Our second night was pretty much relaxing. We learned we could get some hot water in the information house and we did. We ate our breakfast, self-prepared tuna sandwich and coffee, took a shower and went to the ‘lobby’ to wait for the driver to pick us up.
Our second day activities were climbing Wat Tham Suea (also known as Tiger Cave Temple), dipping in hot springs and swimming in the Emerald pool.
Once we got off the van, some ladies in our group were wearing sleeveless tops and were advised to change with a shirt or use anything to cover the skin. Temples are considered sacred so be wise enough not to wear revealing clothes when visiting any temple.
We were given an hour and 30 minutes to get to the top and get back down. Once you’re late, the van will not wait for you so as not to compromise your companions. There were like 10 of us in the van. Considering the given time, one must be physically fit to be able to make it to the top and down. ‘See you on top’, we said to our companions as we went ahead. I started to count the steps but I haven’t even reached 100 and I decided to stop counting. I would just trust what was written below,1237 steps. Yes, a thousand and more steps. It may sound like a few steps but the challenge here is how steep the stairs were.
All that’s in my mind while climbing is that I have to make it on time. I didn’t know what’s up there although I searched and saw some pictures but these photos will never give 100% justice to how it really looks like. I then went on my own leaving my three friends behind. They were also climbing up but I opted to walk my way up alone so I could have my ‘moment’ of thinking. I then paced faster than them. While on my way up, I saw some monkeys and some other tourists who were happily taking photos of them. They seem to be harmless. Or maybe they just didn’t find me appealing so they just ignored me. But anyway, I walked past many people catching their breathes and some who decided to walk down without making it to the top. I wouldn’t say it was an easy climb, it is challenging. I found myself doing more and more stops than I expected. I wanted so much to take my time and feast with the views in each stop but the given time is not making it possible for me to do so. So I just have to gather all my strength and continue. Halfway to the top, somebody said ‘maganda’. He was resting and I just said ‘let’s go’. I didn’t know how he guessed I am a Filipina. Because I just kept walking up, he cut his rest and walked with me. We shared some stories (me listening most of the time). In between the stories he is sharing, we would stop and kind of encourage each other to keep going. He told me that he was thinking of climbing Everest but he is now reconsidering it after how he felt during the climb to the temple. He was talking about many things including his admiration of Manny Pacquaio and a film entitled Seven Years in Tibet. I made a mental note to search about it and watch the movie. I found out later about the movie(starring Brad Pitt), and searched for the book. Thank God for free pdf copies, I was able to download and I am about to finish it. It’s an interesting story, all the more because it’s a real life account of someone’s adventure in Tibet, but let’s get back to our day tour.
So we’ve been talking and we didn’t notice how close we were to the top. 40 meters away from the last step,we had to stop and catch our breathes. Few seconds and we’re on top. I remember him saying ‘that was the longest 40 meters of my life’. We already reached the top and we were in awe of what surrounds us. It was a little bit hazy because of the Indonesian fire but the view above was exceptional. We are looking at the very big island of Krabi. My friends arrived after a few minutes. My new friend then had to start going down because his van might leave him. Punctuality is something one must always bring with him wherever, whenever. He said goodbye and only then did we asked for each other’s name. He got my FB account but I realized later on that he might not find me with the name I wrote because my account can’t be searched without a common friend. I should’ve gotten his FB account instead.
I went to my friends and the couple were fine but the other one was not feeling so good. I found her in the corner trying to make herself comfortable. When I realized she’ll be fine after a few minutes, I left her and I wandered around. She followed me after and we took photos.
From our group, the four of us made it to the top and three others too. The others opted to stay down and wait for us. While some returned down before reaching the top.
On our way down, we were almost at the bottom when I heard my name, “Yurrriieeeeee”. I immediately looked back and saw one of my friends with a monkey climbing over her front trying to get hold of her hankies and her bottle of Gatorade. Worried that the monkey might leave a scratch on her, I told her to just drop the bottle. The monkey then jumped out of her and grabbed the bottle. That’s the monkey below with her new bottle. Fortunately my friend didn’t get a scratch or wound from the monkey’s nails. We continued our way down and laughed at what just happened.
We reached the bottom of the temple on time with trembling knees. Our knees were very shaky while striking for a pose here. Don’t be deceived. We’re all tired.
