Thailand Diary: The Islands | Tea & Post

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thailand Diary: The Islands

After a fairly long journey we were very pleased to finally arrive in Koh Lanta after being on a plane, ferry and in a taxi all day. We stayed at Lanta Pearl Beach Resort which is situated just a short walk away from Long Beach, one of the islands most popular beaches. Our bungalow, complete with hammock, was a slight change to the hotel rooms we stayed in previously. It was quite nice, the only downside being the gnats sneaking in and as it was under a canopy of trees there were quite a few of the little buggers.

As it was fairly late when we arrived we just had enough time to check in and see what shops and restaurants were close to us. We ended up eating at the hotel restaurant which had really good food, I had a Thai Green Curry in a Coconut. It was delicious!

For our first full day on the island we decided we would have a much needed relaxation day. The trekking had completely destroyed our feet and we'd spent most of the previous day with a hangover whilst travelling. We headed to Long Beach with our towels and spent most of the morning sprawled on the sand attempting to tan. There were various places on the beach that offered massages and one that appealed in particular to me was a Coconut Oil Massage. I'm obsessed with pretty much all things Coconut and it really has been a life saver for my skin. I'm a sufferer of both dry skin and Psoriasis, a condition where your skin cells regenerate too quickly. This often leaves me with gross looking patches of scaly skin and I've found Coconut Oil really helps it. The massage was bliss compared to the torture we went through in Chiang Mai and I almost fell asleep again. 


When we decided to go to Thailand I knew immediately that I would want to take part in a cooking class. Thai food is one of my favourite types of cuisine and although I know how to make some dishes already (Pad Thai and Green Curry), I really wanted the experience of learning from a Thai person. We booked the class with our hotel and were dropped off by them at the Lanta Thai Cookery School. I was quite pleased to discover we were in quite a small group when we arrived as we had to pick four dishes between us that we wanted to make. Our final choices ended up being a Thai Larb, Seabass in Chili and Lime, Green Chicken Curry and Seafood in Tamarind Sauce.

After donning our aprons we gathered around a large basket filled with vegetables from their own garden. Pei (the chef teaching us) talked for a while about where the vegetables can be grown and possible substitutes for back home. Making the dishes was really fun and eating them was even funner. I can't wait to try them out now I'm home, particuarly the Seabass with Chili and Lime.

Our original plan for Koh Lanta was to hire some mopeds and explore the whole island as we'd been told it wasn't really that big. We ordered two bikes from the hotel and after informing them that neither of us had ridden one on our own before, we were given one to try out. Loriley started off perfectly and did a lovely loop round some of the trees before coming back. Thinking it didn't look too difficult I eagerly jumped on ready to go. Unfortunately, the only moped/motorbike I've ever been on is one in the arcade, turns out they don't work quite the same. I went shooting off with my legs in the air squealing, narrowly avoided a tree and completely forgot how to steer/brake. After that we decided maybe renting a car would be better and so we ended up with Basil for the day.

We got a bit lost trying to find our way to the more secluded beaches on the south of the island and ended up stopping for lunch at a restaurant with a picturesque viewpoint. I ordered Pad Thai again and I think it was possibly the best I ate whilst in Thailand.

We finally made it to the beach we'd been searching for, Khlong Jark. Recommended to us by an Australian couple we'd met the night before at the cooking class, this beach was near enough deserted. We swam in the sea for a bit before trying to get our tan on again, Loriley quickly fell asleep in the sun. I'm a bit of a fidget bum when it comes to sunbathing and can't manage to lie out in it for more than 10 minutes without wanting to do something. Whilst she was asleep I followed a little crab I'd caught trying to pinch my elbow across the sand, swam some more and caught up on some reading. I managed to get through 4 books during the whole holiday which I was quite pleased about.

Having seen most of Koh Lanta the day before we decided that we'd quite like to visit one of the other islands, our first choice being Koh Phi Phi. Before we booked our holiday I'd looked up recommended places online and seen that although Phi Phi was a beautiful island, it was very crowded. For this reason we opted for the more chilled and less touristy Koh Lanta, although we still really wanted to see the famous Maya Bay.

A speedboat picked us up from Long Beach fairly early in the morning and took us straight to Maya Bay. Even though it was only 8am when we got there 'The Beach' was packed with people taking photos and swimming. We were only there for half an hour before our tour guide came to chase us up, apparently we spent too long taking photos! It would've been nicer to have stayed there for longer but having heard the price of getting a long boat there (2000 baht?!) I think we got an okay deal. Our next stop was in the sea near Monkey Point. We all hopped out to have a quick snorkel, I was a bit disappointed as it seemed there was only one kind of fish swimming around. It was nothing compared to the snorkelling I'd done in Egypt. Seeing that some people had swum towards one of the large rocks jutting out of the ocean I decided to head there too when all of a sudden a large, pink jellyfish appeared in front of me. Having only just had my wasp stings go down I was in no hurry to be stung again so I swam back to the boat pretty sharpish.

