From Bangkok, we hopped on a plane and made our way south to Koh Lanta. At Bri’s recommendation, we set up camp at Narima for five days and it was nothing short of pure bliss. The service was friendly and hospitable, the beach bar wonderful, and although the rooms could have used a little updating, I truly have no complaints. They consisted of individual bungalows tucked in the jungle with a private balcony, hammock and monkeys living in the trees above. Even in their slightly outdated state they MORE than got the job done. In other words: both Justin and I are absolutely dying to go back.
Located slightly off the beaten path, the island of Koh Lanta is incredibly laid back, filled with backpackers, Europeans and locals alike looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy destinations. Although it’s not quite as picturesque as Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui etc., it has a bohemian that I absolutely loved (and the sights were still spectacular!) When planning our trip, I figured it would be the perfect spot to relax for a few days, and act as a great jumping off point to visiting some of the more popular destinations. In retrospect, it isn’t the most centrally located place to try to island hop, but I really don’t have any regrets as I’m so glad we got to experience it.
Unfortunately, on day two of the island-leg of our trip I came down with a nasty cold (in 100 degree weather no less!), which killed my energy levels and we were unable to tackle as much as we had hoped. In truth, it was kind of a blessing in disguise though. I mean, I can think of a lot worse things than being forced to beach side (coconut cocktail in hand) and watch the waves roll in. And always the eternal optimist, I just took it as a sign that we need to go back! I am absolutely, unequivocally, most definitely not done with Thailand.
Although our island to-do list remains half done, we did still manage a few notable activities. One day we embarked on a four island tour and it was pretty unreal! We were picked up in a longtail boat (a quintessential Thai experience), which took us snorkelling on Koh Chuck, to lunch on the picturesque beach of Koh Ngai, to peek at Koh Mah, and the best of all: the emerald cave* of Koh Mook.
After driving for about 45 minutes with nothing in sight, we finally pulled up to a massive rock formation in the middle of the ocean. We were then instructed to hop out and swim through this small hole in the side of said mountain. After swimming for 300 feet or so in the absolute pitch black (I borderline swam into the wall a couple of times), the cave opened up to expose a white sand beach and crystal-clear emerald coloured waters in the very center of the island. Butterflies were fluttering about and we were surrounded by moss-covered walls. If heaven does exist, it was as close as I’ll ever get in this lifetime, I’m sure. Apparently it’s one of the 7 Thai wonders of the world and the only way to get there is to swim through the cave. It was unreal and absolutely a highlight of our trip.
It’s funny as our timing throughout this tripe couldn’t have been more perfect on a few different occasions. In this instance, we just so happened to be in Koh Lanta the weekend in which they held their yearly Lanta Festival. A celebration of harmony, culture and religion, the streets shut down, vendors moved in, traditional entertainment was conducted and literally everyone celebrates. We spent one evening soaking it all in and it was honestly magical. We picked up some local art, ate our weight in the most INSANELY delicious street food and even learnt how to make authentic pad thai! And although the night markets and floating markets in Bangkok and Chiang Mai were spectacular, this felt real and local and incredibly special.
In truth, it was an experience of a lifetime and met every expectation we had and then some. If you DO make your way there, I hear that the Koh Phi Phi day trip and the “Time for Lime” cooking class are well worth it! Those are just a few of the activities we had on our list that we’ll have to reserve for our next Thai jaunt.
*Bachelor fans: you may remember the Emerald Cave from an episode with Sean Lowe!
With Easter on the approach, I’m doing my due diligence as a good blogger to share a super simple Easter recipe. And though I don’t normally fall victim to the kitchy type of desserts, I have to admit that these coconut bunny cupcakes have been making me smile all week long. The coconut cupcakes themselves are moist and delicious and all sorts of amazing, but the marshmallow bunny ears add that level of seriously awesome that you just can’t beat. Bonus: remove the bunny ears for regular ol’ cupcakes that’ll please a crowd year-round.
Easter has kind of snuck up on us, hasn’t it?! All the same, I’m pretty excited about it. As kids, my family and I would always get together in and around this time to decorate eggs, followed by an enthusiastic egg hunt that always resulted in amazing prizes and goodies to be won. Oh, nostalgia…
As adults living in a big city, I feel like many of us have to resort to other Easter traditions. On my mind lately: a pretty festive gathering! I made these Easter egg place cards (place eggs?) for my guests. They were super easy to do, and made my Easter table significantly more festive. Grab the details below! XO, Coco & Mingo
Large white eggs
Paint brushes (2)
Gold leaf (or gold paint)
Gold leaf adhesive
Sewing needle or pushpin
Glue or tape
1/8″ masking or blue painter tape (optional)
With the sewing needle, poke a hole into each end of the egg. Wiggle the needle around until the hole is just large enough to fit the skewer through both ends.
Stick the skewer inside the egg to pierce the yolk. Then, stick the straw on one side of the hole and blow the inside of the egg into a bowl. (Don’t throw the insides of the egg out! It makes for one heckuva breakfast omelette!)
Rinse, clean, and towel dry the now empty (and fragile!) egg shells.
Wrap the the 1/8″ masking tape around the egg to create a fun and unique pattern. Keep in mind that whatever pattern is underneath the tape will appear white when you remove it.
Paint the egg with watercolor paint, painting over the masking tape and let dry.
Remove masking tape and use a brush to paint the gold leaf adhesive in whatever pattern you choose (or brush gold paint directly onto the egg!) Then let dry for 10 minutes.
Once adhesive has dried slightly, apply the gold leaf and set it.
Use clean brush to wipe away excess gold leaf.
In your prettiest penmanship, write or print your guest names on cardstock paper and glue or tape them to the bamboo stick.
Fit the bamboo stick into the holes in the egg. Keep the bamboo in place by using pretty pastel-colored washi tape to cover both holes of the egg! And voila! You have a fun (and personalized) gold speckled Easter egg for all your friends and family.