After Patong and two nights of partying [where I opted out] we went to Koh Lanta.
Oh. My. What a reprieve.
We were so bloody happy! We got our own little ‘bungalow’ – essentially a detached private room with en suite – like we had in Pai. There were two pools [I didn’t make use of them but they looked lovely] and the beach was about 50 steps from our front door.
And the beach… oh my word.
We watched sunset on that first night alone, sat at the top of the little beach, and we saw a total of 5 other people. None of them were in ear shot.
It was glorious.
The sand was coarse and corally. Full of shells and texture and intrigue. I loved it. It was beautiful.
As the tide went out we could see why there was so much coral on the beach… there was a lot of rocky coral right on the shore, which made it hard to swim. It was also mostly dead, which was such a shame. Though there was some still alive, and I was therefore quite reluctant to swim as my feet were ultimately disturbing someone’s home!
So the next day we walked a little way down the beach to find a recommended swimming spot. On our way we passed what was casually named ‘dig beach’. This is the closest to beach paradise I’ve gotten on this trip. Dig beach was tiny, surrounded by rocks, very private except for the seldom trodden footpath we were following at the top of the rocks. It was genuinely beautiful.
There was a lone woman down there though and we didn’t want to disturb her, so we continued on to our original destination.
Secret beach was a little busier than our own. But we put that down to the fact you could swim there. It still wasn’t busy by any stretch of the imagination. So we got in and played in the water a bit.
Then AP got stung by a jellyfish. So we all got out rather hastily haha! We spent the rest of the day playing on the shore. It was lovely.
There was a strange older man who decided to try and befriend us, it was quite uncomfortable and when we went to leave he stood right next to us at the bottom of the climb and watched us as we went up. Creep.
So aside from the jellyfish and the pervert, we had a fun time!
We only stayed two nights there as it was AP’s last real stop before heading home. Our second night we ate at the resort’s beach front restaurant and bar to watch the sunset. It was beautiful and we played with the cameras which I really enjoyed. We had BBQ fish and pad thai. The BBQ fish was quite expensive so we shared one, and we were glad of it! Because we would have still been hungry had that been our only order.
Moreover, this was my first experience of Thai cocktails… and I’ve never received a brown Mojito in all of my life. The Sex on the Beach came out blue! But the Singapore Sling came out pink and was, while not enjoyable, at least drinkable. So 1 out of 3 aint bad… ahem.
I’ve tried one more cocktail since, in AoNang, but as they’re genuinely disgusting, I’ve given up on them to be honest. Malibu and diet coke for me please! [And even that isn’t very nice!]
After two nights we were on the road again to AoNang.
Our accomodation here was amazing. We stayed in a beautiful hostel, that was well thought out, had a stunning garden and a pool, and was away from the busy street. We met a really lovely girl there and made a friend, and we found an EXCELLENT cafe/restaurant that I could eat in called Cafe 8.98. And while it was western food, it was western food that was in some cases better than what you’d get back home. I had such a beautiful fish dish there one night, and a gluten free melt in the middle chocolate pudding with berry sorbet. It was genuinely delicious. They had gluten free bread and the soundtrack was essentially my main playlist! I could have cried I was so happy!
Speaking of crying… AP left after we’d been there for a few hours. I came back from seeing him off at reception in tears, and Banana gave me a hug and cried with me. Was quite emosh.
Thankfully that cafe eased my broken heart the next day. I had been wishing for gluten free bread and craving scrambled eggs, salmon and avocado on toast… and when we went in there the first time, that is what they had on the menu! I couldn’t believe it. It felt like home. I was very lucky and super grateful.
Before AP left, however, I got stung by a jellyfish. And of course, because this is my luck, my sting was worse than his had been a few days before. This jellyfish didn’t just lick me with the one tentacle, it proper hugged my elbow [probably because I’d elbowed it in the face!] and wrapped its sprawling dangly bits around my arm. Ta babe.
I wasn’t so keen on swimming after that.
We got our nails done [thank goodness, my feet were starting to be a source of great shame for me!] and had a super chill day.
We took a longtail boat to Railay beach the next day. It was so much fun getting in that little boat. I was relieved to see so many life jackets though! A beat up little wooden boat with this little motor on it, complete with car battery just casually on deck next to the edge of the boat [never mind that rule about mixing electricity and water eh!], the smell of fuel and this propeller on the end of a long, unwieldy stick for steering and power… absolutely would not pass health and safety in the UK [but then again not much here would].
So we bounced over the waves for a short 15 minutes at the cost of 200THB return, to a beautiful beach. We hired a paddleboard for an hour [I am not good at that! But I am now keen to have surf lessons! Go figure.] and generally had some fun playing on the beach.
The wonders of technology and time zones meant that I could have a quick video call with my mate in Aus who was not located on a beautiful beach at the time, so that was quite fun!
There was also an abundance of jellyfish washed up on the beach. That was less fun because you literally had to watch where you put your feet at every step. Quite remarkable to be honest. But also rather inconvenient.
I say AoNang was a middle of the road experience mostly because it was super westernised. There was a McDonalds, a Starbucks and a Subway within meters of each other. And therefore the only good place to eat was Cafe 8.98. The rest of the restaurants was poor imitation western food, or some kind of tourist adaptation of Thai food. I had my worst Pad Thai in AoNang and I can only assume that is because they adapted it for the tourists for some reason. Other than that, and AP leaving, we had quite a lot of fun there. But it wasn’t the beachy paradise we had dreamed of.
So after three nights we left and headed for Phi Phi…
I’ll save the details of that particular delight for next time. But let me just say, Patong has some competition!