Thursday, December 15th, 2016
I figure today I'll take it easy, do some tourism, take a short ride down to the southern tip of Koh Lanta island to see the national park. It looks easy on the maps but there are some vicious little hills with 20% grades down there, with the heat it makes for a pretty tough day. That plus a jungle walk and the ride back up the island has me ready for my daily swim and sunset watch.
I go for breakfast on the beach to get things started. The advantage of tourist areas is that they server "American" or "English" breakfast. With all the traveling I've done the one thing that I always miss from home is a bacon and egg breakfast. I just can't do the full-on lunch type meal that people eat in many countries, including Thailand. Curry is a bit too strong for me before noon. The setting is perfect for my eggs, I've got my feet in the sand and I'm looking out over the ocean.
The tourists and related infrastructure thins out the farther south down the island I go. I lounge around on a deserted beach, enjoying watching the birds fish and the crabs run around.
I get to the end of the island, there's a gate with rangers charging 200 baht for entrance to the national park. Oh well I've come this far. I cringe as I ride down the last 20%+ hill knowing I'll have to slog back up it after I visit the park. Beautiful scenery, I walk around, check out the beaches and the little islands that can be accessed from the beach, then go for a "wildlife" walk that turns out to be a rather strenuous hike through the jungle (sans wildlife). The monkeys are all hanging out near the beach where they can bum potato chips off of the tourists.
On my way north I stop for lunch at a "restaurant", more like a wooden platform, built into the cliff overlooking a beach. An amazing spot with good food for only 6 dollars.
I book a hotel on the beach where they upgrade me to an A/C room. Nice guy running the place. I drop my stuff and go for a long swim in the ocean. Later I check out the sunset at the hotel bar, right on the beach, with a couple of Swedes who live and work in Oslo. We commiserate about the prices in Norway. I once rode a motorcycle up to Nordkapp to see the midnight sun.