Our tummies were beginning to growl by this point having missed breakfast, so we were pleased to discover that lunch was next on the itinerary! On the beautiful Bamboo Island we moored and headed for the shade of the trees where a buffet had been laid out for us. After we'd eaten our fill we headed for the beach which is probably the best one I've ever been to. We had time to sunbathe and swim before we had to jump back on the boat again for our final stop, Phi Phi Don. We chose to spend our time here in a bar with a nice cocktail whilst waiting for the boat to leave, it'd been a long day and we were starting to get tired. So much so that when we were back on the boat we both fell asleep, only to be woken by the boat bashing our heads together as it bumped along the waves. Not long after we'd woken up the boat started slowing down and pulled into a different island which we soon found out was Monkey Beach. Quite a few were sitting around eating bananas that were being given to them by people from another boat. Loriley and I were shocked to see some parents even luring a monkey to sit on their daughters lap with some crumbs, couldn't believe it! Our guides were clearly pointing out that none of us should get too close to them as they could bite. They were incredibly cute though. Part of me wanted to get a little closer but the other part of me was remembering about the woman who had a chimpanzee rip her face off so I tried to steer clear.

Our final day on the island was again spent relaxing; sunbathing and swimming were pretty much what we did all day. Loriley had been thinking about getting a henna tattoo done since before we'd even arrived and she figured that she would get it done today. I've never particularly liked henna as I'd had it done once before and again, as I am a fidget, I'd managed to smudge it and ended up with a load of crap on my arm for a few weeks. This time though I saw a cute little elephant design and decided last minute to get it. Strangely it didn't fade to brown and just stayed black so it probably wasn't real henna. Once it did start fading the first week I got home it just looked like I had a lot of dirt on my leg! I also managed to catch this photo of a sunset on our last night here, it was so lovely and looking at it makes me want to go back so bad!

On a Thursday morning we were picked up quite early and taken to the ferry as we were heading to Phuket. We stayed at the Blu Monkey hostel which was so nice! Possibly the cleanest out of all the places we stayed and the staff were very helpful.  The main thing we had planned for Phuket was to go see the tigers at Tiger Kingdom. It was pretty expensive so we opted to see the smallest and the biggest tigers out of the four options you were given. We had some photos taken with both, the younger ones were definitely a bit scarier as they were more jumpy. Although saying that, when I was having a photo with one of the bigger tigers I noticed another coming out of the pool area right behind me. So I got up and moved close to the handlers as quick as possible haha it was quite scary!

With it being our final proper night in Thailand (we had a flight the next night to Bangkok and then a flight back home the night after) we decided to go to Patong which was said to have the best nightlife.The clubs were pretty cool although in every single one there were girls writhing around on poles. In the first one I was approached by a lady who claimed she could beat me at connect 4, something I had no doubt about as I am rubbish about it. A french guy standing next to me offered to play with her, the rules being that if she won she'd buy him a drink and if he won he would buy me and her a drink. He lost (she must practice so much!) and I ended up doing a shot of Tequila with them. Eventually we ended up at Seduction, a club where we stayed for most of the night. It was pretty fun although I was shattered by the end of the night as we'd been up so early that morning.

After Phuket we headed back to Bangkok where we spent our final day at Chatuchak Market again, choosing presents to take back home with us. Our flight home wasn't the most enjoyable due to three screaming babies all setting each other off constantly. I felt quite sorry for their Mums as they were getting a few dirty looks. I really loved Thailand and I can't wait to go back in the future. We managed to fit so much into 2 weeks but I still feel as though we barely scratched the surface. There's just so much to do there! I got to cross quite a lot off my bucket list though, I think the STA Trek was possibly the highlight for me. Despite how much I hated the hills!

Here is my final Thailand video, I definitely wish I'd filmed a bit more but it's hard to both video and take photos at the same time! I am planning on posting some more videos in the future so if you want to see them then please subscribe!

(I also realise that most people won't get the poem Loriley says. A cat had just randomly launched itself onto my lap whilst we were sitting at a restaurant on the beach and gave me a heart attack. I love cats but really wasn't expecting one to jump up on me there!)



  1. this looks like so much fun! I'm going to hong kong this summer and I can't wait to go

    1. Ooh jealous, I've always wanted to go to Hong Kong! Have a fantastic time :)

  2. Looks like you had an AMAZING time! can't believe you got so close to the tigers, what an experience! You make me want to pack my bags and fly out there now! Bookmarking this page for an idea of where to go for my birthday...

    1. Not going to lie, I was more than slightly terrified haha when I could see them moving out of the corner of my eye I moved away pretty sharpish. They're so big! Would definitely recommend it if you're thinking of going though!


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