Koh Lanta is one of my favourite places in Thailand.
Located in the southern region of Krabi, it’s one of the few destinations in Thailand that is not overdeveloped so it has amazing untouched beaches that look out over the Andaman Sea.
Koh Lanta has a relaxed atmosphere throughout and the social life here has more of a hippy vibe. Instead of boozy ‘lady bars’ that you see elsewhere in Thailand, the bars here are more chilled out. Many beachfront bars put on fire shows at sundown, and despite it being very illegal a few of them even have joints and ‘special shakes’ on the menu!
The food here is incredible, although all of Thailand is a foodie destination, I particularly like the south because it’s influenced by neighbouring Malaysia so you can fill up on your fix of Massaman & Penang Curries. And whether you’re on a budget or not, you’ll find the cheapest, most delicious, and most authentic Thai food at the unnamed roadside restaurants.
Koh Lanta is fantastic base to explore the nearby islands and there are many speedboat and longboat day tours available through local agents. It’s best to negotiate deals when you’re here as you can get much better deals than advertised on brochures and online (we did speedboat tours for ฿1200/pp)
Koh Lanta is famous for its fantastic array of beautiful, unspoilt beaches on the west coast. The northern beaches are more developed as they are near the port of Saladan. The further south you go, the more remote and peaceful the beaches become, but also with less amenities. No matter where you are on the west coast, make sure you take a moment to enjoy the epic sunsets each night.
Everyone’s ideal holiday destination varies, and each location has a range of options for every budget. Below is what I would recommend depending on your budget and preferences. See the links for further information on where to eat, drink, sleep and more at each location
|Saladan & Kaw Kwang||$-$$||Divers who want to be close to the pier|
|Khlong Dao||$$-$$$||Families and couples who want to be in the tourist hub|
|Phra Ae (Long Beach)||$-$$||Backpackers and couples who want to be in the tourist hub|
|Khlong Khong||$-$$||Backpackers and couples who want a balance between off the beaten track and amongst some activity|
|Khlong Nin||$$-$$$||Families and couples who want a balance between off the beaten track and amongst some activity|
|Kantiang Bay||$$$-$$$$$||Divers and couples who want luxury and seclusion|
|Lanta Old Town||N/A||Stay over on the West coast as it’s much nicer|
When I mention ‘tourist hub’ it’s means amenities like convenience stores, petrol stations and pharmacies are close by. So it’s not intense like the main tourist areas that you’ll find in Patong in Phuket.
There’s a roving fresh market that moves around the island each day. Everything from fresh produce, hot food and clothing is available. I couldn’t find a consistent time that it’s on each day – but other than the Old Town market on Sunday mornings, I found it’s best to plan to go to the market between late afternoon and sunset.
|Sunday||Old Town||In the morning in the central square|
|Monday||Khlong Dao||In southern Khlong Dao, off the main road just south of Tesco Lotus|
|Tuesday||Khlong Nin||Opposite the Ban Khlong Nin School, inland from Khlong Nin|
|Wednesday||Saladan||Near the bridge to Koh Lanta Noi|
|Thursday||Phra Ae||Opposite the Ban Phra Ae School, between Phra Ae and Khlong Khong|
|Friday||Khlong Nin||Same location as Tuesday|
|Saturday||Khlong Dao||In Northern Khlong Dao, off the main road|