Phuket, Thailand

January 10
We woke up fairly early to catch our ferry to Phuket from Koh Phi Phi. It took a couple of hours and we both felt a little sick. We thought we were hung over but it gradually got worse as we bused to our hostel. We then went to lay on the beach after eating sandwiches hoping it would get better, but it only got worse for me. I ended up vomiting my brains out all over this wall on the beach. Only one guy saw, so he tried to be all cool and ask Matt it I had too much alcohol, but Matt just told him that I got food poisoning. The guy didn’t think that was as cool so he walked away. We spent a lot of the day just chilling on the beach and at our hostel. I got some pills from a pharmacy by giving some man at the pharmacy who was on the phone the gesture of throwing up. He gave me pills and said two pills, once a day. I handed him cash and that was it. They don’t do prescriptions here. You can get whatever you want over the counter, even prescription drugs. They sell Valium and a lot of tourists buy that at pharmacies and take it to make long bus rides bearable. But, it is technically illegal to buy without a prescription and some people get arrested for, though it is rare. You could probably just pay off the police anyway. Pharmacies don’t write prescriptions. They just give you whatever you need to make you feel better or whatever you ask for to make money. It makes sense, it just sucks that tourists could get in trouble for buying something over the counter. Unfortunately, like ten minutes after taking the pills, I threw up on a busy street, twice, and then chilled like nothing happened. That sucks though because I wasn’t sure if the pills got into my system or not and since I wasn’t sure exactly what I was taking, I didn’t want to take two more. So I felt very sick all night. I could only make myself eat like two spoonfuls of chicken soup. But hey, it was a great way to get back into the shape that I was in when I started the trip, so overall, today was a win! We headed back to the hostel and I slept through the night feeling pretty sick, but it was all uphill from here.

January 11
I was feeling pretty good when we woke up. After talking to people in the hostel, we realized that it was the local cheap alcohol on Koh Phi Phi that gets everyone sick. So many people had the same thing as I did so that had to be it. Matt and I wanted to see more of the island than our street, so we rented a moped and drove around the southern part of the island. The traffic was pretty heavy in parts so I took a while to get moving sometimes but it was a pretty easy ride. We rode for a couple of hours to the southern tip of the island. We passed a few other beach towns on the way that looked more chill. We were staying in the red light district so it was pretty chaotic all the time. We got to the southern tip and there was an overlook into the water. It was neat. We saw some stairs that led down a hill to rocks so we took an hour to do that. It was a good indication of how out of shape we were getting. We need to start running again. We then rode our moped to the Big Buddha an hour away on top of a big hill. It was huge and under construction. The whole time we were there, someone was praying over a loud speaker some really catchy but annoyingly loud prayer. After 20 minutes of the same two or three lines, it was time for us to go. It was a great panoramic view of much of the island though. After dropping our moped off, we went back to the hostel and met these kids from the USA who were studying abroad in Bangkok. We went to eat dinner with them and hung out on the beach afterwards. It was a fun three or so hours. They just started last week but their school told them to get out of Bangkok for a week while protests finish up. We told them that we were going to Bangkok in two days and they strongly urged us not to. They said that the entirety of the protests so far are leading up to the main protest which is on the day of our flight. They said not to go because although it should be peaceful, something could go wrong and you wouldn’t want to be there for that. Also, it would be near impossible to see all the sights with protestors at all major government buildings. So Matt and I were like “F” and realized that we should probably figure out our new plan. We told the kids that we would try to find them in like an hour but had to figure out what our plan was before we could have any fun tonight. In a matter of an hour, Matt and I figured out a new itinerary. Instead of going to Bangkok then Myanmar, we decided that we would take a bus south into Malaysia, then do Borneo, Bali, and Singapore. Then we would figure it out from there. We didn’t know the order yet because we know nothing about Malaysia but figured we could go to a couple of places on the way to Kuala lumpur and then figure it out. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the Americans again. We walked our street, which is really impressive. It is the going out street of the island. There are these huge bars and clubs that are open air. The bars go like 500 feet back and have girls dancing on then. There were 5 or 6 places like that and then a few huge clubs too. It’s very loud and very alive. On the street, there are promoters getting in your face and lady boys trying to get you to go to a “ladyboy show.” There are also guys hardcore trying to sell you little plastic toys with lights on them. Back the hell off bro, I don’t want a toy car with a blinking light on it. Since we couldn’t find our friends, we decided that tonight would be a good night to watch some girls play ping pong. We had no idea what to expect and once was enough. We them headed to bed around 1:00 am so we could wake up for our tour the next morning.

January 12
We woke up and both felt decent. I didn’t feel sick anymore but still not back to normal fully. We took a shuttle bus to a ferry an hour and a half away, picking up tourists along the way. The ferry was like a riverboat and everyone sat on top. We rode for an hour north to these islands that were very steep. Our first stop was kayaking. A guide took Matt and I on his kayak and we went through a dark cave with bats. It smelled pretty bad in there. We got to the back and the cave opened up to a huge lagoon on the inside of the island. We rode around there a little. It was so cool because the only way to access this part of the island was to go through that cave. We saw some monkeys and a ton of birds before exiting out the same way we came in. Our next stop was another kayaking spot that just went around a cool little island with neat rock formations. We went through another smaller cave and then just rode along the walls. Our next stop was the most well known and the main reason for the tour. It was James Bond island. It has a huge rock right off the shore of a beach that has ugh a small base, it looked like it should tip. There were a lot of tourists there but it was cool to see. After that stop, we got back on the boat and anchored near some other cool islands with mountains for a half hour, then headed back to Phuket. The tour was ok but our least favorite of the ones that we did. There were too many people on our boat and it was too touristy. I hate having to book tours but you have to if you want to see things around islands because you need to get there by boat and this is the only way. Once we got back to our hostel, we got some kabobs and ate them on the beach. We hung out a little and then went back to the hostel. Our roommates were cool in this hostel. Our first four were two Americans from Silicon Valley and two English kids. Then, the two guys from Silicon Valley left and were replaced with two Australian girls. It was fun to talk to them all. This was our favorite hostel room yet even though base from clubs shook the walls until 8 am each morning. Phuket was too built up for us. It was too developed for its own good. All four other islands were better in all aspects for us.

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