Nov 26, 2017
It’s really sad to say that this is probably my second to last blog post. It’s also sad because most of this leg of the journey I’ve been sick & injured. But…the good news is I met up with my friends in Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party, which was absolutely a blast.
Let’s see, Nov 26th was mostly a travel day. Mom woke me up at 3:30am to get ready while Tita Pett made me breakfast. The Uber came at 4:20ish for my flight at 6:45am and I said my last goodbyes to my family. I gave them all huge hugs, sad but happy that I was able to spend a good amount of time with them. The Uber driver dropped me off at terminal 1, but after frantically looking for my check in counter, I realized I was in the wrong building. I asked a worker which terminal AirAsia was in. He said 3 and that I would need to take a taxi to get there. Great. I was a little frantic at this point because it was almost 5am and I still hadn’t check my bags in yet.
The taxi driver said that it would take 500 pesos to get to terminal 3, which is kind of outrageous. I told him I only had 200 pesos and he said that would be fine. I also had to pay 45 pesos for the sky road fee, so I’m glad I had some pesos left. Once at terminal 3, I saw that lines to just get in were really long, so at this point I was panicking. A worker saw the discontent on my face and told me I could skip the line by giving him $10, so that’s what I did. Then he wanted a little tip for letting me pass the line so I gave him a $5 because at this point I was stressing out. I get a little anxiety when I don’t know what’s going on. But, I got through immigration and security really fast so I essentially didn’t need to pay the guy money, I just let him talk me into it because I was all stressed out.
Once at the gate, it didn’t say the proper name on the screen nor did it have any flight attendants sitting at the desk. So, I was also a little panicked because I wasn’t sure if I was in the right area. I asked like 3 workers where to go and they all told me to sit at my assigned area and if my gate was changed it’d say over the speaker. Well, I was all paranoid that I didn’t hear it on the announcement so I was lost for a good 1.5 hrs until they finally announced the boarding of my flight with still no workers or flight number by the waiting area. Then I just realized that Manila airport is one of the most unorganized airports ever.
So, after that morning craziness the rest of the day went pretty smoothly. I landed in Kuala Lumpur for an hr layover then boarded my flight for Krabi at 1:25pm. Thailand is an hr behind so I ended up landing in Krabi at 2pm, got a shuttle bus to Krabi Town, then finally got to my hostel around 3:30. I was really hungry so I walked around to find food and settled at this hole in the wall. I love Thai hole-in-the-walls because they’re usually cheap and delicious. I’ve also missed Thai food SOOOOOO much and was happy to finally eat it. I asked the lady for Rad Nah even though they didn’t have it on the menu. The dish is my absolute favorite, it comprises of wide noddles in a gravy-like broth with Chinese broccoli and meat.
After that I went on a search for a massage. I found this place that would do a Thai massage for 250 baht, it was a little cheaper and at this point I don’t care about spending, it’s the last 2 weeks of my trip and I’ve been pretty good so far not spending a whole hell of a lot. I almost forgot how much Thai massages hurt, especially because I don’t workout anymore so I don’t really have that much to workout. After an hour of torture (just kidding) I walked around the night market. There were a lot of vendors, food, souvenirs to check out. I ended up getting this cool tiger shirt (that was way too big, dumb purchase by me lol) and my nails done for super cheap at this stall. So I guess today was a “pamper thy self” day.
I was a little exhausted from waking up so early so I went back to the hostel, took a shower, then went to sleep.
Nov 27, 2017
I woke up today with a purpose (aka alarm). My shuttle to Koh Phi Phi would pick me up at 10:30, so I went to the cute little coffee shop 2 doors down for an iced green tea latte & banana’s n milk. The ferry to Koh Phi Phi was very uneventful (that’s kind of a lie, I just can’t remember anything of significance that happened). Once on the pier I walked to Blanco’s Beach, my next hostel, which was literally on the beach. When I tried to check in they couldn’t find my name, so I showed them my email confirmation. Well, turns out that I booked for the night before so my deposit was lost & room given away…great. It was bound to happen once. Instead of a nice social 10 dorm I ended up in a more expensive 6 dorm.
