Koh Lipe, one year later.

In January 2018 I travelled to Koh Lipe with those closest to Jerry to spread his ashes on one of the hidden beaches there. It was 16 days after the accident and it’s safe to say I was in a terrible place mentally and physically. I vowed to return to Koh Lipe when I could fully appreciate it for its beauty and could connect to the island Jerry named one of his favourite places.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious about how I would feel returning to a place with such haunting memories. Although it was the right thing to do for Jerry and we all got some peace from achieving it, it was incredibly unpleasant and I spent most of my time crying in bed rather than enjoying the island. I struggle to conjure the memories of those few days but as soon as we got on the boat it all came flooding back. Interesting to know where those memories have been locked away all this time.

We chose to stay at Adang Eco Resort in these bamboo bungalows.

They were ‘eco’. No flush, no toilet roll, very basic, but I personally loved them. We saw a variety of insects in our room including a cockroach and we had a pet frog that I showered with every day. Unfortunately for Alice the frogs were a step too far. The bungalows were very close together and not sound proof so I could hear her shrieking “Why is it growing bigger?!” whilst Asraf explained that the frog was feeling threatened. Mosquitoes were also an issue and we spent a fair amount of time discussing how many bites we had, how itchy they were and when exactly we thought we had been bitten. Of course Asraf did not get bitten because they all attacked me.

Our accommodation was round the corner from Sunrise Beach and had its own secluded bay. It was paradise. Whatever your vision of a tropical island is that is exactly what it’s like on Koh Lipe.

The first day it was just Andrea, Asraf and I and Asraf had his first adult snorkeling experience. After some hesitation and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying, fear, he was all over it.

After that there was no stopping him and he stayed in the sea for one and a half hours by himself looking at fish. The water was so clear, sooo many fish to see just off the beach.

On Tuesday when everyone else arrived we decided to book a boat trip so that we could snorkel in a few different locations. We saw beautiful coral, lots and lots of fish and many, many small jellyfish that stung us many, many times.

The underwater coral was eerie and incredible and reminded me of dinosaurs. At the last stop we jumped into very deep water where we couldn’t see the bottom and were surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of fish. They weren’t the brightest and kept swimming straight into us.

As Koh Lipe is really just about beaches and swimming we spent all our time lying down and swimming. The beaches are amazing, the sand is like flour, the water is clear and the sun was out all day every day. As Tom said, my face has never been so tanned.

We were lucky to have Beth’s parents join us for an extended family holiday. It was great to see them again after the wedding in the summer. Marc joined in a beach photo shoot which I hope will become a permanent, framed addition to the Harris household.

It was an amazing few days in paradise and I absolutely appreciated every minute. Being so close to such beautiful holiday destinations is a dream come true for all of us. It’s also been important for us to make happy memories after a really difficult year last year, and our group is splitting this summer when people move away from Penang (still not going to the leavers dinner guys).

I’ve become more emotional and more sentimental since Jerry’s death and I really do treasure everyone and all the amazing moments we share over here. I’m really glad I got to revisit Koh Lipe in this mental state, reconnect with Jerry whilst spending time with many of my favourite people.

Highlights of the week:

– Getting locked out by Asraf and climbing through the window.

-Getting locked in by Asraf and climbing through the window.

-Alice asking for a “full fat” coke.

-Tom saying he doesn’t revolve around food, food revolves around him whilst eating everyone’s leftovers.

-Jess’ Instagram captions.

-Yon taking over the mic and guitar at a bar and gaining avid fans.

-Asraf being spotted by a fan of his band who was wearing his band t shirt.

-Reading 3 books and having a fleeting concern that Asraf had locked me in on purpose because he was actually a killer (too many psychological thrillers)

-Spending time on an island trying hard to be eco friendly and preserving it’s natural beauty and wildlife.

-Having no water for 2 days due to a drought and talking about poo and showering a lot as a result.

-Connecting with Jerry.

-Moments like these:

Until next time Koh Lipe, we love you.

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