1: Scooters and Sticky Rice in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Friday 12th July 2019

Day 73 of my Southeast Asia Trip

So, for the sake of context, since 30th April I’ve been solo backpacking Southeast Asia. So far I have visited Singapore, Malaysia (only Kuala Lumpur), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Northern Thailand. I’m currently in Southern Thailand on the island Koh Lanta. Now into my 11th week of my trip I’ve decided to take up ‘daily blogging’. I’ll post an excerpt every evening about what I’ve been up to during the day. Hopefully this will give my blog more of a personal feel, instead of just advice and travel guides. 

I ditched the solo travel life on July 2nd and travelled North Thailand with two Australian girls – Nikita and Sarah. Now me and Nikita have headed down south and arrived on Koh Lanta yesterday but unfortunately all didn’t go as expected.

The beach near our hostel (Blanco Hostel) was really polluted, we struggled to find much going on because low season is in full swing here, and Nikita got stunk by a jellyfish.

In an attempt to lift the mood we sought advice from other travellers, a Lonely Planet book and Google. Our conclusion was: rent scooters and explore other parts of the island. The day also got off to a positive start when we got free (half decent) coffee at the hostel. 

Nikita had never ridden a scooter before and I hadn’t since Vietnam. I am also nervous on them anyway after I got over confident and fell off! The bikes cost 150 baht to rent for the day (just under £4). Koh Lanta is pretty easy to get around as there are only two of main roads to navigate.

Firstly we headed out towards Lanta Old Town, on the east side of the island. On the way we stopped at a nice restaurant with a lovely view across the sea. We had a late breakfast here and, in true Thai style, went for fried rice and noodles! A 5km drive from here brought us to the old town which was just an abundance of nice souvenir shops and restaurants. 

We probably spent around 45 minutes wandering round here and then decided to head to the ‘Mu Ko Lanta National Park’. Although further south of the Old Town, we had to ‘retrace our steps’ in order to get to the connecting road. The drive took about 45 minutes and there is a 200 baht (£5) entry fee for the national park.

Next to the park was the nicest beach we’d seen yet! There were a couple of swings there so, naturally, we stopped for pictures. There’s a lighthouse here as well. You used to be able to walk up to it but now the cliff is too eroded – if it is deemed unsafe by Asian standards it MUST be bad. 

Then we embarked on walking the ‘nature trail’ through the park. According to the sign it would take about 2 hours but we stormed it in 40 minutes – might explain why we were so sweaty! On the route we saw a few monkeys, thousands of ants and a lot of hermit crabs!

It was about 1:45 when we finished at the national park so we had lunch on the way back. I enjoyed a massaman curry whilst overlooking Kantiang Bay – yet another beautiful beach! We had a quick swim before riding all the way back to the hostel. 

Compared to yesterday it was a complete turn around. I had definitely felt like utter sh*t yesterday so today was a breath of fresh air! At 4:30pm we got a mini van and ferry back over to Krabi where we are spending the night. We stayed here for 2 nights when we first arrived in the south on Tuesday (9th July) and have come back to the same hostel – Pak Up. 

Our first job was to do some, much needed, laundry, and then head to the night market for some dinner. The night market is a 2 minute walk down the road from this hostel and sells all the sweet and savoury Thai food you could want. It’s also super cheap! Our favourite stall is one of the juice / smoothie stalls which offers every single combination of fruit you could imagine. 

This evening I opted for a banana and oreo smoothie and then tried mango sticky rice for the first time! This is everywhere on the Thailand street food scene but I was yet to try it. The sticky rice is topped with coconut milk and served with mango. In a way it’s their take on rice pudding I guess. It was delicious and I’ll definitely be trying it again before I leave Thailand!

So, it’s now 9:30pm and I’m absolutely knackered. We booked a bus to Khao Sock National Park for tomorrow at 11am so I actually might try and have some sort of a sleep in! I need to shower the sweat, salt water and sand off me from today and then try and stay awake until 11 to post this!

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