Thailand: Southern Islands - January 2007
Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
I continue my journey in the south of Thailand. After the very pretty, but very crowded and very expensive Koh Phi Phi, here I am at Koh Lanta, much more peaceful.
How Koh Lanta gave its name to the TF1 show
Koh means "island" in Thai. Koh Lanta gave its name to the well known game show of TF1, which only shot in this corner of southern Thailand the first of its shows, and kept the name afterwards. I always found this idea curious...
Anyway, Koh Lanta is not at all a deserted island for adventurers, there is everything for tourists.
At first sight, when you land there, nothing spectacular like in Phi Phi. No dizzying cliffs around. The charms of the island will be revealed later... We docked in an arm of the sea, almost a lagoon, a little melancholic, with pontoons and restaurants on stilts, between the two islands of Lanta (there are two Koh Lanta, in fact, one is a peninsula, which gives access to the second).
The port, Ban SaladanThis is a large T-shaped street with the usual jumble of stores, food stalls, hotels, currency exchanges, etc., not to mention the inevitable swarming of motorcycles and cabs when the boat arrives.
More and more beautiful beaches to the south
In fact, you have to follow the road along the west side of the coast for about 20 kilometers to better discover Lanta. What I did today, after renting a motorcycle. A very nice ride.
However, when you don't know the area, it is not easy to find your way around at first. All the bungalows, hotels and resorts located on the beaches are at the end of dirt roads perpendicular to the main road. So each time you have to take one of these small secondary roads to see...
And there, we are not disappointed. The main beach in the south of Ban Saladan, Long BeachThe beach where I finally chose to stay, in order to be close to all kinds of facilities (internet, restaurants, mini-markets, dive-shops etc.) is a huge strip of blond sand, very beautiful, very good for swimming.
But the most fun is to push the ride further south.
We discover, at random of these famous small transverse roads, lots of creeks and coves wilder, cute as anything, and yet not cut off from the world, since there is each time a row of bungalows or a resort nearby ... Ideal for breaks watermelon shake and other fruit juices.
The people here are more charming and less "commercial" than in Phi Phi. Everyone has a big Thai smile and greets you as soon as you stop somewhere.
A nice lady who was serving orange juice along the road, at a place with a magnificent view on the sea, helped me to negotiate the slope towards her small bamboo bar by coming herself to drive my bike...
We also meet elephants on the road. The poor beasts are obviously still used as a working tool, here, with heavy chains on their feet.
The guy who was on it with his son stopped his imposing mount in the middle of the road so I could take the souvenir photo at my ease. The people of Lanta are really nice.
Tomorrow, I go back to diving Hin Daeng and Hin Muangbut I will take advantage of the following days to explore the interior of the islandOn the jungle and mountain side, with waterfalls and caves, then the east coast... Lanta is huge compared to Phi Phi !!!