The Temples and tourists were positively amazing, but the heat was overwhelming. We walked back to the train, where a very nice lady overheard us speaking in English, and after some conversation, hailed us a tuk-tuk to take us to China Town. We zipped through the city to a place where it's nearly impossible to walk down the sidewalk without bumping into someone, seeing some amazing (and hilarious) things for sale, and getting distracted very quickly.
The second zone we climbed at separated the climbers from the watchers. One of the guides scurried up both of the moderate routes, and then jumped about 12 meters into the water. Everyone in the boat was a little intimidated, but I jumped in the kayak and headed towards the ladder, refreshed from the delicious Thai lunch.
After turning in the kayak, we evaluated the options on Ton Sai for the best place to post up for New Years Eve. After perusing a few different places, we stumbled into one where a couple of guys were asking the audience if any one can play the drums. I stepped in, and proceeded to jam out with some other tourists playing an odd mix of mellow jazzy stuff with a touch of reggae when some local guys joined in. We played right up to the countdown, and then watched some pretty rad fireworks taking place on the beaches all around. It was a very different place compared to dancing in a bar in Silverton like I did the year prior, but both were undoubtedly some of the most fun I've ever had for New Years.
One of the biggest highlights was when John and I rented a tandem sea kayak and paddled to an island just north of Koh Lipe, called Koh Adang. Koh Adang is a nature preserve, and no one but the park rangers are allowed to live on the island. When we found the deserted beach on its western shore, John described it very accurately by saying it was "like walking into a stock photograph in your computer's screensaver."