Although we had planned a lazy chill day, around lunch time we decided to hire a bike and go exploring. We stopped off for some lunch and spent the first part of the afternoon relaxing, before setting off to explore the rest of the island.

After a short drive, we came across a quiet secluded beach, with no one on it except a few kids playing. As we took a walk down the beach front, there were several beach bars in sight, however, all pretty much abandoned as it still wasn't peak season here.

After a relaxing walk down the beach, we were lucky enough to come across some fishermen who had just arrived back from a morning of fishing, and were dragging large fish from out the sea onto the sand, as well as a bucket full of squids. Quite a nice bit of culture to stumble across.

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After the beach, we hopped back on the bike and decided to find the 'old town' which I had read was meant to be a fantastic place to visit for photo opportunities. People were right. The town was a strip of quirky shops and restaurants and could've been walked in about 10 minutes, but the authenticity of it was amazing and really was picturesque.

Behind all the shops was the sea (the old town was right next to the pier) and as you walked along between each building were cracks and narrow alleyways which you could still see the beautiful water. When we were finished walking around, we decided to drive further down the coast to see the sea gypsy villages.

This I was a bit dubious about as I had read they don't like to be disturbed and to not go poking around (I mean, I'd be the same...wouldn't you?). However, my curiosity got the better of me and I thought this would be our chance to see the true culture of Thailand. So we went. We drove right down the end of the coast for what felt like forever, until we reached a school and hotel, and were bitterly disappointed and decided to turn back.

It wasn't until our way back that we saw a couple of people either abandon their bikes at the top of a hill and walk down so we decided to follow. And I'm so glad we did.

From what I could make out, this was the sea gypsy village - and if anything there were more than welcoming.

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A woman was stood outside the first house with her children and didn't seem offended in the slightest. In fact, she beamed when she saw people and another couple sat down and spoke to them and took some photos.

We left them to it wandered through the village, even though this was only a very small village, it was still more than enough. Once again on the sea edge, several wooden shacks were built on pillars over the water. After taking a closer look, the majority of these were houses, however, we came across a mechanic with burnt out motorbikes outside, and an abundance of old tools strewn all over the porch.

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No one seemed to be around apart from the first woman and her kids, which gave the place an eerie feel but allowed me to take photos without feeling too invasive. Once we had finished here, we waved the kids off and drove right back down the coast as it was getting dark, stopping off at a flea market on the way back full of fish and fresh, colourful fruit and veg.

As we got nearer to our hotel area, we drove past a reggae bar on the side of the road and decided to turn back and stop for tea. The vibe of this bar was fantastic, the table we chose was a wooden platform with pillows on to sit down, as well as a hammock hanging between two posts, and a small coffee table in the middle.

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The bar was in a wooden shack, with colourful lanterns hanging down everywhere and Bob Marley all over the walls. The food here was brilliant and we ended up sat here lost in conversation for a couple of hours before we decided it was time for bed.

A big big recommend for people staying in the Koh Lanta area. (I'm so sorry, I can't seem to find the name of this now but if you drive past a bar full of hammocks, you're there!)

 

Sophie Amelia

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