Best Decision EVER!!!!
Paradise is what we found on Koh Lanta, absolute paradise. We got on to the island after two ferry rides and a minivan with a broken air-conditioning unit that had the back of the van smelling like burnt plastic....very pleasant
. It was after nine by the time we eventually arrived at the tourist office and after thirteen hours of travelling we were pretty exhausted. The lady in the tourist office was very helpful and found us bungalows in a resort a short taxi ride away. The resort was right on the beach and the pictures in the brochure she had looked great so we went for it. We booked for six nights in the hope that a) the place was just as it looked in the pictures and b) that we'd get a discount. We scored on both accounts. The bungalows were gorgeous!! Small, just a room with a bed, a fan and a bathroom but absolutly perfect for what we needed. When you're not sharing a room with six other people the simplest things make you very happy indeed. We were about 20metres from the beach and there was a restaurant on the grounds too. Happy days. We showered (badly needed) and had something to eat and went to bed.
For the next nine days our lives were very simple and utterly pleasant. We'd wake early enough because it got too hot in the bungalow. We'd have something to eat in the little restaurant, usually club sandwiches (delicious!) then we'd faff about on the beach for a wee while, reading books, hiding from the sun, the usual ☺! In the evening we'd eat like kings......the food here was even better than Penang which is saying alot. We had green curries that had so many flavours your mouth would be sizzling and popping while you ate it, red curries, masaman curries, spring rolls, juices, milk shakes, the list went on and on
! The food was incredible. We used to plan our days around what we were having for dinner that night. Brian would sometimes wake up thinking about his dinner choices for that night!!! Amazing.
The staff in the resort were brilliant fun. There were about four of them running the place and only one of them had enough English to have a conversation with. The others had very basic English but not for want of trying or effort or enthusiasm. They were so much fun and made a couple of our nights even better just by being around and up for any bit of madness.
One of the days we hired scooters and went around the island. The scooters were great fun! One of our better ideas for sure. We went right the way over to the other side of the island to the Old Town. There wasn't much to see over there but the views were pretty incredible. The roads were pretty safe. The thing about over here is that EVERYONE drives scooters. There are very few cars on the road so it's not them you have to worry about really. It's the other scooter drivers who don't really seem to have a set of rules to follow. You get on your bike and you go, wherever, whenever and how fast or slow is all up to you. They have bike lanes over here too so that kinda helps although to me it didn't seem like anyone was using them
. They give a little beep if they're coming up behind you and intend on passing you out and it's funny how quickly you begin to adapt to their way of driving. Anyway, the scooter day was one of my favourite days. We had initially planned on getting one and taking turns in driving it but Brian, having never ridden one before, was a bit shaky at the start and didn't feel confident taking me on the back. I was only delighted that I got to get my own one!!!! ☺ You quickly get the hang of them though and it wasn't long before he was reaching speeds of over 30km an hour!!! We were out for the best part of the day and had had no problems with the bikes whatsoever but as I pulled in to the entrance to our resort I checked the mirrors and didn't see Brian behind me. One minute later and he still wasn't coming.......crap! I had thoughts of getting back out on to the main road and seeing a crowd gathered.........not to worry though, he'd only run out of petrol! We were literally only a hundred metres from home. Typical eh? I scooted down and got some in a plastic bottle, got him moving again and that was our day. We were a bit burnt when we got back but what a great day!
Our initial six days turned into nine days and we really didn't want to leave. Our flight to Vietnam was the only thing weighing on our minds. We had met with another couple from England who were good fun and had a few great nights with them
. (Buckets Hugh, lots and lots of buckets). One of the days though the two of them went for a walk up the beach and she bent down to pick up a shell and ended up pulling something in her lower back. She was bed ridden for four days and was pretty miserable, obviously enough. She eventually got herself upright but was in an awful lot of pain and very rigid and afraid to move in case she put herself back on her back again. They had only planned to be in Koh Lanta for two or three nights but we ended up leaving before they did. They only had a two week visa too so I don't know how they were going to work that.
Koh Lanta was beautiful. Really it was and we were sad to leave. It's one of those places that we'll hopefully come back to, so laid back, so easy, beautiful white sand and sea water that's as warm as a bath. Amazing.
We took a boat to Phi Phi which was about an hour away.
Before it got to the stage where we could no longer fit into our clothes we left Penang. We took a bus to Hat Yai in Thailand......new stamp at the border, but only two weeks of a visa because of the hassle in Bangkok. We had initially planned to go west to Satun and then take a ferry across to Koh Turatao but decided against it at the last minute. The LP said that it was very basic and very remote (all good things) but that we'd have to bring our own food and drink to keep us for however many days we wanted to stay (bad things). Instead we decided to head north to Trang and then out to Koh Lanta.