It’s too bad we missed the start of ferry shuttles running from Railay to Koh Lanta. That would have been way more convenient than taking a boat to Krabi pier, then a van to a travel office nearby, then a van to Krabi town, waiting an hour, then a three hour ride to Lanta, including two ferries. Yeah, a single boat trip would have been very nice. At least we were very sheltered from the large rainstorm though, so that was nice. And luckily the rain stopped right about when we got dropped on the side of the road.
We hadn’t booked a place as we assumed that we could just find a cheap room on the beach in a great location. It would have helped to have known where the great locations are… We opted to stay in Long Beach at the Thai House – nice little place just a moment’s stroll from the beach. They gave us the low season price (still more than we had planned on and budgeted for) even though, according to them, high season started the next day on November first. It’s funny how that date changes depending on who you ask and what they think they can get out of you.
For our first full day on the island we agreed that motorbiking around would be the best way to get a feel for Lanta. We had a great time for the first hour or so, cruising through the jungle roads, taking in the fresh ocean air, and stopping for pad thai on the beach. Then we decided to go up a dirt road to see one of the island’s waterfalls. Our bike did not cooperate. Just minutes in, our back tire was flat and we were riding on rim. So after unsuccessfully trying to phone the hotel, we started back over the extremely hilly roads until, thankfully, a taxi truck stopped to help. We struggled to load the bike in the canopied bed but prevailed, and as we climbed up and slid in to join it, I grazed my leg on the exhaust pipe, singeing the skin right off. And to think I had been so careful to always get on and off from the left side! Stupid flat tire! It hurt so bad.
It was a great deed for our driver to stop, but 400 Baht later, our wallets were hurting. If we thought loading it was hard, unloading was waaay worse. One of the side mirrors even broke as I tried to steady it, sending bits of shattered glass down to stick to my sweaty hand. We rolled the bike back up the hotel’s driveway looking a mess – flustered, poorer, and in my case, injured and hand covered in glass fragments. Resting up for a few, we headed back out on another bike, eager not to let that setback ruin our day.
The rest of the afternoon was beautiful. We led ourselves all over that island in an attempt to take it all in, even though there is not much to it. We even rewarded ourselves with a delightful Indian curry for dinner. Climbing back onto the bike to call it a night, we noticed it was swerving a bit. We got off. looked down, and would you know it?! ANOTHER FLAT TIRE! This was a different bike and a different road. It was dark and we were a mile away from our hotel. You can imagine our frustration! At least this time it happened at the end of our journey. We slept well that night with bellies full of curry and after walking all the way back in the nighttime heat, Rob pushing our damn bike the whole way. Unforeseen hits to our budget…
The next day we went on an amazing scuba trip with Dive and Relax. They took us out in a speedboat to Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Nai, about 40 minutes away. Despite a bit of a current at times, the water was wonderful, teeming with schools of barracudas and snappers. We even saw moray eels, lion fish, and a hawksbill sea turtle (unfortunately extremely endangered)! A fantastic day but it left us pooped. We had a rest and watched the sun set over the beach from our hotel’s restaurant, the looming lightning storm struggling to shine through the clouds.
The following morning we decided it was time for a change of scenery once more so off to Krabi town we went. This time we rode in one van the whole way!