The singlet-clad Canadian tourist, whose name is either Eve or Eva, says: "If this was at home, we'd ruin it by having a giant guard rail and a sign every 10 steps saying 'Do Not Fall Off the Walkway'."
We are on the tiny Thai island of Koh Nang Yuan, about 3m up on a simple wooden walkway built to take us from the beach to the trail that leads to the island's top lookout spot.
I am enthusiastically agreeing with Eve or Eva about how refreshing it is to be treated as an adult and our conversation continues in this vein until we reach the point where the path has been diverted because of a minor walkway collapse. Then we talk about the view.
Even from this vantage point, still 10 minutes and a sweaty climb away from the lookout point, the view is the kind that inspires hyperbole: the sea isn't so much blue as aqua, the sand is retina-burning white.
The tourists swarming everywhere - some sunburnt in string bikinis, others sweating in cargo pants, cameras dangling from necks, heads swivelling - are somehow made better-looking against this backdrop, airbrushed into superior versions of themselves through some ineffable combination of the sea, sand and sun.
Koh Nang Yuan is a 90-minute speedboat ride from Koh Samui, the country's third biggest island and second most popular island tourism destination. But while Koh Samui has its own particular beauty, Koh Nang Yuan looks like the picture postcard tropical island, almost too perfect to be real.
Technically the island is made up of three small islands connected via sandbar but it is known collectively simply as Koh Nang Yuan ("Koh" or "Ko" meaning island in Thai) by the hoards of mostly day-trippers who come from the nearby islands of Koh Tao, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui to snorkel, scuba dive or bake themselves brown in the sun.
The vibe is a little different away from the beach, climbing up the narrow track to the lookout point, where slabs of rough-cut stone serve as steps. Even for someone with a lifestyle best described as sedentary, it's not a difficult climb. But the humidity makes it feel like a slog and the sweat is rolling off me.
Things get particularly tricky when the steps give way to rocks and I start to regret wearing thongs. To this day I have no idea if the man who helped haul me up the final rockface as if I was a sack of potatoes was posted there for that purpose or just a helpful passer-by.
Either way I'm grateful because the view from the top is spectacular.
Only when I make it back down do I see the sign at the foot of the trail: "Forever Young". Apparently this is not a joke - the climb is supposed to be rejuvenating. Between my puffy red cheeks, sweat-slicked hair and the panting I'm trying to disguise from my fellow travellers so they don't realise how unfit I am, I feel I've gained enough years to qualify me for a pension.
One lunch and an hour of down time later I'm refreshed, feeling my age and back on the boat with the rest of our group, heading out for snorkelling. Island-hopping around Thailand in a speedboat sounds glamorous but there's definitely fewer millionaire playboys, bikini-clad supermodels and popping of Bollinger corks than the description may suggest.
Our guide Jarin laughs when I ask if the lack of champagne onboard is down to occupational health and safety issues. But he does show me - in a nice, flourishy way that is more impressive in the flesh than it reads on paper - how to open the glass bottles of cold Coke using the lip of another bottle.
Around us polo-shirted members of the boat crew scramble about with the sure-footed confidence of men who have never tumbled from a boat at high speed into the ocean.
By the time we make it to Lighthouse Bay, our chosen snorkelling location, the day has warmed up, making the water look even more inviting, if deeper and darker than the shallow aqua waves we left behind around Koh Nang Yuan.
We take the plunge off the back of the boat, my own progress encouraged by another journalist's reassuring - if erroneous - claim there are no sharks in Thailand.
The water is warmer than I had expected and the plentiful fish more or less indifferent to our presence.
The snorkelling and the fish-spotting is pleasant but the part I enjoy most is floating on my back in the calm water, pretending I'm in the middle of nowhere instead of a short boat ride from civilisation.
Later we will head back to Koh Samui and Bandara Resort and Spa, our swish beachside accommodation, where cocktails and fried frangipanis are served on the lawn once a week and dinner on the beach includes a display of what I can only describe as boys playing with fire. I will be given countless opportunities to drink too much, eat too much and get too much sun. I will join crowds of other tourists at the 12m Big Buddha statue that is arguably Koh Samui's most famous landmark and snigger at the Phallic Rocks, an aptly-named rock formation with a surprisingly sweet back story involving lost love and death at sea.
But floating on my back in Lighthouse Bay, I feel like I could be anywhere or nowhere, set adrift and entirely alone.
In Thailand, where there is almost always someone nearby ready to offer you a drink or a smile or sell you something beautifully unnecessary, this feels like a true luxury.
·Kate Emery was a guest of Air Asia and The Tourism Authority of Thailand.·For more information about Bandara Resort and Spa, go to bandarasamui.com.
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