February 7, 2023
Made a plan for the day while laying in bed this morning. There isn’t any major tourist attraction on this island except for diving and snorkeling. So I decided today would be a good scooter day and drove across the island south of Old Town to the southern tip. The sunscreen residue and sweat on my hands makes it hard to grip the throttle. On my drive I saw a few signs saying “Drive on the left in Thailand.” Always a good reminder 👍
I also saw a few speed limit signs, which I think is a first. And lastly, lots of Tsunami evacuation route signs. Ever since I watched The Impossible years ago I’ve worried about ending up in one. It crosses my mind every day!
There isn’t really a lot here which is a big change of pace from Railay Beach. I do appreciate seeing more Thai people in their normal environment. There are more Muslims here than I’ve seen elsewhere in Thailand. They appear to be the dominant ethnicity on this island.
I drove back up to Old Town and park the scooter. Old Town is a very quaint Chinese influenced part of Koh Lanta. Lots of shops and restaurants line the waterfront on the eastern side of the island. I window shopped most of the main drag picking up only a coaster for my collection. After that I walked the pier, taking a good look at the eastern side of the Andaman Sea. This would be a nice area to kayak because the waters are very calm. Mostly just some fishing boats out in the bay.
Having explored the town but not yet ready to leave, I stopped in the Lantas Cafe. I’m not hungry at all but I’d like to enjoy the bay view from a comfortable spot. Fresh coconut and fruit platter with a wonderful view. Pretty sure I could stay here all day.
On my way across the island I stopped at 7-Eleven for a large water and to see if I could find a waterproof case for my phone. I’ll need one for my snorkeling trip tomorrow. No luck. Later I tried a few stores with swimming gear out front. Nope.
I drove across the island all the way south to the entry point for Mu Ko Lanta National Park. It was a couple hundred baht entry and already about 2:00 p.m. so I decided not to enter. I may come back another day. I was hoping to get a glimpse of it before having to pay.
On my way there, there were many monkeys playing in the middle of the road road. They didn’t flinch as scooters drove around them.
I passed several beaches that all looked better than Long Beach. I stopped at a few for photos, but decided to swim at Bamboo Beach. On my drive down the dirt road to the beach there were cows grazing. It’s funny seeing cows on beaches. I parked and walked about 150 yards to a nice spot on the beach. Very nice!
In the midst of sunbathing and crab watching, I heard a couple yelling and chasing a scooter speeding away. All I could tell was that something of theirs was stolen, but I’m not sure what. They borrowed someone’s phone and talked for a long time, before they took their bag and scooter helmet and walked away. My guess is either some personal items and/or their scooter was stolen. I hope the Tourist Police help them resolve it.
Although I would have liked to stay longer, that put a damper on the beach. I wanted to find a waterproof case for my phone anyway. I struck out at 7-Eleven, swimwear stores, phone stores, and the dive shop. At this point I texted the company that I’m snorkeling with tomorrow before I drive anywhere else. They suggested another phone shop, lantamobiles, located at the Saladan Walking Street. Finally, success! I also picked up a new set of ear buds since my last set bit the dust yesterday.
Since I was up at the walking street, I checked out the night market. Lots of shops selling clothes as usual, except this time they sold a lot of name brand clothes. Patagonia, Nike, Adidas, etc. If I had more room in my backpack I would have picked up a few things. Maybe I still will before I leave.
I checked out the food stalls next. Lots of good looking food for sale, including the touristy stuff you see everywhere (Thai pancake/Roti pancake, fruit shakes, chicken skewers). This time, however, I saw a few options I hadn’t seen before. I opted for the chicken kabob, which was a chicken wrap with lots of vegetables. 100 baht. I think this is the first western style food I’ve had since I arrived in Asia and it was delicious! It was nice to eat something a little more familiar for a change.
Although I would have liked to stay longer, I wanted to drive back before it was dark. While driving today I encountered lots of potholes and a couple sinkholes that I had to swerve around, and there’s two areas of road construction on my return route. Any of those could cause pretty good injury, so I’d like to drive it at least once in the daytime so I know what to watch for.
When I returned to my hotel, I realized I could catch the tail end of sunset if I hurried up to the beach. I parked the scooter and walked towards the bright orange sky. I’m glad I went to take a look, because it was one of the better one I’d seen in Thailand. It was a little cloudier, helping illuminate more of the sky.