Islands of Thailand: Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta

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After five fun and busy weeks traversing Southeast Asia, we were craving some time to relax and recharge. And what better place to do it than at the beach?! So we revisited Thailand, this time in search of calm beaches, warm ocean water, and a few comfortable lounge chairs.

We flew into Phuket, where we watched the Cubs win the World Series (!), before hopping on a ferry toward Ko Phi Phi. Prone to sea sickness, I made sure to stock up on medicine before getting on the ferry, but the ride was surprisingly smooth and the scenery was lovely, providing a nice distraction from any rough waves.

Ko Phi Phi is home to the most beautiful, vibrant turquoise waters we’ve ever seen and its shores are filled with wooden long boats waiting to take travelers to the many beaches nearby. The scene is really very picturesque. We enjoyed time at Long Beach, which was a quiet and clean beach with plenty of space to swim and catch the sun. And we also made the trek to Maya Bay to see the famed beach and its surrounding islands. The long boat ride there was incredibly rough (and a bit scary) but once we arrived we understood why the beach receives so much praise – white sand melts into the bright blue water with green mountains all around – it is gorgeous! But, all this beauty has attracted so many tourists that the island of Ko Phi Phi is crowded, overpriced, and dirty in many areas. We were happy to experience it, but ready to move onto a much more relaxed and remote island.

Our second stop was Ko Lanta, which we found to be exactly what we needed after visiting the crowded beaches of Ko Phi Phi that were filled with litter and lined with backpacker bars. Instead, we found Ko Lanta to be a much larger, calmer island with nice beaches and even nicer people. We stayed at the Moonlight Resort for our first few nights and fell in love with it. The resort itself is quite secluded, and we had our own villa up in the trees that was just a short walk to a nice pool, great restaurant, and wonderful ocean views. The best part was that it only cost around $40 per night! Needless to say, we spent much of our time lounging around at the pool and beach area, but we did venture out to some nice restaurants throughout the week and a great beach (Relax Beach) on our last night in town.

By the end of our time in the islands we felt relaxed, thankful, and happy, and we were ready to take on our next adventure – our last destination in Southeast Asia: Myanmar.

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