Thursday, January 31, 2013

Klong Jark Bay: Our little paradise

On our first motorbike outing on Koh Lanta, we explored the southern tip if the island, stopping at Klong Jark Bay for lunch and swimming. It was a beautiful, small beach with only 3 resorts. Very laid back. After 4 nights on Klong Khong beach, which was rocky when the tide went out and jam-packed with bungalows, we decided to head south again. This was more our style.

It quickly became our home. The bungalow was not terribly nice, but we were right on the beach with AC and hot water. The little bay became my morning lap pool, the perfect way to start the day! There was nothing to do but swim, eat, and relax.

View from our bungalow.
Our bungalow in the background.
Unfortunately after 2 days we noticed that Simon's right ear had become quite red, so we rented a motorbike and headed into town to see the doctor. Simon indeed had swimmers ear, an outer ear infection, and was instructed to stay out of the water for 5-7 days! On a beach vacation that felt like a death sentence. The bonus was that there was a French bakery across the street and we promised Simon a chocolate croissant for being so good at the doctor's office. We ended up with huge delicious cinnamon buns instead. This place was a treat!!

At typical Swede on Koh Lanta.
If you are trying to recall the last time you saw cinnamon buns at a French bakery, I don't blame you. These cinnamon buns were typically Swedish, some of the best I've ever had. Which would seem odd until you realize that Koh Lanta, especially the northern part, is a mini Swedish colony. So much so that even the French bakery caters to them.

It's almost scary the number of Swedes on the island. Restaurants advertise Swedish waffles, there's even a godis at one of the local dive shops. We also kept seeing signs for a Swedish school, which we decided to check out. We thought maybe it was daycare for Swedish families since there seemed to be so many of them. But as we walked through the grounds of this Swedish school, I realized it as something more than daycare as there were children of all ages. Given that it wasn't a holiday and Swedish children are not allowed to miss school, I knew this was something special.

We talked to one of the teachers and discovered that it's a bonafide Swedish school, with Swedish teachers and approved by the Swedish government. This means that you can go on holiday here without taking your kids out of school. You have to enroll them for a minimum of 5 weeks, and you are living in Thailand. Quite brilliant, I must say.

Anyways, we rented a motorbike the next day as well to keep Simon out of the water. We checked out the Old Town on the other side of the island. Then we had to give in and g back to the beach, but we had to explain they he couldn't put his head under. With his water wing contraption in place, this actually worked out fairly well and we were all reasonably happy. (I missed playing in the water with my boy!)

We managed to keep Simon's ear out of the water for the next few days and still enjoy the beach. We built sand castles, hung out with an Italian family, played volleyball, and ate good food. This was paradise. It was hard to imagine going anywhere else. We even watched one of the local boys shimmy up one of the coconut trees and knock down all the coconuts! Fresh coconut for everyone!

I even went diving for the first time in 8 years! I took a refresher course and enjoyed two beautiful dives at Koh Haa (with mostly Swedes).

We (I) had initially thought that we would hop around a bit during our 2 weeks on the beach, but the prospect of leaving our little slice of paradise was daunting. Would anywhere be as nice? Could anywhere be as nice? We had some Dutch friends on the nearby island of Koh Mook and were entertaining the idea of heading their way for a few days.

We went back to the doctor for one final check of the ears and a few more cinnamon buns. We finally made the big decision to head out to Koh Mook and reunite with our friends that we had just met the week before on Koh Lanta. We climbed aboard our long tail boat (mostly Swedes!), headed for the unknown and hoping for more paradise.

Bye, bye!
Simon did not love the bumpy ride.

1 comment:

  1. I love that picture with Simon drinking the milk! Beautiful!!