Touring the 'Hood

Ao Nang Travel Blog

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Omelet
Yesterday James and I agreed to meet early, to get a jump-start on the day.  As I’ve come to associate with life in southeast Asia, the terms “early” and “jump-start” are relative.  We aimed for 9:30, and a little after 10am were actually on the road.  He insisted we stop at a local family’s restaurant for “the best omelet ever,” even though I generally have light breakfasts and try to keep things like fried eggs at bay.  You have to hand it to him though, he’s good about getting money into the hands of the locals.  I knew this was his aim and prefer my money to go directly to locals rather than large (and often foreign-owned) companies, and so I had an omelet.  I don’t know about best ever; I wouldn’t even call it notable.  But it was good, and certainly the fuel I needed for the day ahead of me.


From Klung Muang we rode about forty-five minutes to a nearby beach called Ao Thalen for sea kayaking.  Bang Dam, one of the locals James introduced me to the evening prior, met us and came along with me.  (James stayed behind while we kayaked.)  Bang Dam is a Muy Thai kick boxer, and earns his living in the ring.  He’s built like most Thais: very slim and lean.  Despite the language barrier, we had a great time.  We kayaked around a sandbar, around several karst peaks that jut straight out of the water, and stopped at a small inlet where there was a big tourist group feeding monkeys.  Bang Dam knew the tour guides and so we were able to snag some fresh fruit ourselves, giving the watermelon and pineapple rinds to the monkeys.  It’s amazing how westerners act in the face of nature.
  We’re all running around taking pictures and giving fruit the monkeys, going absolutely ga-ga.  The Thais must laugh their faces off.

After just a few minutes of monkey antics Bang Dam bid me back to the kayak.  We paddled along the karsts, and into a cove that had a hidden opening in the back.  It was so serene.  We paddled along, spotting more monkeys and birds and a big monitor lizard as we went.  Bang Dam was always the first to see the animals, so cleverly camouflaged in hues of brown and gray, pointing patiently as I visually groped along the terrain and eventually found what he had seen a full minute ahead of me.  Shoulder muscles on FIRE, we finally turned back and paddled back to shore.

By this time it was mid-afternoon, and James and I rode northeast of Krabi, to the Tiger Cave Temple.
  The temple is perched at the top of one of the karst peaks, and is a never-ending climb up countless stairs.  Similar to Moon Hill in Yangshuo or Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, but far steeper than both.  A few points along the way the stairs are literally vertical, as if you’re climbing a ladder, the steps almost waist-high, and so shallow you have to turn sideways lest you crack your knees on the concrete.  It’s a tough climb.  By the time I reached the top I was dripping with sweat.  I had sweat dripping off my elbows and wrists and streams (plural!) down my shins, making the bottoms of my feet wet against my flip flops.  DRIPPING.  The views more than made up for it.  You could see all the way out to the ocean, which was a good ways off.  To the north, there was a storm, and it was neat to see the bolts of lightening and sheets of rain plunging from the dark clouds in the distance.
  So beautiful.

From Tiger Cave Temple we visited a local market, where I bought an Asian pear, sugar snap peas, and fresh papaya for my haul to Bangkok.  I also nabbed a hunk of watermelon and ice cold sugarcane juice, which I sliced and savored as James had his beers during his daily sunset viewing ritual in Ao Nang.  Bang Dam turned up with his girlfriend, and I met John and Richie, two ex-pats with whom I traded stories and travel tips.  It was fun.

It was another action-packed day, and a great one at that.  Talk about a total body workout.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to zooming past elephants and goats and chickens and bulls on a motorbike, all set against such a beautiful landscape.  It’s so wonderful here.  I absolutely love it.
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Omelet
Omelet
Bang Dam
Bang Dam
Ornate intersection in Krabi
Ornate intersection in Krabi
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Sweaty and exhilarated at Tiger Ca…
Sweaty and exhilarated at Tiger C…
View from Tiger Cave Temple
View from Tiger Cave Temple
Look at that cloud!
Look at that cloud!
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Ao Nang
photo by: findmeabeach