Sunset at Ko Mook
"living plants are supple and yielding
dead branches are dry and brittle

an inflexible army does not triumph
an unbending tree breaks in the wind

thus the rigid and inflexible will surely fail
while the soft and flowing will prevail"

Excerpt from Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 76

It has been very intriguing to experience life as an extended traveler. It is
full of new adventures every day, new people to meet, new foods to taste...just
newness. And yet the constant change makes one crave the creature comforts we
are used to in the States and Bulgaria. Here in Thailand we have had to get used
to cold showers, non-potable water (you have to buy drinking water everywhere),
no toilet paper in any bathrooms (BYOTP), stomach bugs, and sleeping on the
floor or surrounded by mosquitoes with only a thin net protecting you. At first,
we resisted some of these experiences and were like a stiff tree breaking in
the wind. It only caused suffering and took us away from the experience. So we
have been practicing shedding our preferences here in Thailand. To be o.k. with
the shock of the cold water as it hits your skin or the buzz of the mosquitoes
in your ear. It is in this way that travel makes us more pliant and more
flexible and in the end, much happier.
A fireshow on the beach in Ko Lanta
As for the traveling, we loved our stay in Ko Lanta, especially after the business of Ko Phi Phi. It is a beautiful island covered in sprawling forest and jungle with multiple beaches lining its 30 km long coast. We stayed on the longest beach (3km long) and enjoyed fire shows, beautiful sunsets, and just simple "beach bumming". We also hiked through the jungle to get to Khao Mai Kaew cave where a local guide kept us safe while pointing out sleeping bats and giant spiders in the enshrouding darkness of the cave. See our pics from Ko Lanta here - http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyrxvQF.

In the end, we couldn't resist one more island and headed to Ko Mook to see the  famed Emerald Cave. To get into the cave, we sea kayaked from the beach around the island to this little hole in the limestone (see to the right).

We passed through an 80 meter long tunnel partially in darkness and partially lit by the luminous green glow of the water within (thus the name of the cave). As we emerged through the other side, we were awestruck by the beauty of the lagoon within. All tourists had vacated and we were treated to  turquoise water and a private beach surrounded on all sides by towering cliffs and lush forests. The lagoon is barely accessible by land, making the journey all the more spectacular. In fact, pirates used to store their treasures here back in the day. See the video of us emerging from the pitch blackcave into this little heaven! Also, check out all the pics from Ko Mook here - http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyrzPwg.

So now that the islands are done we have headed north. We took an overnight train from Trang to Kanchanaburi (via a stop over at Nakhon Pathom to see Phra Pathom Chedi, the largest Buddhist monument in the world) and are looking forward to exploring the northern parts of Thailand. Here is a map of our island hopping journey and our movement on the night train:
From A) Ko Phi Phi to B) Ko Lanta to C) Ko Mook to D) Trang
From A) Trang to B) Nakhon Pathom for a short stopover and then to C) Kanchanaburi

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