18th to 21st February Boat trip + Nopparattara Beach / Srisuksant + Koh Lanta
Tambon Ko Lanta Yai, Thailand
Hi Duncan. Glad you're enjoying the blog. Nice to hear from you. Thanks for your tips before we went. We're having a great time. :) Just a few glitches!
Wednesday 18th February - 7 Islands Boat Trip
Advertised as a special 2 storey boat so you could sit in the sun or stargaze on the way back. In reality it was a boat like any other. No special deck and the special lunch = slice of melon and a slice of pineapple! Beer available for sale = free water! We did stop at several islands to snorkel though and that was really good. Some islands had more fish than others but as I'm a bit scared of going too close to the rocks with the currents, I probably didn't see the best of it. One site there were huge blue anemones and clown fish and Sam saw a sea s***e (can't say the word, Susan doesn't like it) about 18 inches long.
Then there was the deep water solo. I've been trying to think of a way to describe these amazing limestone rock formations and couldn't put it into words but this description off the Web is perfect
The rock is that perfect gold and gray limestone with many tufa lines and huge stalactites hanging from the overhanging walls like wax dripping from candles. Just about sums it up.
The deep water solo involves climbing up a ladder suspended in the sea. You can climb as high as you want or just jump off the ladder
these rocks are used by climbers and the reason they like this one is you climb just in your water shoes, as high as you want, then leap off into the water. I could just imagine Mike, Kev and Dave doing this.
One of the girls on our boat had a go at it but if you went on the actual trip, there was a canoe which took you right under the ladder and you could stand on it to give you a leg up. On our boat she had to swim to the ladder and her boyfriend helped her up. By that time she wad knackered so cooked only manage the climb up the ladder, which was no mean feat as it was swinging about. Then jumped and had to swim back. Some people were way, way up. Looked really scary to me.
We finished on Tup island. It was quite shallow there so difficult for the boat to get right in to shore. Good job I was wearing my water shoes as the rocks under foot where pretty ragged and hard to negotiate. We where having a 'gypsy style bbq' on the beach. Gypsy style = very bad food and not much of it! We then headed off in the dark, (boat had no lights so we all sat in the pitch dark for 30 mins), to swim in the iridescent waters where the river meets the sea.
Not many people have experienced this amazing phenomena. The water glows around you as you swim = couldn't see a thing' just blackness!
Back at the pier at 7.45 dropped people off, a family were staying at the same hotel we were at before we moved here so bit of a run out of town then another couple then us. So got back to our hotel about 8.45. As we were late back, we couldn't be bothered looking for accommodation on Koh Lanta for tomorrow so tried to book another night but our hotel is full so we went to the tourist desk down the street and booked a hotel there. We're doing 1 night at the Srisuksant Resort which is around on the other bay from where we're staying. At £44 a night (our most expensive yet) we hope it's good. We also booked the van and ferry for the day after to take us to Koh Lanta.
Had our meal in a Mexican restaurant, El Gringo, in the market area. They had a really good group on. So we had a few drinks then headed back. Horror of horrors it was raining! Well spitting a bit really and it was still warm.
Had a mixed day. Don't think we'll bother with anymore trips!
Thursday 19th Feb - Nopparattara Beach / Srisuksant Hotel
We left Ao Nang Village Resort this morning at 11am. Got a tuk tuk round to the Srisuksant Resort 600bht (.£1.20). Well our little man in the booking office did us proud. The hotel is lovely. Right opposite the beach and it has 2 really nice pools. One mainly for children. The beer at the swim up bar is cheap too at only 60 bht.
Our room wasn't ready when we checked in so we went for a walk along the beach. Bought a beach mat as there aren't any chairs and if you need some shade you have to sit under a tree and it's a bit bumpy with the roots so the mat was very good and only 150 bht. We had pancakes for lunch then went in for a swim then read our kindles for a bit. Well I did. Sams has packed in. So he's going to have to look for a book. Wonder if he'll flick the edge of the page to turn to the next one. I always find when I start reading the kindle, I swipe the screen and keep tutting that it's not working! Walking back to the hotel it was lovely to see lots of local families sitting on brightly coloured mats by the beach having amazing picnics. One family even had a big pestle and mortar with them.
