Mountains, Fireworks, & Beaches for Buddha’s Birthday – Seoraksan National Park with Seoul Hiking Group – A sneak peek

Thank you Buddha for being awesome, oh and happy birthday! This weekend I jumped on another night bus with Seoul Hiking Group and took a 15 hour, 25km trek into the mountains before some R&R on the beach. It was another incredible adventure watching the sun rise & fall over the ocean, a Korean mountain rescue, spotting a rattle snake, stunning views and an all around great time. Enjoy this sneak peek, more photos & a video coming “soon.”

Sunrise over the East Sea enroute to Seoraksan's toughest trail - Dinosaur Ridge.

Sunrise over the East Sea enroute to Seoraksan’s toughest trail – Dinosaur Ridge.

A new hiking buddy, Eric, enjoying the stunning views along Dinosaur Ridge, Seoraksan National Park

A new hiking buddy, Erik, enjoying the stunning views along Dinosaur Ridge, Seoraksan National Park

Mountain Rangers descend from a helicopter to help an old Korean man succumbed to heat exhaustion & dehydration along Dinosaur Ridge, the toughest trail in Seoraksan and possibly all of South Korea.

Mountain Rangers descend from a helicopter to help an old Korean man succumbed to heat exhaustion & dehydration along Dinosaur Ridge, the toughest trail in Seoraksan and possibly all of South Korea.

Hapojae Beach in Yangyang, South Korea.  Famous for the "finest sand" in all of Korea

Hajodae Beach in Yangyang, South Korea. Famous for the “finest sand” in all of Korea

Playing with long exposures & fireworks at hajodae beach, Yangyang South Korea

Playing with long exposures & fireworks at Hajodae beach, Yangyang South Korea

A new year begins in Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Starry sky above Ao Nang Cliffs, Krabi, Thailand

Starry sky above Ao Nang Cliffs, Krabi, Thailand

2015 is the year of the ram and my 2015 will be full of challenging new adventures.  Today I introduced 5 new members to grade 4 as the team leader, Brian and I just moved into an amazing new apartment and I’ve been volunteering with Seoul Hiking Group long enough to start planning my own hikes and even international trips!

Welcome to Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Welcome to Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Lucky for me that wasn’t all.  I rang in the Lunar New Year in Thailand with some of my best friends!  Just the other day Brian and I were sitting on a boat watching flying fish flap along the waves as islands littered the horizon.  The Andaman Sea is a wondrous place worthy of repeat visits by anyone who loves fun in the sun.  I know I’ll be back the only question is will I be renting long boats for island hopping or using my new SCUBA diving certificate to explore the deep blue waters teeming with life.

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

Ao Nang Sunset, Krabi, Thailand

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi's majestic cliffs.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi’s majestic cliffs.

The Andaman Sea is perhaps Thailand’s most valuable asset.  It was stunning, unforgettable and one of my most memorable adventures yet.  In spite of this awe-inspiring land we often ran into those who swear by “how different Thailand was 10 or 20 years ago.” Subtly saying “how much better Thailand was in the past.”  To this I say “how different was America 10 or 20 years ago?”  The world changes, but lucky for those of us who have had one or fewere trips to Thailand these changes have made it more English accessible.  Sure a minor degree of authenticity feels lost to those who are lucky enough to be nostalgic but even in this modern world Thailand’s southern islands are an archipelago that remain an incredible part of the world.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi's majestic cliffs.

A kayaker beneath Phi Phi’s majestic cliffs.

Island hopping in Phi Phi Thailand

Island hopping in Phi Phi Thailand

Green fishing lights off of Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Green fishing lights off of Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

I’m overwhelmed by everything about Thailand and can’t believe its over.  I’m even more overwhelmed by the thousands of photos I have to wade through as my Korean life goes back into full swing.  Its a great feeling to have so much to look forward to and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

Have you ever been to Thailand?  What was your favorite part?  What are you looking forward to in 2015, the year of the ram?

Thailand – a sneak peek

Koh Lanta is amazing, we stumbled upon a tiny beach village shortly after a whirlwind through Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, & Krabi.  From boat rides & tigers to yoga & sunsets this has been a series of breathtaking adventures. As I look back through my photos I am still in awe of this animated wonderland I’m watching unfold before I snap back recalling that we motor biked to those stunning beaches yesterday and were island hopping the day before.  Enjoy a few early favorites and stay tuned for more while I go learn SCUBA diving!

 

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Ao Nang sunset. Krabi, Thailand

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Welcome to Phi Phi Island, Krabi, Thailand

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On the way the beach

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Sunset Yoga, Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand