After spending 3 more days in Bangkok than I had planned, due to a certain Aussie who I had a damn good time with, I took the all-night bus from Bangkok to Krabi. It's amazing at how quickly one adapts to new surroundings. The first couple days in Bangkok, I spent probably double what I had to on everything, because I suck at bartering. I'd say that on the way out of Bangkok, I had my first encounter which I dealt with properly. I got in a tuk-tuk (motorcycle taxi with seats attached) and told the guy I wanted to go to the hospital, then the bus station. After asking me where I was going, he told me that to get a ticket to Krabi, I have to go to the tourism authority of thailand. I said I was pretty sure I could get a ticket at the bus station, to which he replied "not at this time of day." I told him to take me to the hospital, and of course on the way we stopped at the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Pulling up, he pointed across the street to the police station, and said "See! See!" as if the presence of a police station somehow legitimized this place. I wasn't sure about all this, but went inside. From the minute I walked in, everyone was incredibly friendly and smiling, asking me where I'm from, why I live in Korea, etc. Finally,
"Where are you going this evening?"
"Ah, Krabi, long ride. You want air-con bus?"
"Well, my friend, if you want air-con bus, the ticket is 1200 baht."
"Well that's funny, because this book here tells me the ticket is 580 baht."
"Ah, but you buy ticket from me, 1200 baht, you exchange this voucher for ticket at bus station."
"Why don't I just buy the ticket at the bus station?"
"Cannot, my friend, cannot....(as I'm leaving) My friend, wait my friend!"
At first I was pissed and found this hard to believe. This guy was going to sell me the bus ticket for double the price and was willing to downright LIE to me to get it. I thought about how many people must fall for it, and sort of understood. I may be repeating myself from an earlier post, or just an email I sent someone, but we come here and get SO MUCH for so little, I suppose it's easy for them to see us as walking dollar signs. One thing I do find odd is that the TAT is listed in Lonely Planet as a source of information. Strange, cuz it's obviously just a con-job. Anyhow, I went to the hospital to get a vaccination for Hep-A I hadn't managed to get in Korea, and got to the bus station and took the bus to Krabi. For 580 baht. Yeah, that's right, not ALWAYS a sucker.
On to more exciting things! Krabi, Tonsai, climbing YES!!!! SO MUCH FUN MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE. First day I climbed only a couple pitches and went to bed. Next day, deep water soloing. DWS, for the uninformed is when you climb with no ropes or "solo" over deep water. So rock climbing, but with big scary falls not onto a rope or crash pads, but into the ocean. I think the biggest fall I took was probably 5 or 6 meters, but that was high enough for me. Scary and awesome.
New friend Patrick and I got up at 5:30 to try and beat the sun to Thaiwand wall, hoping to do some multi-pitch. Hangovers, and the fast sun meant we only did one pitch, but watching the sunrise over the bay was unbelievable.
Climbed on Tonsai for about 5 days before heading to Phuket to meet my friend Guy, an English bloke I know from Korea. Had a good time in Phuket, which was far too expensive. Now writing from Krabi, taking a boat to Tonsai in an hour or so. Probably won't write again for a while, as internet on Tonsai is ridiculously expensive, but when I pass back through Krabi, I'll do an update. Much love. Here's some more photos:
The right hand side of Tonsai, just around that bend is Ao Nang, and then Krabi.