Friday, 22 July 2011

The day we dread!

Whilst sitting in the bar on Wednesday night, I hear the words I have learned to dread, "no electricity all day tomorrow!" Of course I had just given all the diving work to Ben and that meant I had planned a day in my air conditioned office doing lots of computer work.
A roundabout - Old Town Style

With that day ruined, I decided to take the opportunity to complete my reviews of shops, restaurants and bars by heading South. The east coast road down to Old town is beautiful with its small Thai villages unspoilt by tourism and the green landscape rolling down to the mangroves. I passed what seemed like a whole village of people helping with the packing of the fresh water shrimps for market and a Bird singing competition!

On arriving in Old Town (the original capital of Lanta) I felt that it reminded me of the Wild West (well minus the guns, Indians and cowboys) as the whole town is pretty much made of wood. This side of the island has much less tourism than the West but it really is worth a visit because it is full of charm. Most of the restaurants have pier stretching out over the Mangroves and looking out onto the islands south of Lanta, my favourite being Beautifull Restaurant (yes that is how they spell it) which has great food and friendly staff who do not mind you sitting down the far end of the pier.

After Old Town I headed further south and discovered the Sea Gypsy's Cemetery after I spotted a notice on the side of the road. I love that these people believe that their ancestors like to live near the sea because they like to listen to the sound of the waves (maybe there is a little Sea Gypsy in me!).

View from the Sea Gypsy Cemetery - Their ancestors like to hear the sound of the waves!

As I reached the end of the east road I discovered a new road (or one to me) that lead to Terminal Point, or Sang Kha U Resort, which is a crazy little resort, with its own beach and the only treetop bungalows in Lanta.

After a quick stop at Khao Yai Restaurant at the top of Lanta mountain I headed over to Kantiang Bay, the first real place I called home in Lanta. This is a really sweet village, with loads of charm and every time I go here I seem to have real trouble leaving!

The primary problem is Drunken Sailors, where I always get a friendly welcome from the owner May and her boyfriend, Tad, and where, when I lived in Kantiang, I spent a ridiculous amount of time. What with the great shakes, the banana pancakes with chocolate sauce and the Wifi, I simply could not find the energy to leave! Thursday was much the same, minus the Wifi, but with a fabulous brunch of Egg Pan, great company (Kevin, Nin and Sarah) and Tad telling tales of gasing men! (we later found out he is not a Nazis, merely trying to exterminate some termites!).
A New Addition to Drunken Sailors, Drunken Tailors

When I finally managed to leave Drunken Sailors, I head further South to Noon bar, a recommendation by Sarah, which had stunning views over the Bay, before heading back to the office.

Never has a day without electricity been so good! Thanks for Sarah, Kevin and Nin for the company, the crazy guy at Sang Kha U, for well, being kinda weird and May and Tad for the scrumptious food.

Maybe I wont wait so long before going back again x

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bar of the Week! - Cheeky Monkey

This bar is probably the busiest bar on Koh Lanta in Low season.

Situated on the main road on Klong Dao Beach, it sits outside 'Fix the Girl' Salon (excellent for a haircut or a manicure) and is often really busy in the afternoon, as local Farang (Westerners) chill out after another busy low season day (well they got up before midday, didn't they!).

Serving cheap beers, Cheeky has friendly staff, happy locals and if you are peckish Mr Somchai's Wife (the only guy I trust to fix my bikes) makes some delicious traditional thai food for just 50 baht!

See you there!


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The view from my house this morning!

It is a beautiful sunny day, here in Thailand, so I thought i would make you really jealous and show you the view from my house this morning!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Thaksin's Sister to be the next Prime Minister Of Thailand

A surprise for many but Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, scored a clear victory with her party Pheu Thai (264 seats to the current incumbents 160). A political novice but a business woman in her own right, Ms Shinawatra will become the first female prime minister of Thailand.
Yingluck Shinawatra
However, many see her appointment as merely the voice of Thaksin, the Prime Minister who was ousted out of government by a military coup and then forced into excel to Dubai over corruption charges. Her victory was delivered by a huge vote in favour of her party in the North of Thailand where Thaksin and his party are hugely popular, here in the South there is considerably less support for her and there was a high turnout for Prime Minister Abhisit.
Thaksin Shinawatra
But all parties fought the election on a promise of unity and reconciliation and both the Thai population and the Westerners living here really hope that she will deliver, but clearly the army generals who deposed Thaksin in 2006 and the Yellow Shirts (those who have shown vigorous opposition to Thaksin) are not going to be happy with this result.

However, the wonderful thing about living on a island such as this, is that you feel remote from all politics, Thai, English and World and envisage any disruption caused by dissenters will not affect our beautiful island. So our one day of politics is over on the island, today the sun is shining and sea is tranquil, something we hope for the whole of Thailand.

Mellisa x

Red Snapper Open Agains on the 7th July

Joyce and Ed have been on their travels and after being away for far too long, Red Snapper, their fantastic restaurant is opening up again on the 7th July. Serving delicious Tapas, the best steak and some great wines.

So head down to their jungle location about 100m south of 7/11 in Phrae Ae (Long Beach), beachside.

Joyce, get the big wine glasses out...... I will be making a visit!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Sore Neck?

Well I have got this blog bug real bad, so i am now suffering for my art and my neck and back started to seize up from sitting in such a bad position.

So a friend of mine, Steve, recommended a masseuse (as mine was busy!!!! hello it is low season), Manee Lanta (Klong Dao beach, just off main road near the Flintstones restaurant). Beautiful place and the staff speak good english and more importantly know what they are doing. This lady actually teaches here and in Bangkok.

So how was the massage? Wow it hurt! but it was good, at one point i thought she was going to kill me with some maneouvre she did with my neck. Her hands are like steal! I am told they adjust the massage to the pressure you prefer, but I was trying to be brave! But most importantly it worked and everything moves as it should now!

Election Time in Thailand......

So it is election time right now, every road is littered with large placards advertising one of the 34 candidates for the post of Prime Minister of Thailand. After the battles over the last few years between the red and yellow shirts, I unfortunately don't think this election will resolve any of the issues. It is highly unlikely anyone is going to get a majority verdict and so horsetrading with those parties with only a few percent of the vote is a necessity (hmmm sounds like the UK right now).

For us on Lanta, well life, as always goes on as normal, except for the next few days we will all be teetotal as there is a blanket ban on all alcohol sales.