The limestone steps were nearly vertical at some points, each varying in length and width, distorting my perception of depth, and causing me to stumble like a lame bird. I peered over the edge and sighed at the lush landscape of verdant highlands almost 800 feet below; a magnificent view of coconut palms, rubber trees and coffee plantations stretched for miles amidst majestic karsts.
I pressed on to the next flight, wiping the sweat from my face so I could clearly read the distance marker that read: 913 — 359 steps were left to climb before reaching the peak. I wondered how over a thousand feet of narrow, winding staircase had been carved into the cliff when I could barely ascend without clenching the metal railing.
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[Photo by Jo@net/Flickr]
Originally published on The Expeditioner.com
Much of what we read about travel is packaged into a descriptive personal essay that seeks to sweep the reader to a magical land where cotton candy falls from the sky and unicorns roam undulating, verdant hills leading to an ethereal Eden. And let’s face it, most of us enjoy reading a romantic story about a love affair between the traveler and his quest. We want to turn the pages when he stumbles upon the town flanked with colorful, artisan markets or when he sails, wide-eyed, among fjords — majestic and breathtaking from every angle.
But here at The Expeditioner we do none of that delusional crap — it’s just hard core, report the goods, travel writing. Which is why I bow down to Patrick Smith and his awesome article: “Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands: Beauty and a Bummer.”
To view the full article click here.
Wherever I travel I make it my business to plan an experience that gives me a sense of the natural beauty and authentic culture of the area I am visiting. When I ventured to the northern city of Chiang Mai, during a recent trip to Thailand, I was set on spending a day admiring the verdant rice fields that lie in the expansive Mae Wang valley at the base of the Doi Suthep and Doi Pui mountains. What I ended up doing was even better…
To view the complete story visit Matador Travel