Back to Bangkok, Sad to leave Koh Lanta

Trip Start Nov 16, 2004
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Trip End Nov 15, 2005


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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Nial & I along with Xmas travelling friends Neil & Laura have arrived in Bangkok. We left Koh Lanta on the car/ferry yesterday at 8am and caught a 16 hour sleeper train from mainland Trang, getting in at 6.30am.

Dan & Cath are following a day behind us so we will be together on New Years Eve.

The afternoon of the 27th was spent trying to tidy up Merry Lanta. We scraped the thick layer of sand from the restaurant and kitchen. Cleared the debris from the garden area. Dan was Mr Fix-it as he restored the electric - the 3 years he spent at college were not wasted after all!

We spent the night of 27th back up on the mountain. We were sat around at Merry Hut by the beach at about 9pm when Ton advised that an aftershock had occurred close to Phuket. Although it was relatively weak in comparison to the original quake and there had been a number of after shocks during the day we decided it was best to be safe and headed back to high ground.

I woke up at about 6.30am on Tues 28th to discover that most of the remaining people had left with Nok & Ton to try their chances with the car ferry to nearby Krabi & Trang. Today we were considering our future options. I hadn't wanted to leave before as I wanted to help the people at Merry Hut restore the place - they had been so good to us for the past 2 weeks and looked after us so well ever since Boxing Day. But at the same time it became apparent that we may also be getting in the way, they were still making sure we had food etc and while they were doing this they couldn't spend time concentrating on more important matters. Sadly, it may be that although the resort could be restored in the next few weeks the tourists may not be around.

So, yesterday morning we left Merry Lanta, the place that had been our home for the past 2 weeks. It would have been sad anyway but was especially because of the circumstances. I hope that I can go back when we come through Thailand in late Feb/eary March. In the meantime - thank you to everyone at Merry Lanta.

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Thanks for the emails from everyone, it was good to hear from you all. Sorry for causing any worry!

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We had our Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve as Merry Lanta had a strong influence of Scandinavians. We had a Chritmas buffet in the evening followed by a secret santa present. I received a lovely small cushion. Now, I have left this cushion in so many places in the hope that I may lose it. I left it in the restaurant during the tsunami and it reappeared (thanks Ameena). I left it behind at Merry Lanta yesterday morning and it appears on the train! I think I am destined to keep it for a little longer.

As with any Xmas celebration we all got drunk. This time though we were in the bar just yards from the beach. After a few Chang beers, cocktails, tequila I eventually retired at 4am.

Christmas day in comparison was very quiet. We had a Christmas breakfast at 11am followed by a small present opening that Laura/Neil had kindly brought out. We watched films in the afternoon on deck chairs that we had moved from the beach into the restaurant. I phoned home for the first time since being away in the evening - it was nice to speak to family who were all together about to start lunch - so lucky!

Everyone was so tired from the night before most people went to bed at about 11/12. I stayed up watching a Muhammed Ali documentary until 1am with Ken not realizing what the events of tomorrow would bring.

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See also on travelpod - 'Nial' & 'Dantravelsworld'

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New Years Eve

Visited a very busy Chinatown in the afternoon. Just loads of people shuffling down narrow back streets past stalls that I would compare to a car boot sale. It was a good atmosphere but I was a bit disappointed with the merchandise! Had a selection of food at a nearby restaurant. Achieved another goal of trying to use as many forms of transport by getting a 10 minute ride on the sky train to the national stadium. Obviuosily had a few beers in the evening but it was more acknowledging the new year than celebrating because of the circumstances.

New Years Day

Today reminds me of Xmas day as we had a very lazy day. Just sat around eating and drinking on Khao San Rd. Went to the supposedly seedy area of Pat Pong in the evening but was pleasantly surprised. It had a night time market and we found a decent bar called Radio City that kept us amused with the sight of a Thai Elvis Impersonator. Get back to hotel at 1ish ready for the continuation of our travels tomorrow...................moving eastwards to Cambodia.
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