Monday, September 17, 2012

Down South

So, post-Cambodia...

Stephen and I have been enjoying the sunshine (well, I'll admit we've had our share of rain, too) in the southern region of Thailand. We spent the last 9 days in and around Krabi, with most of our time spent on Railay Beach, the peninsula off of Krabi exquisitely decorated with limestone cliffs and frequented by rock climbers and beach goers. Here, we bathed in the sun and sea as well as took an amazing trip by long tail boat out to deep solo climb off of the limestone cliffs. Stephen and I have only ever rock climbed indoors, so this was our first experience doing some real, outdoor rock climbing. It definitely wasn't beginner level, but all the more fun for us adventurers! We took the boat out to deeper waters, where we stopped near a cliff which literally had a rope ladder hanging off of a jutting cliff, feet from the tossing and turning sea beneath. We had to hoist ourselves onto the hanging ladder and once at the top (rather exhausted from this feat alone), begin rock climbing off of the overhanging cliff. It took a few tries, but we both managed to accomplish our goal. With wobbly knees, blistered fingers and salt water in my eyes and mouth, I somehow managed on my second try to climb about 10 meters up the cliff and jump off into the water below. What a rush. And I have a bruised tailbone from the fall to prove it. :) Our adventure didn't end there. Then, we boarded the boat once again to shallow waters along the beach, where we got to do some snorkeling. It was really fun exploring the sea life below with Stephen. We then traveled to a beach to watch the sunset and finished the day by swimming in the bio-luminescent water made by the plankton. We put our goggles on underwater and as we waved our hands around in front of our eyes, it looked like stars, much resembling floating in outer space.

Within those past 9 days, we also made a trip out to the island of Koh Lanta. Here, we did some volunteering at a place called AsaLanta. We really roughed it here but it was a really genuine experience. Our hosts, Anke and Aoi, live a naturally sustainable life out in the jungle on Koh Lanta. They farm and make their own bamboo furnishings, clay housing, tea, jams, jewelery and many other things. We spent 3 nights there, living basically in a hayloft, with nothing separating ourselves from the jungle but a mosquito net. We utilized the compost toilet daily (quite the experience, considering the enormous spider which made the doorway to this clay fixture its home) and helped Anke with the cooking. We learned bamboo farming from Aoi and how to split and shave bamboo for furniture-making.

 Eating salad on a klab (crab).
 Ao Nang Beach.

 Long-tailing to Railay Beach.
 Picturesque Railay.

 Trying to find a cave.

Aoi, Anke, me and Stephen.

 Leaving Asalanta...

Cliff jumping pictures to come!

Now we're spending our last two days on the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi. Well, it's been quite a rainy beautiful island, but still wonderful.

Stay tuned...our next destination is in Europa! Hallo Deutschland!


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