Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ao Nang, and re-entering reality

This one is a little overdue, and I will probably forget stuff as a result, so bear with me. My last stop on "CL's excellent adventure" was a little town in the Krabi province called Ao Nang. It is surrounded by the most amazing forest (jungle?) and rocky cliffs, and again we had the clear beach going on. Wasn't in much of a swimming mood though, so most of my time in Ao Nang was spent sight-seeing, shopping, and indulging in a couple of cultural experiences.

After nearly two weeks of glorious weather, most of my time in Ao Nang was marked with rain. And the worst sinus infection I have had since my uni days. But being ill is not too bad in Thailand, because I walked into a chemist with my self-proclaimed diagnosis, and was promptly given antibiotics and decongestants over the counter! Armed with amoxil and pseudoephidrine, I was able to get on with it.

Wednesday, I visited a shell cemetery just out of town, before I got rained out and returned to the hotel via the extreme public transport experience aka the "Song-thaew", complete with about 20 other people. Shell cemetery reminded me of my geology days at uni, particularly when the entire second year class ended up crawling around the floor of Parliament House in Canberra looking at all the cephlapods... Sweet memories.

On the Thursday, I took part in a kayaking tour of a National Park north of Ao Nang. This was brilliant, as not only did we get to kayak through some caves into otherwise unreachable waterholes and sights of the park, but we saw some 5000 year rock painting (I know, how "young"!), including a big-headed ghost and a six-fingered hand. Last stop was this lagoon called "The Garden of Eden"; just amazing and pics will be up on my Facebook very very soon.

Friday, I was over pretty sights and needed to get back into the cultural side of things, and so in the morning, I booked myself into a cooking school where I actually prepared a 6 dish Thai meal (without burning it)! Despite my green curry being far too mild for my liking, I was pretty surprised at my prowess, and I may even try it again sometime, now that I am back. That afternoon, I jumped into another Songthaew, I set out to see Krabi town. Visited a temple, saw some Neanderthal traffic lights, visited some shops, then headed back in the songthaew (with 27 other people) to get ready for a visit to the Muay Thai ring that night, and see the boxing. It took me a while to figure out what the hell was going in and why people were cheering at certain points during the bouts, but I was fascinated with the ritual of it all, and the speed. All up I saw 9 bouts; littlies all the way through to the adults, and quite enjoyed the experience. I know, strange thing for the likes of me to go and see, but the whole point when going away is to do new things, I reckon!

Started the long trek back to Melbs on Saturday, firstly flying from Krabi to BKK, where I discovered what duty-free shopping is actually supposed to be like, and was incredibly thankful for the smoking rooms provided at Suvarnabhumi Airport (which, as far as airports go, has gotta be one of the better ones I've seen). Then onwards to Melbs on a red-eye flight, which I couldn't sleep on, and couldn't read on because everyone else was managing to sleep :(. At least the weather was grand when I returned to Melbs!

So anyway, thanks for following my travels, and keep a watch out for the pics, as they will be uploaded soon. There's some brilliant ones, most definitely!