After leaving Phuket, I spent a few days relaxing on the island of Phi Phi Don and visiting the nearby island of Phi Phi Ley where the movie “The Beach” was filmed. Both were incredibly beautiful islands with steep limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches and clear water. While the main attraction here was a tough day of sitting on the beach followed by a few sundowners at one of the beach bars, the atmosphere however was still not quite what I was looking for. There was an overwhelming number of people trying to sell you tours to visit all of the other islands as well as the cost of everything was nearly double what I had seen throughout the rest of Thailand. While I enjoyed my days on the beach and seeing the amazing island of Phi Phi Ley, I felt like there had to be a place that was a lot more laid back and definitely further off the main backpacker circuit so I kept looking.
Staying next to me in another bamboo bungalow was a South African guy named Jeno. His consensus about Phi Phi was the same as mine. It was just too overdone and way too expensive. He told me he was heading back to Ton Sai which I had never heard of and after finding that it wasn't even in my guide book I was intrigued to hear more. Jeno's description was that Ton Sai was a small little beach with steep cliffs on both sides, there were a few places to stay and some nice bars on the beaches. Most of the bars were quiet with good music, hammocks and small cushions sitting right on the sand. Along with the laid back atmosphere, Ton Sai was also the place that rock climbers from around the world visit Thailand for. This sounded like my kind of place and I wanted to know more. The next day, I packed up my bag and Jeno and I jumped on a boat and headed for Ton Sai.