Koh Lanta, Thailand

When I asked people who live here on Phuket which other islands I should visit, Koh Lanta was almost always mentioned.

So, I planned my first solo trip out of Phuket to visit Koh Lanta. “Lanta”, as the locals call it (“Koh” means island in Thai) was described as a beautiful and very chill place to visit. I looked forward to exploring this island paradise.

As soon as I got off the boat, I saw this young woman; tattoos, dreads, my Burner radar was pinned.

“Excuse me. You look like you live here. Do you know any fire spinners?

“Wait, I’m a fire spinner. How did you know?!”

She told me that she and her friends were performing that night at a place called the Fusion Bar. That evening, I took my camera and ventured out. The Fusion Bar was like most other beach bars on KL, super relaxing with an incredible view of the beach. But, the Fusion had what I didn’t find at any other bar on the island: great house and deep house music. I enjoyed listening to the music while I took pictures of the fire performers.

I got back to my bungalow, tired, but happy and looking forward to exploring Koh Lanta.

Then, in the middle of the night, it started to rain. Hard. I got up to look out my window at the palm trees getting blasted by 40 mph wind gusts. Lightning and thunder.

All of the Thai people I spoke to who live on Koh Lanta said that they had never seen that much rain that far into the high season, which usually sunny and hot all the time. I’m no scientist, but it really seems like the weather is getting wacky everywhere you go. In any case, the rain, wind and clouds did not bode well for photography. The forecast called for sunny days after the weekend, so I booked an extra two nights at the Emerald Lanta Bungalows and kept my fingers crossed

By Sunday night, the weather was clearing and I was in the mood for fun. The western shore of the island is dotted with dozens of beach clubs with resorts and restaurants attached. The bar at the resort next door was supposed to be having a party that night, but when I got there it was pretty empty. I left my mark in day-glo paint, then left altogether.

I decided to go back to the Fusion Bar, at least they would have some great music. The
music was great, but again, there was almost no one
there. The bartender could see that I was disappointed, so he suggested that I cheer up with…a mushroom shake.

Yes, it is exactly what you think it is. And, it was awesome!

Firstly, that was the most delicious way I have ever ingested mushrooms. I wondered if I was going to feel anything, because I don’t always with mushrooms. Twenty minutes later, that question was put firmly to rest. Wow! I laid down on a bed under a bamboo canopy and drifted off to Electric Lady Land, enveloped in a soft, warm sea breeze and the sound of the Andaman sea. I pondered upon a softly lit tree with lights on it. It’s my new friend now.

After awhile, I was ready to move again. I went back to my hotel and heard the unmistakable sound of a rave happening very close by. It was the bar next door, but now it was going off!

Admittedly, this wasn’t exactly my scene. There were hundreds of really young kids, mostly from Europe, dancing to techno-pop. All most all of them had blonde hair and blue eyes. I felt like I had stumbled into the Village of the Damned Ravers. They were all on mushrooms as well (the place is called “Mushroom Bar”). Like I said, not quite my scene but, WTF. I was still tripping as well. When in Rome, right? I plunged in to the heart of the dance floor and got busy.

I’d leave the dance floor every once in a while and go to the shore, which was just about 20 feet away. There were stars visible in between the clouds. Incredibly beautiful! I must do that again!

Even if you are not a party hard person, have no fear. Parties mainly happen on the weekend and there is usually only one big party going on a particular night. The rest of the time, it’s quiet, peaceful and gorgeous. How about getting a real Thai massage at sunset, with the ocean just a few yards away, and a warm, pleasant breeze blowing over your body…for $11? That’s what I’m talking about.

The sun did come out for my last two days, so I had a chance to explore and take some pictures and a nice time-lapse of the sun setting on Klong Klong, the beach next to the Lanta Emerald Bungalows. By the way, the Emerald was a pretty nice place to stay. Reasonable prices, super helpful and friendly staff and a great location.

As I said, I will definitely go back to Koh Lanta again.



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