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Worth a detour
Rating 2.2 (217 votes)

Ko Lanta

Listed under in Andaman Sea, Thailand.

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After the debauchery of Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta was a welcome respite  and a beautiful place to plant ourselves for a few days.  While a lot of tourists do make it to Ko Lanta, the size of the island and the absence of set "tourist area" means that they are absorbed a lot more gracefully. As a result, the locals are much more friendly than in Phi Phi. By the end of our week at the Riviera Resort (where we shared a triple room for the bargain basement price of 400 Baht or $12 for the room - $4 each), the staff came out to shake our hands goodbye and wish us luck. In contrast to the bustle of Phi Phi's nightlife, our evenings on Ko Lanta consisted of a wander down the beach for dinner and some leisurely cocktails overlooking the sea.

We also chose Ko Lanta because of Loy Krathong. Everyone you meet in Thailand wants to know if you've been to one of the legendary full moon parties on Ko Pha Ngan and while they sound like a rowdier, drunker version of what we experienced on Ko Phi Phi, I wanted to spend the November full moon in proper celebration . Loy Krathong literally means "floating raft" and is held in the twelfth month of the Thai calendar. The "raft" or lantern is built on a banana tree truck and ornately decorated with banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. Tradition requires that you to bury a piece of your fingernail and a strand of your hair deep within the raft and - with the understanding that they represent the grudges, bitterness and anger from the year gone by - set the raft free into the waves. And so, under the full moon, I took my banana leaf lantern, lit the candle and made a wish and then set it free into the Andaman sea, alongside many others of its kind. We also helped people launch a Khom Fai (a fire lantern) to celebrate the holiday.

Legal Nomads: Andaman Island Wrap-Up.

Written by  Jodi Ettenberg.

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