Thailand was not on our itinerary for our fall tour through South East Asia. We had been already been to the most remote Thai islands we could find last Christmas, and we just had so many places we wanted to see that we thought we would just fly right over it – from Cambodia right down to Malaysia. But as unscheduled travel tends to happen, we ended up with a free week after high-tailing it out of Indonesia as quick as we could (a story for another time.) After landing in the Kuala Lumpur airport with no plan to continue on before our flight to Sri Lanka the following week, we found a corner, some wifi, and looked for the cheapest direct flight anywhere – and found Phuket. In our previous trips to Thailand, we had always avoided Phuket – the island just seemed like it would be too crowded, too developed, and too bro-ed out, but for a $50 flight, we decided to give it a week.
And DAMN. Phuket was much more charming than I expected – we found a cute little hotel with a southwestern flair on Karon beach and spent a few days here, before heading out to Koh Phi Phi Don. I had huge mixed feelings about going here – the photos always looks so beautiful, but it was the one place that everyone seemed to go to in Thailand. But from the second our ferry took off, I was hooked at staring at the island formations in the distance. The further out we got, the clearer and clearer the water became. I knew I had to spend every moment we possibly could in that water. Our first day on the island, we went down to the dock to find a man with a boat, which was about the easiest transaction I’ve ever had in my life. $40 for a half-day tour, including snorkels.