Laid back Koh Lanta…

After visiting two islands which we knew were not on the typical itinerary of most travelers to Thailand, we decided to spend a week on the more popular Koh Lanta, which is within easy reach of both Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. We checked online for suitable accommodation, and instead of using I decided to use some of our credit on Air BnB to book six nights at the impressively named Verandah Lanta Resort and Spa for only $12/night. We jumped on the Petpaillin ferry from Kok Took to Koh Fanta via Koh Kradan and Koh Ngai, which took around 90mins. On arrival we were transported from the pier to our resort by the transport supplied by the ferry company and included in the price of 600B ($18).

Verandah Fanta Resort and Spa

On arrival at Verandah Lanta it became immediately obvious that we had got lucky with our location on Khlong Khong beach. Our resort was unfortunately a bit tatty and poorly maintained – within 10mins of our arrival I was replacing the shower head. This was actually my third shower head replacement in Thailand. Our experience in Thailand is that resort owners spend as little as possible on maintenance and really just don’t seem to care much…I will address this and other issues in my REALITY CHECK: Visiting Thailand post later this month. Fortunately we were right on the beach with a sea view πŸ™‚

The beach at our resort…

There is not that much to do on Koh Lanta other than hang out on the beach and sip drinks while watching the sunset and enjoying dinner at a beach restaurant. On our second day on the island we rented a scooter and explored much of the island, taking in a few of the other beaches, none of which impressed us much. The following day we rented a car for the day to reach more distant areas, and we also visited the very cool Asalanta eco-lodge and education park. We spent over an hour chatting to Anke, who together with her husband has spent 8 years building mud and bamboo huts, a large house as well as a tea house and education space. If living in the jungle is your dream, then check out what they have done…

Akhona checks out a mud hut

We decided to spend the rest of our time just chilling out at our resort and on the beach, enjoying the sunsets, strolling on the beach and then enjoying a seafood meal right on the beach. Our favorite spot was a little restaurant named Seashells, where we could buy a whole grilled Red Snapper for B250, together with a prawn skewer for B100, chicken skewers for B50 and delicious baked potatoes for B30. an entire meal for two with a smoothie cost around B750 ($20). Absolutely delicious. To stick to our budget we sometimes bought lunch at 7-11…they carry range of toasted sandwiches and pre-prepared meals which they heat up for you for $1 or $2/meal. 

Supper at Seashells
Khrong Khong beach at night

Our experiences driving around the island were quite an adventure as I got to pump my own petrol for the first time using a petrol vending machine πŸ™‚ We used a scooter for several days on Koh Kood, so we are getting used to it now, We do use helmets, unlike many other travelers, as the risk of accidents is very high for foreigners in Thailand. It was so great to drive a car again after almost 3 months….

Scooter girl…
Pumping my own petrol…

As snorkeling is not great off the beach on Koh Lanta, I decided to do a day trip to Koh Roc, which is famous for its clear waters and reefs. As Akhona is still learning to snorkel she decided not to do the trip, but to rather relax and catch up with some editing at our resort. So I booked myself on a speedboat trip to Koh Roc, and at 08h00 I was on the boat with 39 other travelers, en route to Koh Roc, about 1 hr away. I spent much of the trip chatting to a Swedish couple who were on vacation with their three kids.

Speedboat to Koh Roc

Snorkeling was pretty good around Koh Roc, and also around Koh Ha, which we stopped at on the way back to Koh Fanta. I had an opportunity to test out my new GoPro Hero 5 Black…

Koh Roc – nice beach but already busy with daytrippers…
Koh Ha – its beauty lies beneath the water…

As I am by no means a good swimmer, and Akhona is still a learner, we bought full face masks and snorkeling vests to keep us afloat and help us breath easily while snorkeling. These aids really help when one wants to focus on filming underwater. I know I look like a typical tourist all geared up, but without this gear I will probably drown πŸ™‚ Our new GoPro has impressed so far with its underwater footage…

We had some strange experiences with the owner/manager at the resort we were staying in, but overall Koh Lanta proved to be a great island to stay on for a week or so, with a great beach vibe in the evenings for couples. Many people seem to head to Lanta to escape the madness of Koh Phi Phi – the ferry is always full coming from Phi Phi so book your ticket early πŸ™‚


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Derek Antonio Serra is a photographer and filmmaker who has run several successful businesses in the film, tourism and advertising industries. He has recently embraced the nomadic lifestyle after selling his businesses and home. His passions are photography, travel and writing.

3 thoughts on “Laid back Koh Lanta…

  • 19/11/2017 at 10:32 am

    Hi there
    Great to sort of ‘keep in touch’ with you guys on your journey. Cape Town is already full of visitors for the Festive season and traffic is a nightmare – well, more of a nightmare than it normally is.

    Would like to hear more about “We had some strange experiences with the owner/manager at the resort we were staying in,” in a post sometime. Hope it will be covered in the Pro’s and Cons. Or at least “REALITY CHECK: Visiting Thailand”.

    Keep going and enjoy.

  • 19/11/2017 at 8:34 pm

    Yes, I was also wondering what the strange experiences were! I’m definitely inspired to visit Thailand again having done Koh Samui and Phuket.

  • 20/11/2017 at 8:57 am

    I will share all of our weird and wonderful experiences in Thailand in my 100 Days post…It’ll definitely make you laugh πŸ™‚

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