Published: September 6th 2009September 6th 2009
Well here I am on the island of Koh Lanta in Southern Thailand, and if Sapa was a piece of Heaven, this place is a piece of Paradise. It's so laid back here that if it were any more so, you would be comotosed!!
I left Hanoi on Friday morning, and flew to Bangkok, then got a connecting flight to Krabi in Southern Thailand. I had been a bit worried that I may miss the connecting flight as I only had 1 hour between flights, but the airline Buddha was clearly on my side, and everything went to plan.
I knew I had to catch a ferry over to Koh Lanta, but naively thought it was probably only a short trip from the airport. Wrong !! It took 2 and a half hours, 2 car ferries, and a whole lot of driving. Koh Lanta is long and skinny, and about 30km all the way around. It's your typical tropical paradise, with white sand, trees and thick undergrowth right down to the sand, frangipani and other tropical flowers everywhere.
You arrive in at the main town (Salandin) at the top of the island, and I am staying in a small resort at the other end. Once we actually arrived on Koh Lanta, I began to get a bit worried, as there didn't seem to be too many people about, and frankly everything looked pretty shabby. I kept telling myself that if it was really bad I could just go somewhere else.
Anyway I am in a delightful little resort on a small bay called Ba Kan Tiang Beach. There are 4 resorts along the bay, and I have to say it reminds me very much of Sengeggi beach on Lombok when I was there about 15 years ago. The resort at one end is quite upmarket, and the other 3 (one of which I am staying in) are probably 3.5 star, all with beach front restaurants / bars. I have a delightful studio room right on the beach, with the necessities of life... my own bathroom, aircon, fridge and TV.
There aren't a lot of tourist around, which is kind of nice, and makes it seem even more peacful and paradise like. It's still the rainy season here, so unfortunately it's cloudy and the sea isn't blue. However there hasn't been any rain so far, and best of all, the temperature is much cooler. My guess a constant high 20's with fairly hight humidity. So after the extreme heat of Laos & Hanoi, this a welcome change, and just delightful.
There isn't a lot to do here except laze around. You can only lie on the beach in the afternoons, as at high tide in the morning the water comes right up to the edge of the sand, which is about 10 meters away from the verandah of my room. By late afternoon, the tide is way out, and there is plenty of sand. Apparently the extreme in the tides is a feature of this time of the year. The restaurants on the beach serve some outstanding Thai food, and I found a 7/11 store yesterday that sold some quite passable South African white wine. So I am pretty happy.... great food, wine, snacks, a good book and what else could you possibly ask for!! I may become a beach hippy and never return to real life !!!
This is the area that was badly devastated by the Tsumani, and I can see why. Everything is right on the waters edge, and I have to admit it crossed my mind that I hope there isn't any storms that bring in high seas while I'm here. There isn't really any obvious signs of damage from the Tsumani except there are a lot of fairly new looking buildings.
Well that's about it for now, I'm off to fill in a couple of hours with a massage, and then it might be time for a glass of wine.
Cheers for now, Ali xxx
Ps.. please excuse any spelling mistakes, I am really missing "Spell ChecK"