Koh Lanta, Thailand

photo-3After departing the clear waters of Koh Lipe, we decided to head to Koh Lanta. We could've taken a 3 hour express boat there, but we decided to save a few bucks and take the local 6 hour ferry instead. Poor judgement. We were all piled into a claustrophobic boat along with our luggage. We made several stops before getting to Koh Lanta, which meant at every stop, people had to rummage through this maddening pile of luggage to find theirs before disembarking. Genius. I would've gladly paid the extra ten bucks we saved by taking the local to avoid such a headache. Lesson learned. We were both tired of taking drip/bucket showers of cold to lukewarm brown water so I booked a proper hotel for Valentine's Day with all the amenities we had been missingβ€”air conditioning & hot water. Hallelujah. We spent 2 nights in a lofty king bed and then moved to another budget hotel. The beaches in this area aren't nearly as pristine as Koh Lipe, but there are tons of cute restaurants on stilts by the water. We also found a really cute coffee shop, Not A Toy, which we visited every day for legit espresso coffee.

KOH_LANTA_1 KOH_LANTA_3 KOH_LANTA_2 KOH_LANTA_4 KOH_LANTA_5 KOH_LANTA_6 KOH_LANTA_7KOH_LANTA_8 KOH_LANTA_9 KOH_LANTA_10 KOH_LANTA_11 KOH_LANTA_12 KOH_LANTA_13KOH_LANTA_14 KOH_LANTA_15 KOH_LANTA_16 KOH_LANTA_17 KOH_LANTA_18 KOH_LANTA_19 We took a day trip to visit 4 neighboring islands where we learned there are just too many tourists in Thailand. I'm not sure while snorkeling if there were more fish or more tourists in the water. The following photos are all taken with my dinky underwater camera so the quality is not so great.

KOH_LANTA_20 KOH_LANTA_21 KOH_LANTA_22 KOH_LANTA_23 KOH_LANTA_24 KOH_LANTA_25 KOH_LANTA_26 KOH_LANTA_27 KOH_LANTA_28 KOH_LANTA_29 KOH_LANTA_30 KOH_LANTA_31 KOH_LANTA_32 KOH_LANTA_33 KOH_LANTA_34 KOH_LANTA_35 KOH_LANTA_37The highlight of the trip was visiting Emerald Cave or known locally as Morakot Cave on Koh Mook. It is a cave that leads to a secret beach within the island that can only be accessed during low tide, and apparently can only be traversed while a ton of tourists in life jackets are holding each other in a line and being pulled by a young Thai boy through the cave. The orange line of life jackets is almost comical. I feel like I am on a Disneyland ride. There is however light at the end of the tunnel, literally. Once pulled through the dark cave, the other end boasts an amazing secret beach where Pirates used to stash treasure. The beach is completely surrounded by soaring cliffs so they only entry is through the cave. What a treat. It would be even more impressive if it wasn't engulfed by a parade of tourists.

Here we are going through the cave...

KOH_LANTA_38 KOH_LANTA_39 KOH_LANTA_40 KOH_LANTA_41Here is what is only the other end...

KOH_LANTA_42 KOH_LANTA_43 KOH_LANTA_44 KOH_LANTA_45 KOH_LANTA_46 KOH_LANTA_47The Emerald Cave was absolutely worth the entire tour and the last island we visited we just sat around enjoying the view...

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