Sun 16th - Wed 26th March (Week 26-27)
Sun 16th - Got up at the hideous time of 4:45am for our taxi at 5:30 to the airport. Took the 8:30 flight to KL, arriving at 11:30 local time. Took over 2 hours to get into town, and to our hostel, and as its now our 4th trip to KL, we didn't really need to rush out to do anything, so had an afternoon nap ! Went to our favourite Indian restaurant just down the road for dinner, then walked to KLCC towers and watched the music and water fountain displays. Just feels such a different world from where we've been recently. Just a quick 2 hr flight and you are back in the modern world !
Mon 17th - Put on our heavy 19kg backpacks, and 7kg daypacks and trudged the 35mins walk/monorail back to KL Sentral and caught an Aerobus back to KL LCCT airport. Another on-time Air Asia flight, and landed in Krabi at 1:45pm. Shuttle bus to Krabi town, and as we'd already been here 2 months ago, it was nice to know exactly where everything is and were able to head straight out. Bought our bus ticket to Koh Lanta for tomorrow, had the much-missed sticky rice and did a bit of shopping.
Tues 18th - Caught the 10am minibus shuttle down to Koh Lanta, arriving at 1pm. Checked into the same room we stayed in 2 months ago for the next 9 nights. As much as I love travelling and exploring new places, sometimes it is nice to return to a place as you already know where everything is, and how it all works, so its nice and easy ! Booked a day's diving for Friday, and hired a lovely brand new Honda Zoomer-X moped for 2 days - Brandons favourite - and in his favourite colour of orange !
Wed 19th - Had pretty much an identical day to Brandons birthday 2 months ago today ! Took the moped down to 4 different beaches for an hour or so at each, and finished off the day with a cold beer watching sunset. Lanta really is beautiful - turquoise clear water, soft white sand, and pure blue skies. And its big enough to have lots of lovely beaches to explore, but small enough to be able to do it all in a day. Glad we've got this little rest period before we hit Myanmar.
Thurs 20th - Used the moped to head up to Klong Dao (Saladan) for breakfast and lunch, with a few hours of shopping in-between. Bought a sarong, a head scarf and a purse for £5. Brandon bought another pair of sunglasses - making that 5 pairs he's now got with him ! Brandon went out sunbathing in the afternoon, but I stayed in the a/c sorting bits out and letting my sunburn from yesterday recover a little bit !
Fri 21st - Went to Dive & Relax for 8:30, had our briefing and headed out at 9:30 for Koh Haa islands. Our first dive was around island no. 6 which had wonderful soft coral, loads of schools of fish and we saw a huge nurse shark - about 3-4m long just lying in a cave ! Our next dive was around island no. 1 and we were told to keep our eyes peeled for a whale shark as this is where it has been sighted. And we were in luck - YES ! A 3-4m WHALE SHARK appeared out of the blue, swam overhead, pretty much on the surface, surrounded by snorkellers (!) then dived down and out of sight. Was really happy to have seen one as its been on my list for years ! Back on Lanta at 2pm, had a few hours sunbathing on the beach, then hired the moped again and headed into Saladan town. Went to Hidden Depths diving and booked a dive to Hin Daeng for Tues. Ended up being in there for 2 hours chatting and getting kitted up ! Had a nice dinner on the beach, then wandered around the markets buying a few bits and pieces - Brandon bought a Tiger beer tshirt, and a Mr Tall tshirt !
Sat 22nd - Took the moped down to Klong Nin beach for a few hours of sunbathing and swimming. We arrived at 9:30 and had the beach completely to ourselves, with still waters and quiet beach, it was bliss. Then moved on to Kantieng Bay for another few hours before a nice pad thai lunch. Rounded off the day with a final few hours at Nui beach before heading home at 5pm. Watched sunset with a Chang beer in our new Chang stubby, and Brandon wearing his new Mr Tall tshirt - really suits him !
Sun 23rd - Had a cheaper day today and just stayed on our local beach (Long Beach) which was actually stunning - light turquoise shallow waters, going out to deeper blue, really clear, white sands, and is the first time we have really been reminded of the Maldives. We really are lucky to be able to be back here again for a mini break inbetween countries !
Mon 24th - Pretty much the same as yesterday - just sunbathed on our local beach, enjoying the pure blue sky, palm trees, and warm waters. Sometimes we wish the water was a little cooler to cool us down, but hey, can't have everything !
Tues 25th - We finally got out to dive at Hin Daeng today - the site we tried to go to in January but couldn't due to high winds, and also couldn't last Friday due to be slightly messed around by Dive & Relax. Took 1.5hrs by speed boat to get out there (takes 4 hours by big boat) and we did 2 dives. Due to it being out in the deep ocean, it attracts more fish, and bigger fish, and we were surrounded by hundreds of fish, mostly small but some large tuna and barracuda chasing the small schools and making them swarm one way then another. Stunning coral as well, very good visibility, lots of different fish, and overall 2 really good dives. BUT, the main reason for going was to see manta rays, and they have been spotted pretty much on every dive for the past month, and even the group just behind us got a really good sighting, but we didn't see one. Gutted. Last Friday (the day we were meant to go), they saw 5-6, and one was about 5m across ! Unbelievable. Hired a moped in the evening and drove into Saladan for a bit more shopping and tried various street food for dinner.
Wed 26th - Final day in Lanta and we were both quite sad - from not seeing any mantas yesterday and for leaving our lovely island and getting back into backpacker mode again ! This is the longest we've stayed anywhere so far and its been nice to have a base for a while. Took the moped down to Klong Nin beach for a couple of hours and the sea started off nice and flat, but then big waves started coming in from nowhere which Brandon enjoyed playing in for a while until he hit himself on a few hidden rocks so he came back in ! Came in for a few hours over lunch to avoid the intense heat, and then back down to Kantiang Bay for a final look and sunbathe in the afternoon. We really like Lanta and feel quite settled but also looking forward to going back to KL tomorrow and seeing the Grand Prix !