Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
Time to check out one of those famous Thai islands. Phuket would have required a more significant detour so I skipped it, but Koh Lanta is sort of on my way (not really but it's psychologically easier to keep going south rather than detouring west). Koh Lanta it is.
Breakfast at the hotel is brilliant: fried eggs and lots of stuff I can't name, consumed a mere 20 feet from the full-moon tide ocean that is almost breaking on the hotel's lawn. Lots of bowing and thank yous with the staff on the way out. They are incredibly friendly; authentically so.
More heat wandering the back roads to Ao Nang beach. The beach is nice but it's a tourist scrum. I'm glad I chose Khlong Muang last night rather than continuing on to here.
After Ao Nang I have to turn north into the heat again. Eventually I get back to the highway for about 60 kilometers of just grinding it out because there is no other alternative. When I turn south on a smaller road towards Koh Lanta things quiet down (but not the heat).
A quick ride on the car ferry (25 bahl, about 70 cents) brings me to Koh Lanta Noi, the smaller of the two islands which are joined by a bridge (noi means small in Thai). Now sure that I'm going to get to the island, I book a place on the beach which is reputed to by quiet. I've got another 15 kilometers to ride but I'm not stressing it now.
I drop my stuff at the bungalow and head straight to the beach for a swim. This is my ideal pattern in Thailand: long ride ending with a swim. I have a nice dinner on the beach later on. It's a beautiful spot with a beautiful sunset; and quiet, just as promised.