Lazing about on the beaches of Southern Thailand is the perfect way to end an epic 2-month long trip.

The white sands and blue waters of Long Beach aka Phra Ae Beach.

In the midst of pre-planning for this grand adventure in what seems like ages ago (last summer), we wisely had the foresight to bookend our trip with one of my favorite destinations on our itinerary– Thailand. More specifically, we figured some much needed rest and relaxation would be needed after the rigors of traveling for months on end.

Make love not war.

That slow island life was just what we needed to rest our tired old bones. After staying a night in Krabi, the main hub where visitors land before venturing off to smaller, more remote islands, we rode a ferry to Koh Lanta which is about an hour and half ride south (400 baht per person). The gentle, lapping waves welcomed us as we enjoyed lunch and cocktails by the beach on our first day on the island– a fitting introduction to the dreamy days of an endless summer to come.

A Visit to Old Town

Under the boardwalk, out of the sun.

Staying in close proximity to Long Beach combined with being exhausted beyond belief persuaded us to extend our stay in Koh Lanta for the remainder of the week. Since we were no longer island hopping to and fro, the extra time afforded us the welcome opportunity to explore the rest of the island a bit more in depth. And so a visit to Old Town Lanta on the eastern side of the island was in order. While really just a small street dotted with souvenir shops, restaurants and the odd travel agency here and there, it was worth the half hour tuk tuk ride if just for the scenic countryside along the way and the gorgeous views of the neighboring islands off the pier.

Scooter Adventures Pt. II

The rocky shores of Klong Nin Beach.

The highlight of our stay, for me personally, was exploring the southern reaches of the island via scooter. It was a much more relaxed affair and less anxiety-inducing than riding in Chiang Mai. Our first stop headed south was the rocky shores of Klong Nin not too far from Long Beach. The jagged rock formations hiding away timid sea life parted ways for a small harbor that was home to local fishermen’s boats, whose owners smiled and waved hello as we climbed along the shore. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from island locals, it’s that their warm smiles and genuine hospitality is something to be admired.

Bamboo Huts & Ghost Lanterns

The beach side vibes of Kantiang Bay.

Paved roads lined with hotels and gasoline pit stops gave way to picturesque views of the Andaman Sea as we meandered down the western coast. We made several stops along the way for smoothies and snacks to seek solace from the beating sun and sweltering heat. Traveling as far south as we could before reaching the entry point of the national park and an entrance fee, we decided to turn back around to enjoy some beers and a game of Fluxx at the aptly named Why Not Bar in Kantiang Bay. Luckily for us, Koh Lanta becomes less crowded and more remote the further south one travels, with the tradeoff being sparser lodging options and creature comforts.

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Bird’s eye view of Kantiang Bay.

While visiting the smaller, surrounding islands or the Gulf of Thailand would have been equally amazing I’m sure, spending a long, quiet week enjoying Koh Lanta’s pristine beaches and soaking in the laid back atmosphere was just what I needed before heading back home to New York’s cold winter. And just like that, this whirlwind trip has come to an end. I’m heading back to Bangkok for a few days until my flight back to the States while my traveling cohorts make a short visit to Busan, South Korea.

I’ve been watching you for some time, can’t stop staring at those ocean eyes.

Thanks for reading along on my South East Asia adventures… until next time!