Exploring Ko Lanta and Ko Rok

Trip Start Jan 26, 2008
Trip End Feb 09, 2008

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yesterday and today were better than the previous day. I decided to drive around the island yesterday and after awhile ended up at a little bar on some hill overlooking the sea. The place turned out to be owned by "Jack" who worked for AT&T in Bangkok for years. He spoke very good English and seemed to like talking. There was a young Canadian couple there that were backpacking. They had been in the south of Thailand for 3 months. They were heading up north, then to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. They were considering Madrid after that. They planned to do the Gibbon experience which is living and sleeping in trees and going on tree lines. That is way closer to nature than I want to be. I'll watch my monkeys on the ground. I can't begin to imagine the bug bites they will get. In fact, the girl had to take the young man to the hospital the other night because his fever was so high. she was afraid it was malaria but turns out he had so many infected mosquito bites that he developed an infection.

After leaving there I stopped at Old Lanta Town and had a fabulous meal at Fresh Restaurant, fried prawns in basil leaf. Prawns are shrimp and they were delicious. While there I noticed these beautiful hand made delicately woven elephant mats. I bought one and plan to frame it and hang it in my office. On the way back to the car a fruit vendor stopped me and handed me a peeled fruit that I had never seen before. It was about the size of those big globe grapes. Inside it has five sections like a tangerine but is translucent white. It was as sweet as honey. They told me the name but I forget. something like "klung deng". Thai is phonetic so the spelling is never the same in 2 places. They told me the name for tangerines and I taught them the English name. We all laughed. The Thai people are so warm and welcoming. Jack gave me his phone number and email before I left and told me to call him anytime if I have any trouble or problems in Thailand.

Koh Lanta reminds me more of the Caribbean. The people seem desperately poor here. Many living in shacks with no running water. I watched a woman wash her dishes in a bucket with water from the rain spout. There is more trash here too. The customer service is still good but not quite what it was in other places. I think they are jaded with all the tourists here. There is a large Swedish population here; there are 3 Swedish schools. Tonight on the beach after the Thai music they played reggae and I really felt like I was back in Tortola, except that the wait staff did not ignore me and shuffle around like they could not get out of their own way, LOL

Today I went on a snorkeling trip to Koh Rok Noi and Koi Rok Nok. http://www.thaiwaysmagazine.com/krabi/krabi_attraction_ko_la nta_county.html#ko_rok_nok

The fish were gorgeous bright colors of every hue. Absolutely the best snorkeling I have ever done. They come right up to you. At one point when they fed them bread I was swimming in a whole school of them and they were swimming into me and brushing against me. Now I regret not bringing my PADI card and going diving. The diving is supposed to be fabulous here but I didn't want to go alone.

This place is filled with Swedes. Swedish families to be exact, which does not make it the best place for a single female. They are pretty insular and not very friendly. However, as luck would have it, I met a single Swedish woman traveling alone with her 6 year old son who was also desperate for another adult to talk to. We met at this place on the beach where I had dinner. They put mats and cushions and low tables right on the sand. We talked for long time and plan to meet for dinner tomorrow. I am glad because I am tired of eating dinner alone since I left Chiang Mai. Sooner or later I always meet someone.

Ko Rok is uninhabited but there is a ranger station and you can rent bungalows there. I am disappointed that I could not do the longtail 4 island tour. I especially wanted to see Koh Radan. Maybe next time. Koh Lanta is beautiful but I would not come here again as a solo traveler.

There are more Muslims in this part of Thailand; you see less spirit shrines and I have not seen one Wat. I intentionally did not go further south due to the unrest there from the Muslims. They want to be independent because they feel discriminated against. This coming weekend is Chinese New Year. I heard on the radio that planned insurgent activity to disrupt the celebrations had been planned in Bangkok but was uncovered.

I think next trip I will go to Chiang Rai, Laos, and Cambodia. I want to see Angkor Wat. Thailand is the only Asian country never colonized. That is because the 5th King Rama gave Laos and Cambodia to the foreigners to keep them out. Thus Thailand lost Angkor Wat.
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mlfb50 on

Re: Hi
Hi Jill,

Don't know what Bangkok will have in store when I get there since it is Chinese New Year. Probably be a madhouse. The Thais celebrate 3 New Year. International, Thai and Chinese

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