When I got to the room I realized that everyone but me (all 5 of the other beds) were in a group and it was just me, by myself. It wasn’t that bad though, they were all really nice people, but I was hoping for a dorm where I could meet others to hang out with. Since this wasn’t possible, I asked the reception where I could find some cheap Thai food. She told me where to find the this restaurant called Hey Mama, where they serve food for 60 baht. There I got some gra pow, or spicy basil with meat, usually Gai (chicken). This is my boyfriend’s favorite and one of my basic favorites I’ve come to love in Thailand.
After filling my belly I decided to lay on the beach and read. It was finally sunny and I could get some nice R & R on the beach for once. I was here for probably 2 hours before I got bored lol. I brought all my stuff back in then just sat at the beach in front of my hostel trying to watch the sunset (there was none though because it was super cloudy). As I was sitting there, this girl turned around and told me to join them (I think she was really amused by me fanning my legs–there were a lot of flies bothering me on my legs lol). She introduced herself as Taryn, she was also pretty drunk haha. She was with a South African guy named, Herman (he spoke Africon, I’m not sure the actual spelling, but this language derived from Dutch when the Dutch colonized South Africa), and a girl from Canada (or America) named Lindsey. I was actually really happy that she included me in their little group, I wanted to meet people to hang out with that night but wasn’t sure if I had the enough courage to go up to anyone that night.
I hung out with them a little and chatted. They wanted to do shroom shakes that night while Herman had to go get his bandages changed at the hospital from a crazy night before (this shall be a foreshadow of my 2nd night in Phi Phi). I ate a chicken sandwich from the hostel then went with them for their quest to find shrooms. They drank their shroom shake (Taryn was a little drunk still) and went back on the beach where we watched fire dancers and I got a bucket (of alcohol). The rest of the night I just hung out with Taryn & Lindsey. We drank, danced, smoked, and enjoyed the night. It was really fun but the only sucky part is that the music doesn’t turn off until 2am & you can hear it so loudly in every dorm. So I guess they kinda force people to be out of their dorms till 2am. I finally went in around 1:30 since I knew they were turning off the music soon and fell asleep once there was some peace and quiet.
Nov 28, 2017
Or shall I say, the day I don’t remember? Just kidding, I remember most of the day. My dorm mates were leaving that day so they all sorta quietly left. I was really exhausted from the day before so I didn’t really wake up. I got some breakfast/lunch somewhere, where I got Rad Nah (obvi). And went back to get ready for the booze cruise. I didn’t know anyone going on, but I was pretty sure I was going to meet friends.
Once on the cruise I immediately met these girls who were also from SF. They were really nice and sweet. The whole rest of the day I just sorta made friends with a group of girls and we enjoyed the day together. It was a little weird because I was the only solo person but there were a lot of duos, so I would bounce from duo to duo. The booze cruise was supposed to show us all these cool places, I really thought we’d be doing more. The first stop was monkey island and I already know how monkeys are so I just chilled in the water while everyone else was taking pictures of these things (I even saw a girl get bit but I said I wasn’t doing shit for them this time). The next stop was the beach where they filmed the movie that Leonardo DiCaprio stars in called “The Beach”. Our last stop was this little cove where you could jump off the boat, snorkel, or kayak in, but at this point the alcohol was flowing in us.
After we got back in the boat we had some food, drank more alcohol, and I’m gonna say now that I don’t remember anything after that. I sorta blacked out from the end of the booze cruise to the pool party. Because after the booze cruise, most of us were talking about going to the Ibiza pool party, which was right next to my hostel. So the next thing I remember was finding Lindsey and going into the pool with her, then losing my stuff (misplacing), then finding my stuff and putting it back in my room, then losing my flip flops, then going on what seemed like an hour mission to find them, then finally finding them. I also danced a lot and didn’t drink anymore alcohol. Since I’d been drinking since like 2pm I started to sober up around 12am. I then took a shower and assessed the damage: I had a huge scrape on my shin and 3 deep cuts on my side. I kinda assumed that I got the scrape trying to get out of the pool swimmer style (where you get out on the ledge) instead of getting out on the stairs like a normal drunk person. The other cuts I assumed I did myself when I was trying to take off my bathing suit and just cut myself (cuz I have extremely long nails right now, longer than I’m used to).
So other than that I had a great freaking time. I just wished I gotten people’s social media that I met on the boat…but I didn’t cuz I was too drunk LOL.
