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Ko Lanta, Thailand

by admin on May 22nd, 2010

Ko Lanta is the biggest of the Thai islands we visited. It has quite a large local population in a few villages and an “old town”. It also has cars and motorbikes!(you have nothing but your feet and boats in Rai Leh and Ko Phi Phi).

Even if it became more touristy lately, Lanta is going on with its own Thai life and, unlike Rai Leh or Ko Phi Phi, it feels refreshingly authentic. Its beaches are not up to those in the previous two places, but its charm is greater.

Here are a few pictures from the “old town” where we stayed:

This next one is Kirsten’s pic (a Canadian girl we made friends with):

The Old Town used to be the commercial centre of the island that provided safe harbour to Chinese and Arabic trading vessels on their way to the larger ports of Phuket, Penang and Singapore. Its main road is still lined up with long houses, some 100 years old – traditional wooden homes, here built on pillars right above the water at high tide. Their long structure allows a nice breeze to sweep through. Here is how they look like, at low tide… The place we stayed at was a similar long house:

A long house at high tide (also Kirsten’s picture):

On the porch:

Greg, with a few friends he made in town :P. They must have been 13-15 years old. Could you think of any better initiation into manhood than experiencing and understanding monastery life?!

A day at the beach:

Boi (yes, his name is Boi!) is a 19 year old who helped us get around the island in the back of his parents’ taxi-car, and we ended up spending the day together.
After the beach, he drove us to the Sea Gypsies’ Village:

The Sea Gypsies (or Chau Lei in Thai that literally means “people of the sea”) are nomads who fled Indonesia, and after a couple hundred years on the sea, finally settled in these parts of Thailand:

Some kids hopped in Boi’s car to come with us for a ride. I was happy to see there are still places where people trust each other and every adult is not a suspected, potential child molester – you know, like sometimes (and understandably so) in the West:

Us, Boi and the kids back at our place:

Practical Advice

Where to stay
The Old Town is a charming place, if you don’t necesarily want to go out in the evenings, since everything here shuts off at dark. At the time, we were the only foreigners staying in the Old Town overnight. We stayed at Mango House, a long-house with huge rooms (clean, no air con but airy enough). Recommended for a group of three or more.

Must See
The Old Town
The Sea Gypsy Village

From → South East Asia

  1. Brett Tremblay permalink

    Hey Alex! I just discovered your blog and I think its great! Glad to see you guys are having a great time. Keep on posting =)

  2. Gerald McLaughlin permalink

    Boi does not look 19 to me. I would insist on ID before letting him have any beer. Does seem to be in a fowl mood to me.

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