We have all seen the movie “The Beach”, with backpacking Leo who dives into a hidden paradise, – a secret island somewhere in the Andaman Sea.
In the movie he got a map in Bangkok, found someone to charter a small boat with, and swam the remaining distance towards the island.
Well guess what! You can do exactly the same!
In my case I was stuck in a hotel room with food poisoning. I had decided to travel on my own again and had eaten some lukewarm mayonnaise some days before… And I can tell you this is nothing you want to do in Thailand, unless you plan to be locked inside the bathroom for two days watching everything that goes in, go out again. Though I was really happy to be on my own again I was lying flat on the mattress for two days with one can of Coke and a bottle of water.
Sending texts to my parents telling them it’s the end to then fall asleep afterwards, might not have been the smartest thing to do. But what concerned me most was the fact that I wanted to go to THE Beach the following morning, but my stomach did definitely not join my enthusiasm!
It was 12am, my boat would leave at 1pm the following day and I had 13 hours to get healthy again. Medication was not an option as the pharmacy was just too far away – this would work without!
I just had to focus …. Aaaargh I was dying!
I went down to the reception and prolonged my stay for another day, just in case I wasn’t getting better. Then I went back up to pack my bag, which was like climbing the Kilimanjaro. My friends had booked a room that was somewhat up on the road and it took me 20 minutes for 300 metres with 2 breaks. Full of sweat and dehydrated I drank some water, managed to reach the bathroom in time and tried to sleep. I pictured myself waking up, totally healthy and ready for my adventure! It did not quite work, so I repeated that image over and over again.
Some small doubt was creeping into my mind as my stomach made me run to the bathroom again, but my optimism couldn’t be mayonnaised away! This would work out!
The next morning I woke up and actually felt better. My bikini had never fit better and with a slight grumble in my stomach I packed my bag for the next two days.
Sunlotion, a waterproof bag, a wallet and my camera- all I needed. The rest would stay in the overpaid hotel room that was being paid for some ghosts and my backpack. I guess when your throat turn into a hose, the brain can’t calculate unnecessary expenses anymore!
A guy on a scooter picked me up and drove me down to the beach in Koh Phi Phi, where a boat was waiting for those 25 people, who were to go to the beach. As I introduced myself to twenty-four new faces I had forgotten about my stomach ache and was ready to ship towards the island.
The boat stopped in front of “Koh Phi Phi Leh” and threw us all into the water. My waterproof bag came in handy while we swam on shore. As I had attached almost all of the people’s flip flops onto my bag I was a swimming shoe store.
We reached some rocks, climbed up the stairs and hiked along the small island we were to spend the night on.
There were some paved roads and I could see one or two huts with chicken running around the yard. There were even bathrooms installed. But – guess what – I was not going to spend much time in there, haha! By the time we arrived it was late afternoon and all the tourists had left already.
The group we went with only organised tours with less than twenty-five people per night. The atmosphere was relaxed, some had brought their guitars on the boats that had thrown us out earlier and now appeared on the shore again.
There was a bonfire, a lot of chicken wings, loud music, weed and whiskey buckets. Guess this night was about to be fun.
We played a lot of drinking games, introduced ourselves, started to bond with each other and listened to music that was way too loud for a small and quiet island like that. But nonetheless I’ve never had that much fun! The travel agency (if you can call the dude with the boat and the chicken wings that) had organised some nice event and did a great job bringing different people together. I was hanging out with a group of Italians, some sweet Americans and two girls from the UK and Australia. As the island was so small it almost felt like we were some kind of small family, but this might have been the whiskey too.
And then the sun set. Oh. My. God. What can I say – just look at the pictures and believe it to be real.
At some point in the night, when the first people had passed out on the beach I was walking towards the water for a night swim. The sky above me was clear and there were so many stars to be seen. I was floating in the small bay and whilst I moved my fingers around in the water, when some fluorescence plankton was sparkling up below me. Shooting stars were falling down the sky and there was no wish left for me.
Smiling at the night I sat down near the shore and watched the sun rise and hungover people slowly wake up in the sand. As I was still drunk there was no hangover for me. The beach slow but steadily filled with masses of boats carrying hundreds of people.
It was time to leave and get my backpack. But where would I head next- I had no idea . . .
By the way: Just look at the picture with everybody jumping in the air. Where was I? I missed the “GO” to jump and I am that weird girl in the yellow dress that just started to jump a little bit way too late!