The Sea Almonds of Jomtien Beach

By the time Pattaya Beach had been crowded by the late 1980s, close by, Jomtien Beach was being developed in to a fashionable resort. Most of the buildings near the beach were new. By the marine road on the sands, sea almonds had been planted which were growing very fast.

When it is time for the dark green sea almond leaves to shed, these turn into colours of cream, yellow, gold and maroon and then waft on to the ground. Each leaf, so to say is a painters’ delight. The tree grows majestic and tall and branches spread out horizontal to the ground.

Here are some common names of the tree: tropical almond, Java almond, amandier de Cayenne, wild almond, myrobalan, Singapore almond, ketapang, Huu kwang, kobateishi, West Indian almond, amandel huu kwang, badamier.

Because the leaves are broad, the tree spreads its branches like a cool canopy. In 1989, the trees were small, but when I visited the Jomtien beach in 2002, most of the trees had grown majestic. One had to continue hiring relaxing chairs, but the umbrellas were not necessary. One could now surrender to the trees’ shade.

But by now Jomtien beach had also become quite crowded. Who knows, some where near by a new beach would develop, and we would get one more beautiful name?

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