Thursday, March 17, 2016

Culture Corner: Thailand - Koh Lanta & Koh Lipe

It wasn't so long ago I traveled with an analog camera, and before taking each photo had to gauge: "Is this worth the shot?  I have only thirteen left shots on this roll, and after that just two more rolls..."  But now we just snap away without thinking, and sort out the good from the bad later.  (At least I think a few people do; most probably have mobile phones and digital cameras full of unedited selfies...)  I've finally had a chance to sort through our hundreds, if not thousands of photos from vacation in Thailand and Cambodia, and am ready to pass along a few. For whatever reason, I think I'll work backwards and start with the islands of Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe where we spent the last ten days of our trip.  In the next few days there should be posts on Siam Reap/Angkor Wat and Bangkok.

Seeing Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe first hand, it's apparent why there are so many tourists traveling to Thailand.  They're gorgeous.  I would consider Koh Lanta the more relaxed island (restaurants, bars, with little centralized development) and Koh Lipe the more active (it has numerous local options for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking whereas Koh Lanta's require travel.)  You could snorkel off the beach in Koh Lipe, but not Koh Lanta.  But again, both were beautiful, and myself, my family, and the extended family I traveled with loved everyday, every meal, every sunrise, sunset...

This (the white building between the turquoise and rattan) was our hotel on Koh Lanta.  It was great.  In the day the ocean was a stone's throw away, and in the evening, after the kids went to sleep, we could relax at the restaurants nearby without worrying as our doors were in plain sight the entire time, the stars overhead.

We took a day trip to Koh Phi Phi, and this was the only shot of the islands I could get that didn't contain hordes and hordes of tourists...  Beautiful place, oodles of fellow tourists - oodles to the point the reefs are dead and the charm spoiled.  I assume in low season the experience is better.
Scooters are ubiquitous on Koh Lanta, and we joined the swarms.  Here my brother-in-law navigates the one and only road on Koh Lanta, yours truly playing catch up.
Despite the tourist hordes, a few animals survive in the wilds of Thailand.  On a trip to a "waterfall," we found this lizard.  (Size in photos subjective, this little guy or girl was about as long as my forearm.) 
This was a beautiful beach we found puttering about on the scooters one afternoon in the southern reaches of Koh Lanta.  This water was the best remedy for the high heat.
Everyday the sunsets were tremendous.  In other words, this was pretty much every evening at our hotel on Koh Lanta.

After five days in Koh Lanta, we took a boat to Koh Lipe.  (Every good vacation has a boat trip.)  Visually stunning, everywhere we looked was a postcard view.  This little boat happened to take us diving one day (through Satun Dive, very professional, highly recommended.  (I have no photos of the diving, unfortunately, but it was superb.)

Like most rural homes in Thailand, these are built on stilts.  I will have to trust it's for rain purposes as not a drop fell while we were there...

These are a couple of the islands off Sunrise Beach near Koh Lipe.  The perfect distance kayaking distance, the snorkeling was even better.
Koh Lanta had beautiful sunsets, and on Koh Lipe we had beautiful sunrises.  Adam, like many 18 month olds I imagine, is naturally an early riser.  But in Poland he's never treated to such a view - or warmth - at 6:00 in the morning.

Part of the charm and magic of beach life in Thailand.  And the food is delicious...


  1. HI, through this blog I came to know more about Koh Lanta & Koh Lipe. Koh Lipe is one of my dream places. It’s the best ferry destination in Thailand. The sea gypsy and make your day with your day with mouth-watering seafood is just amazing. Last year I visited Koh Lanta with my family through the well know ferry shuttle provider “Andaman Ferry Service”. Their services are just fantastic.

    1. Nan, I know your comment is more than a comment, but we'll leave it up as I really appreciated the kindness of people in Thailand. Good luck with your business. :)