The beginning of November found us still in India and still battling with the High Commission of Cyprus in New Delhi for Ankit’s Cyprus visa. We were due to fly out on the 8th, but ended up having to change our tickets for a week. We had also paid upfront for one week at Pinky Bungalow in Koh Lanta via Agoda, which had a policy of no refunds and no changing of dates. After trying to contact Pinky directly, we were told we had to deal with Agoda, who said there was nothing they could do despite the fact we had sent them a letter from the utterly useless travel agency Ankit was using in Dehradun telling them that the visa hold up was no fault of our own. (Word to the wise: never go with President Travel. You’re better off arranging your visas yourself).
Ankit then fired off a rather brilliant email to Agoda, informing them that they were offering appalling customer service and that we’d never be using them again. I’m not sure whether it was the two words ‘travel blog’ that did it, but we ended up getting a full refund for the days that we missed because of the delay! Thank you, Agoda, for doing the right thing!
We left India on the 12th and spent a heavenly two weeks in Koh Lanta – a Thai island paradise. We found complete and utter peace there, and it was just what we were looking for at the time. We didn’t want to be in an overdeveloped and commercialised island such as Koh Samui, but we also couldn’t be somewhere without WiFi. Koh Lanta offered that happy medium that we needed in order to get some work done and completely relax.
We can sing Koh Lanta’s praises all day long. The island is stunning – beautiful beaches run all around the island, while at the centre there are rainforest covered hills. There’s barely any traffic on the roads, the locals are extremely friendly, and the whole place is just extremely laid back.
We also spent two days in Phuket celebrating our anniversary in a swanky resort. In all honesty, though, we were happy to get back to our secluded island paradise. In Koh Lanta we really felt like we were away from the big bad world. We would recommend this place to anyone who’s looking to completely relax.
Truth be told, we didn’t get up to much over the last fortnight. We worked, we sunbathed, we splashed around in the sea, we rode a motorcycle around the island admiring the scenery, we witnessed the most stunning sunsets of our lives with a coconut in hand. It was the most blissful two weeks, and we were sad to leave.
The month in numbers
Miles travelled: 4520
Number of modes of transportation: 5 (plane, rickshaw, motorbike, minibus, car).
Money spent: $1328 (this is excluding flights).
Number of breakdowns: One. When dealing with the High Commission of Cyprus in New Delhi.
Number of Pad Thais eaten: 12
Number of coconuts consumed: 20
Bangkok (just the airport)
Most popular Instagram picture:
Facebook update of the month:
Meal of the month:
A delicious barbecued fish that we had on Khlong Khong beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand. For around $10 we enjoyed a massive fish, salad and baked potato, and it was divine. This was a close tie with the meal we had at Apsara in the old town – a delicious shrimp hotpot and a glass noodle salad. And it was ridiculously cheap!
Cocktail of the month:
Funnily enough, we barely drank this month. The best thing we’ve had are the delicious coconuts at Coco Lanta’s bar in Koh Lanta. Big, juicy and full of flesh, just how we like em’!
Finding utter peace in Koh Lanta.
Finding the nearest thing possible to a deserted beach in Koh Lanta at Nui Bay.
Celebrating our two-year anniversary in style at the Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa.
Having to change all our dates and travel plans because Ankit’s visa for Cyprus was STILL not ready, despite the fact we applied for it weeks in advance.
Being stuck in a minivan to Koh Lanta for almost six hours while having terrible period pain and desperately needing the toilet.
Least favourite place:
Hard to say because we spent most of our time in Koh Lanta, which we loved, but we have to say that the Mu Ko Lanta National Park was a bit of a disappointment.
Pinky Bungalow in Koh Lanta is a great place to stay. Although Khlong Khong beach isn’t the best on the island, the area is really laid-back and some great bars line the shore. As for the accommodation itself: the bungalows and rooms are all incredibly clean, well maintained and have all the necessities. The pool is great and we had it to ourselves most of the time. And the owner, Mama Nong, is very helpful. We loved it there!
General travel observations:
Koh Lanta is the epitome of a laid-back Thai island paradise. This place is so chilled out it rubs off on you. I saw a tuk-tuk driver chilling in a hammock that he had hung in the aforementioned tuk-tuk.
Books that we read:
Ankit finished The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
I finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found by Cheryl Strayed and Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks.
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What’s coming up in December?
We’ve just arrived in Siem Reap where we will be exploring the legendary Angkor Wat! The UNESCO World Heritage Site extends over approximately 400 square metres and is considered to be one of the most important archeological sites in Southeast Asia. The complex consists of temples, hydraulic structures and communication routes. For centuries this was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom, which ruled over much of region.
So we’ve decided to take a week to see this properly. I’ve personally been dreaming about visiting Angkor Wat for years, so despite the fact I was incredibly sad to leave Koh Lanta, I’m excited to be here!
After that, we may just sit in one place and work for a week or we may move on; we’ve not decided yet! What we do know, however, is that we’ll be heading back to Dubai on the 16th where we will be for two days, catching up with friends and sorting out a few things that we need to. From there we fly to Cyprus to spend the Christmas holidays with my family! I haven’t seen my mum, stepdad, sisters and grandparents in a year, and my brothers in more than a year and a half, so I’m incredibly excited about being home.
We’ll be in Cyprus until mid-January, so I’m looking forward to blogging about the beautiful island that I call home. I’m also looking forward to the following (in no particular order): curling up in the sofa and reading a book by the fire, spending time with my grandparents, drinking Champagne with my bubbly mummy, watching Ankit and my brothers get on like a house on fire, Cypriot food, visiting the snowy Troodos mountains, seeing my sisters, and joking around with my stepdad.