Photo Journal: Feeling Hot in Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Feeling pasty and utterly burnt out from a long year, Jess, Lilia (both doctors) and I decided to take a long-weekend getaway to Phuket last month to unwind. Between our hectic jobs, work travel, managing teams and meeting deadlines, a carefree weekend with no responsibilities was just what the doctors ordered.


Halfway through our trip, a guy friend of ours flew in to join our festivities, which I think he handled pretty well given the estrogen-filled conversations that spanned the weekend (“Carl is soooo cute!” “Let’s go to the temple and pray for husbands,” “My bags are so heavy… cough cough nudge nudge”).


In fact, he was the perfect complement to our female trio. He was the voice of reason when we balked at [insert shocking male behavior here], he handed us life jackets when our boat nearly capsized and yes, he carried all of our bags while we shopped, tuk-tuked, explored. Together we tested our haggling skills at the local markets, ate colorful Thai cuisine infused with the country’s spiciest chilies (some of us regretted that during the painful aftermath), sighed with relief as the masseuse worked on the tense knots that riddled across our backs, shrieked with hysterical fear as lightning cracked above our heads on a boat ride through the Phi Phi islands, wrote an entire movie script starring Leo Dicaprio, George Clooney and all of us truly with a timed soundtrack to boot. Most of all, we laughed and laughed and laughed until our bellies doubled over in pain and/or until our driver turned up the music to drown out our hyena cackles.


On day 3, Jess and Lil said their farewells to catch an early 5am flight back to NYC, leaving A and I a few hours to catch up on sleep and ready our things for our own flight back to Hong Kong. Having slept for what felt like an hour, I felt a soft graze across my forehead followed by an urgent whisper in the quiet dawn:


“You’re hot…”


I glanced at the electronic clock beside me, which tauntingly blinked 4:37am at my tired eyes through the darkness.


“That’s awfully flattering, but what the phuk(et), at this ungodly hour?” I replied hoarsely through squinty, sleep-filled eyes.


“NO. You’re. Really. HOT. As in, your head is burning up! We have to go to the hospital, NOW.”


“Oh, that kind of hot,” I replied while muttering it being just my luck for getting sick after the two doctors leave.


The strong tone in his voice suggested that his assertion was non-negotiable but I tested my boundaries anyway as I begrudgingly popped 2 Ibuprofen and flopped back into bed. “There, I’ll be fine,” I muttered as stars of hazy sleep began to flood my eyelids; hazy sleep of which I only enjoyed for seconds before being physically hauled into a taxi for an hour-long trek into Phuket Town.


You may have read about my abominable date with the Thai guy or have heard my other horror stories — but this friend is a very different kind of guy. The kind that made sure to bring all my documents for registration, held my hand during the nose-probing flu test swab, empathized with the 104-degree fever and tonsillitis diagnosis, patiently sorted out the 6 types of pill courses I had to complete, cooled my head down with ice so that I wouldn’t be quarantined at the airport, took me to the hospital in HK after landing to make sure the Thai doctor gave me the right medication…


The kind that makes you believe that chivalry isn’t dead and that being 7,000 miles away from home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re all alone. It wasn’t the best ending to a relaxing weekend but it was comforting to know that there are friends are all around the world.


Get in line ladies… And I charge matchmaking fees.



SALA Phuket Resort and Spa
333 Moo 3 Mai Khao Beach
Thalang District,
Phuket, Thailand 83110


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Write a Comment

  • Gorgeous photos! What a crazy end to your amazing trip! So glad you still had someone there to take care of you.

    3 December 2013 at 3:19 AM
  • Beautiful shots! We’re about to go to Bali for a week before Christmas and your photos sparked my first dose of travel excitement! Glad you had such a good guy taking care of you… chivalry is not dead!

    2 December 2013 at 2:27 PM
  • Amazing photos…I’m headed to Indonesia soon and this is really making me excited for south east asia! :)

    2 December 2013 at 7:47 AM
  • What an adventure! Phuket is on my shortlist and your tales from the weekend only fuel the fire. And your images are nothing short of stunning! I really enjoy your travel writing style combined with the incredible photos. It’s an incredible combination. Your travel companion sounds more like a guardian angel. Who wouldn’t want one of those!

    2 December 2013 at 3:59 AM
  • wow it’s a good thing he was there to take care of you! did the thai doctor give you the right medication?

    30 November 2013 at 5:22 AM
  • i was just around the corner a month ago (at the jw marriott) and biked over for happy hour at sala! i hope you weren’t too ill. i had to get two shots at a bangkok hospital after getting tonsilitis in thailand.

    25 November 2013 at 11:45 PM