Saturday, February 16
From Ao Nang we caught a ferry to the island of Koh Lanta, a bit further south. Koh Lanta is a small island, just 25kms long. electicity arrived only in 1998 and phone lines in 2001. There are 2 roads that run the length of the island and a couple of roads that link them together, running through the jungle interior. The roads are paved but there are no sidewalks, just dusty red earth.
On the ferry the staff offered to book accommodation for those that didn't have any and let us look through a stack of hotel brochures to choose where we wanted to go. Once you decided on where to stay the ferry staff would phone the hotel and book you in.
Our first two choices were full but there was a free room at the third place. We debated whether to just arrive on the island and go searching for a room, but with heavy backpacks and Skye to drag around in the heat we decided to book on the ferry. It turned out that our third choice was not a wise one. The main lights in the room didnt work, there were no towels, no bedsheets on the extra bed and the sheets on the main bed were so worn you could see the mattress through it, we ordered tea, they brought coffee etc etc.
So to escape the room we hired a scooter to explore the island by ourselves, leaving the beaches and driving through the interior. it didnt take long, about 20 minutes and we were on the other coast, driving through a sea gypsy village on the shore. Their houses were made of wood and bamboo and stod on stilts over the water. Most of them had small birds in cages hanging out front. We passed a marker that showed that the tsunami in 2004 had reached 4 metres high there. Just a little way up the road was a group of new, brightly painted houses, yellow and blue, a sign in front of them that declared it a tsunami relief village.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the island and left early the next morning, with an excrutiatingly long wait for the car ferry that took us off the island and onwards towards Malaysia.
at 11:01 AM