Swiss family Robinson in Thailand

So after a couple relaxing days in my bungalow, I decided to move to cheaper digs for my last night on Koh Lanta. After hearing some chatter about the Chill Out House, I decided to schlep my backpack over to their beach. As backpackers know, it’s annoying to pack up your bag just to move digs for one night so there must have been a good reason. My reason was the Chill Out House was actually a treehouse. That’s right, you got to spend your nights sleeping in a treehouse. Ha, right up my alley. In the end, with my backpacker’s bag, chickens clucking, frogs croaking, and bugs doing whatever they do, it really felt like camping. While I was really worried about the mosquitoes eating me alive, the nets did a great job and I woke up with no new bites.
While this wasn’t the most ideal situation for a lot of people, it was fun for a night. It really felt like a camp out at a hippy music fest as there were lots of Rasta-themed bamboo bungalows scattered through the woods with peace signs and well, everything that goes with that. My day was spent shuffling to the beach to read and laying in one of the many hammocks hanging in the treehouse. Maybe the Swiss family Robinson’s and Robinson Crusoe were on to something after all.

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How to celebrate your birthday on an island

I suppose if I’m doing a solo trip, I should celebrate my birthday by myself as well. I decided to make the day special and find a place I thought would be memorable. Having heard good things about Koh Lanta, I decided to book my own bungalow on the beach and relax for a couple of days.

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At the end of the walkway was the beach. Ahhhhhh!

Koh Lanta was headed into low season, so many of the shops were closing but the town still provided a nice afternoon for a birthday shopping spree. I had snacks at a super nice Thai family’s roadside restaurant and did a lot of smiling and head bobbing with the owner’s 90 year-old mother. I still have no idea what we were trying to talk about but she seemed like a dear.

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My actual birthday was spent in an open air hut on the beach taking a 2-hour yoga class taught by an intense Scottish yogi. It was rather surreal and something I wanted to do while in Asia. After yoga, I wobbled over to an adjoining café for muesli, yogurt, and an Americano followed by a Thai massage. Beach life in Thailand is so great. Everything you want is usually within a 5 minute walk of where you are staying. Life literally consists of a swimsuit, sarong, bare feet, and sunglasses for days at a time.

Feeling the need to do something productive and because I was wildly missing my dog Nellie, I headed over to Lanta Animal Welfare, a rescue and care facility for the island’s pets. They head a huge sterilization program for the island, as well as offer treatment, adoption, and education about animals and their care. After taking a tour of the facility, I walked Carrot, one of the dogs available for adoption, and chatted with a volunteer, also a solo female traveler who was taking a month to work at the shelter.

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Here are some of the other cuties. Seeing them just made me want my dog more 😦

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I spent several dinners and happy hours at Time for Lime, a cooking school and restaurant that sponsors the shelter. The food was amazing, drinks delicious, and view, well that was priceless. I guess if you were to have a birthday by yourself, this was the place to celebrate.

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