Ko Phi Phi was beautiful but it was definitely more of a party island which is cool but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I had done a bit of research and it sounded like Ko Lanta was the place to be, more chilled, more to explore and still beautiful. I was really lucky as Glen and Alix were keen to go there too. After packing and a pancake (of course) we caught the ferry to Ko Lanta. It was a pretty rocky ride but a lot safer than the previous day! I liked the island the minute we got off the boat. The locals were smiling but not pushing us to buy things or have a 'massaaaaaaaaaaaaage'. Ko Lanta is much bigger than Phi Phi and has roads. We grabbed some food then haggled a tuk tuk to take us to the 'Lanta Riviera Resort' (we had pre booked the day before) It was 400B (£8) for my own hut with a fan which was quite expensive on my budget but the dorm I stayed in on Phi Phi was 150B (£3) but I realised that every so often it would be nice to sleep through the night and not have the air con turned off randomly! The place we were staying was nice and the resort backed right onto the beach! It absolutely hammered it down by the time we had settled into our rooms. So we chilled out, had some drinks and wandered to the road to find some food when the weather had calmed a bit. We were handed a flyer telling is that there was a party at a bar so we decided to check it out. It was a nice bar called 'Travel so Far' there was no one but us and some locals there we had some food and drinks and played a we games of free pool. A few more people arrived and the atmosphere was really nice. Alix and Glen headed of to bed but I decided to stay and meet some more people. I met a guy from England called Eddy and a girl called Jana from the Check Republic. They were both travelling alone and it was nice to hear there stories and gain a bit of confidence from it. We had a great night dancing, chatting and playing pool.
After that night and sleepless nights in the dorm room at Phi Phi I was in need of a lie-in! After a 'Brunch' with Glen and Alix we decided we wanted to explore. A nice guy who was working at the resort called Laksi offered to take us to the waterfall. For a small price of course but he was cheaper than the and excited to do something other than building. It was nice driving south down the island the beaches along the coast were beautiful. We turned off down a dirt track and parked up. Laksi (after loosing his way a couple of times) pointed us in the direction of the waterfall and off we went! Because of the rain the day and night before it was a slippy treck along/in the river and up and down some muddy/rocky slopes. We first came to the 'Bat Cave' which was pretty cool. Massive roots from the trees above seemed to be holding the cave up like scaffolding. We walked in a bit and saw and heard a few bats! We got a tad lost after that but managed to find the waterfall. Which was very pretty. Laksi suddenly turned up and we realised he was following at a close distance to make sure we didn't get lost which was nice. Whilst looking at the waterfall i realised that my foot was itching and looked down to see a leach had decided i was a nice tasty meal for him! There were some elephants at the end of the treck which was nice to see at first but a little sad as they didn't look too happy and were being forced to do tricks. We also drove to Old Town which was on the other side of the island it was a lovely town with big old wooden buildings with shutters and nice little shops. Most of the buildings backed onto the sea on stilts and we had some food sitting out on the decking looking out to sea.
I went to visit Jana at the 'Where else resort' just 5mins down from the beach from where I was staying. It was such a nice place. Everything there seemed to be made out of driftwood, old boats, shells and rope. It was nice to see Jana again. Eddy was ill with a bug unfortunately. She showed me her hut that she was staying in and asked if I wanted to share with her for some company and to save money. It was so pretty and rustic the whole thing felt like a great idea. It all worked out so well, Alix and Glen wanted to head off to Phuket and I wanted to stay for a while. I had a nice dinner with the Kiwi's and then they gave me a few tips for Vietnam as they had just been there prior to Thailand. I packed and then the next morning we had one last breakfast together before going our separate ways. It had been awesome travelling with Alix and Glen, perfect timing and it was really reassuring for me to have such nice people to travel with at the beginning of my trip. We said our goodbyes and I took my backpack and walked down the beach to 'Where else'. It was such a great place, the people that ran it were lovely there were nice table and chairs with cushions so you could sit, lie, generally relax. The food that they cooked there was really really good and cheap compared to other places around.
The sun came out and Jana and I spent the day on the beach soaking up the rays and lazing in the sea. Whilst on the beach a couple (Johnny and Georgy from Dublin) from the boat to Maya Bay walked by. They came and met us for dinner, another couple called Josh and Taz (American and Canadian) who were staying at the where else also joined. Eddy was feeling a little better so came out from his hit and we all sat round chatting and playing cards. it was a really nice group and we all hung out for a few days, chilling, sunning ourselves, going in the sea and hiding from the rain playing cards. One afternoon Jana, Georgy and I walked to the Animal Welfare Centre on the island. A nice Israeli girl I met on Phi Phi told me about it. She had just volunteered at the centre for a month and loved every minute of it. It was awesome, it's a fantastic non profit organisation that takes in ill or abandoned cats and dogs and looks after them, sterilise them and love them. They try to re home them as much as they can some people even adopt them from overseas (they are mostly the volunteers that have bonded with them). The whole place was really well organised. Just two weeks previously a couple of vets and volunteers had gone over to Ko Phi Phi and sterilised over 500 cats. We got to see and stroke the animals. My favourite was a little kitten who was found on Phi Phi with an abscess on one of his eyes, they took him back to Lanta and had to remove his eye. He is now making a full recovery. They call him 'winky' and he is so cute!
It could have been easy to stay a long long time on Ko Lanta but I wanted to explore somewhere new. I was keen to go to Ko Phangan. I knew of a meditation retreat that I wanted to do but that was not until the 11th of October but I thought it would be nice to explore the island before hand. Jana was keen to go somewhere else before she had to go home on the 16th so we borrowed Josh's scooter that he had rented for the week and Jana drove us around whilst we looked for the cheapest deal to Ko Phangan. We managed to get a flat tyre on the way but luckily we were only a short walk from a repair shop and within minutes had a new tyre. We got a good deal from a guy to leave for Ko Phangan the next day for 750B. That evening we all went across the road for a huge dinner at a Greek restaurant. We had a few drinks back at the Where Else and then headed to the Travel So Far bar to say goodbye to the Island and the friends we had made. It was a great night of dancing (on the dance floor and the sea of course!) Singing, playing pool and generally having fun. I had had such an amazing time on the Island, great company, beautiful place and lovely locals.