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.

Monday, 1 July 2019

The Newest Member of the Family

We would like to introduce you to the newest member of the Mook Lanta Eco Resort Team...... Barry.
Our New Pup, Barry!
Barry is about 6 months old and 1.5 months ago he was found by a concerned lady under the Siri Bridge to Lanta. She quickly realised that the dog did not belong on the streets and asked for help finding him a temporary home.

Mellisa, without Nick's knowledge, said she could take him on temporarily and he arrived that night, a scared bundle of fluff.

The next morning it was clear he was used to being in a house and with humans and he quickly adapted to living at the resort. 

After a few 'conversations' it was agreed that Barry could stay, but only if he learns how to behave on the resort. So if you come to Mook Lanta, please remember:

- He loves affection, but must not jump up, but must sit to receive it.
- He is a puppy, so understand he is still learning.
- Never feed him at a table, but if you want to reward him, make sure he sits and gives you his paw.

And why is he called Barry? Well the staff wanted to call him 'Siri' because it is the name of the bridge, but Mellisa felt it was a bit girly. A friend, suggested the dog was named after him, Barry, and it just suited him and it stuck!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

We are in the Hall of Fame!


Many thanks to our wonderful guests for voting for us. We have been awarded a 'Certificate of Excellence' by TripAdvisor because of you and because of the hard work of our staff.

We have also been entered into the Hall of Fame of TripAdvisor, because we have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 5 consecutive years!

We love all feedback and we want to continue to provide a great service and ensure your stay is perfect, so please keep feeding back!

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Rainy Season! Nah Green Season More Like


Not 2 minutes ago, I got asked, 'It doesn't rain much in Rainy Season?'

My response:

"I call this time of year Green Season, not Rainy/Monsoon/Low Season, Why? Because all of the other titles mislead people."

"It does not rain everyday, but it does rain, and my gardens are lovely and green because of it. There is sunshine aplenty at this time of year and only yesterday a friend was telling me he had fallen foul to the 'Low Season Sunburn,' because he forgot how hot and sunny it can be at this time of year."


"On a holiday at this time of year, you will have some rain, that could be a storm lasting a few days, a few small showers in the evening or something in between. But this time of year is unpredictable, especially the sea, so you cannot go snorkelling and Scuba Diving everyday."

"But staying at this time of year, is so cheap that it makes up for a bit of rain (which most welcome!)."


Saturday, 11 May 2019

Children Of The Forest


One of the reasons I am so proud to call Koh Lanta home is because of how generous the local residents can be.
First Day on the Beach
This year for the 12th year running, Children of the Forest have given 50 stateless children a holiday to remember on Koh Lanta. Children of the Forest is a fabulous charity, which gives these kids from Burma, who are stateless and as such have no access to healthcare, schooling and legal rights in Thailand.

Sanuk paid for their long trip to the island.
Their journey from Sangklaburi (about 3 hours north from Kanchanaburi) takes 2 days and the Swedish school on Lanta raises the funds to ensure they are delivered safely, fed and have somewhere to stay for this long trip.

Whilst they are here, many businesses and residents give time, money, accommodation and tours to the children.

Scubafish provided a Snorkelling Trip
Andaman Sunflower Resort (next to us on Koh Lanta) have provided free accommodation for 12 years and provide any meals not offered by other restaurants.
First Time Snorkelling
Scubafish took them all on a wonderful snorkelling tour on their boat,
Greek Taverna
The children got their first taste of Greek food at the Greek Taverna and they danced the night away with dinner at Global Local Lanta.

Enjoying the pool at Laguna Beach Club
 Rattana Resort and Laguna Beach Club gave them access to their pools. Time for Lime, gave them beach toys and cooking classes.
Time for Lime
Cooking Class at Time For Lime
I was asked to help Kandi Lounge provide a chilled afternoon with snacks, pool and cartoons.
Pool at Kandi Lounge
It is a privilege to help with this special holiday and it is humbling to see how lovely and polite these kids are despite the harshness of their short lives. 
Fun on the Beach

Tomorrow these kids take the long journey home, we wish them a safe journey home and look forward to seeing them again next year.



