So it’s been a while. Last I signed off, We had just checked in to our room in Koh Lanta. I was excited for this island, as we had a big week coming up with the Full Moon party, and where we were was well known for being a very laid back area. Great for relaxing, and slowing the pace down.
After we checked in to our room, I settled down to type up my last blog, whilst Josh went in search of food and drink. I’m pretty open to all types of food and when asked what I wanted I just said, “get me 300 baht worth of whatever.” I carried on typing, and moments later I got a message: “You’re sure three hundred?” Yep. I was hungry, and I could eat two entrees no problem. Portions are not like home, and if you’re really famished, you can find yourself hungry again pretty quick.
Josh returned home with more food than we had eaten in days. He found this AMAZING little place on the side of the road, with a wonderful woman who was super friendly cooking, and serving. We wound up eating there 5 separate times. We feasted until we could no longer move, and slept like babies.
The next morning, we did one of my my chosen activities. We headed to the road, waved down a tuktuk and made out way to the Lanta Animal Welfare Society. This amazing non-profit is “one of a kind” on this island. I really wanted to check it out, as a co-worker of mine does similar work. They sterilize wild cats and dogs, and if they cannot release, they rehome them to people on the island, or to people over seas. it was amazing to walk around and see the work that the volunteers do. We learned that in the last 11 years, they have reduced the wild dog population of the island buy over 90%. We lucked out, in a way that we got to meet 8 tiny little puppies that had just appeared weeks before, and got to play with some of the other dogs, waiting for flights home.
After and afternoon in the sun, we relaxed in the AC at home, and waited for night to fall so that we could enjoy the beach air without ruining my precious pale skin. Koh Lanta is quite well known for being the only place in Thailand that… well.. is a little more relaxed with the law. Many beach bars openly sell spliffs, weed, and mushroom shakes, while paying off police to look the other way as tourists and locals alike indulge in some of the finer things in life. We sat next to a large bachelor party and enjoyed watching them order large amounts of shakes, anticipating a wild and entertaining evening. These things did not come cheap and between the 10 of them must have spent close to 250 to 300 dollars Canadian rounds of psychedelic Slurpees. After sitting on the beach watching the tide come in with the rising moon, I learned how easy it is for locals to rip tourists off. With a party of unsatisfied, sober men sitting beside us, we retired for the night, relaxed, enjoying the good vibes, and better conversation with a buddy I haven’t gotten to speak with nearly enough with this past year. With one more day on the island, and nothing planned other than to sleep in, the morning was looking good.
While Josh slept in, I was up early, refreshed and ready to get out to see Lanta, Our bus the next day left at 7:30 AM so I wanted to make the most of it. I hit our local eatery for breakfast and coffee and watched as the town started to wake up. I hadn’t heard from my roommate, so I let him sleep, while I walked next door and got a massage. 90 minutes later, and still text-free I opted for a walk on the beach, picking up shells, followed with lunch, at the usual spot. The woman asked about Josh and let out a big belly laugh when I explained that he was being Sleeping Beauty. I had her whip up a very spicy Papaya Salad (his fav) to bring home, and when to wake him up.
After doing so, we opted to find a tuktuk driver to take us across island to Old Town, which I can only describe to people back home as being the Steveston of the Island, with little shops with pseudo-homemade items and niche little restaurants, it was kinda cute, but something you only need to do for a little bit.
Being that we haggled to lady driver down to a mere 16 CAD dollars, to drive us the 70KM round trip on a side car, we sorta just allowed her to do her own thing on the way, which ended up being the most fun and interesting part of the stay. She stopped in at her home to hang up her laundry and feed her kids, before taking us round island. On the way back, she offered to take us to a “local market,” which was really just a veiled excuse so she could buy groceries. After exploring the market, looking at the fresh curries, fish, and produce, we made our way home, stopping once to pick flowers off a tree with her, which she explained, “goes in my curry!”
We got home early and packed and got ready for an early morning, so that we could maximize the amount of time that we could sleep. Given our experience with transportation around here, we couldn’t really bank on getting any rest on our big commute to the other side of Thailand to meet up with friends for the Full Moon Party.
Bright and early, we loaded in to an 8 person van and made our way back to a familiar bus stop, a couple hours drive from town… It seems that this little hub is the point for getting anywhere south of Bangkok, as we waited for two hours for a large sleeper bus to carry us to the ferry terminal, some 4-5 hours away.
Lucky for us, I suppose, that there was more than one bus to take. Our initial bus (bus number 2) was scheduled to leave at 12:30. Having only stocked up on espresso drinks, Pringles and water, I trekked out to find us hot food to hold us over. When I returned to the depot at 12:05, Josh gave me the bad news that the bus hd come early and couldn’t wait for us…. odd. Luckily he was able to switch with a couple taking the third bus to the same location. We ended up seeing them on the same ferry as us, so why the bus couldn’t wait until the original departure time is beyond me.
We loaded on to a jet boat and made our final leg of the journey to Koh Phangan, getting ti watch an amazing sunset as well chatted on the roof of the boat.
Coming up next post: Parties, Paint, Buckets and more. You won’t want to miss it (Spoiler alert: I got mugged.)