Reason for choosing Koh Lanta: -
- Not yet commercialized like Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi etc.
- Best for a relaxing holiday
- There are no water activities like Jet Skis, Banana Boats, Para-Sailing, etc
- Just beaches and clear water
- Not a party destination; ideal place to relax
Travel Period: 5th March 2014 to 9th March 2014
Flight: Tiger Air from Singapore - Krabi - Singapore
Car Rental: AVIS Thailand - 3,885 Baht for 4 days.
After our trip in October 2013, which I felt was a bit hectic for traveling with better half, I decided to have a relaxing holiday and Koh Lanta was chosen as the destination.
NOTE TO SELF: The best time to visit Thailand is during the rainy season, unless one's home country is covered in snow 365 days a year! Never again during the summers.
Since our flight was landing in Krabi around 3:00 PM local time and we would require another one hour to get Visa on Arrival, immigration, car collection, etc, we decided to stay in Krabi on the first day and then travel to Koh Lanta on the next day.
We picked up a DTAC Prepaid SIM, (50 Baht more than BKK Price) for data and navigation purpose.
First stop - Lunch at Tesco Lotus food court on the way to Krabi. We had a nice time communicating in Thai(!) with the locals.
Day 1 being a stop over for our main destination, we directly headed to our hotel - Thip Residence Boutique Hotel. Nice clean and spacious rooms and away from the crowd (actually 6KMs from Ao Nang). Usually everyone avoids to stay away from Ao Nang beach but it is not a concern when you make your own travel arrangements and are not dependent on taxis or public transport!
We roamed around Krabi town and Ao Nang area in the evening, had dinner at a restaurant near the Ao Nang beach and retired for the day!
Our hotel was located near Ao Nam Mao Pier, the pick up point for some of the super luxury resorts located at Railey Beach which is accessible only through the sea. We did not go to Railey but decided to check out the local attractions near the hotel.
(Thai Su-san Hoi, literally "Seashell Graveyard"). Some 7 km west of Ao Nang, this mildly tourist trap-like attraction has slates of compressed, 40 million year old shellfish, which bear a small resemblance to concrete. There's also a small grubby museum and a huge slew of gift shops. Entry is a steep 200 baht for foreigners, but only 20 baht for Thais. This tourist trap is simply not worth the 200 baht you have to pay as tourists unless maybe you are a geology student. As the official Krabi tourism website (rather honestly) states "most are either engrossed in this or totally indifferent".
Susaan Hoi, or Fossil Shell Beach (literally Seashell Graveyard), is located at Ban Laem Pho in Krabi, in the vicinity of Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.
We had thai style breakfast (rice, chicken and soup) at a local shop which seemed to be popular with the locals and the drove over to Ao Nang Beach to check the area in daylight.
A short video: This is what Krabi (Ao Nang) looks like from inside a car!
We checked out from the hotel and drove towards the ferry to cross over to Koh Lanta. (approximately 2 hours drive).
The ferry starts at the place named "Songserm Tran Service Company Limited" on Google Maps. GPS Coordinates for ferry to Koh Lanta: 7°41'36.6"N 99°05'56.5"E
There are multiple ways to reach Koh Lanta - Passenger Ferry which departs twice a day from Ao Nang, Speed Boats from Ao Nang and Vehicle Ferry which is operational throughout the year from around 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.The passenger ferry and speed boats stop operation during the monsoon season due to rough seas.