So, where's your tan then?

Trip Start Aug 01, 2003
Trip End Sep 20, 2004

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Friday 19th March

After a dispute at our hotel over internet payment, we boarded the Ko Lanta ferry a little flustered and out of pocket. We hadn't taken off our backpacks or found a seat before we were preyed upon by touts trying to get us to stay at their accommodation.
After perusing the leaflets and consulting the LP we settled on Lanta sands resort. On arriving in Ko Lanta we were efficiently bundled into the back of a van with other nervous looking backpackers and driven, at speed, to our "resort".
The accommodation suited our modest needs and located near a beautiful long sandy beach.
We ate well at the restaurant overlooking the beach then settled ourselves into deckchairs on the beach, cocktails in hand, to watch the sun set over the sea. The islands of Ko Phi Phi could just be seen sillhouetted on the horizon.

Saturday 20th March

Idle day. Sunbathing, swimming, walking along the beach.
Another tasty meal at our resort then further cocktails at sunset.

Sunday 21st March

Decided to break the routine a bit and go on a snorkelling trip to Ko Rok. This island is about an hour away by speedboat. We had 2 snorkelling stops, the second site was particularly good with colourful coral and large fish. Both getting better at diving down thanks to my PADI tips. Lots of Nemos! Saw Dori too.
Lunch on a beautiful beach where the water was so warm and shallow it was like sitting in a bath. Knew we were probably burning but too happy to care.
More good snorkelling then final beach stop where I sunbathed and Mike played football with the guys from the boat.
No cocktails today, went for a curry and a beer, beautiful sunset.

Monday 22nd March

Tuesday 23rd March

Broke our lazy routine slightly by visiting a nearby luxury resort (same name) whose pool we could use. Decided to have lunch there and found the menu same as ours but prices twice as high and food half as good. Pool excellent.

Wednesday 24th March

Another boat trip but this time instead of a luxury speedboat it was a prehistoric rusty tanker. There were looks of dismay and "this isn't what i was expecting" as each person boarded. Our destination was 4 of nearby Trang's picturesque islands. We soon settled ourselves on the sundeck, improvising comfortable seating by sitting on the rusty deck , leaning forward against the rails with our legs dangling over the side.
Snorkelling not as good as Ko Rok, visibility reduced (or was it that I fogot my contact lenses).
Some pretty impressive limestone kaarst in this area. Lunch on the spectacular white sandy beach of Ko Kradan.

Last stop was a trip to the emerald cave. The water was a bit choppy and at high tide, there appeared only a few feet of cave exposed. I chickened out but Mike bravely donned life vest and swam off into the darkness. It seems I really missed out because after the unpleasant sounding 100m swim through the narrow winding dark cave, it came out into a beautiful cliff encircled lagoon with a pretty sandy beach.
Back on the tanker everyone was happily settled into the long journey back, when with a noisy splutter our engine decided to die. There was an eerie silence. It seemed strange that the black clouds of smoke had abated. We were a long way from land in fairly rough water. The crew made light of it "good place for snorkelling" they merrily quipped.
All was not lost, apparently this was not a unique event (unsurprisingly), and another slightly better version of our boat was soon towing us back to Ko Lanta.
The return was fairly slow going with the tow rope breaking 3 times. It was quite relaxing however floating along without the noisy sound of the engine, and we got to see the sun set at sea.

Thursday 25th March

Scary high speed bus trip to Trang. Overtaking on blind bends apparently the norm here.
Getting overnight train to Bangkok this evening.
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