Koh Lanta, the perfect holiday spot over the 2012 Chinese New Year holiday; secluded, relatively quiet with gorgeous long white sand beaches.
The island is easy to get to, with the airports of Krabi, Phuket and Trang in close proximity. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Koh Lanta and are the best options if your plans do not include Phuket and/or Bangkok. We flew to Krabi from Singapore on Tiger Airways and then organised a car service from the villa we were staying at to pick us up from the airport.
Koh Lanta is a large island, 6 km wide and over 30 kms long, but easy to navigate. We rented a small car for the duration of our stay and drove around with ease – no GPS needed!
Although much quieter than Phuket and Koh Samui and far less commercial than Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi island), there is plenty to do. We stumbled upon a full moon rave party, somewhere deep in the island’s jungle, using burning torches and ad hoc party invites pasted on trees as directional clues. The most popular part of the rave, a killer cocktail made by mixing Sang Som (the local whiskey) with red bull served in little buckets; lethal to say the least! It was a great place to meet fellow travellers, swap stories and get their insights on what to do and see in and around the island.
The car was an added bonus, it enabled us to explore the island (albeit by default most of the time because we would lose our way) and do more than just go from one place to another by taxi. A friend discovered this quaint French bakery called Faim de Loup, and brought us back breakfast croissants one morning. Although a tad touristy, we made a visit to the infamous Mong Bar to try one of Mr Mong’s “happy shakes”.
There is comfort in the fact of knowing one’s surrounding; Koh Lanta is large enough to get lost in and yet small enough to seem familiar. A friend, who was wearing a definitive signed T-shirt got sick on the way back from the rave, probably from the delicious Sang Som mix, and stopped to throw up several times on the side of the road throughout the journey back to our villa. The following day, at an ice cream shop, thanks to my friend’s t-shirt the previous night we were recognised by the host as the young tourists sick on their local arak!
A majority of our time was spent on Pra Ae Beach (Long Beach), with powder white sand, quiet and empty, it was the perfect space to relax, eat (amazing seafood, of course), drink, read and get a massage or two.
Terrific mini break to celebrate the year of the Dragon!