I had long avoided southern Thailand believing that I would not enjoy the popular tourist destination. I felt like southern Thailand was a place for party style tourists who enjoyed the convenience of stylish resorts at bargain basement prices.
I always believed I was just not a ‘resort‘ type of tourist. But then we went to Koh Klang. Koh Klang was an amazing find just across the Krabi River from the main town of Krabi. What I learned from Koh Klang was that it is indeed possible to enjoy both traditional culture and also the natural wonders of southern Thailand. And as an added bonus you can also avoid the busy tourist area of Krabi itself.
Firstly Koh Klang showed me that I could indeed enjoy a resort, we stayed at Islanda Eco Village Resort – it was perfect. It was not your traditional mainland resort and had only a few bungalows, the location was quite isolated on a small island. Yes, Islanda had the obligatory swimming pool and dining facilities of any modern resort but I think Islanda’s appeal was that it was far from a traditional resort and more like staying in a local village.
Koh Klang itself was a quiet island and whilst it was only across the river from the mainland it was a different world from Krabi. Koh Klang is primarily made up of fishing villages, there are no roads on the island which has the added bonus of no traffic. Well there are roads but what passes for roads are merely paths not much wider than footpaths. Only wide enough to fit a tuk tuk – and only in the one direction.
The island is so small you can ride from one side to the other in about half an hour, although with the oppressive heat this can take a little longer. I seemed to comfortably melt into the resort/village lifestyle and we did not leave the island for a week, simply lazing by the pool, reading by the palms or even more enticing taking afternoon naps in the bungalow after long lunches.
I would be remiss not to mention the wonderful food on offer at Islanda – I have always been hesitant when it comes to eating out in Asia. Not because of the normal food safety concerns – although they are of course there – but more-so for my own dietary requirements. At Islanda I had nothing to worry about.
The resort owners could account for all of their ingredients with most being home grown or sourced from the island itself. The food was an absolute highlight! Everything was fresh and full of bold flavours. Not only could you taste every ingredient individually but it also formed part of an amazing combined flavour – Indulgence. And most importantly, what you saw was what you got. No hidden mystery ingredients masquerading as something else.
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