I try to be not-so-fond of sight-seeing, list-checking tourism, nowadays, as I like to be true to my gap-yah stereotype and seek more genuine (oftentimes, less harmful) adventures. I usually claim that I travel to gain stories and things to write about. I definitely think, however, that there’s a case to be made for a combo of the two, and this lil’ day trip to a breathtaking spot is nothing to sniff at.
In fairness, Ang Thong National Marine Park was not the smoothest ride. Those stairs, for one,were absolutely terrifying! We are all barefoot because no shoe would have survived. I can remember very loudly weighing up the risk of falling to our deaths or letting the boat leave without us as we all asked, repeatedly, how it was legal for this to be open. But, hey, you don’t have adventures by NOT risking your life, am I right?! Besides, this bit was only to the pretty, green-blue lagoony place you see, above, and the other trek turned out to be much worse!
After visiting the lagoon and somehow not-dying on the way back down, we were given quite an over-optimistic time limit to hike 5K literally VERTICALLY to the top of the park, for a ‘viewpoint’. I had done absolutely no research and had not a clue where we were, or whether this viewpoint would be worth my slow and agonising demise, but decided to take a risk. We met this QT very early on, which was encouraging!
What started as a dignified, fully-clothed trek quickly descended into a sweat-fest. There are markers at every 1K higher you achieve, and I think it was by 2K that a fellow backpacker pointed at my arm in horror, noticing that I was quite literally dripping! Hence, top and shorts were lost early-on, and I kept going in my impeccably stylish bikini-hiking-boots combo.
Truth be told, it was worth it.
It may appear that I am just looking away from the camera to seem extra-travel-bloggery and show off my completely untanned stomach yet weirdly dip-dyed legs, but I actually took several photographs with my face in and the garish red was too bold to edit out!
Fellow traveller – and blogger (Check out her site: here) – Gillian managed to tan, instead, and had a few more creative poses.
This is, without doubt, one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen, and the breeze, at the top, was blissful. Everyone we met up there was rejoicing in the struggle we’d made worthwhile, and taking some crazy pics. One guy back-flipped off this whilst I was taking a minute to hyperventilate.
We then met a Dutch guy hanging around, solo, who somehow seemed to have suffered a lot less, and spoke fluently with Gillian as we joined him on the way down. I have no idea what they were saying, but he seemed pretty cool.