The scariest night I have had in years....

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
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Trip End Mar 04, 2011


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So after being eaten alive by mosquitos I decided to head on out of Phi Phi and do something different. I had been recommended to go on a camping trip by a couple I originally met on the slow boat in Laos who I bumped into randomly in Ko Tao. It sounded like something different and they raved about it rather than just another snorkling trip to Maya Beach where they filmed the film 'The Beach'.
    So after chilling out on the beach Angelika, Tino and I got picked up by the owner of the boat. Within 5 seconds of him arriving I got a very bad vibe off him. He singled out Angelika out and spent the 10 minute walk to the pier trying to peer down her top. Then he started chatting to me getting way too personal and too close. I tried to ignore it and figured it would stop. We get on the boat and there are a total of 17 on the trip. Within 5 minutes of leaving the pier there are some Americans hitting on the Australian girls sitting next to us. We both roll out eyes and figure this is the start of things to come. Everyone is at least 5 years younger than us and clearly looking for action.
   Then the boat passes around the headland and the owner stands up and goes 'Yo mother f*ckers here is the Viking cave where we collect f*cking birds nests for soup'...I won't repeat the rest of his speach but you get the jist. Now Angelika and I are really not happy - we paid 2000Bt (about 40 pounds) and the guy is swearing at us as if we are in some sort of rap video. Not exactly the kind of trip I was imagining. Just thanked my lucky stars that Angelika was with me and hoped that they would get distracted by the Ausie girls and leave us alone.
   Then we stopped for snorkling in a quiet bay. There were quite a lot of fish on the surface - helped by the amount of bread the guys were throwing into the water. And in typical fashion straight at the girls. I think they were hoping we would all shreak which some of the girls obliged with. I kinda figure that fish less than 4 inches long really aren't going to do anything. Especially after being nibbled by cleaner wrase on my dives in Ko Tao. 
   After getting out the water I couldn't wait to wrap up not only because it was chilly at 5pm but because the boat boys were staring at all the girls. It was so unpleasant knowing they were staring at you but you coulnd't get away. I couldn't decide if I was less vunerable in the water or on the boat but settled for the boat fully dressed
    Then the guy brings out a joint and starts smoking it in the open in front of everyone. Now that was a really bad sign. The punishment for drug possession in Thailand is death and there are many stories about people being offered drugs for cheap prices then being set up by the dealers and the police and made to pay huge fines. Or in other cases people get busted for drugs even if they aren't using because they didn't report others using. Needless to say neither of us wanted anything to do with drugs and here was a guy offering a joint and smoking it around us. Thankfully we were in bikinis so hopefully didn't pick up too much of the smell on our clothes. That would just be our luck to get busted a day or so later! The joint really sealed it for us and we knew this was not the kind of trip we had signed up for and not one we wanted.
   Eventually we arrived in Maya Beach the location for 'The Beach' via a long tail. It is amazing the lack of common sense people have sometimes...if there are lots of people on the right side of a narrow unstable boat I would have thought sitting on the left would make sense...but know it seemed not for our band of intrepid travelling campanions who were screaming they were going to fall in...and that was just the guys! 
   We dumped our stuff at our 'camp site' which was a low building with a single floor and open to the elements. So much for our promised tents! There was no space for 17 people to sleep there even if they were right next to each other. But that was a problem to face later. I headed out to the beach to try and get a sunset shot and had the beach to myself for a bit. It was an amazing feeling being alone in the quiet and solitude of such a beautiful place. But there was a ting of worry about what was going to happen with the guys both guests and hosts but finally managed to put it out of my mind for a bit.
   I met an old couple of the beach who were on their way out. They said 'haven't you heard the stories about the camping trips?' when I said no they were like it's probably best that I don't tell you then. Thanks a lot! Scare me without giving me specific information on what I need to watch out for. Then the sun starting setting...Angelika were messing around with different poses trying to get a different type of shot rather than just another beach. 
   As it started to get dark and dinner was still a couple of hours away we chilled out on the beach chatting. We made a decision to not go anywhere without the other one including toilets. It was just too isolated and dark on the beach and hopefully having 2 pairs of eyes watching we could look out for each other. We sat on a boat while the others gathered in groups chatting down the beach. We then moved to the camping area and set up under the lights and music player.
   We passed an hour just chilling and chatting in small groups. Angelika had a bet on who was going to hook up first which I won. I also won the rematch of the second couple...after that there was not much point in playing as there were potential pairings all over the place. In fact the only people not getting involved were Angelika and I and an established couple plus a group of Scouse squadies who were far more interested in drinking than wasting time with girls.
