A week of relaxation :-)
09.01.2012 - 15.01.2012 30 °C
I was up bright and early for a 7.15am pick up from my hotel to the pier to catch the Ferry to Ko Lanta which should take 4.5 hours. For those of you that don't know me ,I'm not a morning person and coupled with no sleep in Patong the night before due to firecrackers going off outside my window at 3am I was not in the best of moods. However I thought a few hours sat in the sun on a nice boat looking at some lovely scenery would be fine and of course I was heading for a week of peace and relaxation.
What I didn't realise was that they cram as many people as humanly or inhumanily possible on these ferry crossings. I got a few inches along one side sitting on the floor and settled down for the trip. I had to change boats half way and then more and more and more longtail boats joined us along Railey Beach with passengers and rucksacks all being piled onto a ferry which I am suprised didn't sink !
On arrival at Saladan Pier in Lanta the heavens opened and we all and our luggage got soaked this was a theme that would continue for the rest of my stay. The pier itself was really quaint and I saw my first glimpse of the Thailand I was looking for, buildings on stilts, old buildings, lots of tuk tuks and longtail boats. I had already pre-booked accomodation but I needn't have worried on arrival lots of accomodation touts and tour desks are there to help those passengers who hadn't.
A quick transfer by tuk tuk ,9 km for a bargain 120 baht ! and I was in my first ever bamboo bungalow a few steps from the beach. The Bungalow was cosy and comfortable and the first thing that struck me was the lack of noise. After Dubai and Phuket it did take a few hours to get used to only hearing the sound of waves and at night animals, it was perfect.
I stayed on Khlong Khong beach and the beach although sandy was very rocky so hard to swim but during the day it was so quiet when I did venture onto the beach I had 50 metres of it to myself. The sunsets there were amazing and watching them with a chang beer from one of the several comfortable, chilled out bamboo bars along the beach was an evening must do. The bars at night look so pretty with lanterns and sparkling lights of multiple colours it was candy to the eye.
The weather was overcast with some random rain showers so I took the opportunity to explore the island and also go on the 4 Islands boat trip. I had been thinking about where my next destination would be and was considering Koh Ngai and as this was one of the 4 Islands to be visited on the trip I thought I could 'try before I buy' type of thing. I was glad I did as Koh Ngai is very small, one beach really and if the weather stayed overcast there wouldn't be an awful lot to do. I did some snorkelling around Koh Ngai, saw Bats dangling from trees on Bat Island and had lunch on Koh Kradan.
The beach at Koh Kradan was beautiful, the water was crystal clear and that perfect light blue Brightly coloured fish swam around you as you paddled in the shallow water. The sun actually made a brief appearance for this part of the day too. The last part of the trip was to Emerald Cave on Koh Mook. I swam 70metres through a pitch black cave ( and I mean pitch black there was literally no light at the end of the tunnel ) to get to an emerald green watered cove, white beach and mini jungle the other side. It was like being in a volcano and the story is that pirates used the cave to hide their treasure and that swallows nests used to be stolen from it for some kind of dish, there always has to be a story at these tourist destinations doesn't there ? Anyway it was a lovely highlight at the end of a lovely day.
I moved resorts to spend the last few days at Hat Phra Ae ( Long Beach ) as I had read this beach was great for swimming and the resort was busier than Khlong Khong. I wish I hadn't really as yes the beach is longer and has no rocks but the resort just didn't have the same relaxed vibe and backpackers hanging around so Hey ho you can't win them all and at least I'd seen it.
Highlights - 4 Island Trip, Staying in the Bamboo hut and just chilling out reading for a week. Air Asia also announced a 3 day sale with 20 % of all flights so a flurry of activity with a group of us on laptops in the bar frantically trying to book cheap flights and save some valuable pennies.
Lowlights - Leaving half my laundry behind swinging on trees, bikes and hut roofs. Note to Evie, make a note of what you leave with the laundry lady and make sure you get it all back and the weather, sunshine please come back out to play soon.
Next stop Ao Nang and Railey Beach and Phi Phi Island.