Highlander Islander

Trip Start Nov 01, 2011
Trip End Apr 12, 2013

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Where I stayed
Funky Fish

Flag of Thailand  , Krabi,
Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our original plan had been to go from Railay straight to the island of Koh Phi Phi, but after our strenuously hectic itinerary in the run up to New Year, we had now entered a far more relaxed frame of mind, and the notion of spending some extra time visiting the Thai islands was most appealing. Thus, we decided to take in a few days in a place called Koh Lanta, an hour's boat journey away from Phi Phi.

Lanta was an island we hadn’t actually heard of before arriving in Southern Thailand, but we had heard good things from fellow travellers and decided we might as well squeeze in somewhere which was slightly more off the beaten track than Phi Phi would be.

We were fast becoming hardy sea-dogs, and undertook another boat trip to reach Lanta. The island is fairly large, spanning over 25km in length, with the entire West side offering various sandy treats, so we selected a beach about midway down the island and found a nice bungalow to stay in for a while.

After the massive throngs of people crowding Railey, Lanta was a breath of fresh air. Immediately we fell in love with the intoxicating relaxed vibe of the place. There was a real family feel, and numerous reggae bars dotted around only served to add to the chilled feeling in the air. The dramatic limestone karsts of Railey were replaced by wide expanses of smooth beach, with the only hilly areas to be found inland.

Once again our days mainly consisted of quiet downtime, playing cards on the beach, me getting steadily more absorbed in reading Game of Thrones, and Abi constantly accelerating away from me in the race for bronze skin. Let’s be honest, I was never a serious contender here. If I come home a slightly darker shade of pasty Scottishness, somehow avoiding a resemblance to freshly cooked lobster, I’ll consider that a success.

We did have one particularly rewarding day. The small towns on the island were fairly spread out, and the roads unusually high quality for a relatively quiet place, so we decided to hire a scooter for the day. Normally we rule this out as road conditions can be appalling, with driving standards dismally poor, but Lanta was blissfully quiet, and it offered a great way to see more of the island, so we decided we could handle the drive.

And so we spent the majority of the day boosting around the island, stopping at a few other beaches, a traditional Thai village on the other coast, which happened to boast an amazing craft shop called the Hammock House, selling bespoke hand-woven hammocks. We can count ourselves lucky we managed to be sensible and avoided buying half the shop! I thoroughly enjoyed forcing the scooter up some impressive gradients and hills along the way, the wind in our faces, sun blazing above, palm trees and glorious beaches rushing past. It was a fantastic way to experience the island.

On our last night we went to see a reggae band from Malaysia playing in a funky little bar, and grooved the night away happily. Abi even managed to source some local cider, and was instantly delighted to escape from beers for a night.

We had an excellent few days on Lanta, glad to have discovered a new island and really indulged in some therapeutic downtime. It was time to move on to neighbouring Phi Phi, which we were able to see from our beach, and had been looking forward to for weeks. Island hopping had definitely become ingrained within us by now, and we weren’t about to stop anytime soon!
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