Thursday, May 05, 2005


Hat Yai was rather boring so I decided to leave quite quickly. My original plan for Thailand was to visit Ko Tarutao marine park, a group of islands on the border with Malaysia which are supposed to be exceedingly pretty. In the end I decided against it as it is the end of the season and being alone on a beach, again, didn't sound appealing just now. Instead I travelled north to Krabi province and the peninsula of Rai Leh (or Railay). Although Krabi is home to the hyper-touristy resorts of Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta I opted for Rai Leh for a very specific reason: namely rock-climbing. Their karst formations are renowned throughout the rock-climbing community, not just for the beauty of the views (think The Man With The Golden Gun, which, incidentally, was also filmed around here) but also because its climbs have a wide range of difficulties with something for everyone. So I came here to do a beginners course and learn all about the basics of rock-climbing as it is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

I have already completed my first day of the 3-day course, and because I am on my own with the instructor, and have already learnt a great deal. The climbing has been immensely satisfying already, not to mention rather painful too: by the end of the day I had no strength left in my arms (not that I had much to begin with) and my fingers were very raw. So I decided to have a rest day before continuing tomorrow with the torture.

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