After Koh Lao Liang, we returned to Ton Sai for a final week of climbing. By now our fitness was reasonably good, and so we spent this time trying ‘projects’ as well as visiting a couple of new areas. We also tried to swim in the warm sea as much as possible, and appreciate our incredible surroundings, aware that we would soon be moving on to a very different environment.
We’ve had a fantastic time in Ton Sai, and have loved the climbing here. Most of the rock is superb quality and really fun to climb, with lots of stalactites and pockets. The only thing that would improve the climbing would be a significant drop in temperature, but if you plan to do nothing but lay still on the beach then the conditions are just about perfect! It has also been great to stay in a single place for so long, having spent several months moving on every few days. We’ve met a lot of great people and will have fond memories of Ton Sai.
Leaving Ton Sai concludes the Asian portion of our trip – my first time in Asia, and Charlotte’s second. It is an incredible continent to travel on, with every climate, landscape and culture imaginable. Here are some of the things we have learned in Asia…
– You can transport absolutely anything on a scooter.
– The capacity of any vehicle is (n+1), where n is the current number of people on board (our best sightings were 5 people on a scooter and 12 in a car).
– An Indian taxi ride is not complete without at least one detour (for the driver to buy cigarettes / run an errand / pray at a shrine / any other number of possibilities) and several serious traffic violations.
– Road Law is closely based upon Natural Selection; small things move out of the way of big things
– ‘Health and Safety’ is a purely Western concept (watching a guy push a chainsaw forwards through a beam, in bare feet and with no safety equipment, was a highlight).
– The price for absolutely EVERYTHING is negotiable – from meals and hotel rooms, to currency exchange.
– When in Asia it is essential to be in all of your own photos, ideally pulling a strong pose.
– “Now” means soon (ish).
– “Soon” means at some point, maybe.
– “Same” almost always means different.
After an overnight stop in Bangkok we are moving on to New Zealand, one of the countries we have been most excited about visiting. Aside from the obvious attractions, we are very much looking forward to some Western comforts – 24 hour electricity, hot water, pavements, being able to drink tap water… 6 months in Asia has left us with very low standards!