We headed to Koh Lanta the morning of the 28th and first stayed at Hub of Joys Hostel for our first three nights. One of the main perks was that there was free breakfast! Fairly cheap hostel ($9) + free food = super cheap hostel!
When we got off the ferry, we were bombarded with Tuktuk drivers trying to get us where we needed to go. We’ve been through this before so we said no no and found wifi. we were then able to look up how far our hostel was and it was less than 10 min away so we knew we could get a tuktuk for cheap. The woman who was trying to get is on hers wanted 200 baht for the trip. We quickly said no, too expensive and went to look for a songteaw that was cheaper. She then said 150 and we wanted 100. She quickly said “well there are no more people here otherwise it would be cheaper” and I quote from Charlie “well we’ll just wait for more people” and she started laughing. Ultimately we said no and walked away and she goes “ok! Ok! 100”. Score 👌🏼
We were the first ones in our room of 6 but after the beach (which we headed to right away, across the street) we we’re then met with new friends Ana and Kai from Germany who have been traveling since the end of January. It was their first night in Thailand when we met them so we were able to give them the low down on what we’ve learned about food/traveling/etc and proved to ourselves that we’ve actually learned a bunch and we felt like pros (kind of)!
I have also gotten so used to saying “we’ve only been here for a week” to feel like such newbies and knowing that we had a ton of time left but now we’re to the point where “we’ve been here for four weeks! And only have a week left” 😞 time has flown by so fast.
On the first day we didn’t get a bike but we had left Phi Phi at 11:30 and got on around 1:30 to the hostel so we relaxed and went to the beach that was right across the way. The waves were ripping and we had fun trying to surf them. Compared to Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee) – Koh lanta has NO ONE ON IT. The beach and restaurants were so dead that it felt surreal. It is just the start of slow season and it really feels that way. Bonus is that tours aren’t booked up and things are cheap!
Our second day in Koh Lanta was 4/29. It started off with a free breakfast from our hostel which was so much more than just a piece of toast and instant coffee like in other hostels. This one you walk down in the morning and they are waiting for you to ask you how you want your eggs and if you want sausage or bacon. THEN there is free tea and coffee, fresh fruit, cookies, and fresh juice. All included in the price of the hostel. Such a goldmine. Breakfast would typically run 150-200 baht per person so it was perfect.
We rented a motorbike again and took off to explore the island fairly early around 11. Little did we know we’d be gone all day.
The coast of Koh Lanta is mostly beach with some rock cliffs scattered here and there. The west coast is the most developed and is where most of the hostels and resorts are. There is only one road on the island and on the south west bottom corner it runs into a national park.
We found a few secluded beaches that are to die for: Ao Kantiang, Ao Nui and Ao Khlong Jak. There are three different ones we saw and at the second – we finally saw monkeys! As we parked our bike and headed down the path, trees were moving to which the normal (northeast) response is SQUIRREL! Nope. MONKEY 🐒. We only saw one initially and then on our way back up they were everywhere up in the trees and just hanging out. We couldn’t get a good picture but there were at least 5-7 of them including little babies!
Bucket list: find swing overlooking ocean ✔️
Our trusty bike for the day!
We discovered a place for lunch that looks over a large secluded beach (Ao Mai Pai) with only one resort on it (unheard of). Here lunch was great but their coconut shakes were even better. We typically share shakes at lunch in order to try a variety of things but this time, it called for each of us to have our own.
Also found a Kazoo look-a-like at lunch.
We then headed to the National Park to explore and walk around and also to finally cross off a national park in Thailand off of our list of things to do. Most of the parks in Thailand are fairly “new” in that they were established in the 70’s and 80’s. It is great to see them popping up and the natural protection of the land, jungle, reef and oceans being protected.
The park also had a swing two in one day ✔️
The park had a mix of rocky coast and sand, different on each side that was cool to see. We also saw even more monkeys playing around and it was hilarious. You can tell they are used to people and just don’t care that you’re there. They also try to take things out of your bag and they actually followed Charlie trying to get to his backside with the backpack.
The first monkeys we saw were playing in a tide pools just chasing each other around, jumping off the log, and playing and swimming in the water. We’re bummed we didn’t get the GoPro out to catch some of the videos but we did get some shots. It was hilarious. Just springing side to side, up in the air and into the water and wrestling like little kids.
The second set we saw are the ones that followed us around while we were taking their picture. They had found food in the trash and were trying to eat the dry ramen.
The funniest thing was when we heard a group of kids screaming. We looked up and they were running away because they were actually being chased by monkeys!
On our way back it was time for me to learn how to drive the scooter! There isn’t any photo evidence of that yet but with time. Charlie was a great teacher and it was a success! It’s really just like riding a bike but bigger and heavier and faster. We stopped to grab fruit on our way back – 2 mangos, 4 oranges and a whole watermelon – all for 170 baht! And as we go to leave Charlie goes – “Sooooo are you driving back?” I think he’s excited that I learned but now realizing that it means he won’t be driving as much which he loves. Its ok though – I’ll save the hard stuff and night driving for him!
We’re also feeling the pressure of <10 days left in Thailand so we are trying to eat all the fruit and shakes we can. Their mangos are our favorite but the pineapple and watermelon and really every other fruit they have is so good. Try have two kinds of mango – sweet and sour. The sweet is orange and has the consistency of butter when you bite in, it’s so so smooth without any stringy fibers to get in your teeth. The seed is also so thin, maybe a cm and they are a cinch to cut! The green mangos are sour mangos and aren’t as soft but are so good. All of the shakes are made with the orange ones as they are the sweetest and they LOVE their sugar. Even fruit shakes that have their own sugar – they add loads to it.
Another thing that always has sugar in it is their coffee. It is a must to ask for no sweetener because they put loads in. Even if you like sugar in your coffee, it would be way too much. Essentially it’s to the point where it doesn’t taste like coffee what so ever but rather pure sweetness.
We ended the day with booking a snorkel trip to Koh Rok for the next day, watching the sunset, eating our fruit and trying to find a bar with people in it to have a beer. Oh and dinner!
We went out with Kai and Ana around 10:30 and ended up walking to a bar – Nic’s Bar with mostly only locals in it. It was right on the beach and we were able to have a beer while watching a crazy lightning storm. It lit up the entire sky, it was beautiful. We made it back by 1 because we had to be up by 7 for the snorkeling! Until then ✌🏼