Tripping in Tonsai

“Tonsai! Tonsai!” yells the boat crew repeatedly as the ferry comes to a stop a few hundred meters from shore. A lone longtail boat approaches us from the shore. Out of this packed ferry of about 100 people, only five board the longtail. It was me, Cody, Charlie, and two strangers. Everyone else on the ferry must be headed to the resorts on Railay Beach.

We chatted up the strange girl–Michelle. She was from Minnesota, and her friend was still in Koh Phi Phi–too hungover to make the 15:30 boat. Classic. I’m sure we set a good impression when the first thing Charlie asked her is if she wanted to do shroom shakes.

We get ashore in a few minutes, and already Charlie asks the first fucking guy he saw where to find shroom shakes–a Thai scooter boy. We’re not even off the beach yet. The Thai guy tells us Viking Bar, and has a Rasta hat on. Seems legit. He peels off in his scooter cart contraption and says I’ll see you guys later.

We head up the only road off the beach and up into Tonsai. The scene is serene. Right behind the beach is all trees–a jungle. A lot of trees that look like they would grow coconuts. Tropical.

You walk up the path and there’s a 6 foot tall concrete wall on the right, and a huge steep cliff of beautiful rock to the left. It had to have been 300 feet tall and stretched on for a while. Lush grass, shrubs, and trees were in the gap between the cliff and the path. Really tropical.

The path hooks right after four minutes, as you follow the concrete wall that seems to separate the forest from town. You’re now on ‘Main Street’, with accommodations and shops on your left, and the ever present wall on the right. Cool counter-culture graffiti coats the wall as you venture further down the path.

The four of us are walking down the path, looking for accommodation. We pass Pasook resort–a girl we know is staying there. The staff yell something over to us about bungalows, but I can’t make out what they said. We keep moving, we want to check out the Andaman Nature Resort.

Michelle branches off to go check out Mountain View Resort. It looks pretty desolate, so we continue on the path to Andaman. We get there and check into a bungalow with a full size and twin mattress for 750 baht.

We get situated quickly and then go chase down some shroom shakes. It was Charlie’s last night abroad, and we was more than keen to get started. We stop in Viking Bar, but they don’t have any left. Same thing at the next door bar called Sabai Sabai. We move down the line to Sunset Pirate Bar and they have just what we’re looking for.

There doesn’t seem to be much left, so the bartender throws some extra mix in the blender to stretch out the mixture to make three shakes. We drink these quickly, and then Cody and Charlie buy some weed off of them as well. Cody is getting into a deep discussion about weed with the bar owner. Next thing you know we’re looking at the weed plant he is growing out back, and Cody is playing Dr. Greenthumb and is giving him all sorts of advice. The soil was clay, no good.

This truly is a hippie place, a bit like Shambhala Music Festival, but real life. I looked up in the trees and saw some ladders and a crazy tree fort like 40 feet high. People just creating cool shit. Pretty awesome.

So we decide to go walk around, and once we get to the beach we all conclude that none of us are really feeling the effects. We came up a bit, but then it was gone. It must have been too low a dose with the dilution. We walk to the end of the beach anyways. There’s some rocks there that you can climb to get over to Railay Beach. There was a cool ledge on the cliff face as you got close to the aforementioned rock with a ladder lending access some 50 feet high.

And so we start walking to Sunset Pirate Bar to find some food and let them know that the shakes didn’t do anything for us. We run into Michelle again at this outdoor food truck type restaurant across the street from the bar and basically tell her “Shroom shakes here sucked, we’re getting another one.” Famous last words.

So we tell our new friend–the bar owner–that the shakes didn’t do anything for us. He asks us how long it’s been, and then eyes us up and down suspiciously. We tell him an hour and a half. He deliberates mentally for a moment, and then tells us half price and he’ll make us some more.

We say alright, and he yells something over in Thai to the bartender, which we’re sure must mean ‘turn it up a notch’. He gets to placing the ingredients in the blender, and before long it’s whirring up shake number two. Fresh.

The three of us cheers the shakes and drink them through pink bendy straws greedily. Tastes delicious like the last one, but a little more earthy. We all look at each other with knowing eyes, unable to communicate verbally on account of the straws in our mouths. These ones meant business.

Charlie and I go to the food truck restaurant across the street to eat quickly before it’s too late. We all had empty stomachs. Michelle is still there so we join her at this 6 seat table where a few other random people are eating. I’m already feeling the effects by the time I get my chicken noodle soup. It’s a race against the clock to beat the buzz. Michelle is just looking at us and giving us a nice Minnesota smile. So polite. I wasn’t sure what she was thinking, but I’m sure she found the situation entertaining.

