Christmas Lanta

Trip Start Apr 14, 2013
Trip End May 26, 2014

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Flag of Thailand  , Krabi,
Friday, December 27, 2013

A beach at Christmas in the sunshine, white sand and crystal clear blue sea, with beautiful warm water to swim in - it's a dream come true right? Well for one of us maybe.

Someone decided that this is not what Christmas is about. And before you think that that someone was just a little homesick and missing her family, let me tell you that what she really wanted was:
1. Pigs in blankets
2. Presents
3. To watch Doctor Who

Little Christmas grinches aside, Koh Lanta is beautiful. I have been here before a few years ago and I was very impressed, and that opinion hasn't changed - though there are definitely a lot more people around than there used to be. Luckily Lanta is big enough, and they haven't yet built a lot of hotels, so the crowds are spread out enough that you don't notice them very much. However, there seem to be a huge amount of Scandinavians, to the extent that they have their own little ghettos with their own shops and even schools! Weird.

We met my parents on Koh Lanta (the reason for our circuitous route round Thailand), and we had high hopes of hanging out in their fancy resort having booked ourselves a cheap room nearby. They weren't very impressed with theirs though, so we spent our first morning checking out other fancy resorts. Gen threw herself into it with a passion. But apart from that, it was really great to see them and good to be with family over Christmas,even if there weren't any pigs in blankets.

Christmas Day was spent exploring four small islands south of Lanta. We hired a private long boat to take the four of us around, and it was a lot of fun. We snorkelled in two separate locations (while teaching my mum how to snorkel, and coaxing my dad into water for the first time in years), visited a beach within a cave (called the Emerald cave) which could only be reached by swimming through an 80m tunnel, and ate nice home cooked Thai food on a (reasonably) secluded beach. The water was warm and clear, and it was a very nice day out.

For dinner, we joined one of the beachfront restaurants for a buffet and show that they were putting on, and we actually ended up winning tickets on a trip to another island for some more snorkelling in their Christmas raffle (the food was pretty nice too). This trip was on a speedboat out to one of the more remote islands - Koh Rok, and it was amazingly picturesque. The snorkelling was great with large coral formations and lots of large colourful fish. We also managed a walk up one of the hills on the island to a stunning viewpoint, while dodging the large monitor lizards that lived there. The journey back to Lanta, however, was not a whole lot of fun, as the sea had picked up during the day, and it was an incredibly choppy ride. By the time we got back I don't think anyone or anything wasn't completely soaked.

On another day, we hired a car and drove round Lanta itself. We took a short walk through the jungle to a waterfall (Gen loved this bit - she decided not to climb any hills and walk through the middle of a stream instead). We visited the national park at the south of the island, where the jungle comes almost to the beach. We stopped off at a couple of different viewpoints and beaches to the one we were staying near, and even had a quick look at the mangroves that grow on the north east of the island.

Lanta was meant to be quiet relaxation time, but we actually ended up doing quite a lot. It was great fun though, and I definitely want to come back again, though maybe not at this specific time of year.

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