“At the time it was a completely deserted paradise with miles and miles of empty white sandy beaches,” said Sir Roger. “These days, it’s been renamed James Bond Island and has really been destroyed because of the film.”
Sir Roger, who’s just turned 81, considers - somewhat surprisingly - that the best food in the world can be found in Belgium. He also loves Venice, particularly black squid for lunch at the Cipriani.
He recalls one trip to Venice when he had dinner at the celebrated Harry’s Bar with Mr and Mrs Gregory Peck and Liza Minnelli. “After a wonderful dinner we hired a couple of gondolas. Quite a lot of wine had been consumed and the party was fairly raucous.
I remember Liza singing ‘Start spreading the news …’ It was about two in the morning by this stage and someone opened a window in one of the houses and shouted: ‘Shut up, who do you think-a you are? Liza Minnelli?’”
by Andy Moreton
Luxique would be delighted to help you share the experiences of 007. We can offer great rates at some of the best luxury hotels in Thailand, Belgium and Venice, including, of course, the world-renowned Cipriani.