In all honesty, they were all pretty lame. It seems redundant to complain about the number of people at these sites, since I am a tourist myself; but wow, the number of people at these sites - especially the hot springs and the Emerald Pool - was quite annoying. It was so crowded at the hot springs that it was even difficult to find a spot to sit. I'd initially gone into the river and swam to where the water from the hot springs rushed downwards, but it was a bit cold there, and my mom was afraid of the water being too deep, so I got out and squeezed with everyone else at the top of the little waterfall, at the source of the water. It was nice and warm, but I got bored after a while.
The Emerald Pool was also quite small and full of people. I'd wanted to go check out the source of the water, called the Blue Pool, which was quite a walk from the Emerald Pool, which in itself was quite a walk from the entrance to the National Park. It was in a foresty area. From the Emerald Pool to the Blue Pool, we walked along a special path made just for this purpose, through a rather barren landscape, as if the water that had once existed was now all dried up.
It was a pretty easy walk...so imagine my surprise, then absolute fucking terror, when I reached the start of a trail through what looked like a rainforest, turned to my left, and saw a signboard with pictures of three snakes on it.
I didn't even read the signboard, no time to decipher the broken English. I saw the snakes - and I fucking TURNED AROUND AND WALKED BACK. My parents were behind me - some distance behind, I must say. I caught up with them and told them that I wasn't doing this anymore; there were snakes in there. My mom tried to persuade me to go, and I even tried to do it. I held on to her arm, walked towards the rainforest with a look of terror on my face...but when I got to the signboard, I just couldn't do it.
This really goes to show how deep-seated my fear of snakes is. I'm not the type to not want to do something when I'm on holiday, and when I have paid someone to take me to a place; so when I reach this place, I want to do the activity that I'm meant to do.
But snakes. Oh my god. I simply just couldn't; I just can't.
In the Emerald Pool with the entire tourist population of Krabi
What I can do, however, is to walk up 1,237 steps to the top of some hill at the Tiger Cave area. Not only that, I went up and down in about 30-40 minutes. It was quite amusing when I saw three of my tour group mates on my way down - and they were only halfway up. These three also turned out to be the latest to get back on the tour bus.
Of course, there were many moments when I was climbing up those steps that I thought, What the fuck am I doing? Why am I doing this to myself? Am I there yet?! About two-thirds of the way through, sweat was dripping copiously down my face; a couple of droplets even got into my eyes. I was panting, I was thirsty, my legs were tired. There were so many times when I'd really, really wanted to take a break at one of the landings.
But I thought it was maybe a bit like running: once you stop, it'll be harder to continue. And so I kept trucking on. And then I finally reached the top - just to discover that there was a Buddhist shrine up there which I couldn't enter because I'd left the cover-up cloth to hide my shorts with my mom.
So I took some awkward selfies, a couple of pictures of the foggy and unimpressive view, and got back down. I was blocked by kids sitting on the steps, people going really slowly, and people crowding on the narrow steps towards the bottom, taking pictures of the monkeys. I'd just wanted to get back down as soon as possible and not lose my momentum, and so I was really annoyed when people stopped moving to take pictures of the monkeys. Had they never seen monkeys before? It would have been hilarious if the monkeys had snatched their phones/cameras away.
The foggy view
I was quite tired after that and my legs were quivering, but I'm surprisingly not as tired as I'd thought I would be right now. I love being fit. I was beating most people, going up there. It wasn't a big deal or anything, and nobody cared, but it felt great to go up and down quite quickly, wearing my lousy Roxy beach sandals. And of course, I rewarded my effort by stuffing my face at the Krabi Weekend Night Market tonight, especially well-deserved after the shitty lunch that was part of the tour package (some shitty vegetables in soy sauce, some shitty vegetables in a suspicious looking and tasting 'tomato' sauce. Ugh). I had a delicious pad thai wrapped in egg, a coconut, a Thai pancake which was coconut based, coconut pudding, and pandan pancake. Delicious. I'm definitely going to ease up on the food tomorrow, for I definitely agree with Kate Moss that 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'.
Anyway, I want to sleep soon, so I'll make this quick. I need to rant about religion now. Two things: I hate how Buddhist sites only mandate women to cover up our legs and not men. What is so shameful about women's legs? If it were an equal opportunity shaming, then that would be absolutely fine; the point would be that it is disrespectful to the religion to have any legs, men or women's, bared above the knees. But what is so shameful about women's legs? One could say that women are targeted because we tend to wear shorter shorts. But if the knees are the threshold, it could easily apply to men too; so many men wore shorts that ended above the knees. I'm always in short shorts when I travel around Southeast Asia because it's hot, and I always forget to bring a long cloth when I visit Buddhist sites, so I'm always having to 'cover' myself up. That's all well and good, even if annoying; but today, I just felt so offended at this sexist rule.
Second: I don't understand why my parents donate their spare change to the temple. Why do they care if the temple has enough money to build some random dome or tower or some shit? I would never donate money to these sort of religious endeavours because it is just pointless, and it is senseless to give money to build some religious shrine or ornament when there are so many poor people in need of this money. Instead of building another dome or whatever for Buddha, why not distribute the money to people in need? I hate the kind of ostentatious display of 'piety' that seems to plague most, if not all, organised religions. (Yes, I dislike all religions equally.) The only good thing that emerges from it is the truly beautiful architecture of some places of worship; but apart from that, having gold-plated whatever in your temple or church when people are too poor to afford a decent standard of living is just...offensive.
Lastly, and just for the record, I met the guy from the previous entry again before I came to Krabi. His name is Sam and he's a chef. Or rather, he is '[some] random Indian pai kia with tattoos you met on tinder who took you to a secluded beach at night to get wasted'. Because he's a chef, he ends work at 11; and so I met him past 11. He was super late, reaching my place only at 10 past midnight, so we ditched the original plan of going to Marina Barrage and had gin and Sprite in his car at his condominium instead.
It was fun and he's good conversation, but I think it felt more platonic than anything. He said he felt very comfortable with me and he liked talking to me because I'm smart, so I was like a breath of fresh air. But I suppose he felt it was platonic too, for he didn't try to kiss me, and he hasn't texted me in more than a day, and he hasn't replied to the couple of pictures that I sent a few hours ago.
Still, these comments were pretty funny. Just before he went upstairs to get us drinks, I asked if I could go along. He said, 'No, my parents are at home. They are damn Indian.'
Later, I asked if he liked Indian food. 'No I don't. I'm a fake Indian. I actually like Chinese food.'
Me: 'I hate Chinese food! I'm a fake Chinese.'
I'm bored of this entry.