Category Archives: Travel

7 Days In Tonsai

きき : why ah lai never talk one
me : work gua. backlog of 1 week work

Yes folks, that’s the consequences you face for sucking on coconuts while having sea breeze smothering your cheeks and arms, hampered only by occasional vicious but dull mosquitoes… staring blanks out to the sea as far as your eyes can see. Surrounded by enchanting awe bewildering formations of lime stones… it makes you tilt your head so far back that your jaw just opens up slowly… some more sensuous than others. That’s a warning for you. That is Tonsai for you. And that is Tonsai for me, again. Again for 7 straight days.

I have never spent so much time on an island. I believe my dark bronze skin will be a testament of that. I am not even sure I could call it dark bronze. It seemed a bit too much. Haha… will try to avoid being in the sun for now.

I slept well on Friday night, before the departure. The anticipation or excitement was not as strong as the first and Guinness did some work too. Brought 5 bottom, 5 top, 4 boxers and 1 towel. One joker brought like 14 tshirts. God knows how many change of pants he lugged along. Why on earth did he bring such an atrocious amount of clothing one would ponder. At first glance it might be this bozo has no clue about going outdoor. Hello… it’s a climbing trip… not let’s go to Penang makan trip… wake up. But very soon, his motive became obvious, he was there to snag a piece of ass. Really a bad example, especially with him handing down his methods to his “kah cheng”. A girl dragged her suitcase out to Krabi too. That’s a little shocking for the rest of us. Lucky for them the amount of tagging the luggage is very limited. LCCT to Krabi airport, 5 minute walk to private taxi, 5 minute walk to the boat and 15 minute walk to the guesthouse.

Continue

Wait let’s rewind a little. *DJ does the sound fx*
Let’s go back to the part where I waited for Rolly Polly and his parents to pick me up. Time check… around 7.30am. Not wanting them to drive all the way in to my place, I walked out to the security post and waited. Finally got the chance to hang out for a while with the personnel there. Been nodding and lifting my hands at them for a long time but never really spoke to them. Made small talk with them and apparently there is a senior citizen who bullshits there every morning. Providing them some pre-breakfast humor. According to the guards, it’s the same old shit, different day only. Just laugh a little won’t hurt anyway. Made the old man feel good. I listened while waiting for the car to arrive. Unfortunately it seems that Rolly has made several wrong turns. He did not leave any breadcrumbs. Soon after the others was calling and messaging me too, concern about where-the-hell-am-i with the where-the-fuck-are-you tone. I decided to walk out to the NZX area to meet them but instead I walked all the way out, nearly reaching the LDP Highway and even contemplating to take a cab when finally they found the right path. Hallelujah. And the angels sing. The monkeys scream. The bulldogs drink. Whatever. I was a little pissed but I felt bad too because they too had their share of morning frustration. Reached the LRT station and thanked auntie and uncle like the well-mannered individual that I am. Time check, nearly 9am.

The rest was already boarding the Air Asia bus. Just in the nick of time. Sat beside Mimi and tried to pick up some Japanese. Observed Jojo who seated adjacent to us. She look excited. Cannot sit still. Put on sunnies, take out headlamp, check batteries, take off sunnies, grab a book, cross her legs, pull curtain, pullback curtain, meddle with the bag, put legs down, put the book back… repeated it till we reached LCCT. It was a funny sight. The rest was behind us happily chattering about climbing in Tonsai, Krabi. Normally I dislike noisy groups while commuting but haha what to do. But still tolerable compared to the girl group that was seated in front of us on the plane. Yes, let’s cut to the in-flight nuisance. The wait at McDonald’s for departure was boring anyway. The girls were all made up. Thick coatings, fake eyelashes, extra large sparkly pupils, strappy kicks, swirly and straight hairdos, body hugging tops, push up bras, mini skirts or short pants, shaved pits and legs… the works yeah. Huddle them together and they are ready to bitch and laugh out loud. A few of them stood for half the flight hunching over the headrest to express their excitement for all to hear. My friend got an eyeful of smooth carrot legs. His eyes lapped up every inch. My seat was not accessible. Damn. It was obvious that the other passengers was clearly annoyed. One went Shut up!!! but it fell on deaf ears. Before it got any worse, we landed.

