It came as a surprise to many when I revealed my plans for a solo trip to Thailand. Some said it was a destination for couples and some said it was unsafe. But I knew my reasons to travel solo.
It was 8.30 a.m. at the PhiPhi islands. It was raining, and I knew my plans were gonna go for a toss. After having read so many travel blogs, my excitement of visiting the Maya Bay, where Leonardo Di Caprio’s,”The Beach” was shot was gonna fail.
But somehow I reached the counter. The man at the counter asked if I wished to travel by a motor driven boat or a long tail boat. The motor driven boat’s fare was 1200 baht per person. It was an enclosed boat while the long tail was 400 baht and an open wooden boat. I was up on saving some money and chose to travel by the long tail boat, unaware what lay ahead. I reached out to the captain who ensured it would be fine. Accompanied by two Chinese couples and a Spanish man, I boarded the boat.
It was lightly raining which seemed fine, except that it was difficult to captures photos. As the boat approached towards deeper waters, the sea became rough, and the boat began to sway like hell. It was carried to great highs and lows by the beastly sea storm. The boat was gonna crash I strongly felt.
“Guruji please save me as I didn’t want to die. Not without giving a shot to survive but there wasn’t any way I was gonna do it as I didn’t know how to swim. Please save me this time, and I promise not to try something reckless ever”,
I prayed to my Lord. But what’s life without a bit of recklessness? I believed in living life on the edge and here I was facing death. I thought of “Life of Pi.” But Pi could swim, I couldn’t. We spent about 40 minutes trembling and praying. Finally, our prayers were answered as the sea calmed.
We were heading towards Maya Bay. As the boat stopped, we found ourselves close to a cliff that we were to climb with the help of ropes. The boat couldn’t be docked near the cliff. The boat must have been about 15 feet away from the cliff, and the only way to reach the cliff was to swim.
“Holy Lord! What was I gonna do? I didn’t know how to swim”, I thought.
The captain said he would assist me but the water was deep. A small anchor attached to a rope was flung towards the cliff, and I was supposed to use the rope to traverse the distance. “I cannot do it,” I thought. Was he out of his mind as the water was deep enough to drown me? But I had to do it. I had to capture this dangerous yet adventurous feat, so I mounted my GoPro on my wrist and I jumped into the water.
It wasn’t easy I could say. But I was on a solo trip, and there was none to stop me, none to say it was dangerous. I had completely forgotten the few swimming lessons I had taken, and I was struggling, almost drowning. I gulped a lot of salty water. The captain helped yet it was not easy and seemed extremely challenging. Finally, I was able to reach the cliff, and upon doing so, I felt victorious. I then explored Maya Bay which was an extremely beautiful place, but my trip was all the more interesting because of the challenging sea ride.