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Published: February 15th 2019
I decided to come here by minibus. The other option was ferry via Railay to Saladan Pier, and then inevitably getting ripped off by a tuktuk driver. They know you have no choice. The minivan was cheaper, 350b, and offers a hotel to hotel service which may or may not work. In the case of the two girls going to Lanta Old Town, it didn’t. Only to the beaches at the top of the west coast. I got picked up at 10am, really promptly, and we made our way up the hill, picking others up in the cheaper hostels as we went. Got to the company ticket office in Krabi (there are many bus depots and one main station) in Walking Street and we all got out with our bags and exchanged our tickets for a sticker with our accommodation name on it. I was encouraged that I might get taken right to the door, but thought it was more likely he’d drop me on the main road to walk down the side road to the guest house. There is a loo, the guy was very apologetic that it was Thai style, ie a squatty in a vile
cupboard with no sink. Needs must!
We didn’t have to wait long. Sometimes it can be an hour or more, depending on your destination. I could hear him calling Best House, that was me. Every seat on the bus was taken and the cases and rucksacks were slid into the narrow aisles and piled up against the door. At least we were wedged in. We saw a terrible accident on the opposite side, a car completely caved in, windscreen bent and twisted. Nobody seems to wear a seatbelt except for the cowardly farangs. We were strapped in!
I was told we’d arrive at 1.30. Not really. We got to the ferry from the mainland to the first Ko Lanta Island, where nothing much happens. It was a roll on roll off car ferry. It turned round and went across backwards, for some reason, then turned again when we arrived. The queuing and crossing took about 45 minutes. Then it wasn’t far to the bridge across to Saladan, on the proper island. Saladan was more of a going concern than I’d imagined. I thought I’d be one of the first to be dropped off as my place was at
the top end of Long Beach. I’d taken google earth snapshots in case I had to yell for him to stop but he turned down the side road and took me right to the door, which I was very pleased about. The Road is dusty and gravelly, not great for wheeling bags. It was about 2.15. No worries. The bar names were Marijuana, Mushroom.......
Best House is one of the bigger places, with rooms on 2 floors. I’d been brave (foolish) and booked a fan only room, a bit cheaper. This was in the cold at home. When here I thought how stupid and that I’d ask to upgrade if/when it was possible. The room was £20 a night and to my amazement I realised the other night I’d paid when I booked. Happy days! The place is owned by a lovely family. The older lady, Bao, was amazed that I was on my own, recovered, checked I was the right person and that she had a big surprise for me. The place was full so she’d given me an aircon room, as I’d booked so long ago. She said I didn’t have to use it, it was up
to me! I organised my face into an expression of considering whether to use it or not/ whateverness, and inside was going wheeeeeeee! Result!The only slightly odd thing is that the wash basin is out on the balcony, in full view of my neighbours. But the BED isn’t made of concrete and there are 4 huge pillows. It’s at the top of the stairs so kind of opens into the reception area. Anal the showers isn’t cold either, as I was expecting. Downstairs you can help yourself to tea and coffee, 30b, and there’s a fridge with drinks. Only 60b for a large Chang or Leo, super cheap. No food, but plenty of places around.
I unpacked and walked to the minimarket on the corner. It is so much more. Quite westernised, but serves great sandwiches, cakes, juices, breakfasts, much cheaper than Ao Nang. I got snacks and had a baguette, strawberry shake and delish vegan banana cake. The clientele here are a mix of my age and very young. It is exactly what I like. Simple, funky, relaxed, I love it.
Dropped off my snacks, went to the beach. A one minute walk. Some shade under trees,
a few sunbeds outside a dive shop, the clearest sea. A sea eagle overhead and stripy fish. Hot. Doesn’t have the impressive cliffs of the mainland, but it will do!
This evening I came down to the Ozone Bar on the beach. Chill out music, fabulous sunset, WiFi. Just amazing.on the way back (by then it was pitch black) I stopped for some dinner at little place called Smile where some Catalan women were hanging out. One of their friends had taken over the kitchen and was cooking suquet. It was really random and I loved it.
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