Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Sausage is on the mend!

If you live in Old Town, you know Sausage, a little tubby, long bodied dog with knock knees. She is a gentle soul and is very sociable, always popping into local bars and restaurants to say hi.

Unfortunately last week she had a fight with a car and lost, her back leg was badly broken and she had injured her front legs. A good Samaritan from Old Town rushed her to Lanta Animal Welfare, the only vet on the island, for urgent treatment

Sausage has never had a home, she has never been locked up and she has never had so many dogs and humans around her. She was also badly injured and old. She was terrified and in a lot of pain.
Sausage in the much hated collar
I knew Sausage from when Nick and I used to live in Old Town and every time she saw me her funny little tail would go crazy when I called her name. So as Lanta Animal Welfare is only a couple of minutes walk from Mook Lanta Eco Resort, I paid her a visit. Despite clearly being in a lot of pain, Sausage wagged her tail when she heard my voice. I went and sat with her and had to stop myself from crying, she was shaking with fear and I was told that despite the volunteers trying to show her affection she was not responding to them. So I made a pact with myself to see her everyday.

The second day she responded again to me but was still in a lot of pain. On the third, as I arrived she was going into surgery to have the leg removed. The vets allowed me to stay with her till she fell asleep. 

The next day I went to see her and she was very heavily drugged, there was no recognition of my voice, but I gave her some water and chicken broth and she started to respond. The fourth day she was remarkably herself and was up on her feet, so I took her outside for some fresh air. On day five they had moved her to a bigger kennel and when she heard my voice she whined for me! I found her and she demanded to go for a walk with me and even had a poo! Which got a round of applause from the volunteers! (it is important sign with sick dogs!)
Sausage is walking well on 3 legs
But what is truly wonderful is that the wonderful people from Old Town have offered her a safe home to stay so she is safe when she leaves Lanta Animal Welfare and they have offered to pay for her stay at Lanta Animal Welfare.

Lanta Animal Welfare is a charity that survives only on donations. Their mission is to improve the lives of animals on Koh Lanta through sterilisation, veterinary services and rehoming. They have transformed Koh Lanta which was over run with many wild dogs who were in poor condition and badly treated, to an island with a significantly smaller wild dog population with many fewer cases of cruelty. The founder, Junie Kovacs, came to the island, opened a cookery school, Time for Lime, and started to take in poorly treated cats and dogs. This grew from a small shelter to the number 1 thing to do in the Krabi Province according to TripAdvisor!

If you come to Koh Lanta, go to Lanta Animal Welfare, eat in Kitty City, take the free tour and maybe take a dog for a walk. But please donate generously as they are vital to the island.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas in Koh Lanta

I have been often asked if I miss Christmas at home in England. Whilst I obviously miss my friends and family at this time, I have always been surrounded by expats, tourists and Thais who all share the holiday spirit. So this is my Christmas:
Santa Visited all the Bungalows
6:30am Santa goes to every bungalow on the resort, unfortunately we have no chimneys, so he leaves the presents on the door.
Our Guests made Bucks Fizz for Everyone
7am breakfast starts, and Christmas Day is always busy with over 70 breakfast for guests and outside guests to make. Bu our Waiter and Pi Deng. our chef, do an awesome job and Nick and I help when it gets too busy. Two of our lovely guests brought Champagne and offered everyone at breakfast a Bucks Fizz (Orange Juice and Champagne).

 After breakfast I finally had a shower and went to collect a guest from another resort.
Secret Santa Presents
At midday we close the reception, bar and restaurant and have lunch with the staff. All Thai of course (as we are the only Westerners working at Mook Lanta Eco Resort). Then we do Secret Santa. For those that have never done this, we all pick a name out of the hat to buy a present for. Nobody spends much money and the presents can be funny. Bu, the waiter got a alarm clock, because he is not the best at waking up in the morning. Kai, the cleaner, got a big box of chocolates, which caused her to whoop with delight (as she has been on a diet and lost loads of weight). Ya, the handy man, got some awesome combat design shorts and I got wine, so my staff know me well!
Christmas Lunch, Thai Style
However there were 2 notable presents; Pi Deng, our Chef, had to curiously stand on a chair whilst opening hers, when she unwrapped it, it revealed a very sexy apron! The crowd went wild (I was starting to worry I was going to start seeing #metoo trending) and honestly it was hard to get her out of the apron, or get the staff to leave her alone! The other present was instant snow, which was not real snow, but for the first time our staff had a snowball fight.
So at 2pm, the party ended and Nick and I planned to go to the beach, but just as we were leaving the house, we receive an urgent call from a friend who lives in Old Town. He had been driving home in his car and another car overtook him and caused our guests to swerve off the road. Thankfully the guests had only scratches but were too scared to get back on the bike, so Nick and I collected them in he car and I drove the bike back. Beach was going to have to wait.

I cleaned their wounds and ensured that they were ok and took my only 30 minute break of the day and we used this to wish our families back home a Happy Christmas.

