Koh Lanta also makes a great home base for exploring the broader region. We'll talk more about the ins and outs of Koh Lanta itself soon, but first, we thought we'd highlight a few of the excursions upon which we embarked while there.
Four Islands Long-Tail Boat Tour
One of the more popular trips from Koh Lanta involves heading out on a boat to visit four small neighboring islands to the southeast. Two of these are beautiful snorkeling destinations, the third is home to the famous Emerald Cave, and the fourth, Ko Ngai, boasts a beautiful stretch of perfectly white sand kissed by crystal clear waters. This trip is offered on either a speed boat or on one of Thailand's famous long-tail boats. The speed boat is faster, but is also more expensive and carries more people. We opted for the long-tail boat since we had spent the previous day on a speedboat to Phi Phi. As far as we were concerned, the long-tail ended up being the right move for this trip. We were joined by eight other people, all about our age. We were out for about eight hours in total and had a really great time.
Another day, we took a boat over to the Phi Phi Islands. We decided not to stay on Koh Phi Phi, so we thought we should at least check it out. Taking a long-tail boat to Phi Phi is not an option from Koh Lanta because it's too far, so we had to take a speed-boat there. It takes about 45 minutes there and back.
The two boat trips were very different, both in terms of their itineraries and the whole dynamic of the trip. The long-tail boat moved more slowly, but had a smaller group, lots of room to move around on the boat, and we got to know the other people on the trip with us. The speed boat was able to cover more ground, but held about 30 people, was fairly tight on-board, and was twice the price. While we enjoyed both, if we could have only done one, it would have been the Four Islands trip with the long-tail boat. Strolling through the crazy downtown Phi Phi also made us grateful to return to our laid back island of Koh Lanta!
Another day, we booked a couple of dives with Dive and Relax, whom we would highly recommend. They were a really professional company with incredibly friendly people. The great thing about this dive company is that the groups are very small, and we ended up with just three people in our dive group - me, Chris and our dive master, Beth. A bit expensive for Thailand, but we thought it was worth it.
We ended up heading out to Koh Haa - which actually means six islands - for our dives. Koh Haa, is the name indicates, is a collection of six small islands located southwest of Koh Lanta, surrounded by a beautiful collection of reefs and caves.
The dives were amazing, with by far the greatest visibility of any water we've been diving in so far. The reefs and fish life were beautiful. We saw many varieties of tropical fish, a huge school of barracuda, and several massive moray eels up close. We also dove through a dark cave under one of the islands, which was really fun. We had a great time and will definitely remember this day fondly.
We still haven't shelled out for a GoPro, so these pictures from the dive boat will have to do: