After Singapore, our first stop was to be Thailand. Factoring in some beach time was very important, and after a little research, we decided that Ko Lanta was the island for us. Located in the Andaman sea, it was the perfect getaway – quiet, laid back, and most importantly, a sandy beach to relax on!
We spent three nights at Mook Lanta Eco Resort. Our bungalow on stilts was clean and spacious, and had two good fans to keep us cool. The bed was as hard as a rock but surprisingly we both slept really well! Mook Lanta resort was calm and tranquil, reasonably priced, and close to a good choice of restaurants and bars. We’d recommend it!
Our closest beach was Long Beach, or Phra Ae. We were situated at the southern end of the beach, where it was quite rocky and not really suitable for sunbathing. A short walk further up the beach and over the rocks lead to a much nicer stretch. It was quite quiet and peaceful, a fair amount of our time was spent swimming in the warm sea and soaking up the sun. It was hard to stay out in the heat for more than a few hours though, so stopping for mango shakes every so often helped us to cool down.
There were a fair few bars dotted along the beach, each offering a beautiful view of the sunset in the evening. We stopped by a couple of different bars on different nights, enjoying a Chang or two each as the sun went down. There’s no better way to kickstart five months of travelling.
4 Islands Boat Tour
We booked on a longtail 4 island boat tour through our hotel, and were promptly picked up at 8am whilst still trying to eat breakfast. A great start to the day! After being dropped off to pick our boat up, we were stranded for an hour because our guide had forgotten the snorkelling masks. During our wait a wild goat appeared and freaked everyone out for a bit, followed by a chicken, several dogs, and a cat. Eventually we boarded the boat and the day could begin.
There was ample time for snorkelling, which I did, and Adam had a go at but wasn’t a big fan being a non-swimmer. I got to see a lot of brightly coloured fish which was fun! I also did my usual trick of accidentally swallowing 5 litres of sea water through the snorkel tube.
Above water, the snorkelling locations were postcard perfect, but under the water told a different story. I noticed that a lot of the coral was dead, from too many tour boats most likely. This was a little disappointing, and I have to admit I did feel a little guilty on the boat ride home.
As we were moving on to our next island, the engine broke down in the middle of the ocean. Great! We were sat bobbing around for half an hour or so whilst our driver and guide fixed the boat. When all we finally fixed it was then time to head to the Emerald Cave, our third island.
The sea was quite choppy when we got to the cave, and I was not looking forward to swimming. Life jacket on and secured, I braved the swim and made it through to the other side! 30 seconds of swimming in complete darkness is something I don’t think I would like to experience again. The current was also very strong, I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who’s not a confident swimmer.
Despite the scary swim, the little secluded beach was cool, and there weren’t too many other tour groups there so it was nice and quiet. We stood and took it in for a few minutes before swimming as quickly as humanly possible out of the cave and back to the boat.
A second ocean engine break down and lunch on the boat later, we stopped at the last beach for a break. Ko Ngai was so pretty and we wished we’d had more time here to hang out, but it was time to head back to the mainland.
It had been quite a long day, and although we got to see some pretty islands and spend time out on the water, it wasn’t exactly as we’d expected. We felt like we spent more time being ferried between islands than actually doing any activity, and having to wait an extra hour in the morning wasn’t so fun either. Nevertheless, for £20 each you can’t really go wrong and we did enjoy our day out. It was certainly an interesting experience!
Farewell to Lanta
We really enjoyed our three nights on Ko Lanta. Although brief, we felt like we had enough time to take it all in and enjoy island life before going back to a big city. Long beach was the right choice for us, there were plenty of bars/food/fun without being too crazy. Our next stop was to book a minibus to Trang, where we spent a night before boarding the sleeper train to Bangkok. There are more Thailand posts available here, if you want to follow our journey!