I am back with my story about our time recently in Koh Lanta, Thailand.
…With photos! Thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions on what photo storage options they use, xoxo)…
The 5 of us, three generations of family, Chads parents, Chad and I, and Z all piled into our medium-sized sedan and made our way to the big island of Koh Lanta about 4 hours from Phuket. I love road trips, but this one I must admit, I was a bit nervous about. The reason? The ferries that were to take us from the mainland to the island of Koh Lanta were well-known on the internets as a possible hiccup on any trip to the island.
We arrived on the dock of the ferry later than I had hoped that day and I was admittedly worried that we would have to wait for hours for a ferry.
Boy, was I wrong, in fact, we stopped for about 1 minute and then were told to drive on to the first of 2 ferries. The first ferry took us to Koh Lanta Noi, which is simply the gateway to the more touristy Koh Lanta Yai.
We again drove right onto the ferry and arrived at Saladan Pier on Koh Lanta Yai right as the sun was beginning to set.
We had rented a room and a bungalow at the Lanta Paradise Beach Resort on Klong Hin beach. The resort was alright, but the high season price (1500 baht or $40 a night) was much more than I felt it was worth. I was happy with the room (two beds so Z had her own) because I have been a backpacker in Thailand and this was kind of a “backpacker” type of room, the rooms were bare and old. My in-laws are Hilton and higher-end resort stayers so I was a little worried they would be unhappy with the place. They took it in stride though and seemed to be okay.
The first night we had dinner and went right to bed. I am glad we got our rest because our one full day in Koh Lanta turned out to be a busy one.
We woke up and got ready for our day relatively late (about 7:00 am, for most parents a day of sleeping in, right?!). We went and had an okay breakfast at our resort that was included in the room price. We then spent a little while on the beach, that was the one really awesome thing about where we were staying-IT WAS RIGHT ON THE BEACH!
The beach was indeed pristine and the sand was fine and white. The water was FREEZING COLD! So I just laid on the lovely beach and looked at the clear blue water. Chad and Z jumped in the water for a moment and then we went back to our room and prepared for the rest of our day. Chad’s parents were later starters than we were, understandably so, they were on vacation and didn’t have a 4-year-old alarm clock.
Our plan for the day was to rent scooters and slowly scoot around the island, stopping at a waterfall, eating lunch on the beach, and enjoying dinner at a restaurant that buys craft beer from Chad. We were going to be relaxed with our time and live on island time.
We were able to rent scooters from our resort at the normal going rate (250-400 baht a day), we donned our helmets (VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE!) and started on our way. I had my own little scooter, Chad and Z were on another scooter, and Chads parents on another. We drove single file slowly and made our way first to a lunch place.
(Just a side note here-normally we do not take Z on scooters. Phuket is incredibly dangerous for scooter drivers, well all drivers really, but the traffic on Lanta was quite a bit slower and significantly less. We felt it was safe and all wore our helmets whenever we were on the bikes.)
We found a little dirt road with a sign that said, ” The Last Restaurant on the Beach”. We didn’t know what to expect, but were all very pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the restaurant and we loved the food. We had a quick photo shoot at Z’s request and then hopped back on our scooters.
On our original drive, we had passed a sign for the Klong Chak Waterfall. This was the waterfall that I had decided I wanted to hike to while researching Koh Lanta. I was excited. I am not a huge hiker, but I was really looking forward to seeing how Z could do walking in nature and seeing a real waterfall.
We first had to ride our scooters on a scary, hilly, dirt road for some time, where I started getting anxious about falling (which I didn’t on the way there, more on that later). We all made it unscathed to a little parking structure where we all paid 20 baht for them to keep our scooters cool in the shade while we went on our hike.
At the parking lot, there was also a little drink shack where you could purchase waters and snacks and you could hire a tour guide for the hike also.
We skipped the tour guide, got a couple of sentences of directions from the lady at the snack shack and started down a hill on our way.
The trail was marked by little sticks painted red, so we couldn’t really get lost, but there were points that felt that maybe we had gone the wrong way. It added to the excitement of the hike for sure.
We climbed over hills and walked through streams that had tiny little stone sculptures all over the place.
After about a half hour of hiking, we came upon a bat-less bat cave. It was monstrous and beautiful and eerie. We ran around it for a while and Z made up a story about it being a tiger cave and how a tiger came and ate all the bats. It was pretty darn cute.
We continued on our way for another 10 minutes or so and came upon the tiniest trickle of a waterfall ever. It was still beautiful and Z really enjoyed standing in the trickle to cool off for our trek back to the “real world”.
The walk back was much quicker and Z decided that she was too old to hold our hands. She was climbing over tree roots and making her way through tiny trails with a big drop offs on one side. I admit many times I think I had mini heart attacks as she made her way through the jungle, but I was super proud of her as well.
We got back to our scooters and I headed off down the road first because I was nervous of the dirt road. Let me just say right now, it is not a good idea to be stiff and freaked out on a scooter on a sandy dirt road. As I was going down a hill I got caught in a groove of sand and… woops… suddenly my scooter was on its side and I was standing next to it, unscathed but pretty upset. Honestly, this was completely my fault, if I had been more confident, I would have just quickly gone down the hill, instead, I was going too slow and slammed on my brakes which made me get caught up in the groove. Let my stupidity be a lesson to you all, don’t get on a scooter if you are nervous… take a taxi. Everyone else made it just fine down the road and put up with me going so slow the rest of the day that they often had to stop to let me catch up (sorry guys!).
We headed back to our rooms to quickly freshen up for dinner, the day had gone much faster than any of us wanted it to. We really should have stayed in Koh Lanta a few more days. It was awesome!
After quickly washing the dust and dirt off from our ride and hike, we made our way to Yang Garden Restaurant, which was about 5 minutes from our resort. The food and ambience at the restaurant was so amazing that I want to give it it’s own post, so come back to And Three To Go next week for a full review.
Our trip to Koh Lanta was exciting and relaxing and made me feel like we need to travel more often! So we are making plans. More on that later. 🙂