Full moon, rebirth and dying days

Trip Start Jun 26, 2008
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Trip End Jun 2009


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two whole weeks in one place, sleeping in one bed, taking no trains, buses, taxis or planes. Is this for real? Only one snag: our room was riddled with mozzies. On day 6 (not sure why we waited so long) we spent a morning hunting for mosquito-repellent wall plugs, Baygon, anti-mozzie oils etc.

After quizzing every traveler that we met in Malaysia we decided that out of all the Thai islands we would choose Ko Lanta for our three weeks of downtime. Reason for this were that it has friendly locals, is not too resort-filled or overdeveloped and has a good mix of low-key and a bit of night life and lastly stunning sunsets. All beaches are on the west coast as the east coast is mainly mangroves.

It rained our first afternoon and we were tired from traveling, so it was not until our second evening that we discovered that the sunsets really were as good as we had heard. A two minute walk to Korner, our nearest beach bar and a relaxing end of day watching the dying sun.

We headed into town to investigate diving opportunities and discovered that Manta rays had recently been seen at Hin Daeng and Hin Maeung so wasted no time in booking a trip. The islands are a slow 4 hour ride away, so it was a long day with no Manta rays found. It was, however worth it with incredible colour (the site names mean Red Rock and Purple rock respectively)and an amazing amount of life at these sites. Lanta diver were an excellent dive shop and our DM Gabby was lovely.

This island does not have Phi Phi's breathtaking beauty but it has beaches varying from long and white to small and prettily dotted with rocks. They are also frequented by locals and a sunset walk is made more special when one sees local families playing in the sea. Add a scooter and you have a recipe for pottering, exploring and relaxing.

April 8 was full moon and we headed to our nearest full moon party. After a blundering start (arriving too early) we returned to find the party in full swing. Not a hard core rave party that you may find elsewhere in Thailand, but dance music, fireworks, fire throwers and a lovely moon over beach and palm trees and our biggest night out in a while.

Easter was a low key affair. We found a lovely German bakery and had freshly baked rye bread and coloured boiled eggs to make it a bit more normal.

Easter Monday, however, was Thai New Year. B, who is second-in-command at our resort, and the other staff did a lovely ceremony of anointing our hands with flower-scented water and our faces with clay. She also made us orchid necklaces and showed us how to do the same to the Buddha. Luckily we were prepared for a more riotous experience outside of the resort (reading all the details in the guidebook does pay off sometimes;) We we in board shorts and had the camera in a wet bag. This was very necessary as driving along the main road was an obstacle course of water fights. A fabulous atmosphere and a world away from the troubles in Bangkok!

Other exciting events were our wildlife spottings.Namely: an unidentified long-tailed monkey crossing the road (baby Gibbon?), a barn owl being chased by two sea eagles and our first ever Asian elephant (all be it a working one).

On the domsetic animal front there is the usual third world dirth of stray dogs and cats. Best dog was the one that lifted his leg on someone's towel on the beach!

At the end of our two weeks we are happy to say that we agree with all those who gave us advice. Ko Lanta is a special, laid back place. WE have loved our time here and if it were not for the call of more scuba diving up north in the Andaman sea we could have stayed here longer.
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