The Beach may have become a backpacker cliche for many by 2008; however, it continued to be a big motivator for me to explore Thailand.
My first few nights in Phuket were at the On On Hotel, which was featured in the movie's opening scenes when Richard was portrayed as staying in a cheap Bangkok hotel.
The broken window in my room reassured me that indeed, the hotel hadn't changed much since the movie!
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Then, I took the short ride to Patong, Phuket, for a few nights. I shot my first handgun, enjoyed good sushi, and explored the sex tourism capital of the world.
Seriously, every night like clockwork, a legion of prostitutes would arrive on Bangla Road and get to work.
The scene of tourists – men, women, couples, and even some children, walking down the street taking it all in was very reminiscent of Amsterdam's red-light district.
I was only supposed to stay two nights, but I got sick with some form of infection which left me so exhausted, for so long, I contemplated a return to the USA for the first time in my nine months of travel.
- Phayam to Phuket
- On On Hotel – early Bangkok hotel scenes from The Beach were shot here.
- Shopping for Camera #3
- Banana's Tacos, Sushi, and a 9mm – firing my first gun.
- Falling Ill on Phuket
- Adventures in Thai Medical Care
- A Second Opinion
- James Bond by Speed Boat – visiting the island used in the filming of The Man with the Golden Gun.
Next in the series, I reach the long-awaited Maya Bay and explore the beautiful Koh Phi Phi islands.