Thursday, 13 December 2018

A Unique Dining Experience

So for Debbie and Stuart's last night they thought they would try something different, so they booked 3 seats at The Table, 1 seat for me!

Debbie & Stuart's Last Night
The Table is a unique dining experience, there is just one table (that seats up to 12 people) and there is no menu. Dew, the owner and chef, visits the local market finds local fresh ingredients and cooks some traditional thai dishes from all over Thailand.
Range of Craft Beers available
The diners arrive around 7pm and are welcomed by Dew, and her partner Peter. Peter is your wine and beer expert and advises you on what will suit the meal tonight.

Tonight there were 4 dishes and as each was presented, Dew explains the dish and it's origins.
Me, Dew and Debbie
Tonight we dined on:

A very sociable event
- Seafood Miange (fish and shrimps served in a lettuce parcel and with a spicy chilli dip
- Seabass curry and fried chicken livers and rice
- Slow cooked chicken in a red curry with young bananas and fried pork belly and rice
- Fresh local fruit 
Slow cooked red chicken curry
Debbie and Stuart really enjoyed the chance to try new thai food and the amount of food provided.
A great chance to meet new people
They also really enjoyed meeting other people from all over the world

I would like to thank Debbie and Stuart for sharing their photos and experiences with me, wish them a safe journey home and hope we see them again soon!

Farewell to an Old School friend!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Monkeying Around!

The monkey's jumped on the Longtail for food & a lift along the mangroves.
So Debbie & Stuart wanted just a half day tour for their last trip and chose the Half Day Kayaking in the Mangroves Tour with Lanta Eco Tour.
A Tradtional Thai Fishing Boat (Longtail)
After being picked up at our resort, they were taken to a pier on the east coast of the island, where they jumped on a longtail (Thai fishing boat) which took them through the mangroves to Koh Aung. On the way there, they were greeted by some cheeky and hungry monkeys who jumped aboard and checked out the food on the boat. Debbie was quite taken aback at how picky the monkeys were!
They left Koh Aung by Kayak and made their way to Koh Talebeng, where they stopped for fruit and drinks. 
Kayaking in the Mangroves
On the way back from Koh Talebeng to Lanta, they saw yet more hungry monkeys.

This cheeky chappie was not going to take just anything from Debbie
What did they like?

The Mangroves are beautiful
- That we recommended the half day tour, it was a hot sunny day and that was enough sun for them.
- The monkeys, very friendly and not aggressive which they were surprised about.
- Practically a private tour, as they only shared the longtail with one other couple.
- The guide who took photos for them and explained the local plants and fruits.

Friendly Captain and Helpful Guide
Last adventure tomorrow, when Stuart and Debbie try a different dining experience tomorrow at The Table.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Koh Rok & Koh Haa

Arriving at Koh Rok
So part 2 of Debbie and Stuart's tours, saw them choose the Koh Rok and Koh Haa tour with Lanta Gardenhill, a company we have used for many years
Picked up at 8,30am from the resort they were driven to the boat which set off to Koh Rok at 9am. Koh Rok is 2 stunning islands that sit very far south of Lanta, so the journey time is 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the waves.
Debbie & Stuart enjoying the beach at Koh Rok
Luckily for Debbie and Stuart, there was only a slight ripple on the day they went and they got to Koh Rok quite quickly. Around the islands the water is a stunning blue and very very clear.

 After snorkelling in 2 spots on Koh Rok, for about 1.5 hours, they were taken to the beach and served a delicious lunch (the fried chicken was a winner) then they set off to Koh Haa.

Koh Haa 3

Koh Haa is about half way back to Lanta and the name means five islands (there are actually 6!) It is a beautiful location and a real favourite for divers as well as snorkellers.

What did Debbie and Stuart love:

- the stunning beaches
- the clear waters and variety of fish
- lunch!

Tomorrow they are off to the mangroves to see the monkeys, so tune in tomorrow!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Cooking & Drinking for a good cause!

Debbie and Stuart
This week we have an old friend of mine from school staying with us, with her husband Stuart.

Whilst they are staying with us, they have joined a number of activities and tours we recommend and agreed to let us in on what they did and what they loved.

Their first activity was the Cooking with Cocktails Course at Time for Lime. Time for Lime is, I believe, the oldest Thai cooking school on Koh Lanta. It was started by Junie Kovacs who is also the founder of Lanta Animal Welfare, a charity on our island. All the profits from Time for Lime go to Lanta Animal Welfare, so whilst you are eating, drinking and learning, you are also helping not only the stray animals on the island, but also the island itself, as they have dramatically reduced the stray animal population.
Debbie proud of her creations
Time for Lime is located on Klong Dao Beach and the course started around 4pm, they were split into 2 groups, Debbie first learnt how to make a London Mule (Gin, Lime, Ginger) whilst Stuart was tasked with making a Mango Salad and a Pad Thai. In the second half of the course, Stuart made the cocktails whilst Debbie finished the second course.
Cocktail lessons
Debbie and Stuart loved how sociable the course was and met a couple of Swedish ladies who had fell in love with a dog at Time for Lime and were preparing to bring it home. They also found the course very informative about how to make various cocktails and stock your cupboard with the right ingredients to cook great Thai food.
The Teaches explains all the ingredients in the meal
Big thank you to Time for Lime for giving them a night to remember!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

A Very Sad Goodbye but a Big Welcome!

