To get from Langkawi to Koh Lanta, our first southern Thailand island stop, it took five tickets, two stickers (the best way for a tour/transportation company to identify you), one border crossing, one taxi, one ferry, two mini-buses, one truck tuk-tuk and over 10 hours of traveling. But we saved about $100 US doing so. Although, we might have spent it in other ways further during our time in Koh Lanta, but more on that later.
To get to Koh Lanta we took a taxi to the port on Langkawi, a ferry to get to Saturn, the border crossing to get into Thailand, where a person met us and helped us get through immigration. We booked all of our travels that day through Zakary’s Guest House and were so happy we did because of how many transfers we had to make. From there, the helpful guide piled us into the back of a truck tuk-tuk (that we soon found out were very common in Thailand). From there he said it would be five minutes to the bus station, it was more like 20. At the bus station we waited another 10 minutes (which ended up being an hour) to board a mini bus to a place that was not Koh Lanta, after a 4.5 hour bus ride, we then stopped at another bus stop for our final bus to Koh Lanta, another four hour journey away. Along the way, we met a couple who traveled six months out of the year. They had spent the last mouth in Langkawi and were planning on spending another month or more in Koh Lanta. The bus took us across a car ferry and we were finally on the island. After a few more stops, we were dropped off at the fanciest place we had stayed the entire trip and the fanciest place we had stayed without our parents, Sri Lanta.
Our two year anniversary of dating (even though we have been rocking wedding bands for the whole trip to seem more modest in Muslim countries and also to give to a potential thief so it would make them feel like they are getting something) is April 20th so we thought we would splash out for the big day! We booked one of the fanciest places we could find that also had its own bungalows and for just under $70 US a night, we lived like kings and queens. The resort had two pools, two bars, a meditation area, a spa on the beach and all of the other amenities that you would expect at a four star resort. We sun-bathed, had good enough wi-fi to publish another blog post, sipped fancy cocktails by the pool and FaceTimed our friends and family. It was paradise and finally doing nothing was a luxury in itself.
The only activity that we planned for the whole trip (besides sleeping in our fluffy sheets) was to go SCUBA diving in the turquoise blue waters. We woke up early the third morning and made our way to SCUBA Fish, another great Lonely Planet suggestion. We are very diligent about taking out malaria medicine every day since we started the trip (again, better to be over prepared than under prepared) and although other travelers had complained about how it upset their tummies, it hadn’t seem to really bug us, until now.
The first morning we woke up at Sri Lanta, we basically ate our weight at the buffet breakfast that was included in our hotel fee, it had been so long since we had a free breakfast that didn’t consist of bread and jam (or dry cereal). Since we launched so early to make it to the dive shop, Natalie ran to the buffet to grab coffee and a snack. She ended up chugging the coffee just in time to make it on the shuttle bus waiting outside. Right away the coffee didn’t sit right in her stomach. We had a few more stops to make in the SCUBA pick up bus and the more bumpy the ride got, the more ill Natalie felt. In the middle of a conversation with a man from Holland, the primal feeling of self body knowledge told her it was time. She casually stepped off the bus and hid behind a thin tree which hid nothing. The projectile vomit began to flow in such swaths even Ross was impressed and wondered where it was all coming from. After emptying enough liquids to fill a dentist office aquarium, she nonchalantly walked back to the bus and apologized to everyone trying to convince them this did not happen often. They were unconvinced.
To get to the dive boat, we had to cross an undulating floating bridge, or from what we could tell, a bridge stretching over the thrashing waves, made up of connecting floating rafts like a long puzzle. Natalie’s stomach churned with uneasy consternation at the site of it. Each wave would send a ripple through the slippery plastic. With Nat’s stomach still throwing a fit, Ross was trying to convince her to still do the dive, if only to see vomit being purged from a regulator underwater, and check it off his bucket list. Lost in these thoughts he almost tumbled spectacularly in the water but unfortunately saved himself and deprived the other guests of a good show. After we made it past the floating bridge of doom, we were happy we didn’t cancel.
The waters around Ko Roc about two hours off the coast of Koh Lanta are an underwater paradise, filled with hard corals, countless eels, turtles and Nat’s favorite, Nemos (clown fish). We also met a super sweet American couple from LA on the boat who made his fortune in vape pens. We ended up chatting about traveling, where we were going and they gave us tips for our next destination, Koh Phi Phi. On the boat we felt like we were living in a bit of a fable because we by no means had the means to be staying at our resort (and spending as much as we did on diving), we were definitely going over budget this week.
After checking out of our ferry tale room and life on Koh Lanta, we set off feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for our next destination, Koh Phi Phi, the island made famous by Leonard DiCaprio’s, The Beach.