Sunday, 21 April 2019

Scorchio!

Need a reason to come to Koh Lanta?

Here are a few:

1. Whalesharks at Koh Haa today! The seas are calm, the visibility is immense and there is so much to see!

2. It is blooming hot, and I mean blooming hot! The guests are starting to pray for rain!

3. Accommodation is really cheap! Contact me to receive our Low Season Prices Now!



Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Upgrading the Cozy Bungalows


F1 the first to be upgraded
Green Season is a time when we review all our rooms, your feedback and have time to upgrade our rooms.
Ya, our  Handyman



Ya, our handyman, with the help of one of our cleaners, Kai, have worked tirelessly for the last week upgrading the bathroom and tidying up the bedroom, in the first Cozy Fan Bamboo Bungalow

Kai, our Cleaner
The bathroom has been fully sealed and brightened up and the wood revarnished. Inside the bedroom, the walls have been revarnished and a new light added above the bed. Finally the balcony has been given a lick of paint. We have also listened to our customer's request for sheets for the bed. The blankets are still available in the room if you need them.
Over the next month, we will be upgrading all the Cozy Fan Bamboo Bungalows and next month we will start our new project...... the Standard Fan Bamboo Bungalows.
A shiny new interior
Many thanks to Kai and Ya for their hard work this week.
Bathroom Sealed & Brightened up!
Stay tuned for all the changes happening this Green Season.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Manta Rays & Whalesharks around Koh Lanta

Manta Ray
Over the past week there have been multiple sightings of Whalesharks and Manta Rays at Hin Daeng  & Hin Muang. However this site is only for experienced divers.
Whalesharks
BUT
The Whalesharks have been hanging around Koh Haa too, perfect for snorkellers and first time SCUBA divers.

Koh Haa, perfect for experienced & novice SCUBA divers and snorkellers
The conditions are fabulous, so what are you waiting for?


Saturday, 23 March 2019

How can you support Earth Hour whilst on Holiday?


Next Saturday is Earth Hour and even though you might be on holiday in Thailand, there is no reason whilst you cannot participate and help support this fantastic Worldwide event.

Thailand has significant energy, waste and water issues and tourism makes issues even more problematic. Sometimes the demand just outstrips supply, but there are some small things you can do to help:
Solar Lights, light up our walkways
Switch off lights
Turn off the lights you are not using, not just for Earth Hour, but every time you leave your room. We use Solar lights for our walkways to reduce our electricity needs.

Air Conditioning
Obviously turn off your air conditioning if you are not in the room, but also shut windows and doors to ensure it is able to run efficiently when you have it on. A well-serviced air con unit will cool a room in minutes. Have it run a couple of degrees higher than you would normally set it. this will also help you acclimatize.
Water
Water is a precious commodity in Thailand and we often do face periods of drought (many hotels use their own wells as do we), so use water conservatively. Have showers not baths. Turn taps off. Ask your hotel if they give free water if you have your own water bottles (rather than buy more plastic water bottles), we only give our guests 1 water bottle each, but we offer endless refills.
Our guests leave their sunscreen etc for others to use

Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle
Dispose of your rubbish in recycling bins if possible, refuse plastic bags and reuse water bottles if you can.

We recycle all our plastics, glass, cans and cardboard at our resort. Our guests don't throw away their sunscreen, shampoos, mosquito sprays and beach toys, they leave them for other guests to use. Ask your resort if they do the same.

Our guests clean the beach for Earth Hour, and we recycled it for them
Beach Clean Ups
Join an organised beach clean up,  we sponsor Trash Hero's on Lanta who do every Sunday on Lanta, or just pick up a bit of rubbish whilst you are on the beach.

A small change in your habits will help us all in the long run.