Saturday, 25 November 2017

Bienvenu Le Jimmy!

Etienne
When Nick and I took over the resort in May 2013, we had no idea what we were undertaking, but we knew one thing; we had a return customer, who was French and we had to reserve G2 for him for November and January.

Etienne, or Le Jimmy as we affectionately call him, speaks virtually no English and I speak very little French, but we instantly became friends, communicating in 'frenglish.' He comes twice a year, every year for 3 weeks at a time and we, our staff and the locals at the bar love him.

Our waiter knows that the first thing he wants in the morning is an ashtray, our chef makes his breakfast without asking him, because she knows what he likes, Gin ensures he has the motorbike he loves, Sao, our cleaner tidies his room just the way he likes it and we make sure there is space at the bar in the evening.

Mook Lanta Eco Resort would not feel the same without Le Jimmy and he is the first of many returnees this high season.

Welcome back Etienne xxxx

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Phra Ae Village

Phra Ae Village & Long Beach
Koh Lanta is not a large island, but with over 18 beaches people often struggle to decide which beach is for them. We believe that Phra Ae village, located on Long Beach, offers something for everyone all within walking distance from the resort.
Mook Lanta Eco Resort (Centre left to bottom right)
Mook Lanta Eco Resort is nestled between the village (on the main road) and the beach, both being less than 90 metres away. We also benefit from being located in a dip between the two, which means the noise of the road and parties on the beach or in the village don't keep us awake.
Late on a Saturday, it is Korner Bar Night
From reception, we have a small path to the most southerly end of Long Beach. Long Beach is over 3km long, and never feels busy, so you can always find a secluded spot for sunbathing and you are never far away from a bar or a restaurant. The first bar you arrive at. Korner Bar is located here and is the only place to be late on a Saturday night. Further along is Pangea Bar, where you can enjoy sunset cocktails and their  'Deep Sunday' parties.
Pangea for a Sunset Vibe
Phra Ae Village offers plenty of shopping options, with 7-11 for the basics, The Living Room for Bakery products, Tourist shops for swimwear, inflatables etc and the very popular, OK Salon for haircuts.
There are plenty of activities within the village; Lanta Animal Welfare, the number 1 activity according to TripAdvisor, is just outside the main village and offers tours every hour and the opportunity to walk a dog or two or just cuddle a kitty in Kitty City. Lanta Paintball, offer Paintball in their purpose built war zone, a climbing wall, slacklining and a beautiful beer garden if you just want to sit and watch. Dive and Relax are located in the heart of the village and offer speedboat diving from the beach.
Paintball
Slacklining & Bouldering
Dive & Relax
There are around 30 restaurants in Phra Ae village, offering romantic dinners (Red Snapper), family friendly dining (Patty's Secret Garden) and also street food around 7/11.


Red Snapper Tapas



If you a planning a night out, then head to the northerly end of the village where for food you have the wonderful 'May's Kitchen' with delicious thai food and sumptuous BBQ, Kindee for modern Thai food.

May, Chef and owner of May's Kitchen
Then move to Joker Bar, just next door, for an excellent next stop for a cocktail or two. Then, depending on the day of the week choose from Irish Embassy Bar, for quiz night and entertainment (singers, games and parties), Funky Monkey for some Karaoke and Mojo's for some late night parties.
Joker Bar for fun times and Cocktails
Irish Embassy

Whether you come alone, or with the whole family, there is something for everyone here in Phra Ae.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Ouch!

South Lanta Medical Clinic 

I heard the crack and I hoped I had not done it again!

This morning chasing a wild cat out of our restaurant, I stepped back awkwardly and fell to the ground. The pain seared through my ankle and I feared I had broken my ankle again. Sixteen months ago, I had fallen down a small hole in the road and due to the ineptitude of a private hospital, it had taken a month to properly diagnose and nearly 3 months to fix it.

So I was reticent to visit another clinic and hospital because:

1. Koh Lanta has only one very basic hospital with old x-ray equipment,
2. Many clinics here, love nothing more than over prescribing and charging a small fortune for basic treatment,
3. The nearest hospital I trust is 3 hours away.

So I waited until 2pm, the pain never weakened and the swelling did not reduce with icing.

