Friday, 29 April 2016

Running out of space!

So it happened again! One of our guests, whilst out drinking in another village, saw a little kitten, and decided it did not have a mum and brought it home with them! However, the kitten was very young and rather than let us know or take directly to Lanta Animal Welfare, they left it in our restaurant overnight.

When the staff found it in the morning, the little kitten was extremely frightened and when I checked it over, I knew that it needed to go straight to Lanta Animal Welfare. The kitten had to stay there for nearly 2 weeks where they nursed it back to health, but they do not have the space to keep the kitten and so we have offered to take it. Well I say we, I mean me, Nick is very unhappy!

Nick and I both love animals, but guests please be aware, we have enough! We cannot take anymore animals on and it is not a good idea to leave an injured animal on my resort, and take it away from maybe it's owners and it's mum! If you find an animal injured, take it to Lanta Animal Welfare or ask them to check it out.

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Bridge is open!

At Midnight last night, 22nd April 2016, the bridge between Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai was opened.

Now instead of catching 2 car ferries to the island, if coming by motor vehicle from the mainland, it is only necessary to catch one car ferry from the mainland to Lanta Noi. Upon reaching Lanta Noi, you can now drive straight onto Lanta Yai, saving anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour (when the queues were long).

Lanta Yai (Our Island at the bottom), Lanta Yai (in the middle), Mainland (at the top)
It was opened by the Head Minister of Krabi, with a huge party, Thai bands and fireworks helping us all celebrate this long awaited bridge.

Hopefully, this will significantly shorten the journey from the mainland for our guests, and ourselves!

Friday, 15 April 2016

You're lovin it!

Last low season, Nick came up with a new breakfast line, the Mook Muffins.

Similar to the real thing, but definitely bigger, with drinkable coffee and a better hash brown. Available with just egg, bacon, sausage or everything together, doubled up, they have proved a real success. How much of a success? We have sold over 3000 muffins and are on course to make that nearly 5000 in one year!

Our Muffins are available throughout High and Green Season, from 7am everyday (Eat in or Take Away), so what are you waiting for?

Monday, 11 April 2016

Happy New Year!

Tomorrow, April 13th, is probably one of my most favourite days of the year. It is Songkran or Thailand's traditional New Year.

Songkran is celebrated by the throwing or sprinkling of water over your friends and family, as a blessing. Over time it has developed into the largest water fight you have ever seen. In places such as Chaing Mai or Bangkok, these celebrations can go on for 3 to 5 days.

Luckily, in Lanta, we celebrate for one day, but what a day! Usually it starts about midday, but it is always amusing to see one child standing by the side of the road, fully armed, at 8am! By mid-afternoon, the party is in full swing, with many bars ensuring they have a large supply of water and loud music. Cars stream up and down the island, fully laden with people and water, and it is literally impossible to stay dry! It is the only day the beaches are empty, the party is always on the main streets.

Usually at least twice a day, the fire service drive down the island drenching anyone nearby.

This time of year is the hottest, and with the humidity growing as we move into Green Season, everyone,  Thai or Western is feeling the heat. I cannot think of a better way to cool down!

Sawasdee Pi Mai (Happy New Year)

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Bridge is Finished!

The bridge between Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai (our island), is finally completed. This will mean that from the 26th if you arrive by car or minibus, you will only need to catch one car ferry from the mainland to Lanta Noi. This should hopefully significantly reduce journey times.

The bridge will be officially opened on the 22nd, with a big party on the bridge. But the public will be able to use it from the 26th.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Good Food @ Kandi Lounge

Last night Nick was keen to watch the football and Kandi Lounge seemed the perfect option. Walking distance from the resort in the centre of the village, with seating inside and out and large TV screens. Nick was happy he could watch the game and I enjoyed a nice glass of wine.
However I was struggling with where I was sitting, it was right next to the Barbeque! The smell from the barbeque was magnificent and clearly Mark's (the owner) food was making an impact on all. Every table was ordering as soon as they saw and/or smelt the delicous food Mark had cooked for another table. Big burgers, mouthwatering ribs and kebabs.

Now I was not hungry when I sat down, but watching and smelling the food being made changed that! So I thought I would order the kebab as I wasn't hungry enough for the massive burger.

When the food was served I was a little taken aback, clearly Mark thought he was feeding an army! 2 enourmous kebabs with big chunks of chicken, pepper, onion and tomatoe, chunky chips, coleslaw and my favourite, corn on the cob. Everything was cooked to perfection and the BBQ sauce delicious. However there was way too much for just me, so Nick and our friend Tony eagerly grabbed a fork to help me finish it.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Koh Phi Phi Tour

I will be honest, I am not a fan of Phi Phi and I do not really like organised tours, but when you have family here, you have to do the touristy thing. Nick had never been to Phi Phi (despite living here for 5 years) and his mum and dad were keen to see it. So I said 'What the heck!' and booked us with Lanta Gardenhill Speedboat.
Why did I chose them, simple really, all our trips and tours we recommend we do so because we have experienced it first hand, our customer's have recommended it, or simply no one has complained. We have used Lanta Gardenhill for over 3 years now and never had a complaint.

