It was time to say goodbye to Phi Phi, the lovely staff we’d come across, the Belgium guys and, most importantly, the cats of the island as we headed over to the pier to catch our ferry to Koh Lanta. I did manage to get a quick snap of the “Viking” sign whilst beginning the adventure off our little shore (see picture below). During our wait for the ferry we were asked by a fellow traveller where we were headed and what our next move was. To our surprise he booked his ticket there and then to Lanta and jumped aboard. Perhaps we are starting to look like we know what we’re doing- the tan lines & mosquito bites doing their bit to make us appear somewhat “well travelled”.
Once onboard the ferry we were handed a book about Koh Lanta which I delved into and informed Mike of any interesting historical facts or activities that we should put in our agenda for our stay (a good way to distract him from getting seasick). One in which I’ll share with you is that this particular Island, unlike those surrounding it, wasn’t effected greatly by the Tsunami due to it’s shape and the direction of the wave, preventing major damage or destruction. It therefore went on to adopt the nickname of “Lucky Lanta”- somewhere I was more than pleased to be heading after reading and hearing too much about the disaster during our stay in Phi Phi.
An hour went by and my knowledge of the Island was exceptionally better than when we’d first set sail and just in time for the pier to come into view. The pier wasn’t something really to write home about, Mike described it at similar to Blackpool but there was still some raw beauty in the run down cafes that perch upon stilts over the water- perhaps that’s seeing the bright side. The moment our feet touched down we were swamped by the usual taxi and tuk tuk drivers shouting “where you go, where you go”. After being told 400 baht for a taxi to our destination which was a 10 minute drive away we decided to get some breakfast at one of the cafes to regain our strength to barter. Satisfied and refreshed we were lucky when a female tuk tuk driver, called Ray, approached us with a much more reasonable price of 200 baht. Ray was one of three Thai women we’ve met over the last 24 hours with a hilarious personality and had more to say to the tourists who stay on the island than what we’d experienced before. We put this down to there being less tourists in general that head over to Lanta. She was bright and bubbly and showed a genuine interest in our travels and where we were from.
After throwing our travel bags on the bed we ventured two minutes from our new home to the beach bar and restaurant to have a relatively quiet night before exploring the island tomorrow. Booking.com had served us well once again with a last minute booking, our hut is along Klong Dao beach, most tourist tend to venture around Long Beach but we have the luxury of travelling the small distance in and out of the supposedly busier parts. The next thing we noticed was a pool table and it didn’t take long until we were playing against one of the staff, my competitive nature and bad pool form doesn’t combine together too nicely, especially when we developed an audience as the games went on. Luckily Mike was able to keep his head, even with a belly full of Chang, and we suffered a small defeat of 2 games to 1. Pops, I know you’ll be ashamed but I promise to leave this island with a number of victories under my belt.
Shortly after we met a German couple on the beach (well I say “met”, we basically plonked ourselves down next to them in order to try and stimulate a conversation) and well it was a little bit like pulling teeth. Perhaps we invaded their private time but unfortunately for them we were in a sociable mood and persisted to try and get something out of them. Rosie spoke much better English than Frank or possibly Rosie was much more polite than Frank as he spoke barely three words during our conversation. Anyway we struggled through the pleasantaries and things became a little more relaxed until Mike came out with the incredible comment of “Thai food doesn’t always fill me up however I’ve noticed I’ve had a lot less wind since being here” which had me in hysterics (obviously) but unfortunately for our German couple they looked less amused than before and so we said our goodbyes and proceeded a little further down the beach. Thank you Michael.
The other thing we learned from our little Lanta book was that there are two Swedish schools on the Island with a small Swedish population coming over for the school year. We actually got talking to a Swedish guy at the next beach bar we came to. He informed us that he owns an apartment out here and would go back to Sweden during the holidays. He then continued on to highlight his issues with Brits, Russians and Americans but luckily a fire show (see vid below) had started at this point so I was able to turn my back on him and leave Mike to it.
So far we’ve established that the locals are very friendly over in Lanta and welcoming of tourists but the other tourists aren’t so much to our liking. It’s a good job Jack & Rose have come ashore!