Ko Lanta consists of several islands, the two largest of which are Ko Lanta Noi (เกาะลันตาน้อย, “Small Lanta Island”) and Ko Lanta Yai (เกาะลันตาใหญ่, “Big Lanta Island”). Ko Lanta is a little less well-known than Ko Phi Phi, which has become more commercialised and corporate, there is less party and drinking and more peace. Ko Lanta was once known by its Malay name, Pulao Satak, which means Long Beach Island. Later, many Thais, both Buddhist and Muslim, moved to the island making the island known as the island of “a million eyes” (“Lanta” in Thai). The name may also be derived from the Javanese “lan-tas”, or fish grill (built of wood with a square grill on top where the fish are set in a circle).
And so we arrived on our paradise island. We checked into a fancy hotel with a swimming pool and headed to the beach which was… dirty, with a lot of stones, cold and with stuff floating in the water. Massacre!
The following day we decided to explore the island to find a better place. What would be more appropriate to do it with than moppets???At the time it seemed as a good idea to rent them and just drive around the island. In a short time we could have a glimpse of most of the beaches. M and A did not drive with us in the end so it was down to us to to choose a place to stay.
As you can see on the map the road on the west side of the island seems to run just next to the beach. This is almost true, as there are many resorts next to the beach which cover up the view. The main roads on the island are well paved. However the road just north of Mu Ko National Park is still unpaved dirt. That road ends at the park and so it isn’t possible to drive from that point up the eastern side of the island.
It was the first time I ever drove a moppet. Soooo scary! Everything was ok until I had to turn. I think I never learned how to do it in the end. Anyway we were driving South when we came to this steep hill and I was too afraid to drive my moppet back downhill. It was worth getting there though. We found there the place were we spent the rest of our stay: Klong Jark Bungalow. It had two features we were looking for: wooden cottages and location next to the beach. The prices were still low because the tourist season was not supposed to start until the last night of our stay. The beach was lovely and quite secluded. Next to ours there was one more resort with a beautiful restaurant and splendid food. It was so good and fresh that since I woke up I was already waiting on our evening meal.
All the attractions and things to do are well described in Wikitravel so if you are interested follow this link. I will write about my private memories and what happened to us.
1. One morning everyone we met asked us if we are going to the Job2do concert. “Job to do? Where is it?” And so we decided to go. The concert took place on a beach and we really had a lot of fun being reagge fans since Chiang mai. Job 2 Do (Job Bunjob) is the number one Thai Reggae Band. Their most famous song is called, well it’s called “doo doo doo”. I’m listening to it right now writing this post.
It felt good when the next morning we felt we are more than “just tourist”. We could ask anyone if they went to Job 2 Do concert and when they heard we did too, we received this smile making us believe we were not strangers anymore there was something we had in common. i remember being surprised by the plastic tables and chairs, I was expecting we all will have to stand and dance. I also didn’t expect we will be able to swim in the water hahahaa I suppose this is typical for somebody who never lived next to warm sea. I never went to Ibiza or places like that where the beach parties are a regularity. I really want to take part in full moon party next time I go over.
2. Mu Ko Lanta National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติหมู่เกาะลันตา). The Park is really beautiful with amazing white sand beach, lighthouse and a trek up the mountain and then through the jungle. You can meet a lot of monkeys up close, see tall jungle trees and many of jungle inhabitants. There weren’t many people there at the time so it was peaceful and quiet. I would advise to make a picnic there. If I remember correctly there is a place where you can buy some food but because we were out of tourist season it was closed. Hahahhaha one of us (no names) went the in panties hahaha and he survived so it’s not that dangerous.
3. Bar/restaurant at the top of our famous hill. Why is it fameous? Because no tuk-tuks go up the hill. To get to our resort we had to hitch-hike or walk. The restaurant is called Noon Sunset View Point Restaurant. Don’t miss it! I found it’s web site and it’s truly a different place than I remember. On the front page they show bottles of wine and I had a memory of it being a typical low budget place, but well things change. We were sitting on a wooden terrace under the roof, on the floor next to low tables overlooking sea and the beach. Marvelous.
4. The moment of happiness. You remember the first picture in this post of a sunset in our beach? This is a record of a sunset witnessing a moment of pure happiness that was acknowledged. We were sitting in hammock chairs drinking exotic coctails with umbrellas looking at the setting sun. The light of the bar was warm and pleasant the slight breeze played with shell decorations and the music was smooth. We just finished delicious dinner. I guess shrimps for me. We dined in this place almost every evening trying different dishes. You could choose from selection of Thai dishes but also freshly made fish on bbq. The grill was on the beach and you could choose the sea food or fish and watch the cook prepare it for you. Pictures of the food and the restaurant in the slide show.
5. Our last evening in Ko Lanta. We walked to the end of the beach where a beach bar was to be opened the next evening. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlB962jm5TE] The owner was bringing all the bottles, glasses and other equipment in preparation for the season. We sat down and ordered some drinks. They were all colours of the rainbow and the smile of the barman was the most beautiful and cheerful smile I have ever seem. I remember it as one of the most joyful evenings. I wished we could stay longer. We were joking, singing and ordering more and more drinks. I have a recording of our barman shaking the drinks for us. Some of them we got for free for a good start. We also took a picture of ingriediens of the best one but I never made it in Europe. I know M. wanted to make Pad Thai in Ireland but I’m not sure if he finally did it or not. We had so much fun!
Ahh Thailand the brightest memories and the most adventures, at least I know what makes my World go round 🙂 Enjoy the slideshow: