Scenes from Koh Lanta

After Koh Lipe we spent a week on Koh Lanta, a three hour boat ride away. It was longer than we had planned but Scott and I both came down with some food poisoning and had to extend our stay. Our days were full of swimming pools, banana shakes, walks on the beach and massages. Compared to Lipe, Lanta is very developed with a little town, a major road down the center, and many beach resort areas. We spent the first night in a little hut that wasn’t technically open for the season, and moved to a hotel with a swimming pool for me and air conditioning for Scott. One of Scott’s friends came from Canada to join us on Koh Lanta, and while Scott was sick we got massages, went snorkelling and to an underwater cave and while I was sick he enjoyed drinking fancy coffees with Scott. My absolutely favourite part about Lanta was the wonderful cooking course I took on my birthday.

Although I won’t be rushing back to Lanta, whose beaches are not as beautiful or uncrowded as many other thai islands, and whose size made it difficult to get around with renting a scooter, it was really a lovely  and cheap place to relax!

 

 

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Our favourite Thai Island: Koh Lipe

My memory of arriving on Koh Lipe will always be that of landing in paradise.  Our packed speedboat from the mainland pulled up between the long tail boats and we jumped into the knee deep crystal blue water and I never wanted to leave. Lipe is a small island, with no real roads or vehicles, just a lot of bungalows and a walking street lined with pancake stalls, massage parlours, and cafes. We received a tip to come here from our diving instructor in Malaysia, otherwise we may never have even heard of this gorgeous island.

We had originally planned to stay here for 4 days and do a couple days of scuba diving, but we extended our stay as long as possible, staying until the last day of low season pricing at our gorgeous resort. We stayed and dived with Castaway resorts, and I can’t recommend them more highly.  Our hut was right on the beach, cost $25 a night, and was absolutely gorgeous. It even had two wonderful hammocks on the porch.

When we weren’t Scuba diving or sitting in our hammocks, we found a nice coffee shop, enjoyed cheap massages and pedicures, watched fire dancing on the beach, got lost barefoot on the many island paths, went swimming, and read many many books.

Of all the islands we have visited on our trip, Lipe remains our favourite and I can’t wait until we return someday.

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A week in paradise: The Perhentian islands

After our short stay in  Kuala Lumpur, we flew to Kota Bharu, took a taxi to Kuala Besut and a boat to the Perhentian Kecil, or small perhentian, where we settled in for a week. We had originally had planned to stay here for 4 days and get our Scuba diving qualifications, but we fell in love with the peaceful and beautiful island and kept extending our stay.

We signed up for the Scuba course with Quiver Diving, on Coral bay, and we absolutely loved it. Coral bay is very small, with a few resorts, some beach front restaurants and a few dive shops, but you can easily access the larger long beach with a ten minute walk across the island. Our timing was ideal, a week before monsoon season started, and while the weather wasn’t great, we had the bay almost to ourselves. Our diving class was just the two of us and we had an absolutely fabulous instructor.By default we stayed at the Shari-La resort for about $13 a night for a private room with cold shower and AC. It’s right off the jetty and adjacent to Quiver, so it was extremely convenient, but a little dirty, and we were pretty sure that a rat shared the room with us.

Other than Scuba diving, our days here were filled with reading books, delicious BBQ and fruit shakes, snorkelling, and waiting out the early monsoon storms in our only slight sketchy hotel room. Of all the islands we have visited on this trip, this was one of our favourites. We loved it because it was quiet, no vehicles, no touts, and no partiers and the diving was amazing. You could walk right off the beach and find coral in a five minute swim. It was the perfect place to learn and I hope to return someday and check out the dive sites when I’m not so concentrated on remembering to breath.

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