Cody makes it over to the table after his conversation, and at this point I’m just trying to pick the meat out of the soup. The noodles are kind of dancing around and my appetite isn’t really there any more. Slowing down. No way I can finish this. I tell Michelle and whatever other strangers happened to be seated at the table that I can barely even eat this I’m so high. It’s time to get the hell out of here.

I slowly push the soup away from me and tell Michelle and the others that I’m throwing in the towel. We’re anxiously waiting for Charlie to finish peeing so we can go. Then he gets back and Cody needs to pay. Typical Thailand, it takes forever to pay. So the seconds continue to pass by slowly as the strangers at the table are sufficiently skeeved, Charlie is nervously fidgeting, and Michelle is just there smiling nicely at us.

Cody is still standing at the window of this food truck to pay, and then BOOM! He falls face first into the gravel road, stiff as a tree trunk. I couldn’t believe it, I wasn’t sure if it really happened. Charlie says “Whoa, Cody” and then we rush over to him. All 6’2" of him is laying stiff on the ground with his eyes open, body just twitching. It was like in a movie when someone gets killed. He looked dead. His face was completely pale, the eyes were wide open, and he wasn’t moving or responding.

I’m holding him in the recovery position, hoping he isn’t dead. His body is jerking around a bit, those eyes still open but completely unconscious. It looked like he was having a seizure. Charlie and I just look at each other and we’re both thinking the same thing…could it be the shakes? Are we next?

So I’m holding him, Charlie is checking his mouth to make sure he didn’t choke on his tongue. After 20 seconds he snaps out of it, and is like “Whoah, I’m good, I’m good.” Anyone who has had a friend get knocked out knows this moment. He tries to stand back up to show he is ok and to end this scene we have created, but we tell him to chill out, that he fainted.

This old German guy comes up to him and is asking him questions, like has this happened before, what was he doing before, etc. he gets him a Coke–for the sugar. We think perhaps it’s related to dehydration.

So at this point were totally tripping and now dealing with this situation. We chill out for 15 minutes and try to walk home. We had to stop for another 10 minutes on the ground after like 10 steps. Finally, Cody musters the strength to walk back to the bungalow. Charlie and I walk on either side of him just incase. We make it back to the bungalow without incident. Cody is visibly shaken and power walks the second half of the journey ahead of us.

Charlie and I leave him to recover, and then we head to the beach. It’s pitch black, and I’m a little sketched out. It’s always the beach where tourists get murdered. We lay in the sand, finding some big fire pit ring cut out of the sand. We stare in silence at the stars for about 45 minutes. They looked amazing from the darkness of Tonsai Beach. At some point Charlie is trying to light a spliff, and I see a light in my eye, irritating me. It’s not like the lights we can see on Railay Beach, across the water a little. It’s coming from the water.

I get sketched out, it’s like someone is trying to spot who is on the shore. I sit up, and Charlie keeps trying to light the spliff, and then suddenly the light goes away. I tell him about it, but he isn’t concerned. He didn’t see it. I’m convinced at this point that they saw the lighter amidst the darkness and had now pinpointed our location.

I can’t really get comfortable at this point, I’m still sketched out from the boat. I keep thinking someone will slink out of the jungle behind us and rob us. Finally, I begin to get over it and relax, and the I hear the loud VRRRR of a longtail boat, echoing off the bay. A longtail from out of nowhere is gunning it towards the shore, some 100 meters to the left. Charlie’s sits up and asks me in a somewhat concerned tone “Is that the boat you were talking about?” And I just reply with a “YUP.” We both just get up without a word and speed walk off the beach and up the road. We checked over our shoulders a few times as we made our way back up the that deserted jungle road back into town.

We just chilled out and joked around with Cody in the bungalow the rest of the night. Smoked a lot of weed, had a lot of laughs. Charlie and I ended up buying about 1100 baht of snacks at the mini-mart. That’s like $30 US. A ridiculous amount to spend in Thailand. We got Cadbury milk chocolate, Ritter Sport dark hazelnut, hotpot flavored Lays, seaweed flavored Lays, blueberry cookies, soft chocolate cookies, garlic nuts, chicken flavored peanuts, and Gatorade. Only the essentials.

We ate everything while joking around more, and passed out around 1 AM.

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