So I decided to have an x-ray done on the island, as I knew some of the clinics now have one and take it from there. A friend recommended South Lanta Medical Clinic. I had not even opened the door of the car and the staff were grabbing a wheelchair, I was immediately greeted in English, registered, assessed by a nurse and a doctor. Within 10 minutes I was in their x-ray room, in 20 minutes they had confirmed I had refractured the ankle and in 40 minutes i was in a cast, paying a surprisingly small bill.

This is one of those rare occasions where I can review the exact same treatment from a large, expensive hospital and a small, local clinic. Let's just say their professionalism at South Lanta Medical Clinic won me over, I will be recommending them to my guests and hopefully I won't be needing their help again! Else my husband really will divorce me!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Our Newest Guest



Over the last week, we have noticed that we have some new guests at the resort. 2 beautiful Cormorants are flying between the bungalows and we believe nesting near the Standard Fan Bamboo Bungalows and our home.

Absolutely beautiful birds which look so graceful as they fly along the walkway and perch on the roofs.
Some Birds nested last year in one of our trees
As well as our own cats and dogs, if you keep an eye out in our gardens you may also see other birds nesting, a Monitor Lizard wandering through the gardens in the early morning or hear the frogs singing after the rain.
Pebbles our bar cat

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Cooking with Sandy

Sandy Sawangnipun
Today, I was invited to sit in an afternoon cookery course with Sandy Sawangnipun at her cooking school called 'At Home Thai Cooking School.'
Cooking in a Beautiful Setting
Sandy has lived on the island for 5 years, is a talented singer, speaks excellent English, is an accomplished cook and an excellent teacher. Last year she started her cookery school and offered one class per day, as well as alongside working in a busy restaurant in the evening. After a year, she decided that she wanted to focus on developing the school and quit her job and is now offering 2 classes per day, one starting at 10am and the other at 2pm.
Today Sandy had 3 students; Lina, Fanny and Satu, all are from Finland and work for TUI. It was Fanny's first time in Thailand and she had never eaten thai food before, so Sandy was careful to advise her of what was spicy and also how she could cool the spice with coconut and sugar.
Cooking with Friends
Their first dish was Pad Kra Pow Gai (Chicken with chili, garlic and basil). Sandy took the ladies through how to make the sauce, asking them to taste it along the way and showing them ways they could change it to match their own tastes. At the end, everyone had produced a beautiful Pad Kra Pow Gai and so it was down to Sandy to taste them all and declare Satu the winner.
The Winning Student, Satu
After devouring the first meal, Sandy moved onto Pad Thai with Squid and Penang Sauce. Unfortunately one lady was unable to eat squid so Sandy showed her how to adapt the recipe. Sandy will always try to adapt the meals to peoples dietary requirements, but it does help if you can tell her in advance. 
Pad Thai with Squid
After this second course, most of us were full and so for the last dish, Red Curry with Roasted Duck, she offered as an eat in or a take away option. Duck was not an option for one lady, so Sandy's helper quickly chopped some Chicken for them and again Sandy easily adapted the recipe for her.
A very happy Fanny!
It was lovely to see someone work so hard to make her students happy and to ensure that they would be able to recreate the recipes at home. If you would like to take the course contact Sandy, send her an email; sandyspotlight@gmail.com, go to her website; www.athomethaicooking.com or call
Sandy +66 93 442 8223.
Lina & Sandy discuss how to get the spices right

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Happy Loy Krathong


Today, on Koh Lanta we are celebrating Loy Krathong.

This is an annual festival celebrated on the night of full moon in the 12th lunar month in the Thai calendar.
They are released at high tide
The Krathong is traditionally made from banana tree bark and decorated with flowers and leaves, you are supposed to put a piece of yourself in the basket (usually nail clippings and/or hair) and then you release it at high tide into the sea (or river). This process is to wash away your bad luck and you  make a wish that hopefully the water spirits will honour. Because of the sheer number of Krathongs released every year, most places ban the use of the Krathongs that use styrofoam and other plastic products, as these do not decompose and clog up rivers and pollute the seas.
They made one specially for Nick & I
This year, as every year, our staff have made Krathongs for our guests to purchase and release at the Casuarina Park Festival only a 10 minute walk from the resort.

Made by our staff
Happy Loy Krathong to everyone!


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Welcome Bu!


We would like to introduce our newest member of the team, Bu. He is our waiter and barman and you will see him in the morning for breakfast and in the evening for beers.

