We spent a night in a real hotel, which was strangely discomforting, in Surat Thani before heading further west to Koh Lanta, which was personally recommended to me by Tenzin. I told him that I was looking for the more remote areas of southern Thailand (at the peak of the tourist season) and he told me that he stood alone on one beach for days on Koh Lanta with the exception of naked Thai children running around playing. The naked children stood as an indicator of the quality and tranquility of the beach, so I intended to search for the same thing (the beach, not the naked children).
The first place we found was straight out of the Lonely Planet guide. Using the guide is too easy and usually results in sub-standard results, in my opinion, but Nemo’s consultation with Lonely Planet referred us to a beach at the southern end of the island called Kan Tiang. We ended up staying at the Kan Tiang resort, even though the bungalows had all been booked to capacity. All they had left were tents, which were 200baht a night and right on the beach. I was excited by the opportunity to try something different, be closer to the nature of the island, and save money all at the same time, but Nemo recoiled at the thought of sleeping in a tent. He flatly refused to submit himself to such outlandish conditions as a tent and looked at me and bitterly remarked “you can sleep in a tent if you want to” as if I suggested we play Russian roulette.¬† So this was our divide, me being happy to have found such a place, and Nemo refusing to consider sleeping in a tent. He searched several other nearby places for vacant accommodations but everything was either full or out of his price range, so he returned to the resort pouty and bitter, silently agreeing that the tent was in fact the only option.
The resort wasn’t actually a resort in the normal definition, which I believe includes various amenities like pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, and so on, but only had bungalows and a bar & restaurant on the beach. The beach there was gorgeous, and the vibe of the place was pleasant, although too much like an actual resort. There were only foreigners there, mostly from Europe (especially a lot of Scandinavians), and the music included hit Thai bands as Pearl Jam, The Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind, and The Goo Goo Dolls. I can’t tell you how incredibly lame it is to hear 90’s alternative rock music on a beach in Thailand. Thankfully, I made the perfect exit.