Isa Abroad: Week 7 – Phuket & Krabi, Thailand

travel journal thailand

Krabi Vacation – November 25 (Friday)

Alright, I’ve skipped a couple of weeks because friends have been visiting and it has also just been an emotionally exhausting few weeks. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, I don’t really feel like airing my dirty laundry, even though it would be entertaining content I’m sure. But to make a long story short, I was basically broken up with (although I’m not sure if you can even break up with someone if you aren’t dating in the first place) and if you will allow me to be dramatic, it feels like my heart is broken into a million little pieces. 

I don’t really know what I expect though since I’m traveling so much and maintaining a long distance “relationship” is almost impossible. I guess I should just limit my dating pool to the 40-year-old digital nomads who do crypto since they are not hard to come by. (That’s a joke.)

Anyway, as I constantly remind myself, Everything happens for a reason. And everything is a lesson. And a gift. And if you look at it the right way, you’re lucky to have your heart broken in the first place because it means that you lived some truly amazing times with that person.

So while these few weeks were an emotional rollercoaster, they were also incredibly fun and healing because Turtle and Lolly were visiting. Turtle left early today for Chiang Mai—which was very hard for me—but I’m grateful for the time that we had. We have that special lifelong friendship that stays strong no matter how long we go without seeing each other and that is always a comforting thought. 

Lolly had left for Krabi on Thursday, an “island” near Phuket, and I was planning on visiting her until I got food poisoning. But the universe had mercy on me and I woke up on Friday feeling perfectly fine, so I packed my backpack, took a scary 30 minute bike ride to the pier (the driver kept texting on his phone on the highway and turning to talk to me), and then a three hour boat ride to arrive at Railay beach. 

After hiking up the stairs to reach the hostel, I found Lolly and tried to check-in so that I could shower and join the pool party that was happening upstairs. Unfortunately, there was apparently a new rule that the hostel had to keep my passport in order for me to stay with them. I have never ever had someone ask to keep my passport, and a picture was always fine, so I had left my passport at home, in Phuket. 

So there was a brief moment of panic as the desk lady told me that none of the hostels would let me in without a physical passport but I could pay $50+ a night for a hotel room. Which I know is very cheap in other parts of the world, but when the hostel rooms are only $8 it’s hard to adjust. Also, I am fairly broke at the moment.

So I found a random bungalow that required a 45 minute trek through the jungle and prayed that they would take pity on me. But then we ran into a guy that Turtle and I had met on a night out and he suggested I try the FriendSeeker hostel which was right near Lolly’s hostel. I figured I should just give it a shot before embarking on a jungle quest in the dark. Thankfully, the hostel accepted me, a picture of the passport was perfectly fine (of course), and I was able to shower, reset, and go back to Lolly’s hostel to enjoy the rest of the night.

We had an amazing dinner—I think I could have Thai papaya salad for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. Then the hostel had a trivia night which we enthusiastically joined. Did you know that a group of giraffes is called a tower? Or that Tiger Woods became Masters champion at 21? Well, neither did we and we lost horribly.

Afterwards, everyone went down to a pub to watch the WorldCup. I love how much other countries care about the WorldCup, in the US people couldn’t care less, and I think it’s much more entertaining to watch than football. In high school I went to a lot of soccer games because both my boyfriend at the time and best friend were amazing soccer players and so I went to most of their games. It was always so entertaining to watch, both the girls and boys teams were so talented, and yet the bleachers were always empty. In comparison, everyone went to the football games and I could never really figure out why. It might have been too “european” for my conservative home town.

I also remember when I was younger I was in Ecuador when they won a game in the World Cup (and actually until I looked it up just now, I had believed they had won the entire World Cup based on their reactions). The streets were filled with celebrations until sunrise and everyone was acting as if they had personally scored the winning goal. I love to see how passionate and emotionally invested people are about the game. In fact, I enjoy seeing people passionate about just about anything, it gives me so much joy to hear people talk about something they truly love and care about. You could talk to me about crochet hats for snails for hours if you are passionate enough about it and I’ll listen on the edge of my seat.