Nov 29, 2017
So I woke up a little hungover today, but since I went to sleep pretty early I woke up a bit early. I went to brunch at this place I read about on the internet. It was a cute cafe good for brunch, but I ended up getting rice porridge again. It was just mediocre for an overpriced meal. It was also raining when I woke up, so fun. My throat was hurting so I got some tea and the warm soup in the morning helped a little bit.
My ferry for Koh Lanta left at 11:30, so I grabbed my stuff and headed to the ferry. I should have left earlier because there were barely anymore seats. They also let us put our luggage in the front of the boat since it was raining outside. I saw some girls that were on the booze cruise the day before and we chatted a little about what happened. They filled me in on some brief things but nothing to the extent of what I needed (I mean why would they, they’re not my keeper lmao).
Luckily I was sitting inside the entire time on the boat because it was raining. I also booked a taxi to my hostel from the boat since it would just be easier that way. The ferry was pretty quick, and I’d gotten to my hostel around 3ish. The first thing I did was went to find food, but like I said it was raining so I opted for the little restaurant across the street where I had some fish that I didn’t like that much. I thought they were going to prepare it Thai style but I got it and it was Western style with hella heavy cream and stuff…so I was a little disappointed. I went back to the hostel, La Non Mer Hostel, where I just relaxed for the rest of the day since it was raining.
At around 7/8pm I tried eating, but I realized I didn’t feel good. I started to get the chills and my throat hurt. I didn’t want to get sick so I got the rest of my food to-go and went to the hostel where I went to sleep really early (like 9pm).
Nov 30, 2017
I woke up super sick this morning. I barely got sleep that night because I was going from really cold to really hot. At one point I was so cold I got a blanket from the bed above me and had a double layer blanket. Since I woke up sick I wanted to go to the clinic, I was afraid that I might have gotten an infection from my cut that I got 2 nights before. I got some toast and a cup of tea at the hostel and asked the lady at the front desk where I could go since I felt sick. She advised me to go to the clinic, just a 5 minute walk.
At the clinic they took my blood pressure, temperature and pulse. They saw that I had a slight fever and brought me into their room. I showed them my cut and they said I didn’t get an infection in my cut but they wanted to do some blood work to make sure I didn’t have dengue (which I was also nervous about). After some blood tests they told me that I luckily didn’t have dengue but that I had a bacterial infection. They were going to give me a drip bag, 2 shots and lots of meds. The shots they gave me actually hurt a lot, I think they were trying to find a vain on my arm for a long time. I also got a shot on my butt for the first time and it was such a weird sensation that my whole butt check and thigh spazzed when the needle went in (sorry for that visual).
So after about 2 hrs at the clinic I was finally finished. I felt immediately better. I’m proud to say this was my first time at the clinic because I’ve been so skeptical to go before. This time, I was really nervous that I had some type of infection or worse dengue and I wanted to be healthy for the Full Moon Party in 4 days. So, I went back to the hostel where they were showing movies (it was pouring out again…). We watched Hangover and Wolf of Wall Street so I killed a good 4 hours. During this time I also heated up my leftovers from the night before (this is the first hostel I encountered that had a fridge and microwave).
After the little movie marathon I went upstairs to my room where I met Sophie. After talking we realized we were taking the same shuttle and going to the same hostel the next day so we sort of banded together. The rain had stopped and I told her I needed to see some of the island, to say that I actually did something in Koh Lanta other than just sit in the hostel all day & night (and be sick). So we both decided to walk to the beach to actually say we’ve seen the beach lol. It was chill, we just strolled and chatted. After our little stroll we went to the downstairs bar where we ate burgers. I told her I was going upstairs to get some sleep since I was still sick and chilled on Netflix for the rest of the night before bed.
Dec 1, 2017
I had to wake up a little earlier today to go to the clinic. They told me to go back where they replaced my bandages and gave me another drip bag. I felt 100% better today but I wanted to go back to make sure that I would feel even better by the time I got to Koh Phangan. It would be a full day of traveling since Koh Phangan was on the other side of Thailand. There were a good 5 of us from the same hostel going to Koh Phangan that day, so we were all in the long ride together. We first boarded a van, that then boarded a ferry, then drove 2 hours to Krabi, then got into a shuttle truck, then boarded a bigger bus, then boarded a boat, then boarded a taxi to finally arrive at our hostel in Koh Phangan.
