Saturday, March 6, 2010

Koh Lanta, Thailand

This island is huge! Not Jamaica huge, but so much larger than Koh Kradan. In some ways, it felt like we returned to civilization when we set foot on Koh Lanta. Everywhere you looked there were stores, souvenir stands, restaurants, pharmacies, cars, tourists, bars, and motor-taxis. There were trucks with speakers that sang the praises of this club or that at top volume. The roads were lined with bars touting happy hour specials and nightly parties. Along the beaches, though still much more calm than Jamaica, were nude sunbathing europeans, beach side restaurants with the requisite thai pillow chairs around short tables, and children everywhere playing in the sand & water. And in spite of, or perhaps because of this, I really liked Koh Lanta. I would go there again in a heartbeat. Because while it was one of the tourist haven islands, it was still a nice place to go. The beaches were clean, the people were still friendly, and it was so dang convenient.

Even the day we spent at the hospital didn't dampen my enthusiasm for the place. Of course it was Jason hooked up to the IV and not me...but I'm a very empathetic person. I won't bore you with the gory details, but Jason got sick. Food poisoning, we think. And not just the, "Oh, I feel terrible and I don't want to leave my bed." kind of thing. It was the violent emptying out of his stomach in every way possible. After a long night in our hotel room, we set out bright and early for the hospital on the other side of the island.

Although the hospital was far cry from anything in the states, it was actually pretty okay. The folks there spoke English, and they were efficient and friendly. After Jason filled up on an IV and was able to keep some food down, we took off. I found us a place with a pool - so Jason was able to recouperate in style over the next few days.

Since it took Jason a few days to get back on his feet, we have significantly fewer photos of Koh Lanta than we'd like.

The place we stayed at was owned by a former Belgian baker. The restaurant menu was delicious and after a few unsettling experiences, we choose to eat there quite often.

The pool was a treat. It was a great place to chill out in the evenings.

Lovely trees

I had one of the best and one of the worst massages of my life on Koh Lanta. Thai massages are vigorous to say the least.

The beach was lined this type of with open air massage shacks.

Beach during low-tide

It was very serene.

It was amazing how much the water level changed throughout the day. The water was only a few feet from the floor of these houses for most of the day.

While the hospitals were nice, the gas stations were more simplistic.

The roads were lined with these motor-taxis. They're similar to those in the Philippines, but the Thai version is much roomier.

There were a nice way to get out of the sun for a few moments.

Relaxing after the good massage.

Ocean at sunset.