We never made it to Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Beach.” We never partied on Koh Phangan for the Full Moon. We never bought elephant-patterned-flowy-pants. We never hugged a tiger or rode an elephant. We may have missed these ‘typical’ boxes ticked by many Western tourists in Thailand BUT here are some other things we did do while visiting the Southern Islands…
1. Walked through a hidden cave with a few dozen bats and an Austrian girl to keep us company.
2. Hiked through the ocean and across rocky pools as soon as the tide went down, to make it from one beach to the next before sunset.
2. Shared a room with a cockroach, a gecko, and a frog.
3. Scaled a cliff with nothing but some little climbing shoes and a bit of chalk on our hands.
4. Trekked through the jungle with a 12kg backpack at sunset and then spoiled ourselves with a bottle of wine, pineapple frambé, jewelry made by ‘Om and Lek,’ and a hot shower.
5. Took a truck through the water to a boat, to a cart pulled by a motorbike, to a minivan, to a tuk tuk, to Klong Nin Beach just in time for happy hour.
6. Got chased by monkeys and accidentally hiked for about 3 hours but saw spectacular views from the top of Phi Phi Don.
8. Watched a sunset that looked like it was on fire, and then watched a fire dance and started our own party on the beach with 2 Americans, 4 Thais, 6 Brits, 2 Germans, and a Canadian.
9. Drank a lot of coconuts.