Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Koh Lanta

(Warning:Parental Advisory. Contains accident....but I'm fine now I swear.)

We got the ferry to Koh Lanta from Phi Phi and outside the ferry port we ran into 2 couples we’d seen in the office in Phi Phi when we booked the trip. She’d obviously roped us all in. We got collected in a pick-up truck by one of the brothers who ran Top View Resort. 
Riding in style!

As we couldn’t all fit inside the car Leigh and I decided to go in the back with the bags and catch some rays. It was actually a cool drive with a great breeze making the 35 degree heat bearable, and we even saw a monkey on the side of the road eating a banana! When we got to the resort we quickly realised we were in the middle of nature here. Our bungalow was at the top of a cliff overlooking the sea.

The view from our room.
There were lizards everywhere, interesting birds flying overhead and frogs, toads and crabs crawling around. The only downside was the ant colony in the bathroom of our very basic bungalow. Gross.
Millions of lizards everywhere!

And loads of these guys around

We put our bags in the room and went out to the bar/ restaurant/ open area and got some delicious sea food pad thai and fruit juices and got talking to the other brother who runs the place, Lipe. He has to be one of the loveliest, most helpful, interesting and friendly men I’ve met. He spent about 45 minutes chatting to us about the island; all about his family’s history there, the nature and wildlife, as well as the best snorkelling spots, best beaches, the fishing, the shark and dolphin migration patterns and tonnes more. He truly made us feel at home, and as much as the rooms really were under whelming, the welcome he gave us made us feel we could stay there for ever.
Then we walked down to the beach where I gave Leigh a swimming lesson that went surprisingly well! I was very impressed with how quickly he picked up what I was teaching, and he seemed impressed with my teaching, maybe I missed my calling! We spent ages playing in the waves and swimming about it was lovely to be in the sea!
Another beautiful sunset.
That night we watched the sun set from our place (it was called Top View Resort after all, as is known for being one of the best sunset viewpoints on the island), which was gorgeous, and had the BBQ where we got barracuda and loads of rice and veg and salad, delicious!!!

The next day, after being told by everyone we spoke to (tourists and locals) that scooters were the only way to get around we rented one from the brothers. We were going to get one each but when I got on one to give it a test run and failed disastrously we went with one. (Turns out we should have gone with zero). So we scooted down south of the island to a beautiful picturesque beach with white powdery sands and gorgeous turquoise ocean and got lunch and went swimming. Then we headed up further along the beach and rented hammocks and got fruit juices and pure chillaxed for a few hours.

It's a hard life, eh?

Then it all went downhill.
We got back on the scooter to head home and coming up a big hill the bike was slowing down to a stop and Leigh went to change gear and something went wrong and the front wheel went up in the air and I fell off the back! I landed flat on my back, on my small backpack, picture an upside down turtle. The whole thing happened in slow motion and as soon as I landed on my back it was so sore I was pretty worried. But as soon as Leigh got over to me and a lovely German couple stopped to help and I managed to move to the side of the road I knew that it was really sore, but that it wasn’t broken or anything so there was a little relief (this was soon outweighed by the pain!). So many people stopped I was mighty embarrassed. Someone called for an ambulance which arrived fairly quickly, but when they got there they weren’t a proper ambulance so had no stretcher or room for someone to lie down so they called for another one, and that took ages. I was lying on the side of the road for about an hour I’d say, bummer!

But once it got there I was on the stretcher and in the back fairly promptly. It was a little scary being in the back (it was essentially a slightly converted pick-up truck) just seeing trees and buildings go past, and at one point the driver got out and got stopped for a few minutes and my panicked brain started running through crazy scenarios of me ending up god knows where, but of course it was all fine, and when he got back in the car he stopped and make sure I was ok. If fact he stopped twice more on the 30/ 40 minute drive just to check on me. When we got there I was checked in on straight away, where it took me about 5 minute and various charades-esque attempts to explain what happened, and then I went into X-ray. Turns out I was right, nothing was broken (phew!)  I’d just badly bruised my back and had inflamed muscles. I’ve had muscle inflammation in my back twice before, so I obviously just have shite muscles that are prone to it. The hospital experience was way better than I expected. I was in and out, including getting X-rayed and a prescription in about a half hour and €40. It put Tallaght hospital/ the Irish health service to absolute shame! Leigh had to drop the scooter back so he couldn’t come with me, but the dad of the brothers, Papa, drove him to the hospital and insisted on waiting on us and drove us home. SO NICE!
That evening and the most of the next day we just hung out in the room as I couldn’t really move much. We watched the whole first season of Party Down (thanks Neena!) and a few movies.
As I already mentioned the room wasn’t the nicest in the world, in fact it was full of ants and got a cockroach one of the nights, and the resort is way up a super steep hill, so as I was fairly out of action we decided to leave the following day and booked into a fairly posh villa in a fairly posh resort. As I’d be spending a good bit of time in the room I wanted a nice clean one, and if I wanted to be able to do anything or go anywhere I needed something more accessible. It’s not the sort of place I’d choose to stay normally, especially somewhere like Thailand, but it was amazing to be in a big, clean, insect free room with a lovely bathroom. It was also about 10 steps from the pool which was awesome, and after a few swims and lounging by the pool in the sun reading my book I started feeling loads better.
Our posh room

That’s basically all we did for 2 days, we only ventured out for dinner and to book our tickets out of Lanta. When the time came to leave I was still feeling sore but was so ready to be going somewhere else!
Since the accident whenever something’s been a bit crap or disappointing we’re calling it the “Scooter of Lanta”. I think it’ll stick around! It was crap that it happened, but it could have been a lot worse, and if that’s the worst travel related experience I have (fingers crossed) I’ll be doing pretty well! I was well looked after by Leigh who carried everything (2 big backpacks and 2 small ones) on the move to and from hotels and on whole trip to Koh Tao (2 buses, 2 ferries and 2 taxis). As well as putting up with a lot of moaning, getting me food and drink, helping me get dressed, and being at my general beck and call. Thanks babe!  J
Onwards and upwards we went off to Koh Tao, which I expected to be my favourite island. Spoiler alert; I was right!


  1. Hi Sarah and Leigh.
    So happy to read the happy ending!! That could have been so much worse. Well done Leigh, for minding her. The posh hotel room was just my style!! You can keep the ants and cockroaches. Did that in the Phillipines!!!! Never again.
    Looking forward to hearing all about australia. Have fun,
    Love Derrie XX

    1. Haha you're dead right Derrie, so gross! Thanks, Australia's going great so far! Xxx

  2. I cannot believe that happened to you, you poor chicken, THANK GOD it was only bruising & a pain in the ass. Stay safe, no more stories like this please!!!! :o(

    When I saw the picture of the clifftop view from your room I was decided that was where I would go on honeymoon, then I scrolled down and saw the frog picture & talk of ants, lizards & cockroachs. Jesus Christ!!! I would not have been able to even lie down on the bed. I have the heebey jeebeys even thinking of it. Your a better woman than me. Your posh room is way more my style :o)

    Stay safe you too, miss you x x x

  3. PS!! Leigh I cannot believe you took a picture of poor Sarah lying on the side of the road waiting on an ambulance.... that's pretty sick ;o)

    1. Hahaha I told him to take a picture, all for the blog!!!