Koh Lanta

The Hidden Coral-Lined Beach Paradise Of Thailand

Koh Lanta: Overview

Koh Lanta

Thinking about visiting Thailand? Perhaps you’ve heard of other popular destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. However, have you heard of anywhere called Koh Lanta? Probably not. If you’re interested in visiting somewhere that has fewer tourists while still having the same beautiful coral-lined and palm-fringed beaches and great weather, then perhaps you should check out Koh Lanta.

Koh Lanta is an island with many paradisiacal sandy beaches and natural attractions as well as man-made sights such as temples and shrines. It’s a place where visitors can escape from the constant noise and activity of most big cities with its quiet beaches, remote hillside bungalows, and pleasant weather. This article will help you understand why going to Koh Lanta is worth your time and money.

When To Go To Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta has tropical weather like the rest of Thailand. However, there are many things to consider if you’re visiting during the off-season as some restaurants and businesses close their doors.

Rainy Season

Rather than calling it the monsoon season, locals often refer to it as the “green season.” The months between June to October bring frequent rain showers, with the heaviest storms occurring in September and October.

During the rainy season, only a few businesses remain open. This means you’ll have very limited options for eating, shopping, and sleeping. In addition to the limited range of choices, you’ll also need to get minibusses and ferries to Koh Lanta as boat services stop running around the end of April.

Warm Season

With the return of the warm season comes an influx of visitors and skyrocketing prices for accommodations and activities. The peak months are the ideal time to visit Koh Lanta, primarily because all businesses are open. Having said that, you need to book everything in advance to ensure that you’re not spending hours hunting for a room during your trip.

Koh Lanta is a beautiful destination, but it’s not nearly as busy as the neighboring islands of Phuket or Koh Phi Phi, which means you’re less likely to spend hours waiting in line to enter the temples or explore the nature park.

Transitional Period

The weather for the “shoulder” months between the warm and rainy seasons is usually summed up with one word: unpredictable. There are a number of weeks in May with no rain. But gradually, the monsoon winds bring in an hour or two of rain until it goes longer and turns into storms.

During storms, power outages can become common. Activities like scuba diving and boat trips can also often become canceled or rescheduled. That being said, there are more businesses that remain open during the off-season than during the rainy season.

Best Time To Visit Koh Lanta

November- March

Prices during the peak season are at their highest, with flight tickets and accommodations costing at least double or triple their price during the rainy season. That being said, the peak season is when most parties and events happen, which makes for a great holiday.

Koh Lanta

Key events:

  • Laanta Lanta Festival
  • Loy Krathong
  • New Year’s Eve

June – October

In contrast to the peak season, the prices of accommodations and dining options during the rainy season are incredibly cheap. However, your options are limited. In addition, while you might find yourself alone on the beach, the sands will likely have both natural and man-made rubbish as there are fewer incentives for businesses to keep the beaches clean.

Koh Lanta

Key events:

  • The Roy Lua Floating Boat Ceremony
  • Chulalongkorn Day
  • Asanha Bucha Day

Getting To Koh Lanta

Getting to Koh Lanta won’t give you much trouble. While the island doesn’t have its own airport, it is perfectly accessible by speedboat, minivan, and ferry. As one of the main travel hubs in the region, Koh Lanta is also a great base from which you can launch your trip to explore the islands and beaches set on the southern coast of the Andaman Sea.

From Krabi

The only airport near Koh Lanta is located in Krabi. Once you fly to Krabi Town from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport, you can take a public minivan service to reach Koh Lanta. Most minivans leave Krabi Town every hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you want to get to Koh Lanta without boarding a vehicle with other passengers, you can hire private taxis or private transfers, which can take you directly to your hotel. These are, however, the most expensive options.

From Bangkok

Koh Lanta By Bus

Buses are not the most enjoyable option to travel to Koh Lanta. However, booking a night bus is the cheapest option available. Most buses that travel from Bangkok to Koh Lanta grab passengers along Khao San Road, with each trip costing 750 THB per person. Some travel agencies sell bus tickets for less because they pool travelers together and consolidate.

Bus trips are the cheapest, but they are also the slowest. Buses take a long way south and will pass through the town of Krabi. As such, expect your trip to last as long as 12 to 14 hours.

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta By Train

Much like buses, the overnight train takes half a day to get from Bangkok to Koh Lanta. However, you’ll get your own sleeping space with a privacy curtain and the ability to walk around at night. Some trains also offer snacks and food until 11 p.m.

Once your train reaches Trang, the closest station to Koh Lanta (Still not the best option to get there), one of the train conductors should wake you. From Trang, you’ll need to take a boat to the Old Town and book a taxi to the other side of the island where most accommodation options are located.

Getting Around Koh Lanta

There are plenty of travel options for getting around Koh Lanta. Some options require you to carry an international driving license, while others would only require excellent bargaining skills.

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Tuk Tuk

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Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Scooter/bike rental

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Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Car Rental

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Where To Stay In Koh Lanta

The much-loved island of Koh Lanta, Thailand is known for its laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, and comfortable accommodation.

There are several places to stay in Koh Lanta, but it’s not necessary to stay at a resort or hotel. You can find many budget accommodation options in Koh Lanta that are perfect for backpackers, couples, and families looking to vacation on a budget. There are also plenty of guesthouses and homestays in Koh Lanta that offer a wide range of amenities. Here are the best areas to stay in Koh Lanta.

Jump to location

Klong Khong Beach

Koh Lanta

The Klong Khong Beach is an incredibly beautiful, 3-kilometer stretch of sandy beach located in the heart of the island. The area is rather quiet, with fewer crowds than other beaches. In addition, the location is a great base if you’re looking to reach the north and the south by scooter.

There are plenty of accommodation options along Klong Khong Beach, with rooms in every price range.

