An Australian man has been found dead at a popular tourist attraction in Thailand just minutes after making a final post to his Facebook page.
Edward Alchin, from Sydney, was discovered unconscious at the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi province on Friday, March 17.
The 69-year-old Aussie, who moved to Krabi in his retirement, had been travelling alone and made the arduous journey to climb 1,260 steps to see the giant gold Buddha at the top of the mountain.
Mr Alchin reached the observation deck at the mountain's summit, but felt dizzy from fatigue and later collapsed near the base of a Buddha statue where he was found by passing local Anupong Surangsee, who raised the alarm.
Tourists called rescuers to the scene and performed CPR trying to revive Mr Alchin. Due to the location, it took an hour for emergency services to reach the platform.
Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the Sydney man but he was pronounced dead at the scene. It took another hour to carry his body back down the steps.
Final Facebook post in Thailand
On his way up the mountain, Mr Alchin paused to take some photos of his surroundings, sharing them to his Facebook page.
"Just 1000 more stairs," he wrote, along with a photo of the steep climb.
"Oh Ed, literally the stairway to heaven," one friend wrote. "I am glad that you were living your best life mate. Rest in Peace. Condolences to your whole family."
Police Lieutenant Attakowit Sungkasit of Mueang Krabi Police Station said Mr Alchin had arrived at the temple alone on a rented motorcycle.
Before his hike, he had left behind his bag and passport with temple staff and told them he "would be back soon".
"The tourist had a drink of water before he started the trek. Witnesses said he was healthy and had a lot of energy. There are no suspicious circumstances, but it was very hot that day, so the conditions would have made it harder," Lt Sungkasit said.
A doctor who conducted a brief post-mortem examination said Mr Alchin may have suffered a cardiac arrest due to climbing the steep stairs. Temperatures reach more than 35 degrees in the south of the country, making strenuous exercise dangerous.
The tourist's body was transported to Krabi Hospital while officers contacted the Australian embassy to inform relatives of his passing.
Meanwhile, temple staff requested visitors to refrain from hiking to the top if they were not physically prepared.
A German tourist also had to be rescued after falling into a limestone cave in Krabi in late February. Fried Ingeborg, 61, was exploring the caves of the Khao Khanab Nam mountains when she slipped and injured herself, with paramedics arriving to bring her down a 30m flight of steps on a stretcher.
- Australscope/Viral Press
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