My travel buddies that I met in Haad Rin were pretty much the best. We had this weird unexplainable bond that would best be described as “Hey! we all have tons of fun together so lets keep doing this!”
We all came alone as travelers from all different walks of life. An American Nurse, a Punk chick from London with a broken nose, an Irish legal weed dealer from Amsterdam, a muscly farm boy from Sweden and a Dutch student, and somehow like kizmit we joined together and it simply worked.. You couldn’t pick any more opposite of characters and yet we all shared lovely dinner conversation, we all loved whiskey and we weren’t running short of any moments of tear-jerking laughter. Jamie (the Irish weed guy) was all gung-ho on this place called Ton Sai and with that accent no one could say no to him. He had his convincing charm/baby blue eyes about him and so with the help of music, awful movies and legally prescribed Valium we made the 10 hour trek across land to what would soon be known as the most magical destination I had ever laid eyes on.
Ton Sai is a small peninsula between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang. It’s surrounded by tall scaling limestone cliffs and is popular for the climbing crowd. As soon as I got here I was in insta-love. One side of the peninsula was more adult, touristy and big, and our side had very few hotels, monkeys everywhere and a reggae bar with hammocks (known for their mushroom shakes – No friends, not portobellas) We rented out these cabins in this resort with a pool and the roofless bathrooms had cold showers that were shared with any type of jungle insect or small animal and it felt like a post-wedding honeymoon everyday. Reading my kindle by the blue pool as monkeys jumped overhead and the boys threw around a soccer ball. I could get used to it. Here’s the kicker though, no one tells you how hard it is to get in or out of this place, due to the tides, so we kind of planned on leaving for several days but it never actually happened. Here’s a shirt you’d never understand until now:
Not leaving Ton Sai wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I cant even recall how many days in a row I got stuck there and yet each time it was a perfect blend of disappointment, as there was more to see, and also excitement because it gave me one last day with my crew. We usually ate “mama’s chicken” the best $2 roasted chicken you could ever eat, even if it was covered in flies. We usually followed that up with a daily smoothie and then ended up on a beach or galavanting through a mystical jungle forest.
Though we were all “budget travelers,” we figured we’d all take a little fam-field trip on the “Seven Island Tour.” When people ask me about the greatest moment of my 40 days in Thailand, I can 100% say it was this “Seven Island Tour.” First of all, we had the best group and the best guide. He was an adorable Thai Rasta-man who if was any more chill, he’d actually be asleep. He took us to a fireshow and I accidentally showed him my nipple while re-boarding the boat which totally got me from of the boat privelages. (Think Titanic) .This part of the sea was still so untouched by tourism and pristine. As I jumped out into the water, Singha in hand, I hadn’t ever felt so at peace, like I was going to float off into the abyss of pure joy. The sunset that day will never leave my memories. Once night fell, we had the option to swim with the bio-luminescent plankton, (yes just like in the Beach movie with Leo) and let me tell you, it was equally breathtaking and slightly eerie as you hadn’t a clue what was under you.
Here’s the thing about becoming friends with complete strangers. They don’t know your past. They dont know your friends or your life back home or really any biased outlooks about anything beyond their natural observations. After spending a week with these people and us sharing our lives and problems,
When our last night finally arrived in Ton Sai, the Irishman, the Dutch Student and I sat out on a dock with a bucket, 3 straws and a bottle of Thai Whiskey. We looked out at the big moon cascading over the ocean and we dangled our legs in the magic glowing water. We talked about work and music and our families. We stayed up until sunrise, when it was time to say goodbye. They’d be on their way to Phi Phi and it was time for me to breakaway free again.