I'm Just Here For The Food

Sunday, April 09, 2006

TAR Flashback #3 - Tiger Cave Temple

So after spending a few more days in Ko Chang, I decided that it might be time to move on. I mean I loved Koh Chang, but really, there wasn’t much to do there, and you can only read, and play volleyball for so long, before you feel that it’s time to see some more of Thailand. I had heard that there was some good climbing in Krabi, so I took the boat back to Ranong, and headed to the bus station, where I found out that I had missed the last bus to Krabi, and would have to spend the night in Ranong. Now if there is very little to do in Koh Chang, then there is even less to do in Ranong. They do have a really good market, so I wandered around that for a bit trying various foods from the stalls. All the signs were in Thai though, so I just had to point to things and pray for the best. More often than not it was damn good.

The next day I got onto the bus for Krabi town, and spent the night in the Chan Cha Lay guesthouse that was one o the nicest I’ve been too. It really reminded me of a Cape Cod kind of guesthouse, with the whole place done up in whites and blues, and the people were super friendly. I went for dinner at one the most beautiful restaurants in Thailand, and had an amazing seafood meal. The place was a bit out of town, but definitely worth the walk.

The next day it was off to the Tiger Cave Temple, which was the pit stop in leg nine of TAR. The Place was amazing. We never really got to see it on the show, but it was one of the most beautiful Wats I’ve been to. It’s in the woods, and there are paths all through out the jungle, with caves to explore, and some of the weirdest trees I’ve ever seen. The Highlight (or low light maybe) was the statues on the top of the mountain that you access by climbing over 1300 stairs. In 45-degree heat, I was sweating like crazy by the time I got to the top. Along the way there are a bunch of monkeys, and signs warning you that the monkeys steal things. And they do! One little bastard tried to steal my water bottle out of my backpack, and let me tell you it freaked me the fuck out, since I didn’t see the bastard coming, and then just felt a tugging at my pack. The climb was really nice though, and the view from the top was well worth the effort. You could see all of Krabi Town, and since it was a clear day you could even see the ocean. Even the Buddha statue on top was great.

One of the only bad things was the lack of respect the other tourists were paying to the Wat. In all of South East Asia, the dress at Wats and Royal places is supposed to be respectful. This means long pants, covered shoulders, and no sandals (although this isn’t such a biggie). Heck in the Royal Palace in Bangkok, they usually have to give clothes to people to fit the dress code. Yet all over the place there were people breaking these rules, and it’s really a shame. The monks hate it, and really consider it disrespectful to what they do; yet usually they are too nice to say anything. The rules are clear, and they’re in any guidebook you see so there really isn’t a reason to break them, except that people just don’t seem to care. Heck in the tiger cave temple I saw people walking around without shirts on which is just ridiculous. I mean would you go to church with your shirt off? I know it’s hot, and everything, but come on at least try and respect the culture.





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