chapter  5
21 Pages

The beach and Full Moon Parties: backpackers at the coast

In the previous chapter, urban enclaves were examined. This chapter now turns to

consider the backpackers’ coastal destinations in LDCs. There has long been a con-

nection between backpackers (and their overland forerunners) and beach areas. As

Walton noted (2011: 35), since ‘the 1960s backpackers have provided a further

dimension to the development of international markets for seaside tourism, first within

Europe, then across the globe’. In the same way that Greek and Spanish islands and

coasts and parts of North Africa were ‘discovered’ and enjoyed by independent travel-

lers in the 1960s, later hippies and backpackers would similarly ‘discover’ beaches in

southern India and among the islands of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.1 As we

noted in Chapter 1, a similar process also seems to have occurred in the Americas,

with independent travellers, often from the West Coast of the USA, moving broadly

southwards and finding beaches and places to stay through Baja California, Mexico

and then eventually the rest of Central and Latin America. In Africa too, although the

overland trails were smaller in volume than the other regions, beaches were an attrac-

tion for the travellers, with examples in North Africa, especially in Morocco (such as

Taghazout beach2 near Agadir), and on the Cairo-Cape Town route, such as in Kenya

(Lamu island, sometimes called ‘Africa’s Kathmandu’).