The van picked us up at 8:30am and we arrived in Koh Phangan around 7:30pm, so it was a long long day of traveling. I texted Liv that I was at the hostel, and she came running out and we gave each other the biggest hug ever. After checking in, I went to the room where they were staying and saw Josh, Charlie and Hannah. I gave them all super long hugs, I felt like I was with my family again. It’d been around 5 weeks where I wasn’t with them and I missed them so much. Just being comfortable with friends again and not worrying about trying to meet more people or trying to accommodate others. After traveling solo for so long you start to appreciate the deep friendships that you make. It’s not always easy to meet new people every day, especially meet people that you have such chemistry with.
So, the gang was all back together again. I wasn’t very hungry and went to grab a pizza toastie from Family Mart as a suggestion from Hannah. Later, we all decided to go out and celebrate our reunion! We went next door to Phangan Arena, where they were having a pool party. While we didn’t get in, we all had 2 buckets each and were just so happy to be together again (mostly me haha). We ended our night at this cute little bar where we had a few joints by the ocean.
Dec 2, 2017
It was a slow morning. I got food with Liv and picked up my bathing suit that I’d left at my other hostel from my friend Lindsey (thank gosh she was still at the hostel and we’d exchanged information before I left or else I would be shit outta luck). She ended up joining us for lunch at this place that serves pretty cheap food. Back at the hostel, we knew we wanted to be productive today, so we decided to go to the waterfall.
We took a taxi there, luckily it wasn’t raining like a few days before. Someone was telling us about the waterfall, how there was a cool pool at the top that’s like a private waterfall. So we decided to hike up there. It was a really nerve-racking, this long hike that we didn’t realize we were getting into until it was too late. After around 30-45 minutes we finally got there and I was sweating buckets at this point. I couldn’t even go in all the way because the doctor at the clinic told me that I should keep my cut out of water. Nevertheless the waterfall was awesome and we were actually productive today! I bought a bracelet there to add to my collection (I’ll take a pic later to show you guys, I’ve been basically getting a bracelet in every country I go, each is symbolic of something!).
Once back we just chilled, got some dinner, and waited for the Jungle Party. I think I took another nap because I knew we were going to be out late that night. We some drinks at Phangan Arena again before heading out to the Jungle Party around 11pm. Once there we made a pact that if we get lost, we’d meet at the Waterfall. After some more alcohol the group had to use the bathroom. I didn’t need to use it and plus I didn’t wanna spend $$ (there’s a fee to use the bathroom even though you pay 600 baht to even get into the venue so I have no idea). I told them I would be standing HERE and made sure they all knew. Well, I ended up seeing a lot of people I’d met in Koh Phi Phi during that time (like 3 different groups of people) and thought maybe I’d miss them coming out of the bathroom. Well turns out they were all just really fucked and all forgot where I told them to meet me.
I went to the waterfall to find them and saw Liv there with a group of people trying to help her out (she was pretty drunk). So we just spent the rest of the night trying to find the others, sort of dancing (it was really hard it was trance, electronic music), and doing balloons (I got like 3 or 4 free from a Thai dude). We didn’t end up finding the rest of the group and by 3am we thought it was time to go back. We got some delicious chicken nuggets as drunchie food and got into a taxi. We found Josh, Charlie and Hannah almost passed out in bean bag chairs at the Phangan Arena. We were all tired and drunk so we went back to our 26 bed dorm (I forgot to tell you that we were in the biggest dorm at the hostel and the bunks were 3 beds high, I luckily got a bottom bunk) and went to sleep.
Dec 3, 2017
I told Liv last night that I wasn’t waking up until after 12 and that’s exactly what I did. Finally around 1pm, Josh, Hannah, Charlie and I decided to get food. Liv was dead asleep in her bed so we left her lol. We got some yummy cheap Thai food–I got Tom Yum Soup with noodles, the first time I was actually craving the spicy soup. After food we basically went back to the hostel and chilled for the rest of the day. I took a 2 hour nap that was well-needed.