   Finally we got dinner and again the guys were super creepy...grabbing hands and waists and asking all sorts of personal questions. Eventually they gave up on both of us as we were pretty firm and unresponsive and gave a couple of cutting looks and short answers. The Australians were drunk by that point so much easier targets and seemed to be loving the attention. It was interesting watching the night develop with couples pairing off as conversation split into groups. An Australian hooked up with a Thai guy which I will never understand why! They gave me the creeps and walking off onto a deserted beach with a guy you met 10 minutes before when drunk is just asking for trouble if you ask me. It shouldn't be like that and girls should be able to do what they want but people must realise that we live in the real world where guys just aren't as nice sometimes as we wish they were. 
    About 11 we escaped to the camping area for a bit and got chatting to one of the girls who had hooked up with another guest (in fact the first such couple winning me my bet). She told a very scary story about the guy who got really agressive when they were in the sea and wouldn't do more than kissing. He apparently grabbed her legs so she fell back into the sea on her back and said 'you are playing games and I could drown you right here if I wanted to'. She thankfully escaped but it made us realise yet again how vunerable we were - if that had happened we would have had no idea and not been able to save her and it would have been the morning before the alarm would have been raised and it would most likely be put down to an accident based on my experience of Thai's police less than enthusiastic investigations into my backpack theft.
     She also said that the company had lost a couple on previous trips...one had been washed off the beach while asleep/passed out by a high tide and the other occation the boat didn't count heads from snorkling and left 3 people in the sea and only realised when they arrived at the beach by which time they had swam over by themselves. Just wonderful so not only are the guys super creepy but they are also irresponsible. I have never wanted to get off an island as much as that night. I messaged my aunt (who would hopefully not freak out but raise the alarm if needed) and a friend in Thailand in case anything happened.
    There were a group of Scouse squadies there who starting chatting to us later on. I honestly couldn't understand a word they said. I really thought they were speaking German or Dutch I couldn't understand what they were saying in the least. I have never had it that bad with a UK accent where I literally couldn't make out every second word. They were off to Afganistan in a couple of months and it did make me wonder about our armed forces. They risk their lives for the country but then when not in the line of fire spend almost a 1000 pounds a month on alcohol. Scary thought! Though watching them I could see how it would go pretty easily. Then they come to places like Phuket and Costa Del Sol 'to let their hair down'. Another reason I don't speak English where possible so as to not be associated with them.
    3am Angelika and I go into the sea to see the luminence from plankton. It was pretty amazing...like fireflies but in the sea. With the almost full moon it was a beautiful sight. We lay on the beach and decided jointly that we were going to stay awake until dawn to stay vigilant. We had a personal conversation - the conditions were just right for one of those 3am conversations when you talk about everything with the light dim and chilled. 
   I think we must have falled asleep eventually about 5 30 am because the next thing I remember is waking up in a panic as a dark shape was pretty near us. We both woke up in a panic and the guy walked away. I assume (and hope) that he just wondered too close because he was too drunk to notice. But regardless there was no sleeping after that. We tried to cross to the other side of the island to watch the sunrise. But got half way and a guy came out onto his porth and tracked us with a large flashlight and didn't seem over friendly so we treked back to camp hoping that neither of us stepped on a snake or rat in the semi darkness.
   We couldn't wait to get off the island and luckily the English guys had to leave early and another pair of guys also wanted to get off the island as soon as possible. So we got a long tail boat back to Phi Phi at 7am about 3 hours before we were supposed to. I didn't care about missing breakfast or snorkling neither of us could wait to escape.
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Comments

London Correspondent on

Stunning setting & pics, shame about the sleaze! Glad you were with a friend though.

I vaguely remember you mentioning in an earlier blog that drinks are served in buckets, but i didn't quite realise until seeing these photos that you actually meant these enormous plastic buckets! That's....kind of changed my perception of relaxing on a moonlit beach with a luxurious cocktail (with umbrella & glace cherry garnish, natch). I can only imagine that they are making little pyramid sandcastles using martini glasses.....

PS Don't do drugs, kids! The day-glo plankton sound trippy enough!

Lotsa love chickie, keep the stories coming,
xoxo

kellyroundworld
kellyroundworld on

Haha its a shame that the most romantic sunset I have seen was shared with a bunch of desperate teenagers.

jeanie072 on

Wow....if it was not for the natural beauty of the place, this would have been the camping trip from hell. I'm glad you made it safe & sound. Scary.

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