Finally, I get to the real thing – Koh Lanta! 🙂
This is a smaller island, about 4 hours away from Phuket with a ferry. Tickets can be bought online in advance, just make sure you arrive at least 20 minutes before departure and PRINT OUT THE TICKETS. Try is your hotel/hostel`s reception, for instance. 🙂
Oh Koh Lanta, you got us so confused at first when we arrived 🙂 It was absolutely non-touristic place. In fact, there is a TV show called Koh-Lanta which is based on the show Survivor. And here it is why 🙂
We got a tuk-tuk to our house ( Thai Season Villa Resort ). Imagine a jungle, wildness, modest street food booths, smiling locals, wild monkeys and varans just walking around, people live in huts, extremely poor, empty streets in the evening, empty restaurants, lucky to see 2-3 tourists a day, wild beaches, incredible nature, waterfalls, just wildness…
Once we got to the resort where we stayed for 4 days our hosts welcomed us. Lovely people! The husband had a chat with us and shared sometimes people rent his house ( which is few km away from the town ) and get dissapointed because everyone expects fun, discos and parties while this island is more family oriented and chill. We actually had no expectation about any place we went to, but since we arrived from Phuket we were a bit worried how our days will be in Koh Lanta.
Our host took us to the town where we rented 2 scooters. My friends, Boyan and Christina, shared one and… I had to try to drive one for the very first time. Had a short intro by the shop owner on a field nearby and turned out to be quite easy 🙂 We explored the island from one end to the other. What a great experience! In Thailand they drive from the left side of the road but if you do not drive in general like me and do not have habits this is not an issue 🙂
The view from our house:
Pink sunsets and sunrises! Incredible.
It was a 2 floor house. Unfortunatelly, I do not have a lot of photos since I broke my phone day 3 but check out the place though the link above.
Our host came to check on us twice a day 😀 He adviced us where to go and some fun activities.
On the photos you can see there is a tide period. During the days there was the ebb and during the night the flow came back. This also explained the view of a restaurant where we had breakfast one morning:
One of the first places we went to was Mu Ko Lanta National Park. Imagine driving scooter next to the jungle where monkeys jump around on the trees and you have wild beaches on the right side. Then.. imagine a huge varan in front of you crossing the road. I freak out at first I admit 🙂 But it was also exciting at the same time. Monkeys were jumping on our scooters. Maybe it is a good idea to avoid leaving your keys on. We were close to loosing them 🙂
We played with monkeys and saw varans from very close. It was a bit freaky also because there were maybe 10 people in total in the whole park and varans are poisonous. They did not pay attention to us, we think 🙂
It was definitely a place where I was outside my comfort zone but that is healthy sometimes 🙂
Speaking about the comfort zone, if you read my previous story you will know we had to sleep with lizards in our rooms 🙂 Fun! In that house, I had the pleasure to share my room with geckos. They were much bigger than the ones I had in Phuket but at least they were quiet. One night I was watching a movie alone on the first floor and I could see on the window reflection a gecko just hanging on the wall. A huge flying bug came in and flew close to the gecko who jumped from the wall, catched the bug and splashed on the floor. In few seconds he climbed again on the wall. The gecko looked like that but a bit darker:
I shared with some friends I shared my room with lizards but no one really have had the same experience. 🙂 Anyway, do not be scared of them even if you see them. They are part of the nature and they are 10 times more scared from you.
Next days we spent at Klong Nin beach. It is one of these wild beaches on the west side of the island.
Although the beaches are desolated, there are restaurants and bars, and even hotels on the beach. We were there in the end of October, which is considered a low season so this might also be an explanation. The water was warm and clean. It was perfect!
On the very south of the island there is the famous Bamboo beach, however, we had some issues with our scooters and could not make it down the beach. Locals said it was a place to see though.
We stayed close to the old town which was really small and the central area was one long street with shop and restaurants only. We went there around 20.00 for dinner and there were about 5-6 tourists in total on the whole street. No clubs, no bars around there. I guess on the west side around the wild beaches you might find a party place if this is the experience you seek but you should definitely do a research on that.
The last day we decided to explore the jungle a bit deeper and went to Khlong Chak Waterfall . For me that was an extremely scary experience. We walked about 20 minutes one way in the jungle, with flip-flops… so unprepared, there were no signs to direct us on the right way and we met only 1-2 people on the way to the waterfall. To be honest I was so scared I did not dare to look around myself but just ahead of me. I knew there were pythons and varans everywhere. It was so screepy but once we made it to the waterfall we saw there were about 10 more people already there.
To be honest, I did feel fear few times while being in Thailand, especially when people were warning us about animals. A woman next house was bitten by a huge red poisonous centipede and I do wish I did not have to write about it and maybe scare you but that is life and these animals are there and if you want closer experience with the jungle you will see them ( hopefully from far away ) 🙂 I used to watch all these videos about Thailand and listen to my friends` stories and no one ever mentioned them. Seeing the real Thailand is an experience which can take one out of his/hers comfort zone and this is a good thing. We only learn about ourserlves from these experiences and grow. Of course, you if stay on the party beached in Phuket and the touristic places most porbably you will not see the wildlife. 🙂
Leaving Koh Lanta made us nostalgic although we stayed there shortly. We had not planned where to go next so we decided to get a ferry again and go to Ao Nang beach next to Krabi. It was once again very touristic, maybe a bit less than Kata beach in Phuket. The beach was nice. There was occasional rain for about 30 minutes every day but that was okay. It was not as sunny as it was in Koh Lanta, so we hid from the rain in a massage studios 🙂 Thai massage for 1 hour – 300 baht.
We stayed in a nice resort WITHOUT and lizards in. Shocking 🙂 Krabi Tipa Resort – affordable and lovely rich breakfast buffet.
Our Krabi experience ended with climbing 1237 stairs to get to the Tiger Cave Temple. It was breath taking. Literally. I thought I will die 😀 32 degrees, sunny, girls had to wear long trousers and to hide their sholders, half a liter of water is not enough 🙂 Took me 1 hour to get to the top. Again I felt like giving up, especially because my friends were faster and they climbed it before me. I really appreciate everyone who passed me by on the way up and cheered me to continue 😀 Sad or inspirational, you decide 🙂
I made it! And this astonishing view really finished me 🙂
It is a wide terace with statues of Buddha. AND! There was water! YES!!! 🙂
I could describe more over what you may find there but I guess it would be best for you to take the adventure and discover for yourself.
Before you climb the stairs to the temple there are once again monkeys to feed and play with. Take care of your belongings because they animals may jump on you and steal something.
After 3 days in Krabi, we took a flight to Bangkok where we slept for a night and had to leave Thailand after 2 amazing weeks!
I wanted to finish this story with a nostalgic or inspirational ending but honestly I only got cheerful going though the photos again and there is no doubt you will read another story about my Asian adventures very soon!