Tonsai in Krabi Province, Thailand: To go crazy or not to go crazy?

Picturesque long-tail boats off Tonsai beach in Thailand

Picturesque long-tail boats off Tonsai beach in Thailand

I don’t know whether you all remember Frank. I met Frank in Malacca… in Malaysia. He’s the lovely Argentinian traveller I was introduced to at Ringo’s Foyer by Howard… who’s been cycling around the world for 3 and a half years… and who says he has 7 or so years of travelling to go before he returns home.

Frank

Frank

When discussing Tonsai in Malacca, he said: I love Tonsai…but, most people can’t survive there for more than 3-4 days. It’s something about all of the ‘positive ions’ from the cliffs and the mountains in the jungle… they make people go crazy. Do you know about ions in nature? There are negative ions in the sea, for example… which is why people relax and get really sleepy and lazy and they don’t want to do anything other than lay in the sun. In the mountains, however, there are positive ions… the mountains and cliffs carry with them so much energy, that people start hallucinating… getting head-aches… feeling a bit crazy… they either leave as a result… or they get sick. Very few people can remain in Tonsai for too long.

Of course, we can all take this tale with a pinch of salt… but I found it interesting… and I carried his words with me during my two weeks’ stay there… and when I started feeling pressure in the air… foretelling Tonsai’s need for rain… I couldn’t help but ask myself whether these were the initial symptoms of ‘Tonsai syndrome’… or whether – in fact – my mild headache would go away with the coming of the first downpour.

Stopping for lunch by kayak during sunset at scenic Phra-nang beach near Tonsai, Thailand

Stopping for lunch by kayak during sunset at scenic Phra-nang beach near Tonsai, Thailand

Nico's artsy photo of rain from our bungalow in Forest Resort, Tonsai, Thailand

Nico's artsy photo of rain from our bungalow in Forest Resort, Tonsai, Thailand

As you all may know, during these two weeks, I slept in the jungle. Nico and I shared a very basic and cheap bungalow at the top of the jungle in a place called Forest Resort… we had our very own mosquito net forming a canopy between us and our numerous jungle friends that shared our bungalow with us… we had our own little extension to the bungalow with a toilet seat and a showerhead that provided only cold water… we supplied our own toilet paper… but – fortunately – the bungalow owners supplied us with seemingly clean towels.

We were required to complete multiple steep jungle treks to and from various climbing crags carrying quite heavy climbing gear… sometimes, we needed to walk 10 or so minutes downhill to Tonsai beach to climb up or under boulders of rock during low tide… and when it was high tide, we either needed to change our climbing plans to find an alternative crag, or we needed to hire a kayak to get us to our desired destination. Admittedly, it was a hard two weeks. 😛 We didn’t even have to decide where to stay each night… our greatest decision revolved around what and where to eat each day.

Now that our time in Tonsai is finished, I secretly miss it. Maybe it does make you go a bit crazy. Crazy enough to never want to leave…or crazy enough to choose to spend your ‘rest day’ getting absolutely covered in mud when hugging massive trees in a beautifully dirty lagoon…

Lina - covered in mud - at the viewpoint at the top of the lagoon in Tonsai, Thailand

Lina - covered in mud - at the viewpoint at the top of the lagoon in Tonsai, Thailand

Hugging trees at the lagoon in Tonsai - Railay in Thailand

Hugging trees at the lagoon in Tonsai - Railay in Thailand

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5 thoughts on “Tonsai in Krabi Province, Thailand: To go crazy or not to go crazy?

  1. Pingback: Newfound Climbing Glory: Green Climbers’ Home in Thakhek, Laos « Time Out – New Beginnings

  2. Unbelievable, you guys. So, beautiful. Your photos and videos are better than ever. Felt I was there in the kayak with you! Never saw trees like that with the webbed trunk. And Lina, love the shot of muddy you with the lagoon in the background… so exotic. May have to see if I can lighten you up a touch with photo editing software.

  3. lina mou! i got your postcard yesterday from tonsai… and now im reading this post!

    Pano and I r super excited about our upcoming visit!

    Two months cannot go fast enough! Really can’t wait to get there…

    I do really wanna see you! go crazy but come back to thailand on the first week of april?

    I wanna hug the jungle treeeeeeeeeeee!!!

    • Awww, you are too cute agapi mou. I’m so pleased that you and Panos will make it out here. I really really really wish that I could see you guys too… but the chances of me being able to come up with the finances to make another visit to Thailand in April is really unlikely. I’m probably going to use that money to go elsewhere… I’ll be particularly short on cash then as I’ll be wrapping up my travelling. Such a poop. Of course, depending on how much time you have off of work (and how much money you guys have), you guys are free to book a quick flight from Bangkok or Phuket to wherever I am (I’m not actually sure I know where I’ll be either – as our timings are completely wrong right now… we’ve fallen in love with Chang Mai, and have decided to stay longer!). I want you to hug jungle trees tooooo – and when you find the big jungle tree… you can climb, take another photo, and add it to the same post as a comment! Then we’ll be a jungle-tree-hugging-duo! Much love, Sorabear. 🙂

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