Koh Lanta, Thailand

After a three hour ferry, a 6 hour bus, a half hour taxi, a two hour wait, a second boat journey and another taxi drive (!) we finally made it to the west coast of Thailand and the beautiful island of Koh Lanta. Annoyingly we fell victim to another taxi scam en route, but having only lost a few pounds each we brushed it off pretty quickly.

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We were dropped off outside our accommodation, the Sabadee Hostel along with David, an American traveller we met along the way. 

The hostel was a really cool place. The rooms were all inside shipping containers and there was a lovely communal space in the courtyard with a kitchen and lots of hammocks to chill out in. Cat, Catharina, David and I were all put in a room together which was cool. 

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Before we knew it the evening had drawn in. We made a quick trip to the 7 eleven and brought some beers back to the hostel for a few games of yaniv out in the courtyard.

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Soon hunger got the better of us so we headed down the road towards one of the restaurants that the hostel owners had recommended to us; the Two Sisters. We had a delicious authentic Thai meal which was exactly what we needed after a long day travelling!

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After dinner we headed back towards the hostel and enjoyed some more beer and card games with some of the other backpackers before having a perfect night sleep.

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The next morning Catriona and Catharina woke up early to do some yoga on the beach – I chilled out on the hammocks with a book until they came back around about midday. By this point we were all pretty hungry so headed down towards the beach and had the most incredible lunch. There was so much food! Our particular favourite of course was the pineapple fried rice fashioned to look like a chicken!

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Completely (!) stuffed we moved out onto the beach and spent whole afternoon sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

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After a couple of happy hour cocktails on the beach watching the sunset we made our way back to the hostel for a quick shower and change. Again on the hostel owner’s recommendation the three of us and David headed towards the Pumpui restaurant and had the most delicious meal – it’s safe to say by this point were all pretty obsessed with massaman curries!

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The evening ended with many beers, and many games of Kingscup with everyone else in the hostel. 

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Soon we were hit by a massive storm – what else do people do in a a storm? Ask Catriona…!

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The next morning the weather was unfortunately a bit hit and miss so we couldn’t spend the day out on the beach again as planned. The three of us headed to 7 eleven for some breakfast toasties before deciding that we would try and enrol ourselves on a Thai cookery class for the day.

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Luckily one class, the Lanta Thai Cookery School, had space for us and at 2.30 we were picked up outside the hostel in a tuktuk and taken across to the cookery school. By this point David had decided to join us and we met another couple of Irish girls enroute so there was a nice small group of us.

The cookery school was housed in a beautiful home and we were greeted warmly by our teacher, Ning, her husband, two daughters, her son and two grandsons – it was definitely a family affair! We all sat around a big wooden table with a glass of Thai tea and set about voting on 4 dishes to make from the vast selection in our cookery books. In the end we decided on; vegetable spring rolls with homemade chilli dipping sauce, chicken satay skewers with homemade peanut dipping sauce, chicken massaman curry and larb with chicken (a minced chicken and herb salad dish from northern Thailand).

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After we had made our decision Ning gave us a quick chat about the everyday Thai vegetables and herbs that are used in most dishes before handing us our aprons and taking us across to our cookery stations.

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We had an absolutely fantastic afternoon peeling, chopping, stirring, mixing, barbecuing and marinating. We learnt so many tips and tricks (did you know that if you fry coconut milk it turns into coconut oil?!) and the smells wafting through the kitchen were amazing.

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After we had finished cooking each course we plated them all up and had a big feast – everything was so delicious. We were definitely beaten with the sheer quantity of food but luckily we could take doggy bags filled with leftovers back to the hostel. I couldn’t recommend a Thai cookery class more – we had so much fun and can’t wait to try to replicate the recipes when we are home.

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That evening our amazing hostel owners set about cooking us all an amazing BBQ. We absolutely loved this hostel, the owners were so hospitable and welcoming- the BBQ was completely free and just done by them out of kindness!

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The 4 of us who had completed the cookery class were all still pretty stuffed but we certainly couldn’t resist the lure of chicken and pasta salad!

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That evening we had a few more beers, played a few more card games before tucking down for the night. The next morning we would be getting up super early to make our way down to the boat pier – next stop Koh Phi Phi!

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