Having had an amazing time in Chiang Mai, it was time to start the penultimate leg of our trip, to Koh Lanta via Krabi (see my previous Thailand posts on Bangkok: Part I, Kao Yai National Park, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok: Part 2.
After a relatively short flight to Krabi, we had a car pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel, where we spent just one night. We stayed in the lovely Amari Vogue Krabi, and had a wonderfully relaxing afternoon in our hotel room while it rained cats and dogs outside.
We ventured to one of the hotel’s restaurants, Bellini (a mere hundred feet from our room) and had an amazing meal right by the beach with a beautiful view. They had live music from a husband and wife duo who sang pop songs, and while it sounds cheesy, it was actually really good!
The next day we were due to head off to Koh Lanta around 1pm, so as the rain cleared mid-morning, we sunbathed to our heart’s content on the beach, soaking in the sun and the beautiful surroundings before having lunch and heading off to Koh Lanta.
After a 3-ish hour drive to Koh Lanta, including getting the car ferry, and worrying that the torrential rain would never stop, we arrived at our hotel in Koh Lanta, Rawi Warin.
This was the most expensive out of the hotels we stayed in – but boy is it beautiful! A lush green paradise; and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing our lizard neighbours sunning themselves each morning.
Our first full day in Koh Lanta was on my birthday, and just for me (or so it seemed) it stopped raining, the sun was out in full force and I got a lovely cake from the hotel staff at breakfast 🙂 I spent a chilled day sunbathing by the pool and being pampered in the hotel’s spa, before having a very romantic meal at Tides restaurant at the nearby Layana Resort and Spa. I booked a table on the beach as part of their Candle Light set menu, and it was delicious and was very atmospheric sitting inside a giant heart carved into the sand, listening to the sound of the waves and enjoying our meal by candle light. A great end to a very memorable birthday!
From then on we spent our days on Koh Lanta driving around the island on motorbikes (zippy little ones I should add), which really was the best and a pretty exciting way to see the island. The roads and the incredible scenery really lend themselves to motorbikes, and you can rent them very easily through your hotel or rental companies. The roads were pretty quiet outside of the main areas and it’s so easy to just stop anywhere you want along the roadside to take in the scenery.
The Old Town of Koh Lanta is well worth a visit and is really quaint – the buildings reminded me slightly of those towns in Wild West films. A great place to pick up little trinkets and gifts for those back home.
We thoroughly enjoyed driving along the coastline and stopped off for lunch to enjoy the views of the ocean.
One of my favourite activities on Koh Lanta was the Thai cookery school at Time for Lime, which is a really unique beachfront concept with great cocktails and very passionate, charismatic staff who made the experience really fun and memorable (and they encourage you to drink while you cook – my kind of cooking). I love that the founder, Junie Kovacs, also founded Lanta Animal Welfare on the island, and the proceeds from Time for Lime go towards saving and looking after abused and injured homeless animals.
We made some delicious food for our dinner, including deep-fried papaya salad, spicy pumpkin soup, massaman curry and caramelised fish, which we ate altogether as a group. We were were given the recipes for the food we made, and I was so proud of my creations I would definitely make them at home. Cookery schools are a great way to meet people, try new food and while away the time if it rains – which it did in our case that evening!
As mentioned, Lanta Animal Welfare is linked to the cookery school, and I was so excited when I found out you can go and spend time with the cats and walk the dogs on the beach – so that’s exactly what we did!
Meet Jasmine (left) and Joy (right) 🙂 We had a lovely long walk with them and really enjoyed getting to know their personalities – Jasmine was the more sensible one and wasn’t phased by anything; whereas Joy was interested in EVERYTHING and was having a great time chasing crabs, although she had to be carried over large puddles! I think (don’t quote me on this) that you could adopt the animals and take them home – believe me I would be very tempted!
We continued to drive around the island to parts that we hadn’t been to already, marvelling at the seemingly never-ending verdant forests and the white sandy beaches, driving past cute little monkeys, and stopping off for lunch again at a beachside restaurant (it’s such a hard life!).
And what better way to spend our last evening in Koh Lanta than having drinks on the beach and watching the sun set?
It was quite difficult choosing an island to visit as we only wanted to go to one and spend a few days there; so my advice would be to really focus on what you’re looking for and find an island (or more than one) that best suits your requirements. If you’re looking for a party island, Koh Lanta probably isn’t the one you should head to, but if you’re looking for one that has stunning scenery, lovely beaches, is easy to get around, and has its fair share of bars and restaurants, then I would highly, highly recommend Koh Lanta. It’s simply beautiful.
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