16. Tsunami

This sign is on the road that ran from our house to the harbor. It’s pointing to a safe gathering place 500 meters up the road, a spot that happens to be only 50 meters or so from the house where we stayed.

Most of you remember the great Sumatra–Andaman earthquake and tsunami that occurred Dec. 26, 2004, resulting in one of the greatest natural disasters in history.

It’s difficult to imagine a tsunami tossing all of these boats together into a tangled mess.

More than 230,000 people died, better than half of them in Indonesia. Thailand experienced more than 8,000 deaths. In the province of Krabi, where we were, there were 476 confirmed deaths but another 890 missing.

Visiting such areas is always a sobering experience for me. History happened here, but life goes on.

I have not found any reports specific to Ao Nang. A tourist’s account said the sea wall protected the town fairly well, but that was the tourist end, not our end.

At our end is the home of the Krabi Tsunami Memorial Sculpture, entitled “Hold Me Close.”

Tsunami memorial sign
A nice-looking sign for an abandoned monument. And, yes, memorial is misspelled.

Or so it seemed.

Tsunami Memorial
The now empty hut.

The sign for the sculpture is located where the beach road intersects the road running from our house to the harbor. When I first read the sign, I followed a decrepit wooden walkway far enough to see a beehive-shaped wooden structure, but the overgrown and weak path caused me to turn around.

Several days later, after reading about the sculptures – one inside the building and one in a pool of water outside – I approached it from the other end of the walkway and made it, only to find nothing but spaces where the sculptures belonged.

Only after I started working on this page did I finally learn the sculpture was moved to Bangkok.







Proceed to 17. Travel tips