World Travel with a Twist of Zen - Fields of Indulgence  
 
The next leg of our trip found us traveling by bus across Southern Thailand from
the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea coastline. As we drove, towering palm
tree farms alternated with lush forested areas, each more beautiful than the
next. When we neared the coast, huge freestanding stacks of limestone covered
with bright green trees began appearing. Their stone countenances jutting upward
into the sky looked like they had been carved right out of the ground! A little
more research into these fascinating formations showed they were formed through
years of erosion. The land now making up Krabi province was totally underwater
at one point and while it was, the sea was busy producing the wonderful artwork
that she would later reveal to us land. Because these stacks are made out of
limestone, which is of medium hardness, they are hard enough to remain
freestanding and not collapse while also being soft enough to continue eroding
from rainwater - forming caves, interesting discolorations, and massive
stalactites. When looking at these seemingly permanent mountains that
are also ever-changing, it reminds us of how permanent we see ourselves and our
lives, though in actuality they are constantly shifting.
Picture
Overlooking Krabi province with its many limestone stacks
Having changed locations yet again, we are starting to settle into this
rhythm of movement and stillness. Krabi town was a great quick stopover and
found us climbing 1257 steps straight up one of these limestone stacks to see
Wat Thamsua (the Tiger Temple) and the 360 degree views of the landscape that
the temple afforded. We celebrated Chinese New Year in Krabi’s the night market
with wonderful fresh squid stir-fried with green beans, seafood suki soup,
yakatori balls, and mango sticky rice. In the morning, we got up early for a
traditional Thai breakfast in Soutern Thailand’s largest morning market. The
bustling market (which runs from 4am-8am) offers fresh fruit and veggies, a
range of meats, and a variety of meals for breakfast. We opted for the
traditional “jok” – a rice porridge dish with generous amounts of fresh ginger
and garlic, minced meat, cilantro, green onion, and overeasy egg on top which is
then mixed in with everything.
For pics from this leg of the trip, click here - http://flic.kr/s/aHsjydSga2
Picture
Spicy chilli peppers at the Krabi morning market
We became beach bums again and found an amazing spot – Ton Sai beach next to
Railay off of the Ao Nang coast. The stacks here are just gorgeous and we see
them every time we walk out of our bungalow. We rock climbed another stack for
an amazing 360 view, only to then free climb down several 15 feet drops  to
discover a hidden lagoon in the middle of the stack. The climb and getting down
was quite exhilarating and scary as there were several points when we weren’t
sure where to put the next foot! After two days of intense climbing, we settled
here for a few more days. With yoga on the beach, massage, and hiking in
undisturbed jungle, it was difficult to leave this paradise. However, the stacks
teach us that even as things seem permanent, they are also always changing. To
us, they remind us to enjoy these wonderful moments while not grasping onto them
when our travels take us onward.
For the pics from this amazing location (our favorite beach so far!), click here - http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyk7mUT
Picture
Jungle viewpoint overlooking Railay Beach
We made a quick stop at Ko Phi Phi to see what the fuss was all about and found
it to be beautiful but awfully crowded. Today, we visited Ko Phi Phi Leh (the
hidden island where ‘The Beach’ was filmed) and we found it to be anything but
hidden. Tourists teamed over the tiny Maya Bay leaving it difficult to
appreciate the natural beauty surrounding us. We quickly departed the crazyness
of Phi Phi to find our next and probably final island for now, Ko Lanta.
For pics from Phi Phi, click here - http://flic.kr/s/aHsjykq6H2
JaneP
1/28/2012 01:33:58

Those peppers...what a visual! Were they edible, or entirely too hot to handle?

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