From plane, to bus, to boat, I landed at Railay Beach exhausted and very sick. “What happened to your eye?” I was asked for days as my eye slowly went from red and itchy to swollen and completely shut. After a night in a woodsy hut hostel surrounded by limestone cliffs and inaccessible to any roads, I decided to finally seek out proper medical attention for my swollen, infected eye. It was embarrassing and not how I planned to spend my first few weeks in Thailand, but knowing how to deal with things not going as planned is a skill I needed some practice in and I thankfully accepted the help of the hostel owner as he helped me find a good clinic.
A good round of antibiotics helped clear it up a bit by the next day as I decided to relocate back to the mainland to see Ao Nang Beach.
I did some price comparisons and found the tour companies to Ko Phi Phi were cheaper out of Ao Nang, so I planned for three nights there and some time for day trips to the surrounding islands. Walking around Ao Nang Beach and sampling some street food during the day led to an early night of resting in the hotel (free stay using credit card points). Sometime in the evening, I started feeling really nauseous, then the food poisoning hit full force. I camped out in the bathroom until the following morning with an unfamiliar sickness I’ve never experienced before. Things started to pass by the following evening, with the help of some anti-nausea medicine I had in my first aid kit and drinking plenty of water.
I took a risk and booked a tour for the next day of Maya Beach, snorkeling in some dive spots, and Bamboo Island, in hopes that I would feel less sick. I woke up still really nauseous, but I pushed through and had an amazing time taking in the beauty of the Thai islands.
Maya Beach: The spot made famous by Leo DiCaprio in the movie The Beach. Travel pictures can be a bit deceiving, I’ve learned; I wanted so badly to stand in this exact spot and take in the beauty of such clear waters, longtail boats floating peacefully in the marina, and white sandy beaches… not pictured here are the hundreds of other people yearning for the same thing. It was chaos, and it was one of the few photos I managed to take and crop to exclude all other people.
I’m still in awe at the water. This is real life!
I feel sad about missing out on the islands and being stuck in my room for most of my time in such a beautiful place. However, health is so very important while traveling and I’m happy to have my health and a healthy eyeball once again. I can always circle back around if I’m feeling drawn back there.
I left Krabi for set plans to meet up with a friend flying from Australia. Next stop: Singapore!