Hippy Commune and Tiger Cave – Koh Lanta

We quickly grew tired of Krabi and all the Russians (seemed to be there number 1 holiday destination) and went to Koh Lanta for a few days. We wanted to see as much of the island as we could so we rented a motorbike for the day from our hostel for 200 baht. Unlike the dodgy rental guy in Koh Tao, our hostel didn’t ask for our passports or even check the condition of the motorbikes! Marc had met a Russian girl the night before who was travelling alone and was interested in joining us for the day. We had to brake sharly twice for monkeys and snakes crossing the road – it’s not everyday that you can say that!

Marc’s Russian lady friend was staying at what could only be described as a hippy commune. We drove down this random dirt crack and came to a clearing with tiny little bamboo shacks scattered all over the place. The place was very, very strange. She explained that you could work at the hippy commune in return for food and board. 2 hours work got you a free night of accommodation and an another 6 hours got you free food for the day. You could choose the type of work that you wanted to do from bar tending to cleaning to hosting their open mic night. She said some people arrived at the hippy commune planning only to spend a few days and ended up staying 3 months! We went to the hippy commune’s open mic night one evening and everyone was just sitting around smoking and singing along to Bob Marley (although they seemed to be rather unsure of the words).

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The next day we decided to check out one of the many caves on offer in Koh Lanta’s National Park. We decided to go to ‘Tiger Cave’, where tigers were reported to have lived many years ago. We followed the road signs to Tiger Cave and pulled up at this little house at the beginning of the trail, where we had to pay 150 baht each to go into the cave and an extra 100 baht each for a guide. We thought a guide would be a complete waste of money and that we’d be able to find it ourselves with a map. How hard could it be? The guy drew a very, very basic map on the back of the ‘ticket’ which just looked like two squiggly lines.

The guy said the trek to the cave should take about 30 minutes. We walked, climbed, jumped over rocks, trees and streams. 30 minutes came and went and no ‘tiger cave’. The forest had no markers to point you in the right direction. It now made sense why they offered a guide for an extra 100 baht each… We were wandering around for another half an hour before we bumped into two Australians also looking for the tiger cave. We joined forces in the hope of finding the cave together but after half an hour we were still unsuccessful. We just couldn’t understand where it could possibly be. We eventually decided to call it day because we were melting in the heat and decided to go to the beach instead.

N.B. Our Australian friends did eventually find the Tiger Cave! They told us it was rubbish and a complete waste of time so… nothing lost, nothing gained…

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