Back On Lanta

When I had to fly back to Asia to work the Snowman Race in Bhutan I knew I couldn’t go home right after. With winter approaching in North America and Terk the Truck Camper tucked safely into storage it was the perfect time to head back to my pandemic home in Thailand, Koh Lanta.

Beach sunset on Koh Lanta.
Beach Sunset On Koh Lanta

It had been over a year since I left Thailand to return to North America post-pandemic but Lanta still felt like home. Some of my friends had recently left, a few were coming back, restaurants and bars had moved, but the laid-back island vibe was the same. It was good to be back.

Koh Lanta beach view.
Island Vibes On Koh Lanta

I checked into an apartment near the co-working space for 6 weeks, got my old desk back, rented a scooter, rejoined the gym, restarted my barefoot beach runs, and found a few beach bars to work from while watching the sunset over the Andaman Sea. Every day on Lanta was a reminder of how lucky I was to get stuck here for a year and a half during the global pandemic.

Working from Devy Ale Cafe.
Sunset Office View At Devy Ale Cafe

In my first few days around the island I ran into several familiar faces, and after spending the past 8 years traveling full-time it was a unique feeling of coming home. Not only would I be running into people I knew from the pandemic, I was going to have the opportunity to share my favorite island with a few friends when they came to visit too.

Big Tree Beer Garden.
Big Tree Beer Garden – Great Craft Beers On Lanta

Ironically, Bryon and Meghan from the Snowman Race were heading to Lanta, so obviously I offered to show them some of my favorite beach bars for sunset on the island.

Bryoon, Meghan, and Chris on Koh Lanta.
Snowman Friends Bryon And Meghan

Next, my co-worker and travel buddy Ryan was working a trade show in Dubai and instead of flying home to Michigan for the winter I talked him into flying east to Asia. He booked an apartment in my building, rented a scooter, and 4 weeks of debauchery ensued.

Chris and Ryan on Koh Lanta.
Nothing Can Go Wrong Here…

While most of the island felt much the same, one thing was different. The Muay Thai fights were back on. Each Friday a Hilux drove up and down the main road with speakers blasting “Big Fight. Big Fight. Tonight. Big Fight. Tonight” so after living in Thailand with a Muay Thai educational visa during covid I was finally able to experience an actual fight night. After watching several rounds I was happy that my Muay Thai visa was more for convenience than sparring.

Muay Thai fight night on Koh Lanta.
Fight Night On Lanta.

As if life on Lanta wasn’t idyllic enough, I talked Ryan into booking a “vacation” on Railay Beach. The last time I was there me and my buddy Rohan visited during the pandemic and it was incredible. I was looking forward to seeing it again.

Boat at Railay Beach, Thailand.
Boat On Railay Beach

Railay was a bit busier than last time, but it was still chill enough that I could work from an oceanfront table in the morning and rent a paddle board to explore the bay in the afternoon. As much as I love Lanta, Railay without the normal hoards of tourists gives it a run for the money.

Working from Railay Beach.
Beachfront Office In Railay

With our “vacation” over it was time to return to island life. The drive back to Koh Lanta on 125cc scooters in the rain with a bit of a flu bug was fairly inconvenient, but travel isn’t really exciting until you have some challenges, and those often end up being the best stories.

Parrot in Railay Beach.
Parrot In Railay

The best part of being back on Lanta was reuniting with my pandemic family. The day before I left Kevin and Ophelia arrived and we spent the afternoon with Nicha, Sabina, and several more KoHub friends. I would have loved to stay for the holidays with everyone but I had other plans, so I packed my bag and joined Ryan in a van back to the airport for our next adventure.

Koh Lanta Reunion.
Koh Lanta Reunion

At this point in my travel life I love moving around the world but I very much don’t love 24+ hour travel days. Ryan and I were heading back to the States and to break up the flights home we decided to spend a couple days in Tokyo, a perfect travel stop before crossing the Pacific.

Ramen Shop in Tokyo.
Traditional Ramen Shop In Tokyo

We stayed in Shinjuku, a great place to base and walk around the city or get lost in Golden Gai at night. I took copious photos of vending machines and then spent a day visiting the Aquarium Art Museum before hopping my next flight home, back to Indiana for the holidays. It was a quick few months in Asia, but I was looking forward to more adventures in the New Year!

Christmas at the Aquarium Art Museum.
Aquarium Art Museum at Christmas

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