You ever get really excited for something? Vision it, think about it lots and wait in anticipation? And when you get there, it just doesn’t live up to the hype. Unfortunately this happened to Scott and I during our time on the island of Koh Lanta. We had read many blogs all stating how great Koh Lanta is and how its one of their favourite islands. But for some strange reason the island just didn’t click for us.
There are a pile of factors that can come into play when a backpacker decides they don’t like a place, and usually they are personal reasons that make them have attract a negative experience rather then a positive one. For us, maybe it was the fact we were promised a private VIP mini bus for our group of 4 from Khao Sok to the ferry in Krabi town. But, instead, once we reached Krabi town we were then stuffed into a shitty ass over packed mini van and driven for another 3 hours all the way to the car ferry in Tarang instead. Or, maybe it was the fact that both Scott and I were feeling pretty ran down, exhausted, and sick in my stomach which eventually escalated into us both becoming violently ill for a day with a 4 day uneasy recovery period afterwards.
While suffering with stomach craps in bed, Scott and I both agreed Koh Lanta just did not look as nice as any of the other islands we have been on. It looked really dusty and dirty as we drove to our resort and was just missing something. What? We still don’t know… But it just didn’t show us the beauty we hope for in a tropical island paradise. We could of just been staying on the wrong side of the island but we still just didn’t feel a great vibe from the locals or fellow tourists. Because of this I don’t think we will ever go there again.
Aside from all of this, we do try to put our troubles behind us and have the best time possible in any situation which resulted in some great memorable moments with my parents. Lots of time was spent in their room, having drinks and enjoying each others company. We also played an interesting game of mini golf. (Scott won in a tie breaker show down with my Dad) Rode some elephants through the jungle, watched a baby elephant do some crazy tricks, and enjoyed the beauty of some spectacular orchids and butterflies. My mom even added added some new artwork to her existing frog tattoo. Four lotus flowers, one for each of her children and of course to represent her time in Thailand.
We do have one recommendation on Koh Lanta for anyone planning to travel there. Sign yourself up on a tour that goes to the Emerald Cave. We went on the “4 Islands” tour that took us to 3 great snorkelling spots and the Emerald Cave. The tour also included an okay buffet lunch on a beautiful private beach.
The Emerald Cave is only accessible by swimming through a winding 80 metre long dark passageway in low tide. A guide will lead the way with a bright flashlight and chances are there will be a pile of other tours going at the same time as you. Don’t let your fear of water or the dark stop you from experiencing this sight. My mom isn’t so keen in the water and did a great job! Once you get through the swim of a lifetime you will bear witness to a amazing little cove that is surrounded by high limestone walls. A true pirates hideout! The vegetation is something out of Jurassic Park, the sand is baby powder, and the water is a perfect emerald blue-green.
So, that is our Koh Lanta experience. I really wonder what our opinion would of been if we didn’t have such a horrible entrance onto the island and were feeling perfectly healthy, but that we will never know…
Have you been to Koh Lanta? Care to share why you loved it or hated it?