Trip Start May 01, 2007
209Trip End Jun 17, 2008
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Where I stayed
Lin Thar Oo Resort
I made a couple of ill-informed decisions upon stepping off the plane when I arrived at Thandwe, the airport near the beach (though truthfully I relish these ill-informed decisions since in this case it resulted in me getting to know quite a few little villages, having a pretty intimate water festival experience, and seeing some beaches that most tourists don't see). First of all, I had hoped to stay at Grand Resort at the northern end of Ngapali Beach which is listed as the cheapest place in the Lonely Planet. Second, it being day three of the water festival and so therefore no public transportation and there being no shuttle bus for the Grand Resort at the airport unlike all the other resorts expecting guests, I decided I'd just walk the 5 km to the resort. I bought myself a bottle of water and asked around about the Grand Resort. A couple other resort employees told me it was no longer open but I wasn't sure I believed them since that's a typical ploy of touts to get you to stay at their place (which I fell for, somewhat knowingly back in Tian Shi about 9 months ago). So I figured I'd walk there and check it out for myself. If it wasn't open the next decently priced place appeared to be nearby, so I figured I'd just keep walking and find a place eventually
After 20 minutes of walking I hired a trishaw driver. As we neared the first village a kid doused us with a bucket of water. I laughed and enjoyed the refreshing coolness brought on by the water. Then I realized I hadn't taken water festival precautions: I'd left my wallet, iPod and camera in my pockets which were now drenched. Frantically I moved them into my pack before getting doused again. The driver took me further and we continued to get wetter and wetter, enjoying it since it was plenty hot out. Then I realized I still had my money belt on too! Luckily I've kept my passport in a ziplock for nearly a year now so it was fine but the bills were soaked.
Eventually, due to the fact that I didn't know where I was going, due to communication difficulties and due to the fact that I wasn't really making any better progress by trishaw than I was by foot because of the water festival, I paid the driver a healthy fare, and went again by foot. After initially passing it I found the small road out to the point where Grand Resort sits. The road didn't look to have much traffic and it began to dawn on me that if Grand Resort was open it sure was quiet and little visited. Nevertheless the road passed through a nice wooded area of the Lan Thar village and when I reached the resort it's a pleasant, quiet vantage point at the far north end of the beach
I stood there quietly chuckly, taking a break, soaking in the serenity of the place, snapped a couple pictures of the long ago abandoned buildings, and noted that the rest beach--and the other resorts--were on the other side of the estuary.
Being stubborn and already drenched from head to toe, instead of walking the opposite direction back to the main road, I hitched my pack up above my shoulders waded across the estuary. Eventually I found the Lan Thar Oo Resort. Turns out they were full but they did make a small, ascetic single room available to me which brought me great relief since I needed a place to dry my money!