Way busier than Klong Muang!!!!
11.01.2020 - 18.01.2020 30 °C
The arrival on Koh Lanta, after a relaxing ferry Crossing, was total bedlam! At the ferry dock we stumbled from one boat to another via gangplank...with our bags... to get to the pier. Once on the pier we were accosted by hoards of drivers who meet the once daily ferry. One woman singled us out and offered to take us to our hotel for 200 bhat each. I had been informed by the hotel staff (I asked in advance) that a taxi was 300 bhat for the entire taxi. She reluctantly agreed and we trailed after her, with bags in tow, to her friends “ taxi/truck” . We had no idea Koh Lanta would be so busy...Klong Muang was so calm and quiet!
We took a stroll down the beach closest to us (Klong Nin) followed by a trip to the grocery store for a few essentials. Dinner was a road side stand that was just firing up their oil drum bbq. They had freshly caught red snapper and one of them had our name on it! ! That and a plate of garlic fried morning glory was our dinner, perfect. They had two little girls and a five month old boy....juggling the kids and the cooking...a tough job!
Below....the chef, starting his son on the bbq at a really early age! A lovely couple, we will go back again before we leave Koh Lanta.
Snapper, squid and another type of fish, all ready for the bbq
When the tide is out, some rocks on the beach....tide in....you can’t even find the rocks they are so far out.
lunch..mmm..crispy tofu with spicy dipping sauce and papaya salad with fried shrimp...at Bobby Big Boys.
Koh Lanta is predominately Muslim, as we sit on our front porch eating lunch we hear the call to prayer...12:45 pm....there was also a call around 5am and again in the evening. It doesn’t last for long and is quite pleasant to listen to as it is broadcast over loudspeakers on the roof of the mosque.
Walking down the road to the 7- Elven store , I saw bushes moving....tada....monkey on the hydro pole! She had a small baby with her and one that was in between...a teenager I assume from the antics going on!
And when you need some gas for your scooter....right by the side of the road, we saw this in Vietnam as well.
We have a kettle in our little bungalow but are reluctant to drink instant coffee. I found this cool collapsible coffee filter holder, at a kitchen shop in Almonte, and gave it to Andy for Christmas. It works really well, however I only brought 10 filters thinking about space etc. Guess what...no coffee filters in Thailand! We have used the same filters over and over, drying them out each time, but alas...there is only so many times you can use them before they fall apart.
We have looked for paper towels, which can be used in a pinch (don’t like to as they are not food grade paper).....none available in Thailand. So, we tried something Nick’s ( our Airbnb host in Klong Muang) mum does when travelling.....she puts the ground coffee in a container and pours boiling water over it, lets it steep a few minutes, then strains the coffee through a small , fine strainer. We did find a strainer on the island, but the holes seem to be too big ...or the grind too fine. So, I have sewn the tip of a “tea sock” onto the strainer as it’s mesh is finer....we shall see if it has been a waste of time or not!
My coffee contraption...
A cute roadside shop selling handmade leather purses, jewelry and some clothing. While coming back from the 7-Eleven store we came across a sewing cooperative that had lovely skirts made from Indonesian print cottons...being a fabric lover of course I had to go in. The woman took measurements and my two custom made skirts will be ready tomorrow...390 bhat each, which is about $16 CAD...what a deal!
Oh, I think Nico needs some pants! too!!
A strange looking “ fruit” growing outside our bungalow....apparently fishermen use them to kill fish...don’t think I’ll be trying any of the local remedies though!
And a very important sign....with sirens in the background...reminds us of the tragedy that took place on Dec. 26, 2004. People fled as a tsunami wave came crashing ashore at Koh Raya, part of Thailand's territory in the Andaman islands and 23 kilometers from Phuket island.
And....few shots from our dinner table one evening...we had an incredibly fragrant green curry....
Ok, time to learn about Koh Lanta......The Koh Lanta archipelago is located off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea and belongs to Krabi Province. The island is about 800 km south from Bangkok and 200 km north of the Malaysian border. The Koh Lanta archipelago is made up of over 50 small islands. However, only three are inhabited and only one of them has a significant tourist infrastructure. The main island of Koh Lanta actually consists of two separate islands: Koh Lanta Noi, the smaller part in the north, and Ko Lanta Yai (where we are), the larger southern part of the island, which caters to tourists.
