Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Koh Lanta

After 7 weeks, 4 countries, 20 towns/cities, and over 3,000 miles our Southeast Asia adventure was nearing it's end.  After so much traveling, and with a week left before our flight to Greece, we decided to head to southern Thailand for some beach time.  We chose to go to the island of Koh Lanta as we had heard that the beaches are beautiful and it's a little quieter than some of Thailand's other islands.  Koh Lanta is on the west coast of southern Thailand in Krabi Province.  From Phnom Penh we decided to grab a cheap flight to Bangkok and then another to Phuket and from their we hopped on one of the numerous boats that ferry visitors to and from the islands in high season.

On the boat from Phuket to Lanta
We had one thing in mind when we decided to go to the Thai islands - bungalow on the beach!  After a bit of comparison shopping (we spent the first night in a place called Moonwalk Resort.  Nice bungalows and swimming pool but the owners weren't very friendly or helpful and it was a bit pricey) we found our happy place - Lanta Emerald.  Bungalow 30 feet from the beach, swimming pool, awesome beachside bar and friendly family running the place.  Perfect.

For the first couple of days we hung out on the beach and by the pool.  By the third day we were ready to do some more exploring.  At this point, we've been moving around so much that neither of us are very good at staying still for long.  Having learned nothing from our experience in Laos, we proceeded to rent another motorbike to get us around.  Bit of a risk given Lee's motorbike driving record (experience: 1 day/ accidents: 1) but it really was the only way to get around on the island.  That or forking over about $10 a ride to a local tuk tuk.  It only cost $7 to rent the bike for the whole day so we decided it was more important to save our money than our skin.  Fortunately there were no spills this time and Lee now considers himself an expert motorbike driver (experience: 3 days/ accidents: 1.  A much more respectable record).

Lanta Old Town
With the bike we were able to visit Lanta Old Town on the other side of the island and we also discovered some stunning secluded beaches along the southwest coast.  On a couple of occasions we attempted to find some markets to do some shopping but nobody quite knew when they would be open.  We received several tips that a rather large market would be open on Sunday up by the ferry pier,  We were even told the best time to go (3pm apparently).  So we scooted up there mid-afternoon only to find that it had finished up earlier that morning.

Secluded beach
In the evenings we tried a few different restaurants/bars for dinner and drinks but the best one on the island seemed to be our very own beach bar, the Ting Tong Bar.  Run by a friendly group of Sea Gypsies (there's actually a Sea Gypsy Village on Koh Lanta.  Seriously, look it up. ok here you go: http://www.koh-lanta-hotel.com/attraction.htm) the Ting Tong Bar was hopping every night.  "Toffee" seemed to be the main man and he spent each night making sure everyone was enjoying themselves.  The food was pretty good too.  Our favorite dish was probably the seafood Mussaman Curry, delicious!  We also met a nice couple from London, Chris and Sarah (they were actually our bungalow neighbors) and their friend Gary who we hung out with for a few days.

View of sunset from the Ting Tong Bar
Koh Lanta is definitely on the list of places we have to go back to.  To be honest, most of the places we visited in this part of the world are on that list.  Until next time.


  1. Is that the beach from The Beach the movie? Starring Leonardo DiCaprio?

  2. I see Sal has improved on his sunset picture taking...Bailey is very impressed!! Missing you guys. Kate xxxx

  3. This is a nice post in an interesting line of content.Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring such topic to discussion.

  4. Hey, nice blog with good info. I really like coming back here often. And wish you would create more such interesting blogs.