And so begin the 45 minutes ride in a private taxi to Aonang jetty. Due to Jojo’s pumping adrenaline and high anticipation to rest her foot on the sands of Tonsai, everything from the transfer from airport to jetty and Aonang to Tonsai happened real fast. Soon we found ourselves haggling over rooms at Pasook. Clearly the operators have trouble understanding us. Did a few rounds from room to counter before finally settling down. 400 baht a night shared by 3 person. Although the power are cut off at 6am everyday but it was comfortable enough. We won’t be in the room in the daytime anyway. Naps are taken at Freedom Bar with a cool drink an arm’s length away, cool breeze, crashing of waves, warm hot sun while reggae music lulls you to sleep. The gentle sways of coconut leaves above seems to hypnotize you further. Unbeknown to many, they usually wake up a bit over toasted. But it’s all good.

Continue

We actually planned to do some night climbing but we always spent our energy in the day time which practically made us mashed potato at night. At least that was what I felt. I joined the rest for a beer on the first night. The following nights, after a cold shower I would lie down on the bed, knowing mighty well that I will just get on the first bus to dreamland and miss the beer sessions. And I did not even get a single puff that I wanted. Disappointed. I was asleep before 11pm, every day and wake up around 6.30am. Brush up and have a cold shower before heading out for breakfast. I had mine at Chai’s Pyramid Bar during most of my stay. Tried the restaurant at the beachfront once… although it’s buffet and slightly more expensive but the selection does not seem nearly as hearty as Chai’s. I alternate between Muesli with Fresh Fruit and Yoghurt, Tuna Meltz and Grill Cheese and Ham (for this I prefer Ciabatta than Wholemeal). And it was at Chai’s place too that I got possessed as soon as my index finger flipped over the cover. Its been a long time since I laid my hands on graphic novels. I did enjoy Tin Tin a lot a long long time ago. So here I was, all wide eyed and serious, buried deep in Ironman, DareDevil, Steve Rogers aka Captain America, Spiderman… all these fascinating characters in their own executed plots. I looked forward to breakfast everyday… it usually stretched to about 2 and the half hours. I even went back during tea time to finish up Ironman while Lil Person and Ck was scaling up Humanality. But who’s cares? Time was not an issue here. We just do whatever we felt like whenever we wanted to. Aaa… this so far is the most relaxing trip I ever had.

Dinner at Krueythai (definitely spelled wrongly) seldom goes wrong. On the first night I had some grilled barracuda. They even have salmon, tuna and squid too. Although it was fresh and yummy but it was not enough for me at all. Had to order a pad thai to fill me up. Burp. After a few days, dinner time turns to be the best hours to catch up on our daily activities. We traded climbing tales, sharing laughs and weaving a big blanket of gossip. We dine and drank… like small time village head, laughing so hard into the night. The gossip part was fun as each was giving their own version of what they saw and how they perceived the situation. I think 40%, I think success rate 30%, I think 0%… all the debate and opinion just flew across the table followed by roars of laughter with the people that we are talking behind their backs seated few tables in front of us.

As the holiday reaches the end, everyone was proven wrong. We rubbed our eyes, nudged each others in the ribs, unable to believe what was happening as it passes us by. Hand in hand they stroll. After the storm has passed, we turn to each other for a laugh and I resumed to stroke the curves of my Singha with calloused fingers. Yet strangely enough, when light came the next day, everything seemed like normal. No physical action, with the male still executing smooth moves from his manual, which to us might be along the lines like “How to successfully turn your charm on like an Energizer Bunny and Pose on a bouldering wall despite injuring your shoulder.” Being the generous individual that he is, he shares moments of handy tips with a relative who tagged along. A witness of some miraculous phenomena, relative made moves too. But sadly, in his own words and I quote “the ship has left the port a long time ago”

Crap. I just realized I did not mention anything about the climbing there.

Krabi Shots #2

This has got to be the single post with the most shots of me in it.
The poser. It’s great to be able to put my photoshop knowledge to good use.

Tonsai Beach.
Eat when you are hungry.
Sleep when you are tired.
Climb when you want to.
No one wears a watch here except one of our friend in our group. Duh.


