Mon 19th – Thu 22nd Nov
After a bigger night out than planned, I’m pleased to say I got up and make my boat! Feeling slightly worse for wear thou I find a spot on deck and with my day sack as a pillow, promptly fall asleep. I awake a couple of hours later when we need to change boats. Falling asleep in the sun is something I’m quite good at and my face resembles a tomato yet again! I sit indoors for the second leg of the journey! Arriving at Koh Lanta is as crazy as it was 8 years ago. Everyone launching on you to see if u have a place to stay or need a taxi. My accommodation is fetching me so I move aside and take a seat until the hustle dies down and my driver arrives.
Koh Lanta isn’t the secret location where once only the most intrepid traveller wd venture too. It’s actually now quite a famous island but luckily, it still retains its chilled out, mellow vibe…..for now.
Being so far south it’s predominantly Muslim but has an eclectic mix of Thai’s Chinese and the once-nomadic sea gypsies, the Urak Lawoi adding to the unique splendour of this place.
Lanta Sleep In is a lovely little place but I’m regretting skimping on cost to just get a room with a fan….geez it’s bloody hot! I find a beach front restaurant for some lunch and venture to 7-11 and that’s about it for today. God damn these hangovers…they really do get worse the older u get!
After not quite getting the R&R I expected to in Phuket, I’m in complete do nothing mode whilst here. I’ve purposely booked somewhere in a quieter part of the island and with a pool and that is pretty much my plan for today – to lie and fry….and boy it feels good!
There are an array of things you can do in Koh Lanta – hire a moped and visit the many beaches, the old town or even head into the jungle to see the waterfalls but having been here before and done a lot of that, I’m happy to just be in complete relaxation mode.
Wednesday I decide to take a morning stroll along the beach and by god it’s beautiful. I do live golden sand and turquoise waters
After this, I go in search of a place Craig in Phuket told me about where a British guy works. I find Lanta Lily and meet Brian and his wife Becky. I stick around to have an English breakfast and a few Chang’s before moving on. I decide to walk up Long Beach to see if I can find where I stayed before or any of the bars me, Becky and Laura went to. The weather wasn’t great here in Dec 2010 so we spent a lot of time in the bamboo beach bars!
Using Maps Me and a vague recollection of being on a small road off the main road I think I’ve worked out where we stayed and meander up there – it does look vaguely familiar but different because I think there’s a lot more here now. Many more beach bungalows for sure. I’m positive I’m in the right place, recognising a few places we frequented.
I stop at a restaurant that looks familiar and when asked if I wd like a table, I decline but explain the place looks familiar from 8 years ago but it wasn’t a restaurant. They tell me it used to be Pirates Bar – Bingo! I am in the right place, and that was one of the bars I was looking for!
I do prefer this end of Koh Lanta
to where I’m staying but there’s much more temptation to party rather than chill so I’m more than happy where I am in Klong Khong. Angel restaurant pops up as a Google suggestion and good place to go. Being opposite where I’m staying it’s ideal and the food is perfect – in portion, taste and price.
Thursday I’m up at the crack of dawn and on the sun lounger by just gone 7am! It’s a lovely part of the day as the sun is already shining and there’s nobody else around…perfect for a bit of time out, just me and my kindle.
Even when others do begin to rise, this is still a lovely tranquil place. I amass an impressive 9 hours by the pool before heading to the beach for sunset and a cocktail
Tonight it’s Loy Kratong which is a festival to give respect to the rivers but more now to wave goodbye to misfortune, wash away sins of the past year, and make wishes for the coming year. I buy myself a little kratong – opting for a duck made out of cheesey wotsits rather than the typical leaf and flower jobby…one likes to be different.
Down at the water there’s a stage with some Thai performers and a gaggle of people, locals and tourists alike, lighting their candles and incense sticks ready to release their Kratongs on the water. Once my duck is lit, I release him and away he goes.
In other parts of Thailand, especially Chiang Mai, this festival is huge. Although on a much smaller scale here, it’s still nice to take part in local festivities and traditions. A lot of locals smile at the foreigners, happy that we were getting involved in their customs.
Being the 22nd Nov, tonight is a full moon and the beach bars are awash with full moon parties but being on the move tomorrow, I decide against it…I can be sensible at times!