Beautiful decoration on the Thai long boats
So, we finished our time in Ko Lanta with a snorkeling trip. We got a big boat to Ko Phi Phi, then a long boat around the various islands of Ko Phi Phi. We stopped at Monkey Island, where we fed the monkeys our left over bananas from lunch.
Feeding the monkeys – our guide hurried us a bit here, and we learned why later. A friend we met got bitten by one of these guys!!
Then we headed to a cove where we could climb stairs up to the island and walk around to Mia Beach, where they filmed The Beach with Leonardo Di Caprio. It was beautiful, with white sand like sherbet, but packed full of people. We definitely had more fun actually in the water, where we saw loads of coral, a gazillion fish and some scary sea urchins. (Unfortunately for this post, we don’t have a waterproof camera, so no pictures of Mia Beach or sea urchins)
We were there with a lovely Malaysian family – just the five of them and the two of us on the trip – and they had a little boy who didn’t want to put his face in the water. They got a sandwich bag and some bread and spent ages trying to catch one to show him! They did it eventually, and because they were throwing loads of bread in, all the fish came to our boat, it was great. Don’t worry, they threw the wee fish back!
On the 8th we just chilled out, in preparation for our 16 hour train ride that night. We got the sleeper train from Bangkok to Trang, then a bus (and two car ferries while on the bus) to Koh Lanta Yai, off the Andaman coast. So far we’ve only booked flights and sleeper trains in advance, so we just popped into a travel agent in Trang to arrange a bus, and book our first two nights in a beach hut.
The Island of Ko Lanta is beautiful. We stayed on Ao Phra-Ae (Long Beach) for four nights. By the end of that though, it was a bit too long – the whole island was really quiet, with not a lot to do in the evenings. We missed the only party on the first night we were there! We were so tired after the long journey, and the music kept us up until the wee hours. We considered going out, but reckoned there would be another party tomorrow – wrong! According to the bar staff, it was unusually quiet for this time of year, but I get the impression that even when it’s busy, it’s not THAT busy. The weather was brilliant though, so we took the opportunity to relax on the beach, drink some beer and work on our tans (or, more accurately, my tan and Chris’s freckles).
We stayed the first two nights in a teeny tiny beach hut, with a cold shower and a hammock on the veranda – the resort was called Lanta LD Beach. It was our own beach paradise in theory, but a bit open to the beasties in reality. I’m not great at the budget travelling – the hut was raised from the sand, but you could see down through the floor boards, and our mosquito net had a few holes. It was great for the price we paid, but I was glad to move on to something a bit sturdier for our second two nights at Palm Beach Resort.
Although it’s supposed to be the dry season here, we did see a lot of rain in Ko Lanta. It came on like clockwork at 4pm every day, and absolutely poured down for about an hour. This is a good time to get a nap and a shower before dinner – it did rain again in the evening one night, but the sun was battering down the rest of the time, so we didn’t mind too much. If it does start raining while you’re on the beach, drop your towels and bags off at one of the beach bars, and head into the sea, where the water feels as warm as a bath. It’s a great experience!