Archive for April, 2013

Rocks and Fire in Thailand

Posted in Asian Winter Odyssey 2010-11, Travel Asia with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

As part of my Asian Winter Odyssey in 2010 and 2011, I went to Thailand with my then-boyfriend Rowan and our friends Timmy and Jo.  I had been traveling with my co-worker Kevin and his boyfriend Matt, and after India they headed back to Macau and I connected with Rowan and company in Hong Kong.  Our Thailand adventure was mainly spent in Ton Sai (amazing) which was bookended by a day in Ao Nang (due to boat schedule), which in turn was bookended by a day in Bangkok (due to flight schedule).  Hey, at least it was symmetrical.  🙂

Ton Sai 3 thru 6 December

I’m skipping our first stint in Bangkok because I got a migraine and spent most of the time asleep and also skipping our first stint in Ao Nang because I spent most of that time in Krabi hospital (due to the rabies incident).

When we boarded our little boat from the beach of Ao Nang to the beach of Ton Sai, the awesomeness of our trip truly began.

Wikitravel labels Ton Sai as “rough around the edges,” which, honestly is perfect for our group.  It is quite jungly (with MONKEYS) and much less built up than neighboring Rai Leh.

Wikitravel also says that Ton Sai is more of a “doing” destination than a “seeing” destination.  And this is quite true.  Even the things “to see” involve quite an amount of “doing” to get there.

Day One

Our first day, we walked across the beach in low tide to visit Rai Leh beach (less rocky).  I was very excited to try out my new waterproof camera.

Success!

As you can see, the photo is less than impressive.  Bummer.  Shortly after this photo, the camera stopped working.  Double bummer.  Waterproof? I guess not.

That night we tried out slack-wire walking (think tight-wire, but not, you know, tight) and fire twirling.

Jo does pretty well

Ro does OK.

But how does the cat do?

Oooooh fire… (luckily my “waterproof” camera was not my only camera)

I took many many more fire twirling photos but for the sake of browser loading time, I will move on.

Day Two

The next day we took a boat trip to Phra Nang Beach and also did a rather adventurous hike to the lagoon.

You can see the Phra Nang Princess in the rock (She’s ORANGE)

We geared ourselves up for our pending climbs by watching this guy.

Fisherman plant these phalluses as a shrine for Phra Nang.

After lunch, we trekked to the lagoon.

The trail was clearly marked as dangerous and slippery.

That small sign did little to prepare us for the sheer difficulty of the hike.  The trail was quite muddy and slippery and some of it was essentially vertical and required climbing up or down ropes that have been strategically placed along more challenging areas.  I spent a good bit of the trail scooting up and down on my bum or crawling on all fours.  It was a robust workout.

A view of Rai Leh from the trail to the lagoon.

I have no pictures of the lagoon, unfortunately.  I was way too covered in mud to attempt to touch my camera.  However, the lagoon was pretty much a gigantic swamp of mud due to low rainfall.  We tromped around in the knee high mud for a while and then clambered our way through the trail back to our bungalow.

Day Three

The next day we played monkey and went climbing.

Up up I go!

All the way to the top!

So strong!

Soon it was time to say good-bye to Ton Sai and return to Ao Nang then Bangkok then on to a new adventure.

Good-bye Thailand, it’s been swell.

See more photos of our trip to Thailand here.

 

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Weekly Travel Themes: Benches

Posted in Life in Singapore, new york, Travel Asia, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

I have to say thank you to my friend Luc, who prompted me to write a new blog post.  It’s been ages and I have no good excuse other than laziness.  So merci, Luc!  No more laziness for me!

Anyway, I’ll offer another segment of Weekly Travel Theme and this week it’s Benches. I am particularly inspired by this theme because my favorite way to see a new city is to walk.  I often set off with no direction and just wander and watch.  Benches provide a wonderful resting point during my travels.  I’ve sat upon some beautiful benches in beautiful spots.

Get on the bench. The banana bench. Prague, Czech Republic.

Even Rubber Ducky needs a rest in Dublin, Ireland.

A very welcoming bench in the port of Kusadasi, Turkey.

Aya and Sita save a spot for me at Lou Lim Ieoc Park in Macau.

This bench tells it like it is in Naples, Italy.

Dragon bench in Bruges, Belgium.

Don’t mind if I do in Singapore. (I think this is the ONLY graffitied bench in all of Singapore)

Dali’s lip bench in Berlin, Germany.

Comfortable? In Hangzhou, China.

A Gaudi-esque mosaic bench at Grant’s Tomb in NYC.

The real deal in Barcelona, Spain.

and lastly…

Not exactly a bench…but freaking cool. Marshall poses with “Blue Guy Sitting”*

* part of “The Art of the Brick” exhibit by Nathan Sawaya at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.