Koh Lanta is 27 km in length and only 10 km in width at its narrowest point. There are even mountains in the south with an elevation of 500 m. The water on the western side of the island is calm, crystal clear and the beach slopes gently, so swimming is fantastic. At low tide some rocks do show, but there are still places that are “rockless “.
Our little bungalow is right at the north end of Klong Nin beach...we walked the entire stretch one morning...3.8 km one way...we got our exercise for the day, had an iced coffee and a cappuccino before slipping into the ocean for a lovely swim.
Dinner on the beach.....and cute wee bbq’s...see boys, you don’t really need those ginormous, stainless steel things!
Above are squid boats out on the ocean...they hang poles over the sides of the boat, with bright lights attached to them, to attract the squid...they almost look extraterrestrial!
Thai post box,
Below a Thai cat lounging on a fridge....lots of cats here....looking very...”you woke me ...why?”
We took a walk midweek from our beach area to the beach just north of us which involves some road walking around headlands. As we crossed a small river we spied this “bad boy”...a water monitor lizard...just hanging out, he was approximately 3 feet long!!
We decided that Klong Kong beach was too rocky with the tide out for swimming so we headed back out to the road. After a nice frozen mango shake we found a tuk tuk and hopped on for a fun ride back to our little bungalow...lunch and a swim were in order for the afternoon. By the end of the day we had put on over 13,000 steps...ouch...pass the ice pack please!
Did I mention that there are cats everywhere...literally everywhere! Every restaurant , be it a sit down inside or benches by the road, has at least two cats...these were our breakfast cats this morning...one didn’t even bother to wake up, the other one looked like he wished he hadn’t...I call him Mr. Grumpy Pants!
This was the view from our breakfast spot this morning....a small river runs into the sea at this point. We usually make our own breakfast with bread, peanut butter and fruit...but decided to go for the works.
Across the road from our our bungalow is a restaurant called Bobby Big Boy Seafood and Bar. Below is what he has parked out front...no idea why, but they are in very good shape! Our friend Ian, an antique car expert, advises it is a 1960 Caddy and a 1937 Ford pick up truck...how cool.
Love the beach here so much, it will be hard to top this one!
Sometimes we just go for a cross between street food and a restaurant. This area has lots to choose from and we haven’t been disappointed yet. Below is last nights table by the side of the road...locals kept coming in on their motorcycles...that’s a good sign!
The “chef” was madly chopping away...and yes, there were cats, but we didn’t photo them!
Late in the week we popped by Bobby Big Boy Bar for a pre dinner drink this evening and ended up chatting with Bobby for a while and found he has led an interesting life. He went to the U.S. when he was 16 and ended up working in restaurants all over the states....probably visited or lived in more states than most Americans have seen! His English is great and he developed a passion for cars while he was there..,hence the Caddy and the Ford antiques parked out front of his place. He advised that tourism is down all over Thailand this year and restaurants and hotels are struggling to stay afloat. He has trained his staff to “western “ standards which should help him somewhat, but it’s tough keeping them all on the pay role. I told him I would put something on Trip Advisor...which can make or break a restaurant here.
This was our dinner spot this evening...Mama Dang cooks up the delicious meals herself...she has a pretty big following and we can see why
Our last full day on Koh Lanta we walked north to the rocky shores and wandered...just exploring....here are a few shots from our morning walk. We started by walking up a side road on the mountain side of the island, a few cows grazing and some spectacular flowers.
Then along the rocky shore...
Some squid boats in a wee harbour and below...a black sea cucumber with his frilly tentacles on display!
A water monitor we saw when walking back from lunch one day....big boy!!
It is time to say good by...or “laa gawn “ to Koh Lanta, this morning we leave on a speed boat for the 15 minute trip to the small island of Koh Jum.
We have been working on our Thai and it seems to be “sticking” (unlike Vietnamese)
Hello is Swadee ka (really draw out the kaaaaa) from a woman and Swadee Krap from a man, Swadee dawn chau ka means good morning and Swadee dawn yen ka means good evening, kawpcoon ka is thank you ....men add “krap” to the end of the words instead of “ka”...we had a good chuckle over that!