Krabi is the gateway to parties on Ko Phi Phi for many backpackers, but I headed for the relaxation and solitude of Ko Lanta. I was looking for a peaceful experience away from the maddening crowds, and I definitely found it on Ko Lanta.
Transportation to the island came by way of a white minivan, which is typical when you book through hostels. I’m sure there are other ways to get from place to place if you really want to go the independent route, but these minivans are very convenient because they usually offer door-to-door service.
After a hectic drive on the mainland with stops at various accommodations to pick up other passengers, we crossed a small stretch of water on a vehicle barge. The ride was short and soon we were bumping along the roads of Ko Lanta.
I was one of the first passengers to be dropped off at my hostel, so I quickly checked in and went to explore the beach. Ko Lanta’s beach was the best I’d seen so far. The water was clean and there was a bit of wave action, unlike most beaches in Thailand. This circulated the water making your quick dip refreshing and renewing. The sand was soft and lacked large rocks or coral formations. Best of all, there was much less pollution and garbage than on Bali’s Kuta Beach.
For the next day or two, I kicked around the island with two German girls, Franzi and Hannah. We hired a bike and pedaled ourselves to a nearby German bakery as the girls were craving bread from home. We puttered around Sala Dan so the girls could book the next leg of travel and stopped by a small restaurant for a refreshing fruit shake.
One night we went clubbing with a group from the hostel. The unique thing about Ko Lanta is that there’s only one club open per night so there’s no question about whether the club will be busy. This also gives those wanting a break from the constant boozing and late nights a chance to catch up on their sleep. With only one place open, you’re not summoned by the siren’s call of glitzy lights and loud music.
Ko Lanta is a gem in the Andaman Sea that offers backpackers the best of both worlds. It answers your call for excitement, fun and serenity. All you have to do is know where to look.