Animal therapy in Thailand

If you’ve been teaching English in Thailand for a while and need a break from children(!), I recommend you take yourself off to Koh Lanta and visit Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) for some animal therapy.  In between teaching placements, I spent a month volunteering at LAW; it was tough, dirty and emotional work, very different to teaching but just as rewarding.  LAW is voted number 1 on Trip Advisor for things to do on the island and this is no surprise.  Visitors are treated to a free 40-60 minute tour of the centre, unlimited cuddles with the rescue cats and the chance to take the dogs for a walk on the beach. 40+ tourists visit the centre each day, many of them coming back several times during their vacation and all of them full of praise for the volunteers and excitement to meet the critters.  Whilst I was scrubbing the cat house I would envy the tourists sat in the sun cuddling kittens and although I’m not in a rush to volunteer again, I will certainly be visiting when I next have a break from teaching.

LAW is voted number 1 on Trip Advisor for things to do on the island and this is no surprise.

My shifts at the centre were 7-1 pm or 1-7 pm and so there wasn’t the time to leave the island, but there was time to visit Saladan Village situated in the northern tip and about 30 minutes tuk tuk ride from the centre. If you do visit LAW it will be via Saladan as this is where all the ferries arrive from the surrounding islands, I went there pretty much every day! Saladan is a very small metropolis of shops, banks, dive operators, tour and travel agencies, pharmacies, massage parlours, tailors and a surprising amount of opticians!

One of Saladan’s biggest attractions is its choice of restaurants, especially as some are built on stilts over the sea and offer breath-taking views over the water and onto neighbouring island Koh Lanta Noi. By far my favourite restaurant was Catfish with friendly staff, a great selection of vegan food (try the tofu noodle soup!) and some of the fattest cats you’ll see on the island!  This is also a fantastic place to watch the sun set and moon rise over the mountains.

If I’d had a particularly gruelling shift I would treat myself with a visit to Serenity Massage and Spa, conveniently close to Catfish. Before I visited Serenity I had sampled some of the worst massages imaginable – one woman was on the phone whilst she walked across my back! Once I discovered Serenity nothing else compared! Serenity is open all year round from 10am till 10pm and is well worth a visit.


Teach to Travel