I have successfully made it to China! I write to you from an internet cafe across from tianeman square and a block from the Forbidden City in Beijing. My last days in Thailand were a blast, though tiring because I really tried to live it up. After scuba in Ko Phi Phi, I hightailed it to Riley beach for some rock climbing. Railey is a bit remote; you can only get there by boat. I took a ferry from Phi Phi and then had to jump onto a small longtail boat that came out to sea to meet the ferry. It was all pretty interesting and would have been a lot more fun had it not been a torrential downpour outside! Eveyrthing I had was wet and stayed that way becayse Railey is so humid. But the sceneray and the climbing is worth it. There were literally hundreds of climbers on all of the walls. I just did a half day with a local guide named Saki at a spot called One-Two-Three Wall. It was a bit humbling though because next the route we were on could have been world-class climbers on a route I could never even attempt. I have been so sore in my arms and hands for the last two days.
After Railey, I spent one night in Ao Nang beach - a much more touristy place where the vibe is not dreadlocked hair thai guys smoking pot on the beach, and instead package tourists buying t-shirts. I did have a good time though hanging out with a group of Irish girls.
Back in Bangkok, I made sure to go big as well. Jason, I met up with the Canadians we met on Phangan and it was their last night too. We definitely had a good time. I ended up finishing the night at an illegal afterhours club with some Thai teenagers and drinking with a very inebriated captain in the Thai navy. It was hilarious. Also, if I have not mentioned it yet, Thai girls are pretty ridiculously good looking. I’ll definitely have to put up some pictures.
Anyway, I have since arrived in Beijing and met up with the group. They are VERY photography oriented (imagine 8 people carrying the biggest cameras you have ever seen everywhere), but it looks like it should be fun. And it is so nice to stay in relatively fancy hotels (my place in Railey had mosquito nets and an outhouse - to give you some comparison) and not have to worry about where you are going when. Everything is taken care of and it is quite nice.
I have only been here for one night, though we spent the morning walking through the old Hutongs (old laneways) of old Beijing. Last night we went for the best Peking duck ever (probably because I am in Peking!). Anyway, I am off to see the Fobidden City! See you all soon!
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