Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A Very Welcome Surprise!


Last Night with the Danish
October is a transitional month for us, we are moving from low to high season, so the number of customers can increase, but, as it is still busy over on the east coast of Thailand, we tend to be quiet around Full Moon.

So Full Moon was on the 13th of October and we were quiet, so we told the staff that the end of October was a good time for them to take some holiday before it starts to get really crazy. So our new receptionist Kob, was gathering all the holiday dates and waiting for just one check in that day.
Kob's message to me!

As it was an easy day, I was chilling at our house, when I suddenly get a message from Kob. "Please you come here, Please!" Now this usually means an official visit from immigration or the police, so I went straight up to reception.

I was really not expecting to see 9 Danish people, with luggage smiling at me!
Expected 2, Got 9
So it turns out our little 1 room booking was actually a 5 room booking, which would have been a crisis if we had made that mistake in a month's time, but in October it was a very pleasant surprise! We go through our high season bookings regularly to stop mistakes like this!

So suddenly we are full in the air con bungalows, breakfast is busy and the bar is full of our local expats and some charming Danish people. Our new G5 was booked for the first time since it has been upgraded and I think we did a good job, as the lady we put in that room hugged me to say thank you! 

Whilst they were only with us for 2 days, they made the most of their stay; hoping on bikes for their first day, eating at May's Kitchen (which they loved), snorkelling at the newly opened Koh Rok & Koh Haa and drinking the bar dry on their last night.
A Sad Goodbye
They were such a lovely group and we are so sad they have left already, but they have promised to come back.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Hello High Season!


Swim through Emerald Cave on the 4 Island Tour
I love the start of high season, it feels like someone just flicked a switch and bam it is here.

1. The winds are changing and the seas are calmer, meaning our beaches are cleaner and the sea bluer. The Sun is shining, there is still some rain, but it just keeps it cooler.
2. Seasonal workers are returning, to open the dive centres, tour companies, restaurants and bars. The roads are busier and everyone is putting boats into the water, cleaning and painting. 
3. There are people on the beach! even at 7am when I walk the dog! Yes there are people here all year round, but in the low season, it can feel like you have the beach to yourself.
4. But most importantly the Marine Park opens and 3 of the most popular tours are started.
Snorkel in clear, blue waters at Koh Rok
The 4 island tour, probably the most famous tour from Koh Lanta, opened on the 1st October and explores some of the islands to the South of Koh Lanta, This tour in the Low Season is unable to go to Emerald Cave, on Koh Muk, because it is closed. Emerald Cave is spectacular and the swim through it, is the only way to see a completely hidden beach. Some say this was the real inspiration for the film, 'The Beach.'
Koh Haa Lagoon
The Koh Rok & Koh Haa Snorkelling tour starts on the 15th October, when the rest of the Marine Park opens. Snorkelling in beautiful clear, blue waters and offering white sandy beaches at Koh Rok.

Dive into the Cathedral Cave at Koh Haa
Scuba Diving at Koh Haa and Hin Deang/Muang is open from the 15th October, In the Low Season we can only go to islands near Koh Phi Phi. Koh Haa (5 islands) has Caverns, Cave and swim throughs, but is a perfect location to learn to dive, because it usually has swimming pool-like conditions. More experienced divers can access the stunning underwater Cathedral. Hin Deang and Hin Muang (Red Rock and Purple Rock) are for the more experienced divers, offering much deeper waters, but the opportunity of maybe catching sight of some of our larger aquatic animals.
If you are lucky, you may see a Whaleshark!
Now is a great time to come to Lanta, because the prices are still relatively cheap and plenty of accommodation (we are sold out for New Year and much of January and February!)

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Welcome Kob!

Our New Receptionist, Kob
We would like to introduce you to our newest member of staff, Kob, Koh is our new Receptionist and replaces her wonderful friend, Teang. Kob speaks great English and has spent a couple of days learning the job, but today is her first day in charge of Reception.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Kob. We are sure that she is going to be fantastic at the job.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Get off the Beaten Track

Mainland to the North, Lanta Noi in the middle and Lanta Yai at the bottom
The dogs and I had the day off today, so we decided to do something I have not done for many years, I drove around Lanta Noi.

Siri Bridge
Lanta Noi is the island between Lanta Yai (the island where tourists stay) and the mainland and accessible via the new bridge (Siri Bridge) that connects the 2 islands. Lanta Noi is a beautiful island, more Thai than Lanta Yai but has only 1 beach (where the land is just above sea level) and no sunsets, so has a largely Muslim Thai population. 
Little Homestead on Lanta Noi
As I drove round I could see that the houses, schools and roads are much imporoved than I remembered and that is probably because the local population has done well from the tourism on Lanta.

Our first stop was a pier, which i swam around over 10 years ago, the pier has been much improved and you can see Old Town in the distance. There is a lovely Thai restaurant, run by a sweet Muslim lady where you can buy drinks and traditional Thai food.
Restaurant by the pier
My second stop was the new promenade, which I hope is what Casuarina Park will look like when it is finished.
New Promenade
Finally, the dogs and I went to the beach at the top of the island, where the dogs could let off a little steam, as there are no other dogs and no one else there.
Barry, the puppy and Sam at the pier

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Just 1 Bag

A little bigger bag than I had envisaged
Barry, our new puppy, and I were so upset when we went to the beach this morning, because the high tide last night had brought in a huge amount of rubbish from the sea.
Lots of people on the beach at midday today
Barry and I did our usual bag, but it really didn't make any difference.
I asked for help
So I designed a poster and asked the people on Lanta to help with the clean up and was shocked when I returned to the beach at midday and saw many people on the beach, helping to clean it up. Resort staff, local Thai people and tourists were all helping.

Whilst I would love to claim that I motivated these people into action I cannot:
Lanta Castaway Resort Staff
Lanta Castaway Resort, always clean the beach, but today they seem to have doubled the crew size.
Motivated by what he saw
Local Thai people told me they were motivated by what they saw.
Sarah Duff on her last day of her holiday
Sarah Duff, who was spending her last day on Lanta, said she was devastated when she woke up this morning after enjoying a lovely clean beach for the previous days, she was compelled to contribute.

Two of our guests, Luna and Michael,  asked for 3 bin bags and helped, 3 free beers for them!.
Michael & Luna
And of course Barry and I helped each of these wonderful groups and filled up another bin bag before we left the beach.
What we did today
But there is still plenty to pick up, so please if you go to the beach today, please pick up just 1 bag of rubbish. Imagine if everyone did this today. #just1bag

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Other People's Trash

I love low season, because it is a bit more relaxed than high season, so we have much more time to spend with our guests. In the main the weather is really good, but we do get rain much more regularly and we get the occasional storm.

Last week we got our first big storm (which is normal in June), unfortunately this, coupled with the change in the sea patterns, forces rubbish from the sea onto our beaches. None of this rubbish comes from Koh Lanta and if we left it to nature, as the sea changes, the sea will take back the rubbish it has given us.
Mook Lanta Eco Resort sponsors Trash Hero Beach Clean ups
Obviously we don't want our beaches, nor our seas polluted with rubbish and so we have a wonderful organisation on the island, Trash Hero Lanta, who not only organise beach clean ups once per week but also teach the local children about waste and provide reusable water bottles to cut down on waste.
Puppy walking is combined with a daily beach clean up
However the efforts of Trash Hero Lanta relies on volunteers and this is where you can help. Join them on one of their Beach Clean ups or pick up some rubbish whilst you are on the beach. When Mellisa walks our new puppy, Barry on the beach, she is filling 1 big bag of rubbish each day, but her efforts, and the efforts of a few hotels and expats, is not enough.