To say it’s been a normal week of travelling, would be a bit of an understatement. This week has been a whirlwind rollercoaster of emotions filled with ups & downs and smiles & frowns, but I’ll do it all again if I had to because it’s all part of the backpacking adventure. If there was no drama, there’d be no story to tell and that would be pretty dull.
So here’s what I’ve been getting up to in the last week.
I left the Phi Phi islands to go to Krabi (mainland Thailand), for a few days with some awesome Brazilian friends I had met at my last hostel.
Thanks for letting me join your crew for the few days and teaching me all about the Brazilian culture, way of life, words (shanello = flip flops) and let’s not forget, the amazing Brazilian dance moves! Despite the awful rainy weather, which meant we weren’t able to actually do anything for the first two days apart from eat, drink and
sleep party… I had a great time!
After two days of miserable weather the sun finally decided to come out… it’s a shame it was on the day we said goodbye to Julia and Isabella who were heading back to Brazil. Boo!
But as the sun came out of hiding, we began to explore.
Before I write on, apologies for the lack of pictures. I didn’t take my camera and my phone got stolen… more on that later
Back to Railay Beach… it’s one of the nicest beaches I’ve been to, probably because it’s one of the less ‘touristy’ ones. Although, that’s not to say there aren’t any tourists about, it’s just a much more relaxed atmosphere. It’s easy to get to, we paid 200 Thai bhat each for a return long tail boat ticket from Ao Nang pier. It takes around 15-20 minutes, and if you get the last boat back at 6pm you can watch the sunset as you sail back to mainland. It’s quite beautiful really!
There’s so much to see and do at Railay Beach, from the usual soaking in the sun and topping up your tan, to climbing over rocks and caves, to hiking, diving and kayaking.
I’ve never kayaked in my life (because I can’t swim), but I put on a life jacket and just went for it. Even though there were times that I screamed for my life (because my friend Pedro thought it was funny to shake the boat) and I thought we were going to fall out, it was a brilliant experience and I’d definitely do it all over again. I just need to build up some arm muscles first… oh boy is paddling tough!
Now at the beginning of this post I said this week I’ve gone through a rollercoaster of emotions. I said that because after one of the best beach days; hiking up rocks, catching some sun (after days of rain), and kayaking in the sea with friends, we all went out and my phone got pick-pocketed. I had only been using it to take pictures 5 minutes before it had happened. Everything was on my phone. Everything I needed. My work. My travel itinerary. Important documents and exam stuff for my teaching English course. After a trip to the police station (I’ve never been to one before, especially in a foreign country and it was a scary experience), I headed back to the hostel, had a little cry, contemplated going home, watched a video from my friends and family, talked to my best friend Jess from home and instantly felt better.
After a lot of thought I now know it’s only a phone. Yes it’s annoying that I’ve lost it and important things on there, but the main thing is I’m safe.
I’m out travelling, having the time of my life, meeting great people and creating memories I’ll cherish forever. There are going to be bad days, that’s normal. As Jess said,
So I decided to dry those tears, stop moping around and get on with life. Starting with climbing 1,237 steps to get to the top of Tiger Cave Temple.
Tiger Cave Temple
Ouch doesn’t even come close to explaining the pain of reaching the top of the temple. It’s 1,237 steps to the top, and by steps, don’t expect the normal sized steps. They’re all different heights and sizes. Some are big, some are small, and you’re a bit of a shorty like me, you’ll be almost climbing up some of the steps on all fours. Ok that was a slight exaggeration, but it’s close enough.
I went with two friends from the hostel. We started the climb around 5:00pm and reached the top around 5:45pm. That’s including several water breaks and stop for our legs to recharge.
It was the perfect time to climb as it wasn’t as hot as it would have been earlier on in the afternoon. It also meant we could stake out a spot at the top before more people came, to watch the sunset over Thailand.
And when you reach the top… it is stunning. (My pictures don’t do the views any justice.)
So what else is there to do in / near Krabi? How about a spot of rock climbing?
There are so many organised climbing groups in Krabi, it can be hard to choose one which is safe, reliable and not way out of your budget. I decided to go with ‘King Climbers’ as reviews seemed good and they were recommended from my hostel.
I paid 900 Thai Bhat / around £20, which included:
- pick up and drop off from hostel/hotel
- return boat trip to Railay Beach – where the climbing takes place
- all equipment
- drinking water
- half day climbing with an expert guide
Now I’ve only ever been indoor climbing twice and that was back home in the UK. If you’re expecting it to be relatively similar, think again. Apart from the ropes and equipment, climbing outdoors in the blazing heat, with no air-con, mosquitos hovering around trying to bite you, rocks giving you cuts and bruises, and no hand or foot bars to lead the way up… well it’s just a completely different ball game.
But it is super fun! It’s so rewarding when you get to the top and look down. It’s a great work-out as well because you’re using all of your muscles to climb. My whole body was in pain the next day… but it felt great!
If you’ve never rock climbed outdoors before, I’d highly recommend it. King Climbers are a great company to do it with as well. Our guide Boy was brilliant. He made sure I kept going all the way up when all I wanted to do was stop and have a break!
Current location: Blogging from Bangkok