From Koh Phi Phi, Lee wanted to visit Koh Lanta, an island just south of Koh Phi Phi and a short ferry ride away. I was completely opposed. We didn’t have to do everything together but we wanted to. After all, we met in Thailand for a reason, right? That reason was to hike through Khao Sok National Park, dance the night away at the full moon party, and get certified to dive together in Koh Tao. Spoiler: We didn’t do any of those!
There was nothing to do in Koh Lanta— no sights to see, no stunning beaches, no jaw dropping waterfalls– nothing. I really didn’t want to leave Koh Phi Phi but my bank account and my liver thought otherwise. So in an attempt to stick with our semi-original plan, I tagged along.
After a quick 1 hour ferry costing 250 baht ($7 USD) it only took minutes to realize I was right, there was NOTHING to do in Koh Lanta…
…And it was AMAZING!
This is what it feels like to relax
I forgot what it felt like to lay on a hammock, read a book, and gaze at the clouds as the day wasted away. I forgot what it felt like to actually relax on a beach, to squeeze the sand between your toes, and to feel the sticky salt on my skin. I forgot how much I loved to scooter around, aimlessly, with the wind in my hair.
There was nothing to do and I loved it.
We stayed at Blancos hostel, the same hostel chain from Koh Phi Phi, except this one was eerily quiet. Even for Koh Lanta, this was a quiet hostel. The group of people who stayed here offered a social atmosphere but this was far from a party hostel. This was a place to be quiet.
It was moderately priced at 300 baht ($8 USD) per night, but it was well worth spending the extra $2-3 USD for the location and atmosphere. Hammocks lined the entire property and it was a quick 2 minute walk to the beach where you could watch the most magical sunsets every night.
The hostel had a restaurant and a bar so you really never had to leave. I also loved the location. The beach was at your doorstep, scooters were rented on-site, a 7-11 and ATM were within walking distance, and there was a bar next door. There were 3 fantastic restaurants nearby too— Living Room, Fruit Tree Lodge and Happy Veggie.
We had friends stay at Lanta Riveria Resort Hostel and the price point was cheaper, maybe 200 baht per night, but so were the amenities. The only great thing about this hostel was that it was next to Freedom Bar, another great place to hang out. [Update: I think the dorms have been removed from this location.]
Either way, if you had a scooter, you could get anywhere on the island. The furthest point from our hostel was the national park at the far end of the island, a scenic and enjoyable 50 minute scooter ride.
My Favorite Places
Koh Lanta is all about relaxing and exploring. This is a great place to rent a scooter because the traffic is practically non-existent and the roads are really easy to drive on. I don’t even think there are any traffic lights on the island. Maybe 1?
Every day was an adventure. Hop on the scooter and explore. Find a new beach. Relax. Scooter home.
One of my favorite beaches was Bamboo Beach on the far end of the island. I’d suggest heading there first, then on your way back, stop at all the little pulloff’s on the side of the road to explore the other beaches. There are so many! Naming them wouldn’t help you, just get on a scooter and explore.
Other places to visit include the national park, several waterfalls, caves, and the old town. All of these viewpoints can be found on the app “Maps.me”. You MUST download this app if you want to survive traveling overseas. It’s an offline map that kicks Google’s butt.
I didn’t check it out personally, but the best cave system on the island is called Khao Mai Kaew Cave. It costs 300 baht for a tour and it is well worth it! You’ll climb ancient cave walls and squeeze through tiny crevices. Reading the reviews and hearing my friends talk about it really made me feel like I missed out by not going.
Another great adventure is an all-day snorkeling trip to Koh Rok. I didn’t do this because I was being lazy and enjoying the sunshine and beaches, but everyone who went said it was awesome! Koh Rok has some of the best snorkeling in the area.
Your hostel should have information for all of these trips and tours, as well as suggestions for waterfalls and cave adventures.
MORE BEACHES & SUNSETS!
Lee Left Me Behind
I loved it so much that Lee left me there. He headed back to Krabi (Ao Nang) and then to hike through Khao Sok National Park (the only thing I really wanted to do during this trip to Thailand). While I missed him, I loved the peace and quiet. He’s actually very peaceful, way more peaceful than me, but there’s a different peace when you’re truly alone. I got a chance to journal and reflect and fall in love with the island in my own kind of way. It was magical.
He left me behind for 8 days. 8 days. How do you do nothing for 8 days? This is how…
I love to scooter.
I explored every nook and cranny of Koh Lanta. I loved it all. I loved the secret beaches hidden along the road. I loved the beautiful sunsets every night. There was a magic to the place that I just didn’t understand until I let myself relax.
Why leave this paradise?
Now that Lee and I were separated, would we ever meet up again? He had 2 weeks left in Thailand before leaving SE Asia for good. If we were going to meet up, it was now or never. It was too soon to head to Koh Phangan for the Half Moon party and there wasn’t not enough time to scuba certified in Koh Tao before the Half Moon party kicked off, so on a whim he booked transport to Koh Samui (the island next to the party island) and told me he’d see me tomorrow. Once again I followed along, booked my ticket, and the next day we met.