Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Sep 18, 2017

Thai trek seeks higher ground


Chaiwut Phakaew has made the transition from monk to mini-mountain man.
The one-time Buddhist monk now works as a guide on the Thai island of Koh Samui, where, among other things, he leads excursions to the tropical isle of Koh Nangyuan, home to a hill that visitors can hike up if they’re physically up to hoofing up some often steep and rugged terrain in likely steamy tropical weather.
“It’s easy to get tired. Some people shouldn’t do it,” states Phakaew, who shows no signs of fatigue himself when he scrambles up and over boulders.
Those who make the trek will be rewarded with a dazzling view of the island and ocean.
Phakaew himself says the hike up is easy for him. “I feel like I’m never getting old. Some people compare me to a monkey. I jump, jump, jump.”