Dead pufferfish. Did not dare go up close. Afraid that it will pop.
Grigri on me.

Grigri on table.




On our way for breakfast.

Watching JH climb. The one with the Le Petit Prince tattoo.

Top rope on Lion King

This should be Luke doing bouldering on the beach.
Silhouette of Grigri.

Third pitch. Waiting to going over to rappelling station.

View from third pitch.

Rappelling down… think it was about 60-70 meters
SC… familiar pose?

Mingling at Freedom Bar, Tonsai Beach.
Favorite pastime. Lie down and watch.



Taro is nice.

Home made ice cream. It has barley and some other nuts buried underneath.
Local breakfast. Very nice.

Krabi Shots #1

Here is a small portion of photos taken by me. We have four cameras and it’s gonna take a long while before I get through them. Most are taken in Railey. Figured I post some pictures that would not bore the crap out of you guys. More to come…



Sunset on Pranang Beach, Railay

Downtown Railay… Real Coffee? Am not too sure of the name.

This is the rock overlooking Freedom Bar on Tonsai Beach.
First meal on Tonsai. Some spicy beef thing.



Recognize any of the brands?

Tuna Melt.

Muesli with fresh fruit and yogurt.

Lie down, watch people climb, read, sunbath… do whatever you want.

1½ Hours To New Found Home

Doubt any of you, or most, noticed that I have been gone for a week. A full week off work. Oh… it feels so so nice. Went off to Thailand on a Sunday morning and got back on Friday afternoon. Though it’s only an hour and a half journey away but aaa… I feel so at home. Well, it was actually after 2 days before I felt right at home.

I was in Krabi. On an island where Railay and Tonsai beach are. Surrounded by magnificent formation of limestone with trees stretching out to the clouds. Gentle sea breeze with warm sunshine. Great local food paired with delicious fresh fruit juices for the day and cold smooth refreshing Singha at night. The feeling of waking up to the friendly Sa-wa-dee-kaap of locals and Hi-Hello’s of the foreigners are simply wonderful. Since it is low season now… the crowd is much smaller and recognizing faces are so much easier. After a day in Tonsai beach, we kind of know the people there. Which is the best place to eat, which stalls serves the best pancakes, where to see fireshow, where to get our daily fix of tuna melt and muesli with fresh fruits and yoghurt and even where to huddle together for some tv time while sharing drinks and a joint.

We wasted 2 nights on Railay beach… pardon me but I am a climber so Railay is a definite no no for me. It’s more of a tourist place. Where people go to have a sun tan, walk around on the beach ogling at female and male bodies alike, waiting for sunrise/sunset, wondering what to do after 2 days on the beach… hitting the bars with high hopes of meeting some other intellectual being… yeah I know. It’s their way of unwinding. But for us, climbers, our way of enjoying the views there are being at least 30-40 meters high up while clinging on to some stalactite. Climbing hard and celebrating it with cold beers and great music when the day is over. I am really amazed that they play a whale load of nice music. Really nice ones.

I missed it before I even left my footprints on the island. I missed Tonsai. Will continue when I find time. I got one week of work to catch up. Hoo hoo. Loads of photos to choose to post up. Expect some shameless semi nude ones.

Pop-gan-mai-kaap

The Taiwan Drama

As I am sitting alone here in the living room looking at Crumbs, can’t help but to listen to my dear bro and dear YF squabbling. Those two fellows are going on a holiday and at 12am, no bags are packed yet. Their flight is 14 hours from now. What’s even more commendable is that they have not gone to a money changer to get some Taiwan Dollar. And being first timers on such a long way from home… they really amazes me. But somehow their last minuteness adds to the excitement. The adrenaline rush thats gradually building up to the moment their airplane takes off. Racing against time to get everything packed will surely ignite their imagination. Well, it works that way for me at least. I would spend a good hour or two wondering what I would be experiencing, which will get me exhilarated and eyes wide shut. Kubrick movie title. Yup.

Suddenly the silence dawns on me. The din those two holidaymakers were making earlier seemed to have died out. Let me steal a look. Hang on.

