Touring the 'Hood
Ao Nang Travel Blog› entry 103 of 174 › view all entries
December 26th, 2009 – by: domnicella
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. Heâ€™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. Itâ€™s amazing how westerners act in the face of nature.
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.
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. Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™ll ever get used to zooming past elephants and goats and chickens and bulls on a motorbike, all set against such a beautiful landscape. Itâ€™s so wonderful here. I absolutely love it.
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