We were picked up from long beach by one of their speedboats and greeted by the very friendly and charming tour guide, Yu.

Yu, our Tour Guide
After about 30 minutes we arrived at Maya Bay (famous because the film 'The beach' was made here) this beach, I knew from the media and friends, had been hugely damaged by too many tourists. But I was surprised when I arrived, that there were not so many tourists as I thought. Yu briefed us, in excellent English tinged with a slight cockney accent, that there was a safe zones for swimming and where we should not swim etc. He told us we had one hour here and to be back promptly.

Maya Bay
As we hopped off the boat I was shocked, the beaches were pristine, not even a cigarette butt. Then I noticed the signs, No Smoking, No Polystyrene, No Litter. Wow and they were enforcing it and it showed. There was a smoking zone in the jungle gardens, so as dad needed a cigarette, we went there for the last 15minutes. As we returned to the beach, the scene had changed dramatically and there were many thousands of people on the beach and it was definitely time to leave.

Our next stop was Monkey Bay for some snorkeling, Yu again gave an excellent briefing, no stepping on the coral, take a life jacket if you need to and handing out well maintained equipment. One Chinese guy was obviously struggling and nervous and Yu jumped in the water, grabbed a pair of fins and looked after him. The guy was hugely grateful and what could have been a terrifying experience was now fun for him.

We only had 30 minutes here (which was plenty of time) because the crew were constantly ensuring we got to see every location before the masses turned up. Next stop Bamboo Island. Wow this island is truly beautiful with stunning sandy beaches and blue,blue waters. We had 2 hours here and lunch was again served by the staff, who set up a table on the beach, with rubbish bags for the waste, and Yu acting as Chef with his apron and Chef's hat on!

Of course the food was delicious, Penang chicken, fried vegetables, Chicken drumsticks. Rice and fruit. Not spicy, so ideal for the mixture of guests, but there was some Prik Naam Bla if you wanted to spice it up.

Our last stop of the day was Tonsai Beach (the main area on Phi Phi), which is full to the brim with people, but by this time, we had had such a great day we just wanted to chill in a beach bar with a beer, or a glass of wine in my case.
Tonsai Bay

This is probably the longest blog post I have ever written, but I wanted to express our gratitude to Lanta Gardenhill for their great tour, great service and great staff and I wanted to hold my hand up and say 'I was wrong!' This is definitely a tour I will be recommending to my guests and maybe tourism will not destroy Phi Phi. The message is getting through, Thai tour guides are giving excellent safety and conservation advice. The Marine Park are communicating the right messages and people, of all nationalities are heeding it. I was impressed really impressed.
Us with Yu at the end of a very enjoyable day!
Thank you Lanta Gardenhill for changing my mind!

If you are wanting to do this tour or any other on the island, whilst you stay with us, please ask myself, Nick, Gin (our Hotel Manager) or Dtom (our Hotel Receptionist) for good honest advice.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Welcome Dtum!

Dtum has actually been with us for many weeks already but we have just taken her official staff photo, so we thought we would take this opportunity to welcome her to the team.

Working with Gin, our Hotel Manager, Dtum is the first face most customers will see when they arrive at our resort. A lovely lady who is a little shy but speaks and understands English well.

She has learnt the job really well and we hope she will be with us at Mook Lanta Eco Resort for many years!

Mellisa & Nick

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

4 Island Tour

Dtum & her husband on the boat
One of the most popular day trips from the island is the 4 Island Tour. This tour, unsurprisingly takes you to 4 islands, based to the south of the Koh Lanta in the Koh Lanta National Park.

Today 2 of our Chinese guests and our receptionist (Dtum) and her husband decided to join the excursion.

Snorkeling with Sergent Major Fish
During the tour, you get the chance to snorkel with the fishes, visit some beautiful beaches, have lunch and of course, the highlight of the tour, visit Emerald Cave (Morakot Cave).
The Entrance to Emerald (Morakot) Cave

Emerald Cave is spectacular, you swim through a cave (about 50 metres) and on the other side of the cave is a beautiful hidden beach which is inaccessible any other way. Only accessible at low tide and surrounded by cliffs, some say it was the original inspiration for the film, 'The Beach.'
The Hidden Beach at Emerald Cave

You can take the tour on one of 2 types of boats; Large ferry, speedboat, or the most popular choice, the traditional Thai longtail. Dtum and our guests chose the longtail experience with Green Group Tours.

A Traditional Thai Longtail Boat
If you are interested in booking this tour or any others whilst you stay with us, come and talk to myself, Nick, Dtum or Gin, our Hotel Manager, for honest advice on choosing the right tour for you.