We're just back from Hat Ton Sai near Railay in Thailand. It was one of the best places we've been on our entire trip thus far and definitely our favorite spot in Thailand. That is a nice surprise, because we were only planning on popping over for a few short days to visit KT's friend Rissa and her brothers Zac and JT. That turned into many adventures over six days.
Ton Sai is a secluded beach on the Andaman Coast near Krabi. It is the climbing mecca of Thailand and when you arrive, you can definitely see why. The small beach is absolutely surrounded by stunning karst cliffs. Most cliffs are full of stalagtites and huge overhangs. The climbing style is more powerful than a lot of the vertical walls with smaller holds that you find elsewhere in the world.
We spent two days climbing. The first day we hired our own gear, found a suitable wall and taught ourselves how to lead climb. That's where you place your own quick releases in the bolts (in case you fall on the way up) and set the top rope. We both did well - the highest top rope that we each placed was about 15 meters. The second day we spent doing deep water soloing. That's where you free-climb on cliffs that overhang water deep enough to dive/fall into. It was beautiful and we did some somewhat challenging ascents. It was scary to do so on slippery rocks without any safety device. Perhaps most scary of all was the final jump and tombstone into the water. The highest was about 15 meters. One final note - climbing up stalagtites = epic.
The beach itself was a cool scene. Most people there are only there to climb and the community was really friendly. There are a few small food spots and three rasta bars. We definitely spent a few late nights at the bars watching fire-spinning and practicing the slack line. Oh, and one night we watched a man combine the two. It was amazing - he did poi, fire staff, AND spun multiple staffs at a time all the while balancing on the slack line in different positions.
It was great to spend time with Rissa, Zac, JT, and the other like-minded travellers on Ton Sai. We've been travelling together for so long without a consistent social scene and it was nice to see the same people multiple times a day and go do activities with them. With Rissa, Zac, and JT we took kayaks out in the evening one night, swam from a beach to small island, practiced a lot of slack line, and fought off marauding macaques.
We saw great wildlife whilst there. Almost every day we watched a few families of wild gibbons hanging out in the canopy above us. We saw a baby monitor lizard and a lot of big toads. Cody also killed a number of cockroaches and a wolf spider in the room.
Next up, we fly north and see what happens. Until next time,
~cody & KT