Leg 3 of my fall adventures... Thailand! We ended our South East Asia trip in, what could only be described as, tropical paradise. Warm, salty ocean, monkeys as common as squirrels, sweltering humidity, amazing food and stunning cliffs begging to be climbed and jumped! We arrive in Krabi and all pile in a van to take us to our longboat. I know immediately that I have fallen in love with Thailand as we pull up to the ocean. We buy our boat ticket and wade out to thigh deep water carrying our suitcases on our heads. The long boat ride is about 20 minutes to get us to Tonsai Bay. We pull in at low tide and drag our bags across the rocky ocean floor up to our hotel. I love Tonsai because there was no wifi, no electric for half the day and no cars. That night, we all sit and have dinner below the cliff we'll be jumping.
South East Asia Trip: Part 3 - Thailand - Jill Kuzman
Next day there we hike over to some sport climbs on the Railey side. We slept in a little and missed low tide, so we'll be hiking the back way through the trees. Beautiful humid jungle scene with monkeys bouncing from tree to tree. This really is tropical paradise. The climbing was awesome. Had a blast trading leads with my friend Douggs and watching a few of our friends try climbing for the first time. We head home on the beach since the tide is moving out. I proceed to pick up shells. A hobby of mine, no no... obsession of mine for the next week. (I'm not kidding. I had to have a 'cut' for the shells I brought back home.)
We get up early to beat high tide and strong afternoon winds. Snag a quick breakfast, then we're off to the hike. Now I was warned before I got to Thailand, that you better have some climbing skills, or you're going to have a hard time getting to the jumps. They weren't lying. The hike starts with a traverse 10 feet off the ground across this wall dripping with water. Move onto the climb up the tree covered in fire ants. Climb up some vines until you emerge out of the canopy of trees to the most beautiful view I've ever seen. Then scramble across the sharp rocks formations until you make it to the gear up ledge.
There's 4 of us on the jump both times I jumped it. Only 2 of you can comfortably gear up on this ledge. After gearing up, I climb down to the exit point. I mean that literally this time. It's a point over top of a concave wall. Exposure. No need to stand around and think about it. I'm out! Bam. On heading opening to a morning beach flight in front of all the people having breakfast. The ground rush is insane off this wall. Watching the people on the ground get closer and closer. It's exhilarating. Oh and did I mention it's in tropical paradise?! We finished our post jump high fives just in time for the tide to come in and the ocean winds to pick up.
Thailand, I almost didn't leave you. BASE jumping in tropical paradise?! I don't know if I've ever even had dreams this good. But that drunk guy who ruined my jenga game at the bar that night... well... he looked a little too much like Charles Manson.
I left a little piece of my heart in Tonsai. I'll be back here for it, for sure.