February 3, 2014

Pre-booking essential

Koh Lanta, Thailand

After a restless night sleep, we had a bit of time in the morning before we had to be at the airport, so we headed off for one last breakfast in Chiang Mai, I opted for Tom Kha Gai soup, but found it a little too sweet for breakfast. Then we hopped on a tuktuk and waved goodbye to the laid back little city that had become home for the last four days.

Once at the airport, out flight was delayed an hour. Over the previous few days we weren’t quite sure where we were going next, we both knew we wanted to go to Koh Lanta, but also Krabi Town. When we finally did arrive at our Destination, Krabi Airport, we decided to get a bus to Koh Lanta, spending the end of our trip in Krabi Town. The information office informed us the best way to get there would be to hire a private mini bus, but to make it cost efficient we’d need to find 6 more people who wanted to go as well. The first two were easy, as they were standing in the same line behind us. Finding the other four took some asking around, but it’s pretty easy to spot people with backpack’s looking confused and ask them where they’re going. Eventually we had 8 people and began the drive south.

An hour and two ferries later we arrived in the small Port of Sala Dan, Koh Lanta. We all hoped off the van and were bombarded by tuktuk drivers asking us where we wanted to go. Everyone else had pre-booked accommodation, we didn’t. Little did we know what a mistake that was. We thought we had a plan, we had three hotel’s bookmarked to look into but we quickly learned they were all booked up. We had a quick chat with a local man who suggested we head to the town of Klong Nin where there were lots of small affordable guesthouses. After a 30min tuktuk drive backdropped by the setting sun, we arrived in Klong Nin and began to look for accommodation, only far to quickly to learn that not only the entire town was booked out but the entire Island was!

In our search we stopped by the Roundhouse who were very helpful. When they found out we didn’t have accommodation (they were booked also) they began ringing hotels for us on the island, unfortunately with no luck. They said that if we couldn’t find anything, we were welcome to sleep on their daybed that they had in the bar, we highly considered it, but thought their generosity should be a last resort (and I was looking for a good night sleep) so we left our bags there and went hotel hunting. Nearly three hours later we were defeated. The island really was booked out, or over budget. Near 9pm we stopped into Lanta Paradise Resort and asked if there was a room available, there was, but for the astronomical price of 3000bt per night (we’d been paying around 6oobt). Defeated again we walked away, but as we turned the receptionist could see our despair, she called us backed, assured we’d only stay one night and said she’d cut the price to 1500 for the one night only.

We were finally able to relax (for tonite at least), we realised we were starving and headed for some dinner, then back to the Roundhouse, where we had left our bags, for a few island cocktails.


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