Our very first experience of island hopping was apon us, kind of. After bartering with the sales guy for a speed boat day trip around some of the islands we cheekily got ourselves child price tickets for 1600 Baht each, about £29, and we were off! Guess it comes in handy that I’ve looked exactly the same for the past 15 years 😉
We were picked up from our hostel early morning and taken to a shady looking house with about 5 mini vans outside! I did wonder what we had got ourselves in to when we pulled up to something resembling a crack den from Bad Boys!
Thankfully all was legit and the place soon filled up with tourists eagerly waiting this trip!! So many in fact we were separated into the green and white team to decipher which boats we would be on!!
We were green and we were the BIG speedboat with 3 engines on the back and knotts to drive any sailor crazy!! I knew we were in for a crazy ride.. How crazy though I was not prepared for!! The boat went some! And the sea was crazy choppy! We sat at the nose of the boat, the dare devils that we are, and we were flung about like clothes in a washing machine. I LOVED IT!! A lady we got friendly with did not quiet have the same experience as we flew high into the air, landing again she jarred her back so badly I thought we were going to have to turn round and take her back!! Thankfully after lying on the deck for a while all was good again and we set off on our way.
First stop Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed. I’m a big fan of this film and my excitement was high as we pulled in to the blue lagoon that is surrounded by towering rocks and ‘the beach’ at the opposite end of the bay. That is if you can see through all the hundreds of boats and masses of tourists that have already beaten you to it!! How was I going to fit in my Leonardo DiCaprio moment amongst all these people!! They say never to meet your idols, I say never visit a famous film location! I was pretty disappointed. Still we took a look around the island, had a swim in the crystal clear water and took some photographs!! Don’t get me wrong the place is beautiful, just ruined by the thousands of revellers that are a constant hum of traffic in and out of the island.
We moved on to a more secluded area for a spot of snorkelling. This was pretty cool, lots of amazing, colourful fish and we even got to see squid and the biggest jelly fish I’ve ever seen. Safe to say it isn’t possible to run away in water but oh did I try!!
The cost of our ticket also included lunch at a restaurant on ANOTHER island. We pulled up to a big wooden beach shack just down the bay from what looked like 5* resorts right on the beach! Very nice too!! And the resort wasn’t bad either 😉
For our final stop we went to a private island and was able to spend a while there sunbathing, exploring and swimming. This was pretty cool, an island in the middle of no where that is just sand and a few lonely palm trees. Paradise!!
When Saturday came it really was time to start our island hopping adventure. We’d already bought our tickets for the ferry from our hostel. After a bit of bartering we got him down to 766 Baht including transfer for two boat trips and 3 hours of travelling!! It was definitely time for some new scenery. Phuket is a cool place but it’s pretty crazy and built up, really you could be anywhere in the world! Get me to a beach.
Koh Lanta was the chosen destination. An island not so well known and pretty far from any of the better known places such a Koh Phi Phi. We were approached by a lady on the ferry selling hostels and hotels to the people aboard. We listened to what we said and took some leaflets from her thinking the whole time the price she’s given us is a rip off and we will find our own accommodation once we arrive. Sensing our refusal she dropped the price twice and threw in air conditioning and a good size room!! A great bartering tip for you all. Send them away thinking your done and they will always come back with a better offer!! We decided to check it out so she set up a free pick up for us from the harbour.
Pulling into Lanta harbour (use the term loosely) we were surrounded by wooden stilted shacks and a small rickety board walk which they wanted us to actually use!! The place was teaming with people, back packs were every where. It was like a cattle market.
Once we got out of the craziness we were taken to check out this hotel to see if it was clean enough for us to stay in!! And had no bed bugs!! I personally was blown away by the place and I’m sure the other two were to!! It had a pool, a beach bungalow, air conditioning, on suite, free pool table, cocktail happy hour and no bed bugs!! WE’LL TAKE IT. We were living the dream. A proper pinch yourself location in my book!!
It’s called Lanta Emerald for anyone that’s visiting!! I recommend it massively!!
Now we’re here we can’t help but have continuous beach days and that’s all we plan to do for the rest of our stay. We met some cool people that were either staying at the same hotel or one of the others along the beach front. It was such a social place, we met a Swedish girl that has returned to this island and this same resort for the past 5 years for 3-6 months at a time!! She’s got the right idea.
We’re now travelling with Alec from Canada and he was desperate to see the final of the Olympic Ice Hockey game Sunday night. Canada Vs Sweden. We got a big group of us together and headed down to town to look for a bar that had a satellite dish. This is not easy to find on a Island in the middle of the sea I tell you. Surprisingly to me hundreds of Canadians and Swedish people came out of the wood work and the streets were filled with people. We found a bar called the Irish Embassy eventually that was showing the game on the big screen. Canada won and we had such a good night watching it surrounded by lots of Canadians and Sweeds!
We will be moving on to Koh Phi Phi on Tuesday which I’m looking forward to 🙂