For the last week of our month-long trip, we decided to just chill out in Thailand. Of course, Thailand is rich in cultural attractions and things to do, but we were ready to hit the beaches! Ko Lanta was the perfect place for this, as it maintains the reputation of being one of the last unspoiled islands in Thailand (i.e. it hasn’t been overrun by tourists and crazy parties). It was exactly what we were looking for! While the beaches weren’t exactly deserted and there were your typical Western restaurants for vacationers, it definitely still felt paradisaical. So for those of you slaving away and bemoaning how long winter was this year, let us take you away with photos of our tropical adventure!
I really wasn’t kidding when I said we spent most of the time on the beach. We only did “activities” two of the days. One day we rented a motorcycle and drove up and down the coast, spending most of our time (surprise!) on a nearly deserted beach we found. The other day we took a boat/snorkeling trip to four islands. The rest of the time, we chilled at the two beaches within walking distance of our hotel. Paradise!!!
Lazy days on the beach
I’m pleased to say we were so relaxed we forgot to take more pictures here. This is Long Beach, a 5 minute walk from Cozy Guesthouse – which I highly recommend at only $25/night (with a balcony)! Don’t worry, I have more photos from our more adventurous days.
Cruising down the coast
On our “activity day”, we took a map and our rented motorcycle down the coast of Ko Lanta without any real plan. We found one small, rocky beach and moved on, then missed a turn to continue south and ended up cutting across the middle of the island. We found Ko Lanta Old Town, which is known for it’s traditional stilted, dark wood buildings. Then we cut back across and continued south. We found a beach that was empty except for an old man selling coconuts and a group of three sunbathers and camped out there for a few hours. When it started getting late, we continued on and made it to the bottom of the island, where you can pay to continue to see a lighthouse or head back up. It was close to sunset, so we skipped the lighthouse and had supper at a cheap restaurant with a stunning view. The whole drive back to the hostel, we were treated to incredible sunset views. It’s days like this that make us so incredibly grateful to be alive (and to have made the decision to move to China!).
4 heavenly islands
I don’t remember the names of the 4 islands we visited, but it’s a pretty common tour package that anyone visiting Ko Lanta should be able to book pretty easily. First up, we did a little snorkeling! It wasn’t super colorful, but we did see quite a few fish and the coral was still pretty.
Then, we went to an island that has a small gap underneath a big cliff (similar in height to the first island) that you can swim underneath to reach a small lagoon. I was a little scared to be swimming in the dark, but it ended up being a much shorter swim than I expected and it was so beautiful coming out of the darkness into this gorgeous little hideaway! Unfortunately, there were a few other tour groups there at the same time so the number of people did take away from the magic just a little bit.
From here, we went to the third island and had lunch on the beach (first picture all the way at the top of this post!). We had enough time after eating that Thomas and I walked to a small nearby beach (pictured above) while most of the others stayed at the main beach. Best. Decision. Ever. It was the kind of beach you dream about – perfectly clear turquoise water, soft white sand, dramatic cliffs and tropical plants behind you, and almost totally empty! Seriously, have I mentioned that Ko Lanta is paradise??
Our last stop was at another dream-like beach, with stunning karst cliffs rising out of the sea in the distance. Photos just can’t do it justice. The group was here for about an hour before boating back to the main island. We ended our day exhausted and thankful for the incredible adventure!
Our final post on our month-long Chinese New Year trip will be up soon! The last place we visited was Phuket (~2 days), and we didn’t take too many photos so it will be fairly short. Then on to our recent adventure to Chengdu, and more on life in China! Lots of love to everyone back home. 💕