Waking up before 5am was not very fun but at least the trip to Chiang Mai’s airport was quick. It didn’t matter what time of day I went out onto Chiang Mai’s streets, there was always traffic and always lots of it but this late in the night/early in the morning, it seemed that the city had finally decided to give it a rest.
Our flight to Krabi was rather uneventful but arriving in Krabi was quite nice. We had read online that there are a few options to getting from Krabi to Koh Lanta. You can hire a private taxi, which costs about 3000 BHT, grab a taxi from the airport to the passenger ferry pier (300-400 BHT) and take the ferry (approx. 400 BHT) and then get a taxi to the hotel (no idea) or book a minibus for 400 BHT. We opted for the cheaper option.
The minibuses leave from a small pavilion near the airport on the main road. The person who booked us the trip said the bus would pick us up at around 9:10am but the minibus (really just just a full-size van) didn’t arrive until around 10am. Those of us waiting at the stop were quite annoyed by the time the van arrived. Then there were so many people and so much luggage we weren’t quite sure how it would work getting everything aboard. The driver ended up piling the suitcases inside the van along with backpacks and the people (there is no trunk) before finally setting off. It was rather cramped but after we got underway, it wasn’t that bad (and hey, for 400 BHT for a two-hour trip, who can complain?).
Once we arrived at the ferry terminal to take us across the short stretch of ocean from the mainland to the first island (we had to take another short ferry to the second where all the hotels are), our driver began asking everyone where he or she was going. A number of us had the address and name of the hotels written in Thai (our agent at the airport assured us the drivers knew Koh Lanta well – they were all locals) but that ended up not really helping at all. It turns out, at least we suspect, that our driver can’t read at all. There was one Thai woman in the van that spoke English, too, and she tried to interpret but it was painful at best. We eventually arrived at our hotel, though, and got unpacked in our bungalow.
To say the least, having a hotel literally ON THE OCEAN, is something else, especially when you consider what we paid for it (not very much). Once we got unpacked we sat out and watched the sun set (those are my only pictures from the day) after a quick swim in the ocean. I’d forgotten what it had been like to be on the ocean and have absolutely nothing on the horizon save for the occasional merchant ship. The view here is simply breathtaking and the stars at night… I wish I’d brought my tripod.
Now the truly relaxing part of the vacation can properly start. It’s been a rather exciting and busy past two weeks and it’ll be nice to spend some quiet time on the beach with each other and our books to read.