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Published: February 15th 2008
Staring into the Andaman Sea whilst enjoying a meal with the water lapping below your feet is a glorious way to dine! Such is the beauty of the beach at Koh Lanta Yai.
We made our way here after an interesting couple of bus (read: dilapidated mini-van) trips from Ao Nang. Our driver from Ao Nang to Krabi seemed to be discovering as he went along where he needed to pick up other passengers, via his mobile phone as he was driving. This man really had to be seen to be believed, for he had one specific feature which simply MUST be described. I've been told that cats have whiskers that grow to a length which enables them to detect which gaps they can slide through. I can only assume that the thick, black and astonishingly long hair protruding from this man's ears were serving the same purpose. Sitting behind him in the van, all of the pasengers were similarly astonished. I am not exaggerating when I state that they very nearly went to the full width of his shoulders! Just incredible.
Anyway, after a couple of ferry rides to access the island of Koh Lanta Yai, we had
finally arrived - only to be dropped off in the dirt on the side of the road! After some gesticulations to convey where we were supposed to be going (the very same place as two of the other passengers who were told to stay IN the vehicle), all of our gear was loaded back on board and we continued on our way.
We arrived at Blue Andaman Lanta Resort and were simply blown away by the dazzling views of the Andaman Sea. The resort itself has a swimming pool, restaurant and bar - and we are only paying 500 Baht for our bungalow (that is about $17 Australian). We have been whiling away the days here by reading books, swimming in the warm ocean water or cooling off in the pool. Watching the sunset from a deckchair just out of reach of the tide is idyllic. We have mentioned to each other many times that it is hard to believe we are in such a beautiful location.
It has been a very relaxing experience, with one notable exception...last night. As we were trying to go to sleep we were both kept awake by what sounded like an animal
either inside or directly under our bungalow. After a couple of investigative sweeps of the torch underneath the bungalow I felt mildly confident that nothing was there. It was when I got back into my bed that I noticed how close these sounds seemed to be to my ear as it was resting on the pillow. After a couple of hours of not being able to get to sleep due to the scurrying sounds of little paws and the squeaking of what I could only attribute to a mouse or a rat, I asked, "Have you been hearing this?" The response was a burst of nervous laughter. I swore that I could feel the mattress moving beneath me and that I believed there was a rat living inside the mattress.
By morning, neither of us had been able to get much sleep, and with the courage instilled in us by the light of day, we decided to investigate what exactly was keeping us awake. Underneath the bottom mattress was a plethora of empty chip packets, cigarettes, lighters, a chewed book and a syringe. If this wasn't enough evidence, the holes in the bottom of the mattress and the faecal
matter further confirmed my earlier suspicions. We commandeered the help of a cleaner (who then also did the same) and they began tearing off the bottom of the mattress. What we saw was a nest and more, filthy proof of vermin existence. Eventually the culprit scurried out, before we noticed there was another in there as well. It appeared that we had been sleeping (or trying to, at least) above a family of drug-addicted vermin. It was a rather unsettling experience and I lost my appetite, which is no small thing for me! To make the whole episode even more bizarre, the cleaner pocketed the cigarettes for a later time!
Tonight we took a walk towards town to try and find an ATM that was working (there was a power outage on the island today). Afterwards we stopped for dinner at Mr Wee's Pizzeria Thai Food (if you can make sense of that...). Fortunately he didn't apply his name to his menu items and we had a most delicious meal for our final night here. Tomorrow we are taking a boat ride to Koh Lipe, which will hopefully be vermin free!
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