Right in the Thick of It.
So, a friend of mine recently brought to my attention the fact that I haven't been writing on my blog. Well, cut me some slack, I'm living in a bamboo bungalow in the jungle surrounded by a fortress of limestone cliffs. If I wanna use the interweb for any substantial amount of time, I must make the trek to the mainland, yadda yadda yadda. Oh who cares.
Ton Sai is AMAZING! Gorgeous limestone, all of it bolted, everywhere. So, a day in the life of an unemployed climbing bum:
In the mornings, most of the crew meets at the little shack near the beach officially called "The Rendezvous" or something, but only referred to by us as "Chicken Mama's" owing to the fact that one of the friendly proprietress' many specialties is barbecued chicken. She also cooks a mean omelet for 20B, and this holds second place behind mango sticky rice as the most popular breakfast. Rubbing our eyes, talking-smack and planning the day as people rotate in and out, we figure out where we're climbing, finish breakfast and usually Dum the beach dog gets a few scraps from the table. (Side note: Dum is an incredible machine. Though I seem to remember people saying dogs can choke on cooked chicken bones, he demolishes them with the zest of a wood-chipper and doesn't bat an eye. I wouldn't be surprised to walk up one morning and find him gnawing on a hunk of depleted uranium.) From there it's off to the rock, possibly packing some of chicken mama's take-away along if we're going to one of the more remote walls.
Ton Sai, Railay East and Railay West are home to a couple dozen of the sweetest limestone crags around.
After a full day of climbing, with lunch at Kruie Thai or Chicken Mama's (or if you're really in the know the "Curry Man" behind Chicken Mama's) thrown in the middle, people retire to their bungalows for a couple hours, or the night, before those that are up for a party head to one of the few bars open during low season. The "few bars" is a little misleading. In Sokcho, a town of 90,000 people that is not particularly seasonally based, there are only 3 or 4 that we frequent. On Ton Sai alone, without going over to Railey, there are at least three popular options: Sawatdee Bar, Chill-out Bar, or Small World Bar. After a few beers, many spliffs, maybe a fire show, possible slacklining, and every once in a while, some dancing, everyone stumbles off to their bungalows (or someone else's) in preparation of doing it all again. Here's the view from the bungalow I shared (up until two days ago) with a Frenchman named Roman:As you can see, we're a well-oiled machine over here. Laundry is a constant companion on the porch, because if you don't catch the sun, it can take a week for your clothes to dry in the humidity. MMMMMMM......Musty!
On rest days, I usually spend some time at Pyramid Bar run by an incredibly friendly man named Chai, and his sister Nee. They have shitloads of comic books, and are right down the street from Nut and Thom's where you can get a killer massage for 250B. So that's "a day in the life of".
Now, I figured some of you might be interested in the day to day goings on here in Ton Sai, but before this blog becomes some sort of travel guide for the incredibly lazy, I'd like to relate some more personal experiences. See next post.