In an age when all sensation seems to come digitally via the cell phone, video screen, pager and Internet, a young American backpacker named Richard yearns to experience something real. Arriving in Thailand with adventure on his mind, Richard rents a cheap hotel room in Bangkok where he meets an alluring French couple and Daffy, an old traveler ravaged by years of sun and drug abuse. Rambling and paranoid, Daffy tells Richard a tale of a secret island which he claims is a real paradise on Earth. The next day Richard finds a hand-drawn map pinned to his door of the island decribed by Daffy. When he seeks out Daffy, he finds him dead with his wrists slashed. Richard promptly persuades the French couple to find the beach and its secret community of travelers whose lives, on the surface, appear perfect and peaceful. However, Richard will soon learn what he has found is no paradise.