The Catch

The area almost always has a relaxed atmosphere, which means there’s hardly any trace of nightlife. While it’s the perfect area for families, it might not be the best place for couples or backpackers looking for a fun night out.

Long Beach

Koh Lanta

The island’s Long Beach is one of the most popular places on the island, which is why it has the biggest choice of accommodation on the island. The options all come in a wide range, perfect for a backpacker, a family, a couple, or even a solo traveler.

In addition to having a wide range of accommodations, the beach has a lot of different restaurants and beach bars serving Thai and international flavors. Countless shops also line the beach’s white sands.

The Catch

Long Beach is a famous tourist destination, which means hotels will likely be fully booked during the peak season. If you’re hoping to stay in the area, it is advisable for you to book your room months ahead.

Baan Saladan

While it’s quite small in size, Baan Saladan is considered the main town of Koh Lanta as it’s where passengers are dropped off before they head to other parts of the island. That being said, many vacationers still stay in Baan Saladan, especially those looking for incredibly affordable accommodations just a stone’s throw away from Klong Dao Beach.

In addition to cheap backpacker hostels and accommodations, Baan Saladan has great nightlife, with plenty of cool fish restaurants and bars lining the harbor. If you’re hoping to shop for souvenirs, there are lovely markets and shopping opportunities in the area.

The Catch

Baan Saladan is not a typical resort area, which means it may not be the perfect place for tourists looking for high-end and luxury resorts.

Klong Nin Beach

Koh Lanta

Klong Nin Beach is a sandy, 2.5-kilometer stretch of beach located on the west coast of Koh Lanta where vacationers can jog and take long morning walks. Klong Nin Beach is rarely crowded, which makes for a great place to lounge under the sun and relax.

There are plenty of colorful bars and restaurants along the sands, some of which fill up in the late afternoon. Towards the evening, tables are set up along the beach, allowing guests to enjoy their food and drinks while watching the sunset.

The Catch

Klong Nin Beach is the perfect base to start exploring the island. It is also full of accommodations in the budget to mid-range price range. That being said, travelers looking for high-end to luxury accommodations likely won’t find one along the beach.

Kantiang Bay

Koh Lanta

Kantiang Bay is another breathtaking destination for a vacation in Koh Lanta. The bay boasts postcard-perfect beach scenery and wonderful seclusion that allows you to fully stretch out on the sand and relax under the sun.

While the area is really quiet, there are plenty of stores, excursion agencies, pubs, and budget-to-high-end hotels and resorts on the beach.

The Catch

There is barely, if any, nightlife in Kantiang Bay, which means you may need to travel to a different part of town if you’re looking for a fun night out.

Old Town

Koh Lanta

Before anything else, we’d like to note that the Old Town is located on the east coast, which means it’s set away from the typical resorts in Koh Lanta. That being said, the Old Town has many hip fish restaurants, quaint cafes, nice stores, and great accommodations—most of which are family-run.

In addition to the charm of this off-the-beaten area, the Old Town also boasts beautiful nature views and mangrove forests.

The Catch

There are no beaches near Old Town. Travelers would need to go to the other side of the island where the beaches are located, which is about 20 minutes away.

Things To Do In Koh Lanta

There are few islands in the world that can compete with the beauty of Koh Lanta. This tropical paradise has everything you could ask for—white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water, lush jungles, and picturesque lagoons. It’s no wonder that this island is a hugely popular tourist destination in Thailand.

We compiled a list of some of the best things to do in Koh Lanta.

Go Beach Hopping

Why settle on one beach when you can explore more in a day? To add to that, where else should you go beach hopping than at Koh Lanta beaches, which are known to have some of the clearest waters and softest sands on the coast?

There are a lot of beaches surrounding Koh Lanta National Park. Here are the best five sandy strips:

  • Klong Toab Beach
  • Nui Beach
  • Klong Dao Beach
  • Klong Jark Beach
  • Ao Mai Pai Beach (Bamboo Bay)

Go On a Street Food Tour

Koh Lanta

Street food offers more than just an opportunity to quench your thirst and satiate your hunger. Street food also represents a country’s culture and tradition through the ingredients, the cooking process, and the flavors of each dish. While many stalls may not have been awarded Michelin stars, they offer some of the best eats anywhere in the world.

Create Memorable Experiences

By this time, you’ve probably spent a lot of time lounging on the beach and trying out traditional Thai dishes. That means it’s time for you to create memories that you’re unlikely to ever forget. Here are some of the most recommended.

Here are some cool things you can do in Koh Lanta:

  • Volunteer at Lanta Animal Welfare
  • Explore Khao Mai Kaew Cave
  • Visit the sustainably built jungle teahouse Asalanta Organic Teahouse
  • Visit the Koh Lanta lighthouse at the Mu Ko Lanta National Park
  • Hike through the Khlong Chak Waterfall and Bat Cave

Travel Guides

Koh Lanta Travel Tips: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “Koh Lanta Noi” and “Koh Lanta Yai?”

Koh Lanta Noi is located in the northern part of the island while Koh Lanta Yai is in the south. Koh Lanta Yai is the larger of the two and is where most accommodations and beaches are located. That being said, the north offers a lot of notable exploration sites, including a diverse landscape made up of mangroves, forests, beaches, and waterfalls.

What are the islands surrounding Koh Lanta?

Some of the smaller islands surrounding Koh Lanta include Koh Ma, Koh Chuek, Koh Hai, Koh Rok, Kong Hin Daeng, Koh Hin Muang, Koh Ngai, Koh Mook, and Koh Haa.

What are other nearby Thai towns to Koh Lanta?

Koh Lanta is about 2.5 hours from Krabi mainland, an hour away from Koh Phi Phi, and three hours away from Koh Lipe.

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