Koh Lanta lived up to my mental image of the lazy tropical Thai island: friendly, lazy and beautiful. Brandon and I spent plenty of time napping in hammocks and drinking beer on the beach, hanging out with other travelers and locals (inbetween which there is a lot of grey area). Upon arriving we were greeted by a wall of touts each offering a free taxi ride to their bungalows or resorts. We decided to go with Thong to the Lanta Family Resort. On the pickup-truck ride from the pier with Thong we met the charming (and always drunk) Mr. T, who lives in a shack next to the bar at the “resort”.
We settled into a two-bed bungalow about 100 feet from the beach for 300 baht and napped in the hammocks for a few hours. Before the sun went down we took a walk up the beach towards the town and found several empty beaches, although the swimming was not great because of the tide. I ended up turning in early that night, passing up on some late night wandering around / drinking.
The next day we decided to go on an elephant trek. Since Thailand outlawed the logging of native hardwood trees, most of the country’s elephants have been out of work. In an effort to save them many were transported to the south to live on carrying tourists on jungle treks. We went to another “resort” where they arranged the trek for us and were soon sitting on top of Bo, our friendly elephant guide. I would describe the experience not so much as a trek but more of something like “an hour in the life of an elephant”. There seemed to be a set path that Bo was to follow, but he did so at his own pace. Every couple minutes he stopped to mess around with some tree or a bush. We made our around back to the starting point and bought a bunch of bananas to feed Bo before we headed back home.
It ended up being a relatively mellow night as most of the people around were preparing for the full moon party that was scheduled for the next night, which I missed because of my flight back to Bangkok… Brandon stuck around for the party, though, which sounded fun.