It’s been a busy and also slow past few days in Thailand! We’ve been moving around and seeing lots of new places, but also spending plenty of time relaxing on beaches and enjoying the warm weather (sometimes entirely too warm).
Yesterday, we went out to Ao Nang and spent the day walking around the town, traversing the “Monkey Trail” over to a fancy resort beach, relaxing, reading, and cooling off in the ocean. The Monkey Trail wasn’t an entirely planned expedition, we sort of just saw a trail up a nearby cliff and decided to check it out. We found out later that we were lucky not to be robbed by monkeys on the trail (hence the name), but through most of the walk I was too worried about slipping and scraping my way down a rather high cliff, so monkeys weren’t exactly on my mind. Getting to Ao Nang itself was a bit of an adventure, as you ride in the back of a pickup truck that has been retrofitted for passengers. And by retrofitted, I mean they put a couple of benches along the sides, took out the back (so bags could very easily slide straight out onto the road, I seriously don’t know why they’d take that piece off…), put a few bars to hold on and called it a day. I’m not sure how fast the drivers go, but I can confidently say that it feels like at least 150 the entire way when you’re staring out the back at the road with nothing to keep you from falling out.
Today we went back over to Railay beach with the plan of spending most of the day climbing. Rough seas meant that we got to spend about an hour waiting for a boat to leave to Railay and then another hour to get over there, so that was fun. Once we got there, we figured we’d walk over to Tonsai and rent gear. Unfortunately, of the two ways to get to Tonsai, we took the incredibly difficult and roundabout way. Instead of a short stroll along the beach, we found ourselves scrambling up a massive hill and then precariously down-climbing the other side, all in all taking something like 40 minutes when it should have been closer to 10. Whoops.
Once we finally got to the gear rental shop we’d looked up, everything went much smoother! We spent about four hours climbing around various areas of Tonsai, mostly along cliffs that jut out along the coast. The limestone in the area ranges from “a little slick” to “oh my god this is polished glass” as a result of the popularity of climbing in the region and the coastal conditions. Even so, the climbs were a ton of fun with a variety of different features to scramble up and some very rewarding views from the top!
The day concluded with a longboat ride back to Ao Nang and then another fun “bus” ride back to Krabi Town. Once low tide comes around, the longboats can’t come in all the way to the shore or to the docks. So the passengers go out to them, meaning everybody wades in knee-deep water out to the boat and the in to the shore when we arrive. Pretty funny and a new experience for me!