The Khao San Road, Bangkok—first stop for the hordes of
rootless young Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia. On Richard’s first night
there, a fellow traveler slashes his wrists, bequeathing to Richard a meticulously
drawn map to “the Beach.”
The Beach, as Richard comes to learn, is a subject of legend
among the young travelers in Asia: a lagoon hidden from the sea, with white
sand and coral gardens, freshwater falls surrounded by jungle, plants untouched
for thousands of years. There, it is rumored, a carefully selected
international few have settled into a communal Eden.
Richard sets off with a young French couple to an island
hidden away in an archipelago forbidden to tourists. They discover the Beach, and
it is as beautiful as it is reputed to be. Yet over time it becomes clear that
Beach culture, as Richard calls it, has troubling, even deadly undercurrents.
Download and start listening now!