After a crazy few weeks of partying in Bangkok then on Koh Tao for Christmas and Koh Phangan for New Year and with our tans fading due to the recovery days we had been spending inside we knew we needed to head somewhere chilled for the start of the year and enjoy the days rather than the nights. I had a huge yearning to head back to Koh Lanta, i’d been in 2014 and loved the chilled vibe and the beautiful beach so we decided to head there!
From Koh Phangan we decided to do the journey during the day rather than night as travelling at night takes longer and involves a sleeper boat which I’m not a fan of and then waiting around at a travel agents at silly o’clock in the morning before you can get the second boat. In the end the day trip (which cost 850 TB/ £16.00) was still a bit of a mission as it ended up taking 12 hours rather than the 9-10 hours we were told (no surprises there though because this is Thailand!) but eventually we got to Long Beach in Koh Lanta and after asking around at a number of bungalows which were all full we managed to get a triple bungalow at Funky Fish Hostel for 1000 TB /£20.00 a night which between the 3 of us wasn’t that bad at all, especially as its high season in Koh Lanta in January.
As i said, i loved Koh Lanta when i was there last, i only got to see Long Beach and i stayed at Long beach again this year because sometimes its best to stick with what you know!
We spent 7 days there which were pretty much spent walking along the beach in the morning before it got too hot (i also did a yoga class one morning which was good!), grabbing a shake from the stall near the shop, heading to the beach to top up our tan, cooling off in the gorgeous blue ocean, watching the amazing sunset (if you’ve read my other posts you’ll know how much i love a West facing beach and Koh Lanta doesn’t disappoint) and finally enjoying some amazing food.
Most nights we ended up in Funky Fish’s bar which is right on the beach with big seats on stilts where you can sit and lie down and they do the most amazing Thai Red Curry and Pizza there and a few of the nights they had live music which gave it a great relaxed atmosphere.
What i also love about Koh Lanta is that if you want to party then you can find it but if you don’t then you can get away from it. There are signs all over the walkway to the beach advertising the nightly parties, we did go out one night to Ozone bar which was a good night but we decided to get an early night most nights.
Whilst there, we did think we should explore more of the area so we booked a 4 island boat tour for 660 TB/ £13.00 each.
We got picked up and taken to the pier which was on the other side of the island, Koh Lanta is actually a pretty big island so unless you ride a moped its a bit hard to see it so i enjoyed the drive and the Old Town was a place i wanted to see so it was interesting to drive through.
Our boat was a traditional Thai long tail boat so we got our places and off we went. The only problem with the long tail boats (apart from not having a toilet) is the water does tend to splash in so we all got a little wet, especially those up front but it was soon time to stop and do some snorkelling.
Personally this part was a bit dramatic for me, firstly my snorkel kept filling with water, then it was quite wavy so it was hard to paddle while trying to sort the mask out, then the tube came off the mask, i then decided to head back to the boat early, climbed up the ladder and as i put my foot down on the boat it went between two planks and i fell over and got my ankle stuck!! Luckily i didn’t do too much damage but it wasn’t the greatest start to the day!
From there it did get better, we arrived at another place and were told to put our life jackets on and get in the water. We didn’t know what we were doing and that’s the thing i love but also hate about trips in Asia, i like knowing whats next so i can be prepared but not knowing often leads to a great surprise and this is just what happened…
Once we were all in the water we started swimming towards a cave (and swimming in a life jacket, although it keeps you afloat is actually quite hard), there were a boat load of Thai people all swimming into the cave too in a conga line kind of way which was pretty funny. We all entered the cave and just followed our guides tiny torch-light as it got darker and darker and at one point was totally black.
We were still pretty unaware of what was going to happen until we swam around a corner and started to see light.. soon enough we were heading out of the opening and into the Emerald Cove!!
It was very busy with people and lots of life jackets but it was cool to see and crazy that this tiny bit of paradise is hiding beyond that cave which is the only entrance to it.. it makes me wonder who stumbled upon it!
Our next stop was to Koh Ngai for lunch, we got off the boat into the sea and walked towards the beach, we had to leave the boat quite far out as the water was only knee/thigh depth but it was great to just walk in this amazing clear water with beautiful white sand!
We ate lunch quickly as we wanted to get on the beach and into the water and we spent the next 40 minutes or so taking photos and enjoying how beautiful it was.. i would 100% say its the clearest water I’ve seen in Thailand!
After another stop for snorkelling (which i decided to stay on the boat for) we headed back to the mainland. Despite the drama at the start of the trip it was well worth doing and Koh Ngai totally made it worth it for me! You can actually stay on Koh Ngai which is something i would look into in the future, waking up to that beach would be amazing!
We felt totally relaxed and renewed after our week on Koh Lanta, it was just what we needed before heading to the nearby island of Phi Phi to celebrate my friends birthday!