Why Ko Lanta? 1. It is a big enough island, and I thought my sister and I would be able to find common ground on accommodation and things to do. 2. I had been there in 2000 and had fond memories of a beautiful, yet desolate beach with about eight tourists on the whole beach. 3. Sand, sea, beach. What else do you need?
We decided to go to Ao Kantiang, the same beach I’d been to in 2000, and was surprised to find the place I’d stayed was still there. At that point, there had only been one other little bamboo hut bungalow operation on the beach, and that was long gone. I knew, like all places in Southern Thailand, that it would have changed a lot since I’d been there. Ko Lanta was one of the islands that was hit badly by the 2004 tsunami. The place I’d stayed on Ao Kantiang was way up on the hillside, so I figured it was undamaged, but nonetheless was surprised it had survived 12 years. Now there are several high end places to stay on this beach and it has been built up quite a lot.
We stayed on this beach 2 nights. Since we had a view of the swankiest place on the beach, we decided to go there for lunch. We were not disappointed.
We decided to look around Pimalai, it was too expensive to stay there, but had great food and an amazing infinity pool.
Some funny things around the town…
On our third day we rode with Nemo, the sidecar taxi driver, to another beach.
And in action…
We headed over to the secluded Ao Phai Mai, which was beautiful.
When we got down to the beach, since it was May and the beginning of the low season, only one place was still open and that was La Laanta. We both absolutely loved it there. I would go back again for sure. Since it was the low season, rooms were reasonably priced and very good value.
We could have and should have stayed at La Laanta longer, but Wendy had a flight to catch. We moved closer to the airport and stayed on the large beach of Khlong Dao. Although there were many hotels with lots of rooms, because of the low season the beach was nearly empty. No one was around. It felt kind of like being in a ghost town. It rained on and off adding to the sense of loneliness. Luckily, we finally found a massage place open and enjoyed getting our massages while hearing the waves crash to shore.
Wendy and I walked across the street from our hotel to get some drinks from the convenient store. I wanted to support the local mom and pop shop instead of 7-11, so we entered one of the dustiest shops in Thailand. It was a rainy day, but we got a big kick out of the disarray of this shop. This reminded me that regardless of where we were, or what we were doing, it was just a lot of fun spending time with my sister.
La Laanta on Ao Phai Mai was our favorite place on Ko Lanta if you want to relax and splurge a little. I hope it’s still there by the time I go visit again.