Ko Lanta is a much bigger island east of the Straits of Malacca and is the southern part of the Krabi province. To most French people it is well-known as the French equivalent of “Survivor” is actually called “Ko Lanta”! While that would suggest that we are on some remote, tourist-free island, we are not. There are far fewer tourists than on Phuket or Koh Phi Phi, which is wonderful, but there are still tons of fabulous restaurants, beaches and activities all over Ko Lanta. The island itself (Ko Lanta Yai) is 30km long and 6km wide. Due to the size, we picked a great little guesthouse on the eastern coast smack dab in the middle of the island. Lanta Thip House came highly recommended and has yet to disappoint. Plus, we were able to rent a scooter with them directly for the duration of our six days on Lanta. We have a beautiful garden at the guesthouse which is a nice alternative to a pool or the beach.
We decided to jump on our scooter and explore the island on our first day, navigating the hills and twists and turns. We decided to head south and check out some of the beaches along the way. Some beaches are a bit rockier than others but all of them are stunning and almost completely deserted.
We continued south and came across a baby elephant on the side of the road! Clearly a tourist gimmick – they were selling elephant trekking tours – we still stopped for a few pics.
We stopped by a local market that was full of crazy fruits and vegetables that we had never seen before. By complete chance, we found an open air restaurant overlooking the western side of Lanta so we stopped for some cashew chicken, noodles and shrimp wontons.
After lunch, we went to the furthest southern point on the island where we found the most beautiful beach. We each had a fruit smoothie (watermelon for Jil and lemon/lime for me) while we watched the sunset and as we were leaving I spotted some monkeys in the palm tree forest so we went to investigate!
As we were headed back to the hotel on the scooter, we saw tons of monkeys chilling on the road barriers. We were driving slowly and I shouted “monkey!!” and reached out my hand towards it. He made a super scary noise and face and reached out a hand so I screamed and told Jil to accelerate. He laughed so hard at me and continues to make fun of me….. It is slightly reminiscent of the time I tried to hug a baby bear in a national park in the States and was stopped by a park ranger at the last second – I have a history of thinking that wild animals are just cute little stuffed animals. Some things never change.