Krabi - Cave Absailing

On our last day in Krabi Jen and I hiked up to a beautiful cave in the limestone cliffs with our trusty guide Suk and rappelled out of it.

I being the crazy one without the fear of heights, volunteered to go first and loved it!  Only it seemed like I was at the bottom before I knew it!  I was very proud of Jen who took her time getting down but put on a brave face and didn't give up even though I could tell she was terrified!

Me at the bottom trying to find the right balance between being encouraging to Jen but not annoying.

Krabi - Chinese New Year

Had a great time ringing in the Year of the Dragon.  Enjoyed a cocktail on the beach, came up with some good New Years resolutions, saw the most stunning sunset, enjoyed a "romantic" thai dinner and cheered on the fire dancers!

Jen and I kept joking that we felt like we were on a honeymoon together as the resort was full of couples, the sunsets were romantic, the restaurants had live bands crooning romantic ballads every night, and we were somehow upgraded to a honeymoon suit!

Krabi - Mountain Biking

On one of the days we were not rock climbing we did some mountain biking to Emerald Pool which is fed by a hot spring and then to a hot spring waterfall.

Jen and I enjoying the Emerald Pool. The water was the perfect temperature for a hot day in Thailand - mildly warm bath water.

We then cycled to the hot spring waterfall where the water temp was much warmer at 40 degrees.  The mineral hot springs is supposed to have magical healing powers and youth enhancing properties so Jen and I stayed in a little longer then recommended in order to get the maximum anti-aging benefits.  We both felt a little dizzy afterward but agreed we looked much younger as a result!

Krabi - Rock Climbing

In this new year I am incredibly thankful for Jen who was willing to go with me on a crazy adventure filled rock climbing trip over Chinese New Year especially since she has this "thing" about heights.  I have been desperate to rock climb in Krabi ever since we moved to Asia but rock climbing just isn't Kingsley's thing.  I had just about given up on the thought of ever going when Jen said she would be interested.  She may still be regretting volunteering so quickly!

I chose King Climbers as our guide for the 2 days we climbed.  Specifically because they have a great reputation and have had no accidents in all the years they have been in business.  Of all the different King climber guides I think Jen and I got the very best one.  Suk was very patient and incredibly experienced.  He knew just the right time to shout a quick tip about where the nearest handhold was and also knew when to keep quiet to let us figure it out on our own.

I was in love with climbing in Krabi from my very first climb.  I was only pulled of the mountain each day when my poor body couldn't take any more abuse and every muscle quivered in exhaustion.  I am still recovering from a sprained ankle, bashed and bruised elbows and knees and shredded finger nails.  All a small price to pay for the feeling of completing a climb and enjoying the view at the top looking out over the Andaman ocean.

Jen was much more hesitant with climbing and with the heights.  Although it was pretty evident early on that climbing was not going to be Jens new found passion, she still gave it her best everyday and did not give up on a climb easily.

Krabi - Railey Beach

Railey beach is Krabi Thailand is where Jen and I spent the Chinese New Year long weekend.

Just when you think you have seen all strange methods of transportation in Asia you get attached to a tractor trailer and pulled through the Andaman Sea at low tide!

First time ever having my name number one on the welcome board.  And also crazy to think that sliding the letters into place is some guys full time job each day.
Some of the best sunsets I have seen in Asia so far. 

 Low tide - just loved this women in the matching red top and hat taking photos!
View from our resort.  Just stunning!

Singapore Flyer

We have been in Singapore for two years now and Kingsley and I have still not yet gone on the Singapore Flyer.  Which is pretty shocking considering its a major landmark in the city and we actually know the guy who designed and built the flyer!  We ran out of excuses a few weeks ago when our friends Sharon and Dave gave us free tickets to the Flyer.  So last week we finally made it on the Flyer and we were pleasantly surprised by the experience and very impressed with the view.  That we ended up timing it to watch the sun set over Singapore was an added bonus.

The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel located in Singapore, constructed in 2005–2008. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of 165 m (541 ft), making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, 5 m (16 ft) taller than the Star of Nanchang and 30 m (98 ft) taller than the London Eye

Initially rotating in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from Marina Centre, its direction was changed on 4 August 2008 under the advice of Feng shui masters.  

 View of Tanjong Rhu the area where we live.  Our condo is located slightly right of center in the photo (with the triangular pointy shaped pinkish colored roof).  I love that our little area is surrounded by lots of parks and open green area.

 Gardens by the Bay currently still under construction.  Super tress and two Bio-domes - the flower dome and cloud forest dome.

 Sunset on the Singapore flyer - looking out onto the business district and Marina Bay Sands hotel.


Popiah (pronounced BO-BEE-a) is a malaysian style fresh spring roll.  Until this weekend the name alone (which I still think of as POOP-EE-YA) was enough of a deterent that I always passed by the food cart without a second glance.

However this weekend was different.  Having stretched our tastebuds in India and discovered that often times things that sound/look strange can actually be quite nice we gave Popiah a try.  And it was really really good!

Outside is a thin crepe like pancake.  Inside is layered with a sweet sauce, softened carrot and white radish (daikon), bean sprouts, chopped egg, peanuts, garlic, chilli and lettuce before being folded and cut into chopstick manageable pieces.

Our Popiah feast!

Year of the Dragon

Next week is Chinese New Year and Singapore is gearing up for some serious celebrations.  Don't get me wrong,  every Chinese New Year is a big deal but the year of the dragon is extra special as it is considered the most auspicious of all the zodiac signs.  Everyone wants to be a dragon!

Occupying the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take 
risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion.

Unfortunately not all of us are so lucky to be born in the year of the dragon and are stuck being Rats and Roosters! 

2011 was a great year for the Rat.  2012 not so much...

2011 was supposed to be a terrible year for the Rooster - 2012 is evidently going to be amazing.

Thankfully we found a way to negate the not so fortuitous year for the Rat... sounding the lucky gong at the prosperity pond! 

 Its simple really just take a coin and throw it at the gong - the louder the gong the more good luck you have coming your way.
After some deliberate coercion and a serious heart to heart about his prospects in 2012 without sounding  the lucky gong, Kingsley reluctantly stepped up.   No exaggeration, it was likely the loudest gong sound ever made at the prosperity pond.  I think we are all set for the year of the dragon!