The Old Town of the island Lanta
In Koh Lanta Old Town you can not only fill a day trip with content, but also spend a few days. A scooter is needed to get to the beach, but the piers and terraces of the restaurants and guesthouses are a great alternative. We slept on the waves and enjoyed the sea every day.
After a few days in the jungle of Koh Lanta we – especially me – wanted again some comfort, a warm shower and an internet connection. We found the nearby Old Town very nice and quiet. We booked a very comfortable room in the Malee Sirin Old Town.
The Malee Sirin was ideal for us to work on our blog for a few days. That means to edit some pictures and videos, empty the memory cards of the seven cameras and save everything to the external hard disk. Sounds simple, but it doesn’t work in the jungle without internet and a weak power system. The other side of the coin Sirin: it is too modern and seems a bit soulless. There is no nice shady place to relax.
Making laundry without a machine
Our modern accommodation had a big advantage. There was hot water for laundry. There is not a single washing machine in Old Town that we could use. The only laundry-service with coin machines was closed every day. In direct neighborhood we found a laundry service, but because we had the possibility, we decided to try it ourselves. Detergent is sold in every shop for 10 Bath, enough for 2-3 washes. We did our hand wash in the sink and this worked really well. We also bought our clothesline in Old Town, because we found a good place between the steel pillars at Malee Sirin. The staff even praised us for our construction and fortunately the clothes dry very fast in the sun.
Lovely people in Koh Lanta Old Town
Afterwards we were very hungry and decided to go to the street kitchen. It is located a few meters before the Malee Sirin, across from the post office and convinced us not only in the price. The food is cooked with love and the family that runs it is just as lovely. We have taken the owner and her three daughters into our hearts.
Therefore we ate almost daily a vegetarian Kao Tom Soup, a Pad Thai without shrimps or meat or a rice dish with fresh vegetables. The vegan dishes cost only 50 Baht and can easily compete with the restaurants in the town. We also learned a lot about local herbs and their taste, even if we didn’t know their names. Once again we talked with our hands and feet. She uses vegetables and herbs from her garden. From time to time we had a banana from her own plant. The choice was limited, because we neither eat fish nor meat. But there are some really good restaurants in Koh Lanta Old Town.
We were not only invited to dinner, but also felt a little bit like locals after a few days. Sometimes we were embarrassed when people thanked us for having stayed with the villagers. This “thank you so much for your time” we don’t know from Germany.
Chinese flair in Koh Lanta Old Town
In Koh Lanta Old Town there are many day trippers, only a few stay longer in the beautiful guesthouses right by the water. It is not close to the beach, but the old town is attractive, offers interesting shops with handmade products and great restaurants with large terraces on the sea.
Old Town was once a trading hub and a fishing village. The buildings still show the Chinese influence and some inhabitants have Chinese as ancestors as we have learned through time. Even today you can still see fishermen at work if you get up early enough. In Old Town almost every house is a restaurant, shop or guesthouse. In the evening it gets quiet anyway, because most of visitors go back to the beach, where there is a lot more going on during the high season. Good for us. Since we knew everyone there after a few days, we were several times invited for a drink and a conversation.
Food in Old Town
The food is not only delicious in the street kitchens, also in the old town. In Koh Lanta we ate the best curries so far. We often visited Sunee in her “Sunne Place”. She not only makes her own curry paste. In the garden she even presses her own coconut oil. We got fresh vegetables from her garden with delicious tofu. By the way, she is the sister of Man, the owner of EasyLife Bungalows. Here everyone knows everybody or is related to him.
But we also enjoyed sitting on the long terraces of the restaurants with a fruit shake in the evening. Many of them have swings, hammocks or relaxed sitting areas. The range of food is varied. Even a successful pizza baker from Bangkok has ended up in Old Town. The pizza from the imported, original Italian wood oven was really good. For us it was also well above our other budget, but after a month of daily rice, it was a welcome change.
Shopping in Koh Lanta Old Town
Beside the restaurants there are also great shopping possibilities. I was particularly pleased that so much is made here by themselves. They make shell pockets out of rubber and carve bowls or plates out of the wood of the rubber trees. On Koh Lanta many rubber trees still grow in plantations. They are an important source of income for the people. Especially self-made jewellery was sold. We were impressed by an artist who write a whole name on a grain of rice and then use it as a charm. But you even find a spice shop and a yoga café in Old Town. We enjoyed exploring the shops very much. Most of all we remember the warm people and interesting conversations.
Our best hotel in the old town of Koh Lanta
We were so pleased with the old town that we didn’t want to leave Koh Lanta and the west coast seemed to be much too touristy for us, especially in the high season, so we looked for an affordable and tidy accommodation located in Old Town. We found the perfect home for one week. In Sriraya Guesthouse there are only shared bathrooms, but they are new and always clean. Just as great is the room and the whole service. Our host took us to a hidden beach at no extra cost, to the local market for shopping and invited us to dinner.
At this great evening we Germans sat with Thais, French, Italians, British and even Japanese at one table. In spite of these international guests he took us into consideration and prepared for us vegan food. What can we say, the food and the evening were wonderful. It was also one of the cheapest accommodations during our trip. We payed about eight euro per night.
The best at Sriraya Guesthouse comes to the end: Every morning and evening we enjoyed beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the long terrace of the guesthouse. To be honest, I don’t really like the spectacles, but here I even got up in the morning to watch them. This is the big advantage of the east coast. So it was not difficult for us to stay some days without the beach. You always have the opportunity to rent a scooter and drive to the beaches and in the evening you enjoy the peace and quiet in the old town.
Our evenings in Koh Lanta Old Town
Old Town is a good place to stay for a few days. Even if you don’t want to live in Old Town, you might want to take the time to visit this beautiful part of the island. You can put it on a Saturday, when the whole street is closed for vehicles and some street stalls, a Chinese dancing performance and a live band add to the flair. As compensation for the missing sandy beach we relaxed on the sea terraces and enjoyed the wonderful sunset in the evening.
After more than a week in the old town you notice that Koh Lanta Old Town is not cheap. But the prices do not differ from the rest of the island prices. Importing the products is usually more expensive than on the mainland. Koh Lanta is also a popular place to visit so the prices are more expensive. If you always want to have up-to-date information about Koh Lanta Old Town, check out their facebook group.