Made the journey from Khao Lak to Krabi and ended up heading straight to Koh Lanta. We had wanted to spend a night or two on Phi Phi but it is a popular island anyway and sounded like it was going to be a bit too busy this weekend as it was Chinese New Year. Either way we seem to have made a good choice with Koh Lanta as it is really quite a peaceful island.
The island is quite small and we saw pretty much all of it in one day when we hired a motorbike. Driving across the island the road had amazing views out to the ocean and to smaller islands in the area. The old town was lovely with lots of low wooden buildings and a sleepy atmosphere and we spent a little while cooling down in a cafe with swings and hammocks on a wooden deck over the water. We also stopped at an orchid farm which had an impressive range of orchids. most of them in beautiful shades of purple, lilac, cream and white. The day out was ony slightly spoilt (for me anyway) when I foolishly managed to burn my leg on the bikes exhaust.
On the 15th we met up with a Kiwi couple Pippa and Aaron, that we had met on the boat in the Similan's. We did a couple of days diving with them on Koh Lanta. Even though the diving in the Similan's had been so impressive we still had 4 good dives in clear, warm water with turtles, ghost pipe fish, moray eels and the usual mix of tropical fish.
On our last night the hotel we were staying at was hosting a wedding which added to the atmosphere. As well as setting off lots of lanterns there was a really impressive display by a fire spinner who had his 3 nephews with him that he was training up. They must have only been between 8 and 12 years old, were so confident and quite fearless. I'm not sure if it would be allowed in the UK, especially not on a school night!
I was quite sad to be leaving Thailand anyway and we stayed up late chatting with Pippa and Aaron, on the beach even though we had an early ferry back to teh mainland and quite a long journey to Malaysia and our first stop of Penang.