“after we reached our “om” in cambodia with ancient towers and local laughs, we ventured on back into thailand. our second time entering thailand, and this time like the first, the country seems to be at unrest. from our taxi ride over the border and into bangkok, much more was visible this time around. swat teams on every corner with the plastic shields and army officers manning their perches, all with rifles. still, in our little touristy neighborhood of koh san road, life goes on as normal. little did we know, the morning we arrived one of the main current party leaders (a yellow shirt) was attempted assignation on (by red shirts) in his motor parade by assult rifles. scary stuff, but lucky for us, the swat and army teams on corners was the only witness we had. but, i’m guessing it’s gonna take some major time and consideration before thailand is at peace with itself.
after our short stay in the city, we flew south to krabi, land of emerald seas and rock climbers dream limestone cliffs. first night was spent in krabi town (the province is also named krabi) which is nothing more than a boat launch to the islands around. but we did catch a great weekend market including karaoke, marching band, and delicous food carts. from krabi we headed out to the penninsula of raley. this is the paradise at krabi. split into east and west sides surrounded by towering limestone painted with rockclimbers everywhere. mom and cindy stayed on the fancy west beach while jeff and i bargined for a great bungalow in the center in a breezy grassy valley in the midst of limestones, only 5 minute walk to west or east beach. there’s no cars, only boats, monkeys, birds, great beaches.
on arrival we realized we were just in time for the ‘awards ceremony’ for the annual rock climbing cup and fire dancing contest. so by night the west beach turned into a stage and fire show with live music. after some impressive fire dancing, jazz and then calypso music, we were suprised to see our token thai reggae band, job 2 do, headline the show. jeff and i first heard of them in phuket and then spotted them throughout thailand but we were always a day or 2 behind their shows. so it was fate we’d see them eventually. it was a great show. dancing, drinks, and we got it all recorded…jah rastafari.
after exploring more hidden beaches for a day (by the way, the water temp, way too hot, by far the warmest water any of us have ever swam in), we left onward on a speed boat tour of surrounding islands: hong island, paradise, and two others whose names escape me. we loaded on our speedboat with 16 others and were on our way. cindy, mom and i sat in the front of the boat while jeff got left in the back. the driver said it may be a bit bumpy so beware. man oh man were we in for a ride. there were four others up there with us and we went flying in the air, thank god for the railings we were able to grab ahold of. 20 minutes later we arrived at hong island.
here, we kayaked around the island into a beautiful lagoon, emerald with white sands. once we reached the lagoon, already tired from our paddeling, we decide to go for a swim. jeff asks the guide if there’s a certian area, and he points to the sandy part. unfortunately, mama wasn’t near us to hear these directions, so she leaped off her kayak onto a blanket of coral – sharp glass-like coral. too quickly, her toes and feet got sliced (as seen in the graphic picture). luckily she didn’t loose any limbs, but she sliced her big toe and middle toe pretty bad, as well as the bottom of the other foot. strong as she is, we continued our kayak trip and then back at the beach had the ‘life guard’ do a quick tape job that lasted a short two minutes. we pressed on. we snorkled until it was time to go onto the next island for lunch and more snorkling. by the end of the day, we’d snorkled, swam, sighted a giant monitor lizard which roam these islands, lunched, and bumped our way back to mainland. next day on to phi phi don…