He speaks good English and is only too willing to help.

He is so good, that we had our first TripAdvisor mentioning him, within 13 days of starting with us!

Well Done Bu and keep up the good work!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Everybody has come for High Season

Manta Rays are here!
Well High Season has started on Koh Lanta with a bang! The weather conditions are wonderful and the diving is even better!

Many sightings of Whalesharks, Manta Rays, Leopard Sharks, Turtles and even Guitarfish in Koh Haa, Koh Bida and of course the amazing Hin Daeng/Muang. At the back of island 3 at Koh Haa there is the skeleton of a Whaleshark too.
Koh Haa

Even if you are not lucky enough to see some big stuff, the dive sites here are incredible, with great visibility and caves and caverns and swimthroughs to explore.


Cavern at Koh Haa
What is even better, is that most of these sites are suitable for beginners as well as experienced divers, so, if you are lucky, you could see a Whaleshark on your first ever dive.


Lunch Over The Sea!

Nick and I enjoying lunch today
One of the first things you will see when you arrive to the island, by passenger ferry or car (via the car ferry) is the many buildings on stilts, over the sea, in the main town of Saladan. Most of these building are dive centres or restaurants, which benefit from stunning views and a welcome cool breeze.
Fresh Seafood is on display at the entrance
One of these buildings, right in the heart of Saladan Town, is Sea View Lanta Restaurant & Bar. Julie the owner, started this business in August of this year, after many years of running a restaurant in Klong Kong, when she fell in love with the view and the location.
Large Menu of Thai and Western Food
Julie, the Owner
Daily Specials

Inside the Restaurant
Garlic & Pepper Prawns
Spicy Squid
The menu is quite extensive and whilst they focus on Fresh Seafood on their BBQ, they also offer lots of Western food. Me, I love my seafood and spice, so I enjoyed a delicious plate of garlic and peppered prawns, whilst my more picky husband wolfed down the Chicken Cordon Bleu. 

Many thanks Julie for a lovely lunch, hope to return soon to try out the BBQ in the evening.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Understanding Thailand

As you are no doubt aware the next few days are going to be very sad for most Thai people. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama 9) was a much loved, revered and treated as almost a God by Thai people. He died, 16th October 2017 and many Thai people told me it was like losing a member of their own family.

Over the next few days, TV programming will only be about the King and the funeral is on the 26th October. Please expect, at least for the afternoon of the 26th, that most businesses will be closed, there is an alcohol ban. Most Thai's will wear black or white and whilst it is not necessary for you to, please where sombre clothing in the towns, government offices and temples.
Our Staff off to Nakon Si Thammarat
Today our staff have gone to the temple in Nakon Si Thammarat to say their own personal respect to the king and on the 26th we have given all our staff the day off so that they can be with their families. We will still be open, but Nick will be in the kitchen for breakfast and our restaurant will be closed after 11am and there will be no bar that day.

Please plan ahead, please be respectful and watch something truly historic happening whilst you are here.



Thursday, 19 October 2017

Lanta Noi just got a whole lot more interesting

Tiger ATV Lanta only 10 minutes drive from Mook Lanta
 Many people don't know that Koh Lanta is actually 2 islands, Koh Lanta Yai (where most tourists stay) and Koh Lanta Noi (where many Thai's actually live). Lanta Noi is now much more accessible with the new bridge so many new activities are opening up there.
Johann perfecting his 'Easy Rider' look!
Today Johann and Reijer tried out the new ATV company, Tiger ATV Lanta. Aek, the owner, already owns a successful ATV business in Nakon Si Thammarat and decided it would be a great addition to Lanta.
Test run on the track first
Before you are let loose, Aek gives you a helmet and shows you how to ride the bike, then they take you for a test drive along their in house track to ensure you know what you are doing. When you are looking confident, off you go for a hour trek to the jungle.

The boys looked kinda unsure before they got on the bikes, started smiling when they went round the track and came back whooping and cheering with the guys.
Safety was a Priority


But even on their return, the guys were focused on safety and they had a motorcyclist ride with them to ensure the guys could cross the road safely. We drove the car to them, but if you book it with your hotel, they will come to pick you up.
It was a bit muddy!


I think they liked it!
Congratulations guys and of course we wish you luck with your business, but judging by my customer's faces, you do not need luck!