Jack Daniel Cole, 21, displayed his multiple stab wounds to Phuketwan as he recovered in a hospital on Phuket and said: ''I've been to hell and back.''
Mr Cole and his girlfriend, April Clifton, also 21, were attacked by the gang in Ao Nang, a popular Krabi tourist destination, about 11pm on Monday night.
''We had spent three nights in Bangkok and planned to spend 10 nights in Krabi,'' Mr Cole said from his bed at the Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City.
He has half-a-dozen knife wounds and a savage slash to the side of his face - probably inflicted by a machete - that required more than 30 stitches.
The worst of the knife wounds plunged eight centimetres into his shoulder, cutting tendons and piercing muscle. It will be six weeks, doctors say, before he can remove a sling and months before he can return to the gym.
But he and April are alive.
''All I can do is guess what they wanted,'' Mr Cole said tonight. ''But they did not want my wallet.
''When three of them chased after April, I chased after them. I managed to fight off the ones who surrounded me.
''I didn't know that I'd already been stabbed five or six times. They told me later that the blow to my head was probably from a machete.''
Another Brit who manages a dive shop and happened to be at a bar nearby staunched the massive bleeding, helped Mr Cole to Krabi Hospital, and ''saved my life, basically.''
The gang of five youths and two girls had gone past Mr Cole and Ms Clifton on their motorcycles - mopeds Mr Cole calls them - then doubled back and passed again, a little slower.
''We really weren't expecting it,'' Mr Cole said tonight. ''The first I knew was when a lump of concrete hit me in the back.
''Then I fought as hard as I could. When I saw that three of the males were chasing off after April, I took off after them. I was desperate to protect her.''
The slash and stab wounds down his right side show how desperate someone was to stop him.
If things had turned out differently, peaceful tourist destination Krabi could have had a murder to deal with.
As it turned out, Krabi police are still hunting members of the gang. They may have already arrested three of them.
Ms Clifton and her father, Clive, were travelling from Phuket to Krabi today to obtain the police incident statement that the couple will need to activate their travel insurance.
April's father was on a flight from Britain to Phuket as soon as he heard what had happened. And it was a wise thing.
''April is still feeling the effects of the attack,'' Mr Cole said. ''She found herself in trouble just walking down a street. So it's a good thing her father came to help.''
He says the reaction from resort staff, from the tour agents, from British honorary consul for Phuket, Martin Carpenter, from Tourist Police and others has been ''just wonderful.''
More lighting has even been installed along the walk the couple took after dinner in Ao Nang, back to catch the boat at the pier for their five-star resort.
Two Phuket City policemen dropped by as we talked tonight, making a courtesy call and anxious to not have the tourists' view of Krabi and Phuket entirely painted as full of gangs and bad people.
However, Mr Cole's wounds are alarming. Had he not fought off the attackers, it's difficult to know what might have happened.
It's not the first savage attack inflicted on tourists in Krabi this year. Other visitors have been raped.
Another, a young German tourist, had her thumb cut off in a brazen attack in Krabi Town. Apparently attacks are not as rare as tourists are led to believe.
Here's how the man who probably saved Mr Cole's life reported it on a chat room:
With high season approaching, In Ao Nang. I fear that another tourist death is imminent. Gangs of teenage kids, armed with knifes and machetes roam the roads like something out of a Hollywood horror movie. Where are the police ? Where are the lights, I know this is a long term problem in Ao Nang as it's been my home for six years. I would like to inform you, about my encounter last night. Around 10.50 pm, While sitting in a quiet bar in the Nopparattara national park, next to the pier. A man and his girlfriend approached me asking me to help them. At first I just thought they wanted directions or something, when I saw them in the light. Then I realised they needed life saving help, with the man's head pumping blood like a fountain... I shouted to a friend to call the rescue service, the wound to the head was around 4 inches in length and skull exposed. On further inspection to his body, I found deep stab wounds . . . After we had stopped most of the blood flow the rescue guys came,Thank God.In all my life, I have never witnessed any like this, and I've been around somewhat....While we were trying to stop the blood and reassuring the man I had chance to talk to his girlfriend, about what had led to the attack. They were walking from Ao Nang beach, to the Nopparattara Pier to catch a speedboat back to their resort. At 11.30pm. After a nice meal they thought better to walk, as they had plenty of time. Just 1 minute before the pier, they were approached by 4 boys and 3 girls . . . No exchange of words, then the boys started to lob bricks and stones, hitting them many times, suddenly the boys ran towards them, pushing the girl to the ground. On this, the man tried to help his girlfriend up. While he was down they repeatedly struck him with a machete and stabbed him. WTF is wrong with this place!!! I accompanied the girl to the Krabi Hospital where I witnessed the same old story. You pay or no treatment. The resort where they were staying kindly brought his and hers passports, money and the life saving Insurance doc. I've been in contact since and they are both doing fine. With the uk embassy helping them as well. After reading their facebook page and seeing how excited they were. Only 3 days to go 2 days to go then tomorrow off to paradise...Well some Paradise its turned out to be!!!!....I hope the cctv will help catch these little cowardly thugs . . . A very upset/shocked and pissed off Mr Huw.