Change is afoot at Mook Lanta Eco Resort.

A Sad Goodbye to Leigh
Leigh, who has been helping us out as our breakfast waitress is set to leave us tomorrow. Leigh has only worked with us for a short time, but she is well loved by all our staff and guests and we are really sad to see her go.

A Happy Hello to Tus
Over the last week, Leigh has been busily training her replacement, Tus. Tus has great English and whilst struggling a little with our ordering system at first is a very big welcome to the team. Unlike Leigh, Tus will be working with us for the whole day, so not only will he be our waiter but he will also help our busy reception with guest check ins. We are so pleased to have Tus and want to thank Leigh for training him so well.

The Sausage & Egg Mook Muffin is now an inclusive option
We have also changed the Breakfast menu, so that there is a much greater choice for the inclusive breakfast. Now as well as the English, Continental and Healthy Breakfasts, there will also be 3 of our very popular Mook Muffins too! We know this will be very popular with our guests, especially if they need a breakfast to take away.
The Healthy Option is still available
Our Breakfast is available to not only our own guests but also outside guests too from 7am to 3.30pm

So you know where to come for a Great British Breakfast.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Meet the Boss!

Gin, The Boss at our resort
So I have not written in a while and I was wondering what to write, when last night happened.....

Last night was the clearest indication that High Season has well and truly arrived because between 4 and 8pm last night the reception and bar were really busy and all 3 of us working, were exhausted by the time we closed!

Luckily for me, it was a day that Gin was in.
Gin giving gifts to the kids on Children's Day
Gin, is our Business Partner, our Hotel Manager and our friend. We laugh, we argue and we occasionally pick on my husband together. I have known this lovely lady for over 10 years and met her when she was working in someone else's dive shop and I realised she was talented and I wanted her to work for me.

When I bought my own  dive centre, the first thing I did was offer her a job and it was the best decision I made. She is smart, sassy and one tough cookie.

When we opened Mook Lanta Eco Resort, we needed a Thai Business Partner and she was the only person I wanted to join our team. My husband had never met her, but when she came to work with us he realised why I wanted her. She compliments our team very well, I am the logistics, finance and marketing, Nick is food and drinks expert and Gin is our legal advisor, Thai intermediary and fixer (you need something or someone and she finds it).

This will be Gin's 6th year working with us a Mook Lanta Eco Resort and I hope there are many many more.

Thank you Gin xxx

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Win a Free Night's Accommodation at Mook Lanta Eco Resort

Win a night's free accommodation at Mook Lanta Eco Resort in Koh Lanta! Just post a photo of you 'living the dream' on Instagram and tag MookLantaEco in it and use the hashtag #livingthedreammooklanta. You have a week to post, it can be you enjoying life in Thailand, at home with your loved ones, or even ironic/funny (maybe you putting the bins out at home in the snow). Use your imagination!

Me working yesterday on the Beach #livingthedreammooklanta
Rules are simple:
- Enter as many times as you like.
- You must tag MookLanta Eco in the picture
- You must use the hashtag #livingthedreammooklanta
- Winner will be announced next Sunday, 18th November 2018
- Prize is Bed & Breakfast, for 2, at any time, (subject to availability) in one of our Air Con Bungalows.
- Photos will only be considered if they are posted to Instagram.

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Wow what a start to the Diving Season!

Koh Haa (5 Islands)
Koh Lanta Marine Park officially opened on the 15th October. The Marine Park covers many islands great for snorkelling and diving around Koh Lanta (Koh Rok, Koh Haa, Koh Muk and Hin Daeng/Muang (Red/Purple Rock).
Whalesharks, the gentle giants of the sea!
I was lucky enough to be invited to join the clean up at Koh Haa, the day before it opened and was so pleased to see that there was very little rubbish (unlike Koh Rok which required the Marine Park to return the next day to carry all the rubbish off the island).
You can even see snorkel with a whaleshark
On the 16th October, the first Whaleshark was seen as Koh Haa. In the 2 weeks following, there have been numerous sightings of both Whalesharks and Manta Rays at Koh Haa and Hin Daeng/Muang.

Inside one of the caves of Koh Haa
Koh Haa is an excellent site for both snorkellers and divers of every level, with swimming pool-like conditions and caverns, caves and swimthroughs for the more experienced. Indeed it is also a popular location for freediving too, with depths up to 40 metres.
Manta Ray at Hin Daeng
Hin Daeng/Muang are for experienced Scuba divers only, but is a stunning location to see Manta Rays swimming between the rocks.