Got back to the hotel about 3 and into our room. It's very nice with a balcony and a huge shower, which I found out later, could knock your socks off.
Went for a swim in the pool which is an L shape and is really long. I did about 4 lengths and a few widths so was quite happy with myself. There are rooms which have direct access to the pool too. These look great. Sam had a beer at the swim up bar and then had a read of the book he picked up from the hotel.
After being blasted in the shower we headed off for a meal. When we were walking earlier we saw Hippys bar, live music, fire performers on tonight. Soooooo we headed back there. Guess what? No live music or fire performers! I did have a really lovely green curry though and a strawberry dakari in a very fancy lady shaped glass. And it was decorated with beautiful orchids too so when I finished my drink, I put them in my hair. We got talking to a guy from Canada with his thai girlfriend. She didn't speak much English but tried hard and was rather sweet. He was a bit, been there done that and more besides but we had a nice evening all told
Got back to the hotel to find we had an email saying the booking we made for the hotel in Koh Lanta tomorrow wasn't valid so we'll need to try and sort something in the morning before we set off at 10am
Friday 20th February - Koh Lanta Dream Team Hotel
Finally managed to get a hotel booked for 2 nights Dream Team Resort. All ready for the 10am pick up. Yay! first time they've been early to pick us up. They turned up at 9.50 and off by 9.55! Only problem was, we got there early, 9.55 and they had already left! Had to wait for the 12 o clock bus then which low and behold was 20 minutes late! Didn't really matter though as we pulled up a couple of chairs by the pool and chilled there until time to leave.
Well! We had two choices when we booked to go across to Koh Lanta. Hadn't remembered about the speed boat Ian! Option 1 tuk tuk, ferry then tuk tuk. Option 2 van ferry and they took you to your hotel. There wasn't much difference in the timescale and one was a little cheaper than the other so we went with the cheaper van option as we thought it was the same but by van instead of tuk tuk. Noooooooo it wasn't. Van was 20 minutes late picking us up. Then we drove 40 minutes to a pier which I assumed was the pier we were leaving from. Noooooooo. We waited here for hour and a half then all got back in the van again and drove another hour and a half to a car transporter ferry, which we were on for maybe half an hour.
When we were on the ferry, we asked the driver how long it would be. He said he didn't know and got out. We were all boxed in with numerous bags and cases stopping the doors from opening (good job it didn't sink) when a girl at the very back of the van said she needed to get out. Now! I said there's no driver and we can't open the door. She wasn't happy. When the driver came back in she complained that she was hot and needed the toilet and he took off good style. He was shouting and ranting and raving! Even telling her to f*** off, which he managed to say in English through all his foreign rant! Don't think he must know that Thai people are supposed to be smiley gentle natured people! The bus then went very quiet after that. He was one nasty piece of work!
We weren't on the ferry long and all thought we had arrived. Noooooooo. We drove a little further then stopped behind a line of traffic. Driver said ok you can get out now. We all looked a bit bemused then he told us it was a traffic jam as we had to go on another ferry because they were building a new bridge and we'd be at least 2 hours in the jam!! So we got out just for the fresh air (if you can call it fresh walking through a traffic jam) and to stretch our legs. It was very hot outside so we found a place to sit until our bus turned up. It was basically a dry drainage ditch but we could sit in the shade with our feet down! Eventually we got on and off the ferry and started to drop people off. We were last but knew we had to get transport to our hotel as the bus didn't go that far. We stopped at another resort and they rang for a taxi. 20 minutes later it arrived and a further 20 to the hotel. By the time we arrived at 8.45. It had taken us almost 9 hours to cover what should have been a rather pleasant 4 hr journey!! Will not take the van/bus again!
Got to our hotel Dream Team Resort, Koh Lanta, and although we've booked for 2 nights can only have the room for 1 and have to move in the morning. Not a problem to us. Packing and unpacking all done in minutes now! Our room is huge with 2 double beds. Don't know what the one we're moving to will be like.
Internet very slow here so don't know how we'll manage to book our next place?!
Had our meal (no cocktails here but they have beer and wine ) then headed for bed. Seems like a long, long day!
Relaxing on the beach tomorrow