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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Koh Lanta has chains of caves disbursed all over the island, the one closer and en route to the above visited was Tham Mai Kaew. The route to these caves was very remarkable, as we had to plod through a wooded area, reminiscent of the wildlife sanctuaries in India. It further led deep into rubber plantations, the entrance to the cave added to the excitement, it was a small rocky window entrance.

Many guides has the Kaew visit as part of the itinerary while you are led through cavernous pools, stalactites and stalagmites some in shape of massive chandeliers that hang precariously. Be warned if you are allergic to Bats and the stale smell emanating from the caves, just take a detour, there are plenty of Bats big and small in there.

 

Nearby  Koh Lanta Old Town is a sleepy fishermen’s cove, our Tuk Tuk driver had to drop by some parcel at his home there in the village and invited us to have a look see. Friendly villagers greeted us, showed us how they make fishing boats, nets and other products for fishing. Most of the techniques used for fishing were outdated and with plenty to catch it didn’t matter. Their humble abode was like a floating stilted bamboo construction by the sea. Seemed idyllic the sea view was breathtaking with gentle hills as backdrop.

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I could not get enough of Koh Lanta Old Town,  revisited the next day to just browse around some shops. What’s fascinating about this neat and quaint street is that the houses on one side, face the backwaters. Some of the café and restaurant owners told me that these properties are so prime in the real estate business that once further development takes place to Koh Lanta, they will declare this a heritage site.

Most of them live on the floor above to the restaurant and fresh catch straight from the lapping sea, the stilted restaurant area served mainly Chinese. The secret ingredients in the sauce was heavenly and the waiter proudly declared that the food in Old Lanta is indeed unique and dug out from ancient recipes that’s been handed over for generations.

Jyoti Shetty Ponnappa

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We wasted no time exploring before hitting the beach, and the list of things to do was quite exhausting. But first the old town of Koh Lanta. We hired a souped up Tuk Tuk with comfortable seats. It was a fairly long drive away from the hotels and resorts, we headed towards the scenic coastline.

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Lanta Old Town was a favorite stopover for Arab and Chinese traders centuries before Lanta in its present phase was developed. Old Town was like a heritage walk through, with ancient houses, some of the wooden buildings two levels high.

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Elaborate entrances, carved gateways, it was quaint and so charming. Today most of these dwellings have been converted to restaurants and cafes making this street a must do stopover.IMG_6271IMG_1035 (1)

Jyoti Shetty Ponnappa

Koh Lanta can be reached via Phuket, then a speedboat that takes 3-4 hours, or via Krabi a speed boat from here takes the same time. Passing James Bond island and Phi Phi island, Koh Lanta slips in through the bay area and one can notice that this large island( comprising of a string of other tiny islands nearby) is untapped and paves way for a totally new experience that’s raw yet exciting.

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A slower pace yet appealing than the already established islands like Phuket, Krabi, and Pattaya. Having spent two days in Phuket exploring the change of pace at Koh Lanta the pristine waters inviting, the difference set of a palpable expectation.

Jyoti Shetty Ponnappa

KOH LANTA..

In its emphasis to maintain its supreme position on the world map of tourism, Thailand is opening up newer islands within its fold to tourists. With already established islands to its credit, like Phuket, Chang Mai, Koh Sahmoi, how can we forget Pattaya in the long list of beach islands that make Thailand perpetually the most preferred beach destination in the world.

 

Subsequently untouched islands are developed and thrown open to  tourists waiting to be recognized, as only some intrepid travellers know of these pristine lands

Jyoti Shetty Ponnappa

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