Paddling Amid Karst in Ao Thalane, Thailand
The first thing that struck us was the monkeys. Almost literally. Turns out monkeys can swim. And they are rather adept at throwing coconuts. We kept clear from that point on, but were grateful it was only coconuts they were throwing.
We had been to Krabi province several times already and were looking for places farther and farther off the path. At the time, this was pretty far out.
We spent half the day paddling amid the giant karst formations in Ao Thalane in a double kayak we rented from Sea Kayak Ao Thalane. The tide was out initially so we had to skirt the massive sandbar in the center of the bay and follow the edge of the mangroves to get to the canyon entrances. Mudskippers frolicked along the shore. Little crabs with one enormous arm and one tiny one, ducked into their holes as we passed. And then we reached the monkeys. It’s always a little weird to see monkeys so close without bars intervening. There were a few infants among them.
Not so cute really. In fact, a bit freakish looking. Think “Gollum.”
The “canyons”–which is simply what I call the spaces in between the rocky towers–are filled with greenery and the sheer rocky surfaces going straight up and in some places looking like birthday cakes melting in the sun as years of minerals running out and solidifying (much like stalactites and stalagmites) have made smooth bubbling shapes drooping toward the earth. And mangroves fill pockets here and there. Ao Thalane is a wondrous place and often we were left alone as a few groups of kayakers came and went. A place like this really makes a person feel pretty small.
More Ao Thalane Kayaking Photos:
Dude’s just chilling, having a snack.
The muddy shores show abundant mudskippers walking out of the water.
Another lovely southern Thailand sunset…
If you end up down here, the kayak rental owners also run a little hotel: Thalane Resort
Read more posts about Thailand.