At 4pm I I was heading back to the bar as my neighbour's wife (who is Muslim) swung by with her 2 little kids in her tuk tuk. The little girl screams 'Happy Christmas Mellisa' and the little boy High Fives me! Back at the bar, celebrating Christmas with our friends and guests, Nick and I opened all the traditional English Chocolates that you eat at Christmas; Terry's Chocolate Orange, After Eights and Matchmakers. By 7.30 our work was nearly done when we received a phone call asking us to pass a message on to a guest regarding their dive course the next day. Luckily we knew where they were eating and popped in to give them the information.

Finally at 8pm, I was in the pub, relaxing with a lovely glass of wine.

Merry Christmas to you all

Love the Mook Lanta Eco Resort Team

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Kayaking around Koh Lanta

We are often asked why we recommend certain tour companies and the answer is easy, it is down to our own personal experience and the feedback of our customers. If our customers love them, we recommend them, if they don't, their leaflets are not allowed on site.

2 days ago we had a family of 8 stay with us and they were looking for a fun half day tour. We recommended Lanta Kayaking who offer a 3 hour tour. As they were a group, we could get a discounted private tour just for them, at the time they wanted to go.

This tour takes you by longtail boat (a traditional Thai boat) to Talabeng island, Koh Kum and Koh Ung and finally ends with kayaking through the mangroves and to the Sea Cave at Talabeng.

The family loved it, but especially loved getting up close with the monkeys in the wild.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Pure Luxury

1 of 2 Luxury Villas
 Yesterday someone asked me, where I go on holiday, as I already live on a beautiful tropical island.
A large private pool with views over the Andaman Sea
Luckily for me, I have a wonderful husband who had come up with the perfect place: Kulraya Villas.
The view from our bed
Our Bedroom
The owners have built 2 stunning pool villas, set high up on Koh Lanta, which are perfect inside and out and have stunning views over the Andaman Sea. Each villa has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms a large kitchen, dining and living area. Each villa has private gardens with a large pool and a BBQ.

The Living Area
 If you want a few days in pure luxury, you'll struggle to find anything better
Outside Dining Area
Sadly we only had 2 days here, but we will be back!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Catch all the Sports in one place

Phra Ae village is small, but packed with great bars and restaurants and is only minutes from Long Beach, one of the most popular beaches on Koh Lanta. Mook Lanta Eco Resort, is nestled between the two, meaning everything is just a short walk away.

Whilst many spend their days on the beach or on boat tours around the island, many in the evenings want to catch up with their home teams.
Outside dining at Kandi Lounge
Kandi Lounge in the heart of Phra Ae village, is able to offer all the matches at once! They have 7 screens, and 1 large projector screen and not only can they provide the sound to one match, they can do it to them all! Because they have a special sound system that projects the different coverage to headphones, meaning you never miss anything.
Pool available
The main event is shown on the Projector screen, but you can ask Mark, the owner, to change one of the TVs to your home team.

Whilst you are enjoying the game, be sure to check out the BBQ and Home Comforts menu. All the meals are generous, so come with an appetite and if you enjoy a challenge or want to share with your friends, the Meat Feast is it:
Enjoy a BBQ with friends

Full Rack of Ribs
Whole Chicken
2 Italian Sausages 
2 Cumberland Sausages 
4 Chicken Kebabs
4 Chicken Wings

And corn on the cob, coleslaw, jacket potato or chips and onion rings!

So what are you doing tonight?

Monday, 11 December 2017

So why do you call you resort an Eco Resort?

It is a question we get regularly asked and for good reason. When we first decided to change the name to Mook Lanta Eco Resort, Nick was insistent that I check what I need to do in order to justify the name.

So I searched online and frankly was quite disappointed. There seems to be no universally accepted criteria (although some organisations have tried to create them) and many resorts used the name without any justification.

Nick and I were determined that whenever we were asked this question, we should be able to respond with multiple points that justified the name.

But we were also clear that we wanted our guests to no be unduly affected by the changes and to perhaps encourage other resorts to follow in our practices.

So why do we call ourselves an Eco Resort?

1. Recycling is a huge part of our ethos. We recycle all our cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and glass.
2. We only provide one water bottle per person at the beginning of their stay, but allow them to fill it up, as much as they like whilst they are here.
Our guests went to the beach and picked up rubbish
3. We love our upcycling, so our old shutters are new tables for the balconies, old roofs are now beautiful fencing, a recycling point and a new motorbike shelter.
I spent an afternoon picking up Rubbish
4. Use linen laundry bags not plastic ones.
5. Use dispensers, for shampoo and bodywash, instead of tiny bottles.
6. Service our air conditioning units regularly so they don't waste electric.
7. Food waste is given to our own animals or the dogs at the temple.
8. We participant in Beach Clean Ups and encourage our customers to bring litter back to the resort.

9.We encourage our guests to donate their sunscreen, mosquito spray etc to others rather than throw it away.
10. Support Lanta Animal Welfare and all their great work for the island. 
11. Encourage our guests to leave their unwanted beach toys for other guests and any left are given to the Children of the Forest.
Unwanted toys given to other guests or donated to Children of the Forest
and much much more! 

But best of all, I now struggle to answer this question at first, because it is so normal to us, that we cannot understand why every other resort is not doing it too!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Bienvenu Le Jimmy!

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.
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


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