(c) January 2007 Oliver Bonten
Ko Lanta 2007
|Ko Lanta 2007
This was the first time I went to Ko Lanta, though I had been to Ko Phi Phi once (and disliked it), and to Ko Phuket several times (where at least you won't be bored). Ko Lanta is supposed to be a bit more laid back and less developed. Well, this is true, but Ko Lanta nevertheless is heavily commercialised and one of the most expensive traveller places in Thailand (like Ko Phi Phi). Places to stay and restaurants are stretched for kilometers along the shore in a couple of villages, and it's hard to get around without taking a tuk-tuk or renting a motorbike. The individual villages are small. Some good restaurants, though, and near the place where I stayed (Sanctuary in Long Beach) there was a french bakery, Faim de Loup.
I went diving with Lanta Diver , a Swedish-run dive shop (many tourists on Ko Lanta are Scandinavian), and they were a pretty well organised shop. They had three boats, but one was out for repairs, so they went to two destinations per day. The boats were crammed full of people and it sometimes was a bit difficult to move around, but the organisation was quite professional, so everybody could set up his stuff in and they used a checkboard to make sure they didn't forget any divers on the site. There were plenty of divemasters on the boat, so the groups were small, and in particular the local divemasters were pretty good.
The boats went from Ban Saladan, the main town, which was about 6km from Long Beach (and Long Beach is one of the closest villages to Ban Saladan!), so the dive shop picked me up every morning quite early.
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are well-known dive spots and probably the two best ones near Ko Lanta. I had been there already on my second dive after my Open Water certification, January 2000, and probably I couldn't really appreciate the places then. I had seen manta rays on that day. Not this time, though. Remembering the manta rays, I brought the wide angle lens, but those two dive spots are actually more macro places. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't too good, and neither was visibility.
As a dive spot, Ko Ha is probably among the least popular around Ko Lanta, but it is actually not too bad. I think they use it for courses since it is a fairly easy spot, and if I remember correctly, they go there each day. It offers lots of opportunities for fotos.
Ko Bida and Hin Bida are two dive spots near Ko Phi Phi, so they are some way to go. I've been there a couple of times when I was diving on Ko Phi Phi and those places aren't bad, though nothing compared to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. This time I went there on two days, and each time the yield in photos was quite good, despite the bad weather.
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