Whenever visitors come to Thailand I always enjoy the challenge of trying to find a few new places to explore, both to stay fresh as a tour guide and to show people a place or two most tourists don’t typically go. My latest task began when my longtime buddy Sam and his brother landed in Bangkok. After a quick stop at the local 24-hour Dim Sum restaurant for a snack and a few beers, our Tour de Thailand started shortly thereafter with a 6:30am flight south to the island of Koh Lipe.
Described as the ‘Maldives of Thailand,’ it’s taken 3 years for my schedules to line up to finally have the time to visit Koh Lipe. From the pictures I’d seen online I knew the scenery was beautiful and I was more than stoked to finally be going; and in my mind I’d already pre-planned an island Powerkick photo.
Aside from a few photos of the beach, crystal clear water and the amazing sunsets; after we arrived my camera pretty much stayed in my bag as we soaked up the island paradise. I wasn’t to bummed about leaving Koh Lipe without a Powerkick photo as relaxing on the beach and literally do nothing was just what the doctor ordered, but I was set on making sure I Powerkick’d at our second destination, the beach town of Krabi.
This was my third time visiting Krabi and after spending the day enjoying the water and scenery at Railay Beach I was in search of a fresh and off the beaten path adventure. A while back a friend who lives in area told me about a hike that I had to check out, and after searching Google I found it was very close to where we were staying. The entrance of the Khao Ngon Nak trail is roughly 20 minutes north of Ao Nang, inland from the coast about 5 km and cut straight out of the jungle.
Walking up to the entrance there was a small map which showed two view points and the summit 3.7 km up. With bottles of water in hand we hit the trail and headed for the peak. On a hot day this hike is great because it’s nearly entirely under the canopy of the jungle. The beginning of the hike was relatively flat and quite scenic, however, it quickly became a steep climb and we were happy to be under the jungle roof which kept the air cool and refreshing as we hiked our way to the top.
We reached the first view point after about an hour and forty five minutes and the view was spectacular. After taking a short break to soak it in and rest a bit we made the final 1.5 km trek to the peak. When we reached the summit we climbed a large boulder and relished in victory. The view, overlooking the Ao Nang beach area below with lush green jungle in all directions and limestone karsts jutting out of the sea, was amazing and definitely postcard material.
I drank some water and caught my breath before searching for the perfect, and safest, Powerkick location. Poking out from the side of the peak was a small rock shelf that overlooked the entire coastline. It was relatively flat, looked safe, and offered a superb backdrop for a photo. I grabbed the camera from my bag and called Sam over to check out the location. Agreeing this spot was tough to beat it was time for a quick camera lesson as this was Sam’s first Powerkick photo shoot.
After two practice shots to get our timing right we were ready. I stepped out towards the ledge and got my footing situated. I had to make sure my landing area wasn’t too close to the ledge because any missed landing and I could easily tumble over the edge and it would be game over for yours truly. With my landing area secure and footing in place it was go time. A single 3-2-1 countdown, a leap in the air, a snap of the camera and an Olympic style landing is all it took to get ourselves a winner of a Powerkick photo. Happy New Year and Powerkick to new heights in 2014!