Friday, 30 October 2009

Day 3 – Koh Lanta, Thailand Sunshine and Arnee

Weather – Extremely Sunny

Day three and while it would be nice to wake naturally to the sound of tropical birds soft calling out from the distance, it was not to be. Violently shaken from my dreams and sounds that reminded me of “hello kitty” alarm clocks, the voice was squeaking “the sun is out, the sun is out”. And sure it was out, curtains being drawn and the brightness of the morning sun blinding my eyes.

After a stretch and shower to wash away the sleep, outside for a look at Koh Lanta revealing all its beauty. The Monsoon had gone for now and clear blue skies dotted with a few fluffy white clouds was all that was left.

Kaw Kwang HotelThe pool at the Kaw Kwang resort was a welcome place to settle for a few hours. Exposing our somewhat un-tanned bodies to a bit of sun and a lashing of suntan oil we lay enjoying the heat and it was a bit more than we realized. After a few minutes we dragged the sun loungers under a tree to get a bit of shade. The sun seemed to being out a few more residents, well one couple, to the pool side.

O.H sunbathing by the poolKaw K wang had a large beachfront mostly to itself and here the slope is extremely gentle. The down side is here you have to walk a little way into the sea to get a depth that might reach your knees when the tide is in. When it decides to go out then the walk to actually get your toes wet is a bit longer. The waves were gentle in this part of the beach and ideal for just sitting out in the bay cooling off in the water without the fear of going over your depth or getting swamped in the surf.

Kaw Kwang Beach Breakfast was being served but we were too lazy to tear ourselves away from the pool side. Eventually the hunger got to us and the search for food was on again. This would mean a walk along the beach which was our plan all along, really.

KAw Kwang Beach Low TideSuitably dressed in swimming gear and T-shirts and shorts to cover our exposed flesh. Partly to keep some that bleating sun off our bodies and partly not to offend the locals. The camera was left behind here as the water looked too inviting and electronics and water do not mix very well. A slow walk along around the curve of the beach and then up onto “the strip” to find some breakfast/lunch was the plan. There was a bit more activity today, a few more people venturing out onto the sand but still relatively deserted. A few of the resorts were making starts of cleaning up ready for the high season visitors and a little construction work was noticed. But still peaceful and quiet.

Passing Sanuk Bar on Klong Dao Beach we were greeted by a friendly wave from yesterday’s hosts, but we wouldn't be dining there today. A few paddles in the water to cool off our feet and feeling like kids again hoping over the waves we came to our exit and landed on “the strip”. The restaurants were patched up and down this road along with various shops. We chose a street restaurant called “Arnee” which would turn out to be not one but two places we would frequent as the food was out of this world.

Hi-class it was not, exposed brick walls, hello kitty table cloths (oh my god) and plastic chairs. But all that did not matter we were not going to eat the furniture. The food was the attraction here and while I am sure if we looked we could find better, but this was probably the best Thai food we had tasted for quite some time and all prepared before our eyes.

It was back to the beach for some more childlike fun in the waves, the slope on Klong Dao was similar to Kaw Kwang but the waves were a bit more stronger here. We were not the only ones enjoying the clear cool water, by now a few heads could be seen bobbing up and down in the water along with quite a few locals taking advantage of a cooling off.

This was repeated along the slow walk back along the beach, a cooling off followed by a few 100 meters walk followed by another cooling off. By now the salt of the water was taking its effect and a bit of refreshment was needed. Luckily our oasis, Sanuk Bar was close and our dryness quenched by beer, 1 large, 2 glasses. This whole beach is ideal to relax while watching the sunset but there was still a few hours before that happened , so we were on our way again back towards Kaw Kwang.

There was a rumour of a secret beach, a hidden secret beach. The hotel staff never mentioned it, I guess it was too secret to tell. At the end of Kaw Kwang there is a rocky headland and perhaps the beach was around there, so putting suitable foot wear on, flip-flops we scrambled over the rock in search of “the beach” while doing our Leonardo Dicaprio impressions.

Kaw KWang Headland Did we find it, well no. The rocks got the better of us and back we went. Or maybe we did but want to keep the secret safe.

Sun Setting LantaKlong Dao Beack Evening A freshen up washing off the sand and salt of the day and a little relaxing as the sun went down. Then we were off for the evening again. The distance along the beach seemed to take up a lot of time but this was not really noticeable, but now it seems like we were just going back and forward each day. But the beach was there and every bit of it was enjoyed.

Klong Dao Beach Night It was a little bit difficult finding a beach restaurant, a few looked open but were not open for food others still closed for the season. Luckily after a few no`s we found one yes, although no other customers than ourselves. We were adventurous here and while the O.H savoured the exotic burger and chips I forced myself to try the Thai special, Deep fried chicken and chips. How strange, all the way to Thailand and we end up eating western style food. The wind was getting a little bit fresh now, still warm but we decided to pack up after our snack and head back inland to “the strip”.

This is where we came across the “Arnee” street side restaurant, the name didn't register with us and I don't think we really noticed, but this wasn't the same place we dines this afternoon. Going all Thai again, we asked for two large bowls of Tom Yum Koong. There is just something addictive about this soup that makes up keep wanting it. So it might be the attraction to the spice but sometimes things might be a little too hot for some people.

Tom yum Koong SoupTom yum Soup Keeon 2 hot While sitting satisfied and sipping our beer watching the world outside pass the interesting part of the evening happened. A motorcycle drove up (Everybody has a moped in Koh Lanta, even the kids) and off stepped a face that looked familiar. This was the great cook from the afternoon’s restaurant. With the friendliness of the people an exchange back of forth was made and as it turns out, this was mother and daughter. A bit of a coincidence but a nice one for us as both places had great food. We called the mother “mum” affectionately and in the following days , “are we going to mums” was heard quite often.

Beer bottle empty it was time to wander back home, this time we hailed a taxi thinking the walk would be too long.

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