Reporting in.
YF is busy packing while my brother, the hero is sitting in front of the computer. What audacity. Well he might be doing some research for his trip and all but hey, with me adding spices to the situation, it makes this post more blog worthy. Guess they won’t have time to check on my blog tonight and by the time they are reading this… haha… it’s already published.

My brother just beckoned me over. To see a forwarded email attached with some tattooed puff dragon… damn… and at this hour. It’s confirmed my brother is not doing anything but hey, the efficiency rate is damn high. In under 20minutes they have already packed what they wanted. Bravo!

I am tired. Need to wash up and rest. A full day tomorrow.

Reflection Room Back In Biz

I blogged about them before but for those of you who don’t know what it is about… here:

Reflection Room is, at its heart, an Art project. Its concept is to wed artistic expression, living space and material recycling. The tone is always colorful, fun, kitsch and accessible to everyone. Each room is inspired by the individuality of Thai artists, freedom of expression and recycling for meaningful urban lifestyle. Reflections Rooms is a friendly boutique for guests who love Art and Fantasy, and desire a different and out-of-ordinary experience staying in Bangkok.

Reflection Room has 17 unique rooms, each specially designed by talented Thai artists, commissioned by art impresario and owner Anusorn Ngernyuang. The artists also create innovative products for everyday use which are on sale. Their expressive paintings and objects are on display at the funky gallery-restaurant, combining artistic soul, great food, and the buzz of Bangkok street life.

In July last year they temporarily closed for renovation but reopened early this year for reservation. But they actually relocated to a new area, a lot more nearer to the weekend market Chatuchak. Currently they have completed 17 rooms but the expected units will be 44. They even introduced 4 news rates ranging from 1850 baht to 3450 baht. You can read about the designer and concept behind the room too. Wanted to stay here but since they were close, the people in Reflection recommended me LUXX Hotel instead. I still prefer Reflection Room after all.
grey day room
Room 211 – Grey Day
listen room
Room  305 – Listen Continue reading

Iron Road aka Via Ferrata up Mount Kinabalu

I have been wanting to go and try conquering Mt. Kinabalu for a few years now. Listened to stories told by friends and most of them are of beautiful greens and captivating sunrise. How excited I am now… to have found another alternative route that leads up to the summit. It’s going through the Iron Road / Via Ferrata up to Mount Kinabalu.

What the crap is Via Ferrata?
Via ferrata, or iron road, is a mountaineering sport that originated in Italy during World War 1. It is a mountain route equipped with fixed rungs, rails, cables, stemples (crossbars and supports), ladders and bridges.
It makes otherwise isolated routes accessible to people with a wide range of climbing abilities. The sport is popular all over Europe.

Mount Kinabalu’s via ferrata is the highest in the world, starting at 3,200 metres and ending at 3,800m above sea level. The next highest is in Italy, ending at 3,600m.

Statement by Tok, an experienced rock climber of 20 years.
“Doing the via ferrata route, a climber will experience the mountain through the eyes of a rock climber. The views, the terrain and the experience is unrivalled.”




Fuuuuuuuuuuuh…..

I am so psyched about this thing that my feet can’t stop shaking. I went through the gallery and hell, it looks damn inviting. Am sure a lot of my fellow climbers will be damn interested to have a go at this. I want to take The Low’s Peak Circuit route. Ale! Ale!

The Low’s Peak Circuit
Hike up to Low’s Peak, Mt Kinabalu’s highest point at 4,095m. On descent, take a via ferrata detour to see stunning views and explore hidden corners of the mountain plateau.
Who is it for?
Physically demanding, for those who are sure-footed, not fearful of heights, want to scale Southeast Asia’s highest point and the World’s highest via ferrata.
Grading : Intermediate – Everyone between 10 to 70
Duration : 4 – 6hrs over 2 days (Walk the Torq included)


One can also do some sport climbing at the roof of Borneo.

I think I have to start saving up for my Via Ferrata fund. Seeing the picture really does get my adrenaline going. And it sucks that I won’t be climbing this week, one – my unlimited pass has expired, two – I am going to Ipoh for a wedding this weekend. Argh…

Bee sent me this info. Thank you for making my jaws drop.

Definitely must-see
Mountain Torq
NST news