When I was planning to visit Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, my attention went to the Starfish Beach on the island. Recently, the beach has become famous and Phu Quoc island travel pages, blogs and tourism agencies highlight this beach a lot. Moreover, seeing starfishes in their natural habitat was something that I wanted to experience. Hence, I had devoted one whole day of my stay just to spend time on that beach.
However, my experience at the beach was nothing that I could have ever imagined it to be. I had read that this particular beach was not easily accessible and needed a bit of walk from another beach. Ironically, we reached this place using google maps and saw a completely opposite scene. The first thing I saw as I entered was the large number of people flocking the beach with chairs, beach umbrella and food stalls. Well I had not expected that.
It was such a beautiful beach. Clear water, blue sky, gold sand and obviously, star fishes! But I could not stand staying at the beach for a long time. The reason being that most of the people visiting that beach were mistreating the natural habitat. The Instagram pictures of the beach with starfishes all around are so popular that people visiting the beach, specially women, were picking up starfishes and putting them in a nice way for “that” Insta picture. And I saw a lot of these women just throwing them from a distance to get the natural look and even putting them in plastic bags to take home as souvenirs.
I felt disgusted seeing how disrespectful we humans are towards other living beings. There was another family with two kids playing in the water and collecting small starfishes to take home in plastic bags. Their father was throwing starfishes for them to catch as if they were playing ball.
Moreover, the beach had so much garbage and rubbish consisting plastics strewn across that it was smelling after a point. The so called travellers were least bothered about it and added to the trash irresponsibly. It is so easy to ruin a beautiful place than to maintain it.
I feel like we humans don’t deserve anything beautiful from the nature. If this continues, soon there won’t be any starfishes around that beach for us to admire. It’s high time that we start travelling responsibly and start getting more concerned about the environment rather than our Instagram pictures.