It’s been a little over two months since I’ve returned home to Seattle from Thailand, but I still have dreams of two places: Bangkok and Ko Lanta. These areas, despite being extremely different, were by far my favorite two areas of Thailand that I visited during my two and a half week adventure in March. While I fell in love with the hot, crazy energy pulsing through the busy streets of Bangkok, I also enjoyed the peaceful vibe and slower way of life out in Ko Lanta. Located in Thailand’s southern province of Krabi, Ko Lanta is part of a district consisting of three major islands. Ko Lanta is the largest island of the three and it is known for having 9 heavenly white sand beaches on the west coast as well as a healthy forest and ancient tropical jungle.
Still a rather small town, there are only two main roads on Ko Lanta; most of the road had been paved only recently, and some residents residing farther from town have yet to even receive electricity in their homes. Speaking of electricity, there was one night when the electricity seemed to have failed on one side of Ko Lanta, but this needn’t faze the shop owners who quickly pulled out candles and went back to business. I suppose that means power outages aren’t uncommon, and many who live on the island can easily cope with an outage. I couldn’t imagine many people in Bangkok or Seattle being ok with having power for too long!
That slower, more traditional way of life on Ko Lanta was a huge part of the island’s charm. There’s nothing better than cruising down a street on a motorbike, hopping off, and relaxing tranquilly in a hammock just outside of a beachside bar, or taking a half day tour into the nearby jungles to ride elephants and look for wildlife. No one in Lanta feels like they are in much of a hurry, and the friendly vibe makes you remember why Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles.
If you ever visit Ko Lanta, I highly recommend two places in particular: eating a meal at Shanti Shanti (both in Old Town and Klong Nin) and staying overnight in the beach bungalows of The Hut. Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, you may also want to try getting a bamboo tattoo. Check out a gallery of photos below with the full set available here.