Siobhan in the middle of our motorbike exploration of Ko Lanta. In comparison to Ko Phi Phi, the island is large and has criss crossing roads lined by rainforests to get around. Motorbikes were a great way to do so, and we spent several days just trolling around and stopping at anything that piqued our interest along the way.
Motorbiking around with a crude map and an Aussie couple = a great way to spend a few days. We had a lot of fun!
Me and 1/2 of the Aussie couple: Matt. He and his wife, Siobhan, have been working and traveling for 2.5 years and are set to go home for xmas - their first trip back to Oz after their time abroad.
Matt and Siobhan shared a bike while I had my own.
The "well marked" turn off to the cross-road - we missed it a few times.
Oopsie: "Oil Town" really means "Old Town".
Evacuation maps and routes peppered the island.
Lanta old town is built on a mangrove swampland, and so the houses are all balanced on stilts. Very interesting to explore.
View from the Old Town limits.
Midget 1 and Midget 2!
We had lunch at the Beautiful Restaurant - which was both beautiful and a good restaurant.
View from our table.
Restaurant 'order station' and kitchen.
After a few days of clouds, we finally got some sun!
Beautiful restaurant - COME EAT!
Matt and I at our Riviera Hotel, in Ko Lanta. We were originally going to stay a night or two, and ended up there a full week, with the whole staff coming to say goodbye to the 3 of us when we left. With Siobhan and I the same height and Matt towering over us, i'm sure we made quite a threesome to behold!
Day 2 of motorbiking - the pose and clothes look familiar, non?
Makeshift gas station. Most of the island is Muslim and we tried to keep ourselves reasonably covered as we biked around (unlike some tourists we saw in bikinis on their motorbikes).
Two women, in full burkas, driving a tuk tuk.
"Ok, Siobhan - STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME!"
Tsunami warning tower by the West side of the island.
The reggae bar - great cocktails for only 80Baht and a view of the sunset that made it even more worthwhile.
Matt and I on the way back to the hotel, with Siobhan taking the picture.
Every night had a lively game of soccer with locals and tourists alike, just as the sun set into the andaman sea.
Old Lanta town.
Center of Old Lanta town.
Sunset from our hotel.
View from Reggae Bar before sunset.
This kid was eyeing Matt....
Tuk tuk drivers waiting for clients on Khong Nin. My favorite answer is always "no - I need the exercise!" which usually cracks them up and then they leave you alone.
Matt and Siobhan arriving at Khong Nin.
Walking from our room to the beach at sunset.
What a hard life we lead, eh? :)
view from my table at breakfast. every day we'd order the same thing: i'd have a plain omelette with toast, Matt would have a tomato and onion omelette with toast and Siobhan would have yoghurt and muesili, without the milk and without the bananas. By the end of the week, it was waiting for us in the AM.
View our table, other direction.
on the beach in front of Riviera Hotel.
Potato makes a rare appearance.
We wanted to avoid the full moon parties of Pha Ngan or Phi Phi and do something a little more spritual, since the November full moon is Loy Kratong and the most important one of the year. We opted to stay in Ko Lanta and celebrate there.
Tradition requires that you take a lantern made from banana leaves and flowers and light a candle and - with a piece of your hair and fingernail and determination to let go of your grudges and spiritual blockages from the prior year - set your lantern free in the sea.
Some of the lanterns were absurdly complex...
Jared and me with our lanterns.
Siobhan and Matt with theirs.
OMG IT IS A FULL MOON!
Trying to pluck a hair out of your head and then FIND it when you try and put it in the lantern is hilarious. Exhibit A is above.
Me and my lantern.
People also light paper lanterns and then set them free in the air. The night was extremely windy and the lighting process took hours.
"Ok Matt, we need to light it and then dunk it in the ocean. can we do that?"
Goodbye Lantern! I got soaked putting it in the Andaman sea, but I did set it free!
and there it goes!
Motorbiking - day 3. At the caves in the centre of the island. Surrounded by rubber plantations, at LEAST a million cats and kittens (they desperately need a neuteuring programme on these islands) and my favorite flower, cockscomb celosia (aka "Jodi Brain")
M & S, driving ahead.
Jodi Brains in the wild!! I bought these all the time at delis in NYC and was slightly obsessed with them. never seen them grown before. Huzzah!
View from The Viewpoint Restaurant (the restaurants here are very creatively named).
We had no idea what Spagette Aglio Oilo Pepperroncino was....
Insert your chicken & road jokes here!
Lanta Old Town, day 2
We spent the entire afternoon at the Hammock House.
You can see why. Zzzzzzz
beautiful hammocks, made by the Mlabri tribe of Phrae
Just across the way, this kid kept jumping on the bike and trying to run off.
We weren't the only ones sampling the goods.
"Me? Buy a hammock?"
I ended up buying this green one. Made from acrylic, extremely light and flexible (only 0.8kg) it is made for travel and VERY COMFY. yay!
View from next to the Hammock House.
Midgets on bikes! Watch out!
View from the Pier
Switching bikes to a manual one
Off i go!
Sunset on our last night there.
Great way to end our week in Ko Lanta.
S and I bought a bottle of Vodka and brought it with us to bars, buying lemon juices and then using our own alcohol. This is allowed in Thailand. Everything appears to be allowed in Thailand.
LEMON JUICE-Y YUMMINESS!
Free fireshow once the sun sets.
Fresh catch from the day's fishing boats - they bbq it for you right on the beach.
Matt trying his hand at balloon making.
"Look what I did!"
Me unamused at breakfast :)
The national park on the west side of the island.
At the Viewpoint Restaurant.
Outside the Hammock House.
Random elephant in the middle of Ko Lanta.
Our room in Ko Lanta - not bad for 400 baht split 3 ways!!!
The best travel shot ever: oreos, sour apple candies, pringles, cigarettes, lonely planet guidebooks (2) and a HUGE bottle of vodka. Ah, thailand.
The happy couple!
Me and Siobhan
Freedom Bar, the bar attached to our hotel.
Me and Jose, a french guy we met our last night there.
He was traveling with his 2 buddies from france. I was on "translator duty" most of the evening as they didn't speak much english.