The first Thai Island on my list was Phuket, which proved to be extremely overrated. I found a room in Phuket Town, but quickly learned that people used the town as more of a transit point to reach the other beautiful islands. I barely lasted one night and then hopped on a ferry the next morning to Koh Phi Phi island, most famously known as the set of a Bond movie and “The Beach” with Leo DiCaprio.
Hundreds of us got off the ferry, spilling onto the narrow walkways of this pedestrian-only island like lab rats in a maze seeking the cheese at the end. Each pathway deceitfully leading you to somewhere promising, only to find yourself at the back entrance to a hut, where the only way out was to retrace your steps back about 500m. At this point, I was carting approximately 30kg on my back, so I needed to move quickly and find a place to stay. After weaving my way through the web of pathways, I gave up and decided to splurge for the most lavish place on the island, at a whopping $60 per night. It was a hard pill to swallow, but the luxury was sure worth it. I had forgotten about the simple pleasures that I had been without for so long: a mattress, a shower head (as opposed to a pipe protruding through the wall), and air conditioning!
Once I had settled in and finally got some rest, I had the chance to let my mind transition from the hustle and bustle of city life in Vietnam, to the true island life of Thailand. It was then that I learned that the only thing to do on Koh Phi Phi Island is drink, eat, or lay on the beach – and that I did! I started to feel the effects of being a solo traveller, and realized that unless I wanted to converse with myself for the next few months, I’d better get social! I must admit that it was a bit daunting to go out for dinner by myself…Let’s be honest, I would NEVER do it at home! But it just took one friendly person to break the ice, and before I knew it, I was chatting and having fun with a group of new friends.
I didn’t think I had it in me to walk up to a bunch of strangers and start talking, but it’s pretty amazing how you can force yourself to get out of your comfort zone when you really need to!