Once we all woke up we went to the shop across the street to buy some clothes for the Full Moon Party, got ready, and went back to Phangan Arena to pregame. We bummed some paint off of others who were very kind to share and put some war paint on. Then it was time to go to the Full Moon Party. So we loaded up on a taxi, got there, got some more alcohol, and finally walked onto the beach. I wasn’t as drunk as I’d like to be, but it was a pretty surreal experience. It was basically a huge beach party filled with different bars and people outside partying. Josh and I got a bucket but it was absolutely disgusting I stopped drinking it. We kept using the bathroom because of all the liquids I was taking in.
The night was pretty fun. We found a bar that was playing good music and stuck to that one for the rest of the night. There was nothing too awesome about it other than being with my friends (I wish I was more drunk and had more energy). One notable thing that happened was I saw a guy wearing a Native American headdress. The conversation went a little like this:
- Me: Why are you wearing this?
- Him: Why not?
- Me: Because it’s culture appropriation, it’s a sacred symbol in Native American culture. Are you Native American?
- Him: Yeah, it’s the *insert tribe I’ve never heard of* tribe, have you ever heard of it?
- Me: No bu–
- Him: YEAH YEAH THAT’S RIGHT *in an extremely douchey, trying-to-be-macho tone* IT’S A TRIBE IN MAINE (Once I heard Maine I already knew what kinda dude this was)
- Me: No you’re not, if you were Native American you wouldn’t be wearing that. It’s disrespectful.
- Him: yeah, yeah I hear you but can you just leave me alone
- Me: Whatever dude
So other than that fiasco we had a good time. I got a piece of pizza and it was delicious. Liv and I got a taxi home and that in itself was drama. We were one of the last ones to fill this taxi and we immediately paid the dude, but there were people already on the taxi who he told to pay. They said that they already paid the taxi driver and they’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes. The taxi driver insisted that they didn’t pay and that us girls were the only ones who paid. The taxi driver wasn’t letting up so we went to another taxi who was also almost full. Once in that one, the same thing happened to the people who were already sitting in there. When that happened, Liv and I finally discovered what was going on: they were scamming the tourists, making them wait for a long time then insisting they didn’t pay. I can see it working on people who were really drunk but we were fine. So Liv and I got into a taxi and told him that we weren’t paying until we got to our destination, so another taxi guy had to sit on the back of ours and collect our money once we’d gotten to our destination, I think the taxi driver heard our plight and felt bad for us (he was a good one) so he made the other worker sit on the back and collect for him LOL.
So we got back and I went to sleep (at 5am).
Dec 4, 2017
The day after the Full Moon was a lot of relaxing. I didn’t wake up until like 2pm, the latest I’d slept in this whole time. We all went to get food at new place where I got some garlic chicken with rice. We chilled at the hostel until 5pm. Liv and I watched a movie in the communal area of the hostel before we left to go smoke some joints and watch the sunset at Amsterdam Bar.
Well turns out there was no sunset just a shit ton of clouds. In the distance you could see a dark cloud approaching and we were all paranoid that it was going to rain on us. From the first touch of raindrops we’d immediately went in the overhang and sat inside. Here we just chatted and chilled till we were ready to leave. Back at the hostel I wasn’t hungry but the rest of the group decided to eat at the buffet the hostel was putting on. I decided to get some spring rolls and call it a night. They had to wake up really early to get to Krabi while I was heading to Koh Tao.
So, the prognosis after this trip is that I’m so freaking happy I was able to see my friends again. Like I said earlier, it’s been really tough having to meet people over and over again. Sometimes I just wanna relax and put minimal effort in, especially traveling solo. This leg of the trip was mostly relaxing and recovering…and a lot of partying. So I guess I partied really hard then relaxed really hard the rest of the time. I’ve already done some much in terms of sightseeing and activities and now it’s all about partying and taking it easy, especially after all the injuries I’ve sustained this far. I’ve already been lucky so many times this trip that I’d rather count my blessings then try something stupid and compromise my life. Seriously, I’ve heard way to many horror stories that I’d just like to stay alive and healthy for the rest of my trip. I basically have about a week left then my time is up! So crazy how time moves so quickly, but I think I’m ready to go home. So stay tuned for the last and final episode of MELISSA’S SOUTHEAST ASIA BACKPACKING ADVENTURE!!