A Bit of TLC Part 16 – Familiar Ground

Koh Lanta and Krabi, Thailand  February 2024

It took two plane journeys with a very tight connection plus a change of airport in Bangkok AND an overnight stop in Krabi town, but we finally made it to our “happy place”.  Things had changed on the island of Koh Lanta in southern Thailand since we were there at the end of 2022 – it was much busier for a start, with many new businesses opening up, and a lot more people.  I made a mental note to stop recommending it to fellow travellers!

Back in Lanta!

We were unable to book the wonderful Lanta Infinity hotel where we had previously stayed – rates had more than doubled!  Luckily, securing a huge room at the newly renovated resort backing the Infinity, we soon settled back in to “Lanta life” and felt ourselves relaxing as we walked along “our” beach the following day.  Although some things had changed, the “vibe” was the same, but after our experiences in other parts of Asia, we were left wondering how long this peaceful island would remain relatively undeveloped.

“Our” beach…

Chatting to the friendly owner of the aptly named “Rasta Chill Bar” (our go-to sunset watching spot), he explained that he was moving lock, stock and (smoking!) barrel to Koh Chang, as the landowner had sold out to…you guessed it, the Chinese.

…and relax!

So, we enjoyed it while we could, and spent a very lazy week doing very little other than sitting on the beach or by the pool, as the temperatures were rising steadily, and we were running out of steam!

When the boats come in

We followed up by taking the ferry back to Krabi to revisit some of our old haunts in Klong Muang, where we stayed during our first month in Thailand last year.  We had even managed to book an apartment at the same condos, although we had to “slum it” in a one-bedroom this time – minus the spa bath on the balcony!  Again, the resort was much busier than during our previous stay, and they had finished building the 5-star luxury resort next door – complete with a trendy beach bar with poolside cabanas. 

“Frida” rice anyone?

Not being “our thing”, we gave it a miss but enjoyed fabulous meals at our favourite Indian and Thai restaurants, and were delighted to find a new Mexican restaurant just around the corner which served amazing food and had a great atmosphere.  The décor, cuisine, music (and staff!) were brilliantly co-ordinated to re-create Mexico in Thailand…crazy!

I never tire of these sunsets

We braved hiring a scooter for a few days as Ian was familiar with the roads (and the driving inconsistencies) here.  First stop was for breakfast and a couple of baguettes at the bakery we discovered last time, run by Jake from Portsmouth.  He’d had to move location as his business partner/girlfriend had wiped him out… but after a stint working back in the UK, now seemed settled, helping to run a small hotel in Ao Nang. 

Aussie Pete’s sports bar had also moved to a hotel site a few blocks back, and the Irish bar near the condo was dead… Ah well, I guess nothing stays the same forever!

Nopharat beach…one of our faves

The beaches were still gorgeous however, and we enjoyed a few strolls in the morning on the sands of Nopharat Thara NP and our own beach in Klong Muang.  Efforts had been made to keep these beaches clean at least, although we had to pic our way through the hundreds of washed-up jellyfish one morning – yuk!

Railay revisited

We took the longtail boat across to Railay Beach, the location of our first visit to this part of Thailand 5 years ago.  The only way to reach Railey is by sea, as it is surrounded by huge limestone cliffs – and it still retains an “island” feel, with no real roads and no cars or bikes.  The walking street was teeming with sun-baked tourists, and several new bars, cannabis shops and resorts had opened up, so we were grateful to have experienced it during quieter times. 

For our last night in Krabi we treated ourselves to a sunset meal at the Dragon View restaurant overlooking the famous Dragon Crest Mountain (which I still hadn’t managed to hike!).

The sun sets on our last day in Krabi

On to the final leg of our trip…

Next Stop:  Up and under!

More photos!…

Well...it would be rude not to
Ian was impressed with his Valentine's present!
We were lucky enough to catch another performance by the brilliant "Mantravine"
Beachside lunch
Railay walking street at a rare quiet moment
The todger temple!
The plastic waste that's lying around at least means most bird's nests are rainproof!
Easier said than done!
Delicious onion bhajis
Ian enjoying his dragon water

5 thoughts on “Bit of T L C – Part 16 – Familiar Ground”

  1. It’s like all the pent up development energy is rushing to make up for lost time with bad decisions made. Ugh!! It’s amazing in just a short time how much busier you are finding places! The pictures still bedazzle, though.

  2. True that nothing stays the same forever, in most cases anyway. So glad this last part of your trip is finishing on a happy and relaxed note. That is how it should be. Looking forward to reading your final blog for this season and very much looking forward to seeing you both to hear all about it in person! xxx

  3. Christine Hollis

    Loved reading about your escapades again. Your take on things is amusing and inspiring. Keep enjoying your travels and looking forward to the next blog.

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