Our first stop of our Thailand tour would be down south to try get the pollution out our lungs and stress out our heads. We were heading for Koh Lanta, one of the islands in the South West which we missed last time.
Getting to Lanta is not a quick trip however what you get once there is worth every minute of travel. First, we got the plane from Bangkok down to Krabi, the bus to Krabi town, then the minibus and two car ferry’s onto Lanta the whole trip took around 6 hours although was easy to organize and cheap! (You can get the bus from Bangkok however this would add about another 12 hours onto the trip!) Unlike the the other islands, Lanta is not quite the same in levels of parties and is more laid back than some of the other islands, just what we needed.
We had booked into the Lanta Riveria Resort in a small, cheap fan room however once there they had lost the key and we got upgraded to a nice big bungalow with air con and 30 seconds to the beach! Not a bad way to start your trip!! The point of Lanta was to relax so we spent plenty of time at the beach and chilling out.
We hired motorbikes and took a tour of the island on our own, we traveled around and found secret hidden beaches with crystal clear waters and sparkling white sand the food was every bit as good as I remembered!
Once we had caught up on our rest we decided to book onto a tour to explore some of the islands just off the coast of Koh Lanta. The tour took us to the old town of Koh Lanta where we caught a long tailed boat to our first island. The boat ride started off lovely… until we came out of the shelter of the islands and hit some BIG waves. The only way I can describe the next hours boat journey is to think of a comedy show in the rain where it pans out so you can see someone off screen throwing buckets of water in the actors face, with each wave came another big dump of water meaning we were drenched right through by the time we came to our first island. Before getting into the water we were told to look up…. right above us on the cliffs were hundred of bats roosting! As one spread its wings you could see that these were not your average small bats but in fact massive creatures!
We jumped off the boat here and into the blue waters for some snorkeling surrounded by colourful fish, we spent about half an hour in the water checking out all the fish before jumping back onto the boat and heading to the next island. We jumped into the water and formed a line with me at the front and Andy behind me using me as float and making me do all the work (despite the fact he can swim!!) making our way through an opening in the rock we swam into a cave which had the greenest waters I have ever seen. (The name should have given it away as it was called the Emerald Cave) as we swam further into the cave we were plunged into pitch black with only the tiniest torch to led the way. It was quite amusing as we happened to get there just as a school group started going though who were all singing, shouting and just being kids. We kept swimming until we reached the end of the cave and where the light hit the water we were greeted by the beautiful green waters once again which opened up into a secret lagoon. The lagoon was beautiful (More so when the school group left and took the noise with them) and we were told it used to be a smugglers cave as it was completely hidden! We spent a while swimming in the green waters and having some fun, Andy putting strategically placed large leafs over him so he looked naked
The third island was another snorkeling site where you could go right into the base of the lime stone cliffs, the snorkeling here was not as good as some of the others I have done but the cool waters were lovely to get a break from the heat.
Our 4th and final island was Koh Mook which was our lunch stop. Lunch was included with the tour
and was an amazing spicy chicken curry made by the tour guys wife. The island was beautiful and we had a couple of hours to explore, eat and relax on the white sands. Where we were sitting we noticed loads of moving objects around us which turned out to be tiny hermit crabs scurrying in sand.
With that the tour was over and we headed back over the water to the dock (We sat up the back to avoid the lashings of water from the waves!!) the tour only cost 800 baht and included all transport to and from the hotels as well as lunch and snorkeling gear. Although it is worth shopping around as all tour shops offer different rates and you can sometimes get discounts… some people on our tour paid 1,000 baht so its worth shopping around!
Nights on Koh Lanta are spectacular and if you get one of the BBQ meals on the beach you get first class seats to some magnificent sunsets. I am a sucker for a good sunset so this was right up our street as we ate and watched the sky turn from blue, to pink, to orange then purple.
Koh Lanta was definitely the little piece of relaxation we needed however 4 days was enough for us as we were moving on to Krabi for some more adventures.