Island-Hopping Boat Party – November 26 (Saturday)

The day began with a mediocre breakfast and a semi-decent coffee (I’m still very much missing the coffee in Vietnam and Chiang Mai) before I met up with Lolly and we explored the island—although it isn’t really an island, it just feels like it—before grabbing lunch and then heading to our boat tour. I have to say, it is practically impossible to be sad when you are in Railay with the sun shining, beautiful beaches, and on a party boat. 

In the past two months I haven’t been drinking much at all, but for some strange, inexplicable reason I felt like drinking that day. We started the tour at 2 with about fifteen other people from the hostel. The boat took us to several different islands where we could swim around and explore, then on the boat they served us classy drinks of vodka with sprite. By the time we arrived to the last island, we were all feeling the alcohol, some of us more than others. Lolly was convinced that the Australian boat bartender was putting ketamine in the drinks (because he had joked about it twice) and at one point I have to admit, I almost believed her. I think it was a combination of the sunshine, not drinking in a while, and the fact that the island was so incredibly beautiful that it felt surreal. 

At one point I wandered off by myself and walked down a quiet stretch of beach with the whitest sand I’d ever seen. I started exploring the shallow water and realized there were hundreds of starfish right on the shoreline, I had never seen so many in my life. I know I shouldn’t have but I picked one up and flipped it over out of curiosity. I don’t know what I had imagined was underneath a starfish but it was definitely not what I saw. There are hundreds of writhing, clear, little legs that are all moving in different directions. It felt like I was staring at it for hours, although I kept dipping the starfish in the water because I was unsure how long a starfish could be out of water.

The tour ended with us watching the sunset from the boat then swimming in a kelp forest and experiencing the bioluminescence. That night we played beer bong, watched a Muay Thai fight, then went to a bar that turned into a club by the beach. It was a great time but I would definitely regret drinking the next day.

Hungover Travel Day – November 27 (Sunday)

Despite going to bed late, I woke up early because of the sun from the window next to my bunk. I didn’t really mind at the moment because the hangover hadn’t hit yet—for some reason my hangovers have begun to hit me a few hours after I wake up, lulling me into a false sense of safety—so I packed my bag and had breakfast at a cute cafe nearby. 

Eventually I began to feel the hangover, once Lolly and I met up and were walking to a new beach, but it was fairly easy to ignore because of how gorgeous everything was. The small beach had plenty of shade, huge limestone cliffs, interesting penis shrines, and hidden coves.  

I had a really special moment floating on my back in the water and staring up at the cliffs as water droplets floated down on top of me. It felt surreal how slowly they moved through the air and it made me lose my own sense of time. That’s a feeling that I love, realizing that nothing else matters except the present moment, when you take a deep breath and realize that everything is meaningless in the best way possible. 

Alright, I can’t finish this, I’ve been struggling to finish this week’s entry as it is. I’m well aware that the only pressure here is my own expectations, but the more I think about writing these weeks the more frustrated I become. I know that’s normal but I thought I could just write through it. But I think I’ll need a break from this little travel journal. At the moment I hate the way it all sounds and nothing that I write sounds that interesting and I can’t seem to find the right words. I feel like I need to be writing things of more substance, maybe for my own ego or just because of my current mental space.



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3 responses to “Isa Abroad: Week 7 – Phuket & Krabi, Thailand”

  1. This brought back happy memories as I used to holiday in Krabi long before it became a tourist hot-spot. I remember being a guest when the monks came to dedicate the foundation stone fo what became the Rayavadee Hotel. There was little else in the area then, sheer bliss.


    1. Wow that sounds amazing, I wish I could’ve seen it how it was before!


  2. I love your photos! You are very brave to do what you do! I am more of a glamper in travel. Please feel free to check out my blog and I’ll try to dig up some funds for you. (no promises, I’m broke!)

    Liked by 1 person

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