New Years in Paradise
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
57Trip End May 2010
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Ray rockin it on the ferry to Laoliang, our little island in the background
Travel to the island necessitated linking a boat, a two bus rides and a fast ferry - essentially a decent day's travel. But it sure was worth it. Laoliang is a private island resort that has been established in a low key, eco-friendly way, with every effort to preserve it as a pristine island paradise. The resort is designed with minimal environmental impact in mind, allowing a maximum of 60 people at a time, building very few permanent structures, and eventually solarizing the resort (currently electricity is provided by a low-emission generator).
The accommodation is in the form of luxury tents, which we thought was absolutely awesome, after all the tenting we've done! It's low impact and it's plenty comfortable, especially with a fan and electricity in our tent all day long! Even Ton Sai can't provide that!
Our four days spent on Laoliang were idyllic: great weather, beach side accommodation, a perfect white sand beach, buffet meals of seafood, world-class snorkeling with free access to gear at any time and, of course, awesome limestone climbing!
Lindsey on lead at Ocean Wall (6b!)
Ray leading his first 6a+! He pitched at the crux and took his first lead fall! Good on ya mate! I mean you have to give it to the guy; he comes to Thailand to get some fun and adventure and the next thing you know we've talked him into lead climbing on steep limestone and taking lead falls!
Ben on "Thailand's best 6c", Golden Triangle
With plenty of adventure in store, we were a little surprised that we almost immediately fell into the island's trance and ended up relaxing more than we have all trip! We certainly got in some great climbs and some amazing snorkeling and swimming, but we really slept, read and just did nothing quite a bit of the time!
Maxing and relaxing!
Ben working the uber-classic Liger (7a). For those of you familiar with the Ton Sai classic, Lion King (6c+), this climb has some similar aspects but is even more stellar!
The managing director and part owner, Mike from Long Island, NY, is a great host and a good climber. He has done a ton of work to make the resort what it is today. Kudos to him for his dedication and success on Laoliang!
Mike rocking one of the great steep climbs right off the beach (6c+)
Next adventure? The wild and untamed island of Sumatra in Indonesia!
Link to more photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benkunz/sets/72157623053111627/