Getting to Koh Lanta from Siem Reap took a full day of travel and included a car, two planes, a sketchy van, a ferry, one grouchy husband and a very sassy wife. Needless to say these two travelers were looking forward to the beach.
Unfortunately our Koh Lanta plans of sun and sand were derailed when John and I were introduced to the traveler’s dietary issues so common in developing countries. Instead of gazing out at the Andaman Sea, for two days we were looking at the mosquito net surrounding the bed in our little bungalow at the Costa Lanta resort. Here’s what we learned from this experience:
- Bungalows are cute in theory
- The pharmacist at Lanta Pharma is very nice and has (*had) lots of charcoal tablets
- We’re glad we brought antibiotics
- There are several species of birds that live right outside bungalow #109
- One such bird sounds exactly like John’s trademark whistle that he uses to get my attention (try hearing that all night!)
- Mosquito nets aren’t effective
- Being sick at the same time is a great marriage test (we passed)
Sidebar – we just don’t know how we got sick with such exemplary sanitary conditions at the local market (apologies to our vegan friends):
We didn’t even eat street food or drink tap water, and we still ended up like this:
Luckily John rented a motorbike the first day, which he used to venture out for medicine and provisions. And we were able to leave the room for a few hours each day to catch the incredible sunset.
Once we were back to normal, we were determined to make the most of our last day on the island. We drove the motorbike 30 minutes southeast to Old Town, which used to be the main port of the island. It was very charming and offered a different vantage point to see the other islands. We had lunch at a cute little place with swings over the water, so of course I made John do a photo shoot.
Overall we would recommend Koh Lanta to anyone traveling to Thailand and looking for a beachy place to unwind. We would suggest a trip to Ko Phi Phi islands (where my boy Leo filmed The Beach in 2000) and diving Hin Daeng/Hin Muang, both of which we were considering doing before we got sick. Oh well, there’s always next time!