It was called Tiger Temple Cave because it was believed that long time ago, a tiger used to live in the cave and people from the nearby towns would hear its mighty roar. We left the temple and went on to the next destination.
It was past 12 when we get to our next stop. Tired from the first activity, we were hoping it’s time for lunch but we were told lunch would be after the hot spring. That would be an hour or more from the time we arrived at the hot spring. Though our stomachs were already making signs we need to eat, we tried to set our hunger aside and focused on what’s in front of us. Times like this, it’s mind over matter. We were advised to dip in the water in not more than 20 minutes as we might get head ache afterwards. The river below the streams was color brown brought about by the rain the night before. We were told that on normal days without rain, the water would be clear. We then changed our clothes and dipped. While I was trying to balance myself as I submerged my body in the warm water, the rocks were too slippery, a hand reached out to me and when I looked whose hand it was, it’s my new friend from the temple. I thanked him for his help and went on to relax.
We hurried back to the van when it was almost time. We were almost there when I realized I left my long sleeve top somewhere near the pool. I wanted to go back and get it but my stubbornness kicked in. It wasn’t an expensive piece so no worries. I just hope someone would throw it in the bin so it won’t be an eyesore in the area.
Travel time to the next stop was rather short. We rushed to the seats and feasted with the delicious meal they served on our table. Buffets are always one of the best parts of an organized tour! After lunch, we walked through the trail going to the Emerald Pool. Except that there are so many people again, the pool was truly relaxing. But I enjoyed walking through the trail more because we had it by ourselves. Most people took the other trail. I was also starting to have a headache. I experienced it before when after soaking in the hot spring, I swam again in cold water. I had my worst headache then I’m afraid it will happen again this time. But I was trying so hard to fight back whatever I was feeling. I swam in the emerald-colored-natural pool under the scorching heat of the sun for a while and rose to prepare myself to go back. My friend wasn’t feeling very good compared to me. I think she’s experiencing that kind of headache I mentioned earlier. It’s such a pity when there’s so much beauty around you yet you can’t fully enjoy it for such reason. I know how she’s feeling but I couldn’t do anything. I myself is having a headache. Lesson learned: don’t stay too long in hot springs and swim on cold water afterwards, or if you do, don’t swim in cold water after.
After the pool, we went back to town and one by one, we said goodbye to our companions from the group. We were again the last ones to be ‘delivered’. It was still early so we decided to go and try the night market we were told in the morning. It was a typical Thai night market but the prices were a lot cheaper compared to the night market in Rayong. Unfortunately it was just me and the couple as the other friend is still suffering from her headache so we left her in the bungalow and we’ll just bring her food. I got myself a new long sleeve top to replace the one that I forgot in the hot springs. I needed a long sleeve top ’cause I didn’t bring any jacket for our travel to the north so I had to buy one. We bought some viand and we looked so hard for steamed rice. All we could find were sticky rice. We left the night market and went on to the nearby restaurant to order just rice. Gladly, we were allowed to order just rice.
When we came back, our friend was already feeling better so we had our dinner on the floor. Enjoyed every bit of it. We said our good nights after meal and we were left in our room. It was still early. I started reading Seven Years in Tibet. After a while, we decided to go to town and feel the night. Luckily, there was an available Tuktuk outside. Once in town, we just kept walking and looking around the place.
Along the way, someone was in hurry to stand in front of us and his hands were ready to slap my friends forehead. I initially thought we would move aside as this guy might be crazy but when he said ‘mosquito! mosquito!’, I couldn’t help but laugh as I said ‘no, it’s a mole!’. My friend was just smiling while I kept laughing as we walked away. My friend happens to have a mole right in the middle of her forehead. Sometimes it looks like a bindi except it’s black. We walked passed a lively bar and wanted to get a seat but there were so many people and we thought we could find another place where it has the same vibe. We kept walking to no avail. So we went back and fortunately, there was an available table for us. The sad part is that it was already the last song of the performer. They said ‘see you on Monday!’ and that was it. We finished our drinks and went back to the bungalow. It was already midnight but we decided to chill by the pool before finally signing off for the night.
It was indeed a great day! Witnessed His majestic creations and felt so blessed to be given this chance. It was worth it to deprive myself of some stuffs to save for this trip.
Ending this post with another sunset. ❤