Do you find it difficult to change your preferred way of doing things? I think many of us can safely say that we do so why would we want to? “If it ain’t broke then why fix it?” as the saying goes. My travels are helping me to break out of this mold and become more creative on how to deal with the days I am blessed with no matter where I happen to be. Being overly endowed with resilience has not been one of my strong points.
I booked myself in for eight nights at Lanta DD House on Koh Lanta. Koh Lanta is one of the chain of islands in the Andaman Sea in the southwestern part of Thailand. When I arrived I immediately realized that it was very hot here as it is all over SE Asia right now which meant curtailing the amount of sight seeing I could do or even the amount of lying on the beach I could safely do without burning myself to a crisp. Now perhaps I could spend more time working on my blog and reading all the books I have downloaded on my E-reader. The first option posed some problems since I no longer have access to my computer. I have only my small tablet which is designed to drive impatient people like me slightly crazy. The second option was fine except that it’s difficult to read in bright sunlight so am compelled to read inside.
After four days here in my comfortable little bungalow, I have had to limit my activities and adjust to a much slower pace than what I am accustomed to. In addition, I have had to work on a suitable schedule that could give more focus to my remaining days so I can feel productive. This could mean you will see a flurry of posts but with no pictures. Sorry, but Word Press won’t allow me to download pictures from my tablet unless I give them $99.
Moving around at a slower pace means less walking and staying more indoors. On my second day here, I was so thrilled to be near the sea again that I spent most of my day lapping it all up on the beautiful beach just a ten minute walk from my bungalow. In spite of the copious amount of suntan oil and being conscious of not staying too long in the sun, I still managed to resemble a lobster the next day! This event forced me to make some necessary changes to my usual way of spending my days at a beach.
My new schedule went into effect a few days ago and so far seems to be the answer to coping with my time on Koh Lanta. I wake up early about 6:30 a.m. and head down to the beach for a walk and a swim. I am by no means alone as it seems like everyone else has the same idea. This is followed by a light breakfast in my room of fruit and yogurt. I have a fridge so keeping some breakfast foods and snacks on hand is helping to keep my food costs down. This may sound surprising because I have always found it less expensive to eat out in Thailand, but not here on the island. The prices of meals are double what they are anywhere else and I am only getting 25 baht to the dollar when I used to get 30. Around 10 o’clock, I go for a good coffee and pastry or baguette at one of the nearby bakeries. This, along with some of my snacks, will last until dinner time which can be any time after sundown. From about 11:30 onwards to about 4 or 5 p.m., I stay inside where I have comfortable A/C to do my blogging, E-mailing, or reading.
Then it’s to the beach again for another walk and to witness the sunset which at this time of year is nothing spectacular because it’s hazy; however, is fun to watch as it quickly sinks below the horizon. I was fortunate to meet two wonderful ladies, one from Sweden and the other from Australia, on the ferry on my way over here. On Sunday, I walked from my beach, Klong Dao, to the next beach about three kilometers south, commonly known as Long Beach and considered to be one of the ten best in Asia I have heard. Who should I run into but Berta, the Swedish lady! Since we are all of the same age and share a passion for travel, we have been enjoying each others’ company over dinner each night which has been lovely for me since one of the downsides of travelling solo is eating dinner alone. It’s sometimes nice to have good conversation in your own language at the end of the day.
I am now into my fifth day with two more to go before I catch the ferry over to Krabi and then fly back to Bangkok via Air Asia. In spite of the heat forcing me to take more refuge in my room than I would have liked, I am quite satisfied with my island holiday. Koh Lanta is everything the brochures say it is. It has a good range of accommodations from 5-star resorts to budget-priced bungalows for the backpackers. Tourists have been coming here for years yet it hasn’t gotten over developed like so many other islands in Thailand. It has three long, sandy beaches for walking, swimming, and snorkeling all on the western side, and a few more further south which are rockier and, therefore, draw fewer tourists. They are perfect for those who want more piece and quiet. The thing about Koh Lanta is, it still isn’t over developed and has not become a party island which makes it suitable for families. It isn’t a Koh Phi Phi or Samui but it has its own charm with activities to suit everyone: diving, snorkelling, elephant trekking since much of the island is covered with forest, mangrove exploring, and a convenient jumping off point for some island hopping. If that isn’t enough to keep one busy then the largest town where all the ferries arrive and depart from, Ban Saladan, looks like a great place to shop as well as to stay and eat. All of this comes at a noticeable cost as I have already pointed out. If coming from the north i.e. Chiang Mai for example, your budget can take a big blow which probably explains why there aren’t so many backpackers. Instead the island draws mostly European families (especially Swedes) and older folks like me.
This has been my first island experience in Thailand in several years. In the past, a bamboo hut, fan, and sometimes a Thai toilet were the order of the day. This rustic experience is almost becoming a thing of the past. Now the bungalows are built of concrete, are air-conditioned, have high definition TV, WiFi, fridge and all the other amenities of a 3 or 4 star hotel. This easily explains why accommodations are more than double in price. Food has to be more expensive since nothing seems to be grown here other than some fruit and spices. Fishing is carried on extensively around the island so although on all the menus, it’s more than $10 a plate in most restaurants. Whether by accident or design, the realty is that so long as the island is considered as one of the more expensive ones, it will have a better chance at not becoming ruined by over development and too many tourists. To me this is a good thing.