Koh Lanta: Cave Climbing and Sea Kayaking

I somehow stumbled onto what might have been the best day trip we’ve ever done when I found the website for Talabeng Sea Kayaking. The day started early, with the owner Farid picking us up in a songthaew at our hotel just after 8am. From there, it was an almost two-hour drive to where his boat was docked, and we made multiple stops along the way picking up more people for the tour (it maxes out at 12, which is how many we had). The other people were  friendly, and since we were all pretty squeezed into the back of the truck (4 eventually rode inside), that was a good thing!After a short ride in a longtail boat, we arrived at our first destination, Koh Phee or Ghost Island, so called because the rock formation looks like a skull. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but hopefully you can make out the skull shape. Those of us who thoroughly read Farid’s email put on our sneakers at that point in preparation of climbing up inside the skull. At least one person stayed back, but a few people gamely approached the climbing in flip-flops or sandals.

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Farid had put in all the ropes and tires himself, and has tested them very thoroughly and repeatedly. He had several assistants helping us all along the way, and they were all friendly, helpful, and patient. Our first climb was up a tire ladder:

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The cave was very cool, and since Farid scouted and set it all up himself, we were the only ones there. There were a few more climbs, some scarier than others, but I made it through all of them and the views were incredible. We got very dirty and sweaty – it was quite humid in the cave – but it was totally worth it!

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After we got back down to the boat, the crew handed around plates of fresh pineapple. We then cruised to a nearby spot to start the sea kayaking part of the day.

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We both loved the kayaking! I really hope to do more in the future. We kayaked for about 10-15 minutes and pulled into a little cove to enjoy some swimming in the sea. The water felt perfect and that area was rather shallow, so we could stand up if we wanted to.

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After a nice amount of time swimming, we got back in the kayaks and paddled a good distance to a small private beach for lunch. There were some monkeys there, but the crew gave them fruit before setting up our lunch and they didn’t bother us at all.

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After lunch, we kayaked a short distance further into another large cave. Farid had a rope set up there, but he told us it wasn’t safe yet. Another boat of tourists was there and he told them not to go up the rope, but a lot of them did, even some little kids! It was pretty scary watching them, and we left shortly after.

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After we got back into the longtail boat, we made our way back to the pier, and then to Farid’s house, where we could use the facilities and he gave us an overly sweet drink. The songthaew ride back to our hotel was a very long one, but the day was truly wonderful and I would do it again in a heartbeat if we ever return to Koh Lanta.

In the evening, we had drinks at a bar on the beach watching the sunset, then we ate dinner at Pad Thai Rock ‘n’ Roll in town. It was the best Pad Thai I think I’ve ever had! The owner cooks it fresh out in front of the restaurant. Two Pad Thais and a large water cost us around US$4.50.

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