After living city life for a while it was time for me to find a beach. I checked Google Maps and found that Ko Lanta (or Koh Lanta) was pretty near so that is where I went. From the border of Malaysia (Padang Besa) I took a 2 hour bus to Hat Yai in Thailand for about 8 BHT (0,3 USD). There is no official bus stop so you just need to wait along the road and wave in the bus when it comes. A nice lady working at the exchange office gave me water and an orange and kept me company, which was a really nice welcome to Thailand.
I initially wanted to stay one night in Hat Yai but the wish for a beach was too strong, so after eating something in the outdoor market I found another bus that took me to Krabi. This bus departures from the Hat Yai bus terminal and was a bit more expensive, 239 BHT (8 USD). The bus takes 5 hours and is chilling cold, but everyone is provided with blankets and the trip passes by rather quick.
I arrived around 11 in the night to Krabi. That was it for the day. Exiting the bus and starting to walk, searching for a place to sleep, a bunch of motorbike taxi drivers tried to convince me that there were no guesthouses or hotels in this area, but that I had to get into the city about 3-5 km away, and that there only were places for 1000 BHT and up. Of course they were trying to cheat me and after asking in an outdoor restaurant I find a luxury hotel nearby where I pay 500 BHT (17 USD) for a double room with WIFI, television and AC.
The next day I go out for breakfast followed by finding the correct road where the minibus to Ko Lanta will pass. The bus almost misses me but sees me in the last minute and pulls over. The 3 hour trip (130 BHT = 4 USD) pass by two car ferries but even though it’s almost high season the cue is minimal and everything goes smoothly, except for a child throwing up inside the minibus.
Finally in Ko Lanta I manage to withdraw some money and get a lunch, before asking a taxi driver to take me for free (they get provision) to a nearby hotel with bungalows which he recommends. The price for a bungalow with huge bed, bathroom, fan, WIFI and breakfast is 600 BHT (20 USD) per night, and with the beach nearby I finally get my dip in the ocean before the rain starts.
This picture was taken from the beach Koh Ngai which is one hour boat trip away from Ko Lanta. The islands around Ko Lanta can be really beautiful, but for me Ko Lanta itself is nothing above the normal when it comes to visual appearance. The true charm of Ko Lanta is the amazing local people together with a semi-laid back style, at least comparing to the nearby Ko Phi Phi and Phuket.