 If you are wanting to Scuba dive or snorkel whilst you are in Koh Lanta, we can help advise with the best trip for you.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Well Done Teng!

Teng (on right) and her friends after successfully completing the Mini Marathon
Would like to say a big well done to Tang, our receptionist and the other 3,500 people who 'Ran For Lanta.'

The race started at 5.15am at the most northerly end of Lanta Noi beach and there were 3 races: Mini Marathon (11km), Half Marathon (21km) and a Fun Run.
Teng in her new shirt at the beginning of the race.
Everyone was raising money for the new hospital being built on Lanta Noi and many businesses had sponsored the event and provided food, drink and bands to celebrate their success.
Official confirmation of Teng's times
I believe this was Teng's first official race and she did an excellent time of 1:17:01 for 10.5km and was 27 out of 148 in her age group.
Waiting to start
Hopefully the race will be run next year and she can beat that time.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Whaleshark at Koh Haa after just 2 days of being open!

Photo taken from the boat!

Just heard from Andaman Dive Adventures, that they spotted a Whaleshark from the boat today!

Damn 2 days too early!

Monday, 15 October 2018

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For the most very up to date pictures of Mook Lanta, the island and things to do on Koh Lanta, follow us on Instagram!

Ready for you!

One of my Mesh Bags for the Day
I am sure that you have heard that Maya Bay, on Koh Phi Phi, has been closed this low season and when it will open, if in fact it will, remains unclear. The Similans Marine Park have also extended the closure of The Similan Islands and will have strict limits on the number of visitors to the park (click here for the most recent update)

However the Koh Lanta Marine Park have been shutting our main dive and snorkelling sites (Koh Haa, Koh Rok and Hin Daeng/Muang and recently Koh Muk) every low season, to enable the areas to get a break and recuperate. The Koh Lanta Marine Park is much quieter than Koh Phi Phi and the Similans, but they have recognised that every year the visitors are growing and they want to preserve these sites for the future.

Koh Lanta Marine Park Managed the Day
Every year the Koh Lanta Marine Park opens on the 15th October. This year the Marine Park Chief contacted Scubafish and Trash Hero Lanta on Koh Lanta and asked for their help in ensuring that both Koh Rok and Koh Haa were ready for visitors.
Trash Hero helped with clear up at Koh Rok
On the 13th October, Scubafish took a groups of professional divers to Koh Rok and Trash Hero Lanta joined other volunteers who were tasked with the job of cleaning the beaches. Nearly 300 people turned up, and it was lucky that they did because it was a big job as the low season tides and weather had washed up lots of garbage. The volunteers did such a great job the marine park had to return the following day to pick up the rubbish they could not fit in their boats!

I was lucky enough to be invited by Andaman Dive Adventures to be part of their team, on the Scubafish boat, for Day 2 at Koh Haa. Now as an ex dive instructor, Koh Haa and I go way back, but I had not been there for a couple of years so I was keen to see how it looked.
Seeing Koh Haa for the 1st time this season
Not only were we joined by professional divers from Andaman Dive Adventures, Scubafish, Go Dive, Lanta Diver, Palm Beach Divers and Flip Flop Divers, we were also joined by Pimalai Resort staff, the Chief of Police on Lanta and many Thai volunteers from Bangkok. All avid divers, we were all keen to make the most of the day.
Brian and Lee (My team) admiring the visibility at Koh Haa Lagoon

On arrival at Koh Haa, we were joined by the Marine Park officials who organised who would dive where to ensure we covered as much of Koh Haa as possible. My team, (Lee, Brian and I) got Cave to Beach on Koh Haa 5. This is a dive I love as it has caverns, caves and swimthroughs and as we jumped in I was struck by how great the visibility was and how clean the site looked, big schools of Travelly and Baracuda were everywhere. Indeed we picked up very little rubbish, until the end of the dive when we spotted a large fishing net by the beach. The net was too big to pick up with what we had and we were running out of air.

When we got back to the boat, Lee (Andaman Dive Adventure) and Magnus (Scubafish) took a short break and then jumped back in to retrieve the net. It was no small task, requiring lift bags to assist them and they had to be careful to ensure the coral was not damaged. 

Lee, from Andaman Dive Adventure after picking up the net
After a sumptuous meal provided by Pimalai Resort & Spa we returned to the water to clean the lagoon. My team was heading to Koh Haa 2 whilst the other half of the boat were over on Koh Haa 4. Again the rubbish was minimal until half way through the dive, when we discovered some piping, that had been discarded with some wiring.

I would like to thank all those who assisted in not only making sure I had a great day's diving, but also contributed to the clean up.
We left Koh Haa a little cleaner than what we found it!
What are you waiting for, the Koh Lanta Marine Park opened today, book your snorkelling or diving tour today!