I know we’re coming up on this being a week overdue, but between actually having to work this week (including one full day of Spelling Bee fun) and not having internet at the house it’s hard to fit blogging into the schedule.
But here you have it, the long-awaited, highly-anticipated Koh Lanta post. We knew that one of the perks of living down south was our proximity to all those gorgeous beaches and islands that spring to mind when you think of Thailand. However, a lack of funds and other commitments (house/garden/rabbit) prevented us from scoping out such areas until last weekend. We left our kitchen half-painted; hoped it would rain on the plants; and gave Trix free reign to hop around in the kitchen, with lettuce left in various areas to tide her over for two days. Feel like it’s fine?
One of the reasons we chose Koh Lanta as our destination was that friends had mentioned it was possible to reach by motorbike– a quick two-hour jaunt. We thought this would be fun and set off at 8 am. You’ll be glad to know we’ve both come into the possession of helmets.
The drive was quite easy and we arrived at the ferry dock right on time at 10 o’clock. We were able to ride the bike right up on the ferry, which took us to Koh Lanta Noi, a smaller island. A quick drive across that island found us on another ferry and before we knew it we’d reached Koh Lanta Yai, the main island in the Lanta chain. Two ferry rides for two people and a bike came to 46 Baht ($1.50) total. Incredible. And our timing was perfect, we rolled up and the ferry took right off both times. Everything seemed like it was going our way– until Wayne forgot to put the kickstand down when we stopped for gas, and the bike fell over, and he banged up his knee something awful, and then fainted? But that was just a minor setback. We were beach-bound before we could say “Mai pen lai”!
We knew we were traveling at low season, but I don’t think we were prepared for the island to be as deserted as it was. The place we’d been recommended, along with many other hotels/ guesthouses/bungalows, was closed for the season, so we opted for the adjacent Relax Bay resort. It was a little pricier than we were hoping to pay (800 Baht, or $26, for a bungalow with a fan), but the price included breakfast and it was just a really nice setup. The guy who showed us to our room apologized for not being able to provide us a bungalow on the beach, but it’s left me wondering what constitutes a ‘beach bungalow,’ because that’s pretty much how I would have qualified our temporary abode.
Though the weather report I’d seen called for an 82% chance of precipitation and thunderstorms, the only hint of less-than-ideal weather was the wind. It was very windy, making the sea very rough and a bit murky (or maybe that’s how it always is) but other than that it was perfect beach weather. And we had the beach completely to ourselves.
We really had no reason to go anywhere else, so when we dined it was at the restaurant there, and had a beer at the beach bar later in the evening, where we were treated to the crazy bartender ushering hermit crabs around trying to force-feed them chips. Then we called it a night.
After our complimentary breakfast the next morning we thought we might as well enjoy the beach once more before heading home. Though still a bit choppy the water was really nice– alas, when diving into a wave, I lost the hand-me-down RayBans I’d been so fond of for the past… three-and-a-half years (a personal record for me, by a long shot, when it comes to sunglasses ownership). Though I was bummed about this in reality I figure easy come, easy go: my friend Emilie found them in the lost-and-found at a restaurant where she worked, then gave them to me one fateful St. Patrick’s Day. I always joked they were ‘two degrees of free!’, so here’s hoping they make it to the third degree by getting washed up and discovered by some lucky beach bum.
i drew a hammock from the shadow of a palm tree and now wish to pursue a career in street art a là exit through the gift shop. also, last photo with beloved ‘bans
Had some most excellent pizza for lunch then headed back. We didn’t have the same luck with the ferries the second time around and had to sit around waiting next to a stinky pickup full of rubber-in-the-raw, but the two hours on the road back went smoothly (though they left me a little sunburnt).
We feel like this excursion has opened a world of possibilities for us (until Yax’s cousin asks for his bike back in a few weeks… guess it’s time to start looking for our own), and are looking forward to the next beach adventure!