Saturday, October 29, 2005

October 11: Ko Lanta

(1) One of the nice things about being a short-timer, traveling for only three weeks, is that you can justify paying for more expensive (but faster) modes of transportation. On this morning, I took an 8am Asia Air flight to Phuket for about $30. Once I arrived on this popular island off the Andaman coast, I grabbed a mini-bus to Phuket Town where I spent a couple hours enjoying the last day of Ngan Kin Jeh, the annual vegetarian festival. While the food at Wat Jui Tui made the hurried travel worth the effort, I would miss the evening's ritualistic acts of self-mortification as I had already made the decision to continue on to Ko Lanta.

(2) A bus from Phuket Town to Krabi, and a mini-van from Krabi to Ko Lanta's Hat Khlong Dao, would turn out to be my biggest mistake of the trip. Prior research had inspired me to spend up to six days on this long, lazy island, basking in the sun and enjoying the late-night fish barbecues on the beach. However, this was the off season, and I quickly learned that I was one of just a handful of travelers on the island. While it was nice to have the entire stretch of sand to myself, I was bored stupid. From the beach outside my accomodations at Lanta Villa, I could see Ko Phi Phi out in the distant waters, teasing me through the ghostly haze. Later, I would learn from multiple backpackers that Phi Phi was the place to be. I had gambled on the chance of having something special on Ko Lanta, but found it less than exciting, at this time, for the solo traveler. However, for the happy couple looking for peace and quiet... welcome to paradise.

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