I'm Just Here For The Food

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Island of Climbers

After a day in Ao Nang, it was time to hit Tonsai Beach. Tonsai is part of the mainland, but due to all the rock formations it is only accessible by boat. It’s also connected to Railey beach which is more of the resort beach, while Tonsai is more of the budget accommodation place. I was told that Tonsai and Railey were the Mecca for climbing in Thailand, and they weren’t lying. The place is a climber’s paradise. There are 600 routes scattered around the area, and I think 75% of the residents on Tonsai were climbers. There is something amazing about being able to leave your bungalow, and be climbing within 10 minutes. The beach is full of good climbing walls and overhangs, and there are even places where you can free-solo (no ropes or safety devices), and when you’re tired you just drop down into the ocean.

So I figured that for my first day I should probably get a guide, and so I headed to Wee’s climbing school, since he was close to by Bungalow, he’s been climbing on the island for years, and he helped write the latest climbing guide book for Thailand. He convinced me that it was about time that I did some lead climbing, and for some reason I agreed. For those of you who know nothing bout climbing, there are basically two types of roped climbing; lead and top-rope. With top rope, the rope is already set up and the belayer takes up the slack so that if you fall, you only drop a few inches. With lead climbing you bring the rope up with you, and hook it through anchors along the way. This means that if you fall, you fall twice the distance of the length of rope between you and the last anchor, so if you’re just about to attach another anchor, you can fall quite a distance. I’ve always been afraid of lead climbing because the falling freaks me out. I have a bad fear of heights, and the only thing that lets me be able to climb is my trust in the safety equipment. Wee just said “Well you trust the equipment, now it’s time to trust yourself” and really who can argue with logic like that.

Well it was scary as hell, but it was also quite fun, and it was a good skill to pick up. My guide was awesome, and such a nice guy. The climbing though was amazing. It’s like all those Karsts and rock formation were put there just to be climbed. And unlike the other places I’ve been, when we got a little tired or hungry, we just went to the closest restaurant and had a drink or snack. And that’s pretty much how I spent the rest of my time in Tonsai. Wake up, climb a bit, eat, relax, climb some more, eat drink, bed. It was quite the life, and I’d return there again in an instant. The only sore point was that for the first time all trip I got a little sick and spent one day just throwing up every few hours, which kind of killed the whole climbing thing. Oh well at least I got a few days in. My last day I was still feeling a little ill, so I decided to head back to Krabi town early so I could try to catch a bus to Ranong the next day.



Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


www.flickr.com
Border Run piperdown1313's Border Run photoset
www.flickr.com
Koh Chang 2 -Tattoo Bugaloo piperdown1313's Koh Chang 2 -Tattoo Bugaloo photoset
www.flickr.com
Tonsai/Railey piperdown1313's Tonsai/Railey photoset
www.flickr.com
Ao Nang/Islands piperdown1313's Ao Nang/Islands photoset
www.flickr.com
Krabi/Tiger Cave Temple piperdown1313's Krabi/Tiger Cave Temple photoset
www.flickr.com
Bangkok piperdown1313's Bangkok photoset
www.flickr.com
Chiang Mei piperdown1313's Chiang Mei photoset
www.flickr.com
Gibbon Experience piperdown1313's Gibbon Experience photoset
www.flickr.com
Muang Ngoi Neua piperdown1313's Muang Ngoi Neua photoset
www.flickr.com
Lao Cooking Class piperdown1313's Lao Cooking Class photoset
www.flickr.com
Luang Prabang piperdown1313's Luang Prabang photoset
www.flickr.com
Vang Vieng piperdown1313's Vang Vieng photoset
www.flickr.com
Vientiane piperdown1313's Vientiane photoset
www.flickr.com
Siem Reap piperdown1313's Siem Reap photoset
www.flickr.com
Phnom Penh piperdown1313's Phnom Penh photoset
www.flickr.com
Saigon piperdown1313's Saigon photoset
www.flickr.com
Mekong Delta piperdown1313's Mekong Delta photoset
www.flickr.com
Nha Trang piperdown1313's Nha Trang photoset
www.flickr.com
Hoi An piperdown1313's Hoi An photoset
www.flickr.com
Hong Kong piperdown1313's Hong Kong photoset
www.flickr.com
Hanoi piperdown1313's Hanoi photoset
www.flickr.com
Ha Long Bay/ Cat Ba Island piperdown1313's Ha Long Bay/ Cat Ba Island photoset
www.flickr.com
Hue piperdown1313's Hue photoset