When it was time to leave Chiang Mai, all 5 of us (our son, daughter-in-law and grandson) flew to Bangkok and then onto Krabi on the west coast of Thailand. We had pre-arranged a van to pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel–a journey which included a short ferry ride.
We stayed at Nice ‘n Easy House on Klong Khong Beach. Though we were quite late booking for this very busy period (over New Year’s Eve), and struggled to find something that provided accommodation for 5 of us at a reasonable price, we were very happy with where we ended up. Our cabin-style rooms with private bathrooms framed a pretty tree-lined walkway that led to the pool, bar/restaurant, and the beach.
Though Klong Khong beach is south of the more popular Long Beach, we all enjoyed the calmness here. There were plenty of restaurant/bars, both on and off the beach, to keep us from getting bored. The sand is lovely and the water ridiculously warm. Since there are coral rocks here, and the water is shallow, swimming is mostly restricted to higher tide times.
We were treated to gorgeous sunsets most nights.
New Year’s Eve brought plenty of fireworks starting in the early evening. The beach was lively and fun without being a crazy party place. We put Alex to bed while Kyle and Candice went off to see the new year in, and they found the whole evening pleasant but low-key. If you are looking for the big, busy parties, Klong Khong is probably not for you, but it was perfect for us.
We mostly spent our days swimming, either in the pool or the ocean, hanging out by the pool or on the beach, or walking down the beach to find our next meal.
Our one big activity while on Koh Lanta was a four-island boat tour. This was a full-day trip and included lunch. We were picked up by van from our resort and returned there at the end of the day.
As we headed out, the islands were covered in mist.
As we got closer, though, the beautiful green islands surrounded by aqua waters emerged.
The first two islands we stopped at were snorkeling spots. We all hopped in and paddled around for about 30 minutes. The second island was almost more interesting above the water than below. Water erosion had created incredible stalactite-like formations to view while floating on your back (with fingers crossed that they wouldn’t fall down as you swam under them) and birds nested high up in small caves.
Our third island stop was crowded with longtails and large double-decker passenger boats. We were told to put on our lifejackets and then swam to what appeared to be a cave. As we approached, we could see dozens of other orange-life-jacket-clad people, but they were all squashed together, back to front, and appeared to be floating as one toward one of the larger boats, towed like an enormous sea worm on a hook toward the stern of their craft.
We made our way into the cave, which became completely dark at one point. Soon we could see light and walked up onto a sandy beach (also crowded with dozens upon dozens of other orange-jacketed folks). Looking up, we found ourselves surrounded by steep jungle cliffs. The only way into or out of this beach was through the Morakot (Emerald) Cave. A sign provided a bit of history and confirmed that this had once been used by pirates to hide their treasure.
We waited around for about 10 minutes, enjoying the beauty of our surroundings (Alex and our guide played mudpies in the sand) and gradually the crowds slithered back out of the cave, leaving us almost alone in this special place.
Our final stop was at a beautiful beach for lunch and swimming before we returned to Koh Lanta, and were driven back to our resort.
Kyle, Candice, and Alex rented a scooter for a day and spent a few hours exploring the island while Ken and I happily soaked up a bit more beach time.
Earlier in our visit to Koh Lanta, Kyle, Candice and Alex had all tried a massage on the beach (Alex was very impressed!). On our last day, Ken decided to join in the fun. We had yet to try a Thai massage but as people who rarely (or never, in my case) have massages, a relaxing oil massage was recommended for him.
All that was left to do was build a well-engineered (if you know Kyle and Candice, you’ll know what I mean) sandcastle with moat and drawbridge, just in time for the tide to come in and wash it all away.
One last early breakfast together, and we all hugged our goodbyes. Kyle, Candice and Alex headed off for a few days in Bangkok before returning home, and we headed off on our next adventure in Malaysia.
- Van transport: Arranged through Andaman Islands Tour and Travel based on recommendations on the Thailand Advice & Travel Tips Facebook group. 2,300 baht (about $100 CAD for private van for 2 1/2 hours including ferry).
- Private Trang islands tour: Arranged through Andaman Islands Tour and Travel as well. We paid 1,390 baht ($60 CAD) for each adult and 690 baht ($30 CAD) for Alex.
- Scooter rental: 250 baht ($10) for 24 hours delivered to resort.
- 1-hour oil massage: 350 baht ($15 CAD).