During her travels in Thailand, Laura and her friends visited several gorgeous Thai islands. Here she writes about her experience of Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta is like paradise, but very remote. We were advised to book into a hostel on the quieter side of the island, which meant it was very relaxing, but we did feel like there wasnâ€™t much to do. I took every opportunity to read in a hammock because of this.
Thai television madness
We tried watching TV while we got ready for dinner, but there weren’t any programmes on in English so we flitted between a strange programme involving a man imitating different foods through music, and a show that appeared to be a cross between a pantomime and the X Factor. Even though the former had English subtitles, we still had no idea what was happening!
We did have some memorial experiences involving weather during our time in Thailand, and on our first on the island, over a dinner of pad thai and fried pineapple with honey, the wind suddenly picked up and the heavens opened in a biblical fashion.
Power cuts and puny lights
All the power went off and my friend and I had to make our way back in the torrential rain with an umbrella and torch that the hostel gave us. This was a godsend because we definitely wouldn’t have made it back with my tiny torch and the puny lights on our phones!
When we got back we played cards by torch and phone light. Our bathroom had a flat corrugated roof, which turned out to make an incredible racket when the rain hit it. We may not have thought it was the most fun in the world at the time, but it’s a great travel memory to make us laugh when we look back at it.
Koh Lanta Nature Reserve
During our stay we visited the Koh Lanta Nature Reserve. It was about 30 minutes from our hostel and during the drive we just enjoyed the breathtaking scenery. As the sides of the roads were awash with frangipani and hibiscus flowers, which stood out like little gems against the green of the leaves behind them.
The park was small, but was very well kept and the beach was perfect and practically deserted. We saw wild monkeys playing on the beach; they seemed to be very used to humans as they weren’t bothered about us being so close at all.
We climbed to the top of the viewpoint where a lighthouse sat and our tour guide pointed out the various islands in the distance. On the way back, he stopped at the side of the mountain road and said that there was a beach down some very precarious steps that were covered in branches from the storm the night before. He said we’d love it and he was right – it was deserted and completely pristine.
Discovering a desert island shack
There was even an amazing shack set on the rocks decorated with ‘shrunken heads’ and shells. It looked as though someone had just upped and left because there were still posters on the walls and homemade painted signs. I was nervous someone was going to pop their head round the corner and confront me, but our guide assured me there was no one there anymore. It was beautifully bohemian – I wanted to live there, all I’d need was Wi-Fi!
Have you visited Koh Lanta, Thailand? What are your favourite memories of the island? Let us know in the comments below!
All images copyright Laura Beard.