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I can see why so many people make Chiang Mai their home base. It's both quaint and big. East and West. The kind of place you can get $1 dinners at the market or satisfy any home food craving you might have. I arrived the morning after I left Vang Vieng. I joined a group of six Australian girls in search of rooms. It's hard to find a place to stay at 6am. Every place was either closed or didn't know if they'd have free rooms for the day or simply said they were booked....

Again came just five days later. Gabriel and I arranged to meet in Koh Lanta, a nearby island, where we rented a bungalow for three nights on a quiet beach. It rained. A lot. But there was just enough sun for swimming, for lying in the sand, for watching half a sunset. And the storms were just an excuse for enjoying nights on our porch, drinking whiskey and soda, listening to music, dancing....

On our last full day in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, Steven and I boarded a Koh Phi Phi Island booze cruise around the islands. Of course, for me, this meant little drinking (me + booze + rocky boat is not a good combination) and that I was the only one on board wearing a life jacket the whole time. Because I'm totally lame. Did I ever mention that I can't really swim? But still, on the Koh Phi Phi booze cruise there were beautiful beaches and beautiful swimming and beautiful little monkeys and a beautiful sunset… And, of course, there was...

I've been living on pina coladas. It seems like the appropriate thing to do when you're on an island. A pineapple shake to start the day followed by a couple of coconut concoctions throughout the day is enough to sustain anyone on a beach. Steven and I took a ferry from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi island where we spent three days wandering beaches and drinking. The first night we wandered about, got some black pepper crab, got lost on the beach, and watched the rain pour over the hills from our bungalow porch....

I'd heard nothing but bad things about Phuket. It was one of those places where no one had a nice thing to say. Words such as "overrated" and "disgusting" were thrown around in description. And, honestly, I think that that helped me enjoy my time there more....

Do you ever have days where you're just sick of having to figure out how to do shit all the time? I definitely woke up on the wrong side of the dorm bed and didn't feel like doing anything because I didn't feel like trying to figure out how to do anything. I knew that off Krabi there were some awesome beaches, like Railay Beach, that are accessible only by boat, but I really didn't know how to get to them, how to get one of those boats, and I really didn't want to exert the energy figure it all...

As soon as I got to Krabi, Thailand, it started to rain. Monsoon like drops pelted the town. I was hungry but didn't want to leave my hostel. I went starving instead. I was convinced that I had made a terrible decision on where to go and that for the next two weeks I would be nothing but wet and miserable. To top it off, the cough that I had for three months and lost somewhere in Turkey made a triumphant return. ...