The ambience of the island with its bungalow complexes with direct beach access and the many comfortable beach restaurants makes Koh Lanta to a small romantic paradise. Different from the popular islands as Phuket or Koh Samui is Koh Lanta still in its natural surrounding with its visitors scattered over the many long white and sandy beaches and bays. The big and hilly island is mainly covered in dense jungle. The southern part and 15 additional islands belongs a national park.
During the last years the island changed from a destination made for backpacker's to a place where also families and those who seek a quieter environment feel welcome. Despite the increasing tourism Koh Lanta never lost his typical relaxing island charm. Families feel comfortable when they do not have to send their kids across a busy street. Most of the resorts are situated directly at the beach. The island is about 6 kilometres wide and 30 kilometres long. The prices are in general not as high as on the other islands like Phuket or Phi Phi Islands and there are many excursion opportunities available. The nightlife is however limited and the bars have a more relaxing flair where travellers are sitting next to travellers and have a beer or a cocktail before going to bed early. The village which is called Baan Koh Lanta lies in the southern part and has a traditional local ambience. The other village Saladan is located in the north where most of the tourists spend their day. In Saladan is the pier with arriving passengers from Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands. You can find some smaller shops and restaurants as well as a diving shop here in this little town.
The two islands of Koh Lanta offer besides the nice beaches a good selection of diving spots. For travellers who want to do something different they can take a kayak and explore the different mangrove forests around the island.
The fastest way from Bangkok is with the plane to Krabi. From Krabi travellers will have to take a land transfer to the pier and then a car ferry to Koh Lanta. The other pier is near Krabi town from which a regular ferry will take the passengers to Koh Lanta within 2 hours. The alternative is with a flight to Trang and from there with the car to the pier and further on the car ferry to the island.
Other possibilities are with the train or the state bus from Bangkok to the stations and with a land transfer to the pier where a ferry will bring the passengers to the island.
For those who are already in South Thailand they can reach Koh Lanta from Phi Phi Islands within 1:30 hours and Phuket or Khao Lak within 2 to 3 hours. During the low season the ferry service from Phi Phi Islands and Krabi will be closed.
On the island visitors can lend a motorbike for a few hundred Baht per day.
Diving & Snorkelling
Around the nearby island Koh Rok, Koh Mook or Koh Waen are many admirable coral riffs to be seen. They are partly consisting of hard and soft corals. Besides the corals there are plenty of exotic and colourful fishes to be observed.
One of the best diving site in the southern part of the Andaman Sea are the two under water pinnacles of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang.
The Bu Bu islands and Tung Yee Peng are only two possible destinations that can easily be studied with a kayak. The Bu Bu island is east from Koh Lanta und allows explorers to stop for a pick nick with a great view onto the island of Koh Lanta.
The Tung Yee Peng is a mangrove forest which can be visited effortless with a kayak and gives travellers the chance to learn more about the importance of the mangrove forests.
Ban Saladan, is situated at the northern end of Koh Lanta and has not an attractive beach to offer. Due to the Pier which connects it to the Phi Phi Islands and Krabi, this part is more like the centre of the island. Tourists can find all sorts of goods sold by vendors along the coast. In addition there are several travel agents, diving centres, a small post office and a bank.
Klong Dao Beach
At the Klong Dao beach visitors will find a 2 kilometres long white beach. The southern end of the beach is marked by a cliff and a cape, which can be crossed by foot. The quite beach is relatively plain but deep enough for swimming. At the late afternoons the bungalows serve wonderful fish dishes to a very decent price which is compared to Phi Phi island or Ao Nang in Krabi a lot cheaper. The section is also ideal for kids due to the lack of motorboats. Along the beach there are a couple of bars, offering some nightlife but in an acceptable level.
Phra Ae Beach
The Phra Ae Beach or sometimes just called Long Beach is south of the Klong Dao. The three kilometres long part of the coast is even a bit quieter than the others. The beach offers fine sand and is suitable for swimming. In the southern part are the basic bungalows, a little bit further up to the north of the section the better ones.
Klong Kong Beach
Klong Kong Beach is the southern neighbour of Phra Ae Beach and also three kilometres long. The also quiet area has only basic bungalow complexes which are managed by Thai families and are therefore cheaper than the others.
Klong Nin Beach
Klong Nin Beach is an over one kilometre long beach with some rocky parts and some fine sandy parts. Here are some resorts mainly managed by local families but as well luxurious resorts.
The Kantiang beach is one of the best beaches of the island. The beach lies in a picturesque little bay in which several fisher families have their wooden huts. We recommend snorkelling here along the coast line over its very good conserved coral riffs. The 5-star Pimalai Resort is situated here at this coast.
Klong Jark Beach
Klong Jark Beach (Waterfall Bay) is in the most southern region of Koh Lanta. This section is not easy to reach due to the street that leads to this beach, which is in poor conditions. The environment is fantastic and the atmosphere private, surrounded by pure nature. The beach is clean and good for swimming and the sun set is spectacular. A little bit further inland you will find a waterfall.
As everywhere around the Andaman coast the time between November and Mai is the best time to travel onto the island. The low season starts with the beginning of Mai and the direct ferry from Krabi and Phi Phi Islands will not be running. During the low season there are only a few guests on the island and the hotel prices get dramatically down. The weather is often very good until the end of June with some sporadic showers mostly in the afternoon. This period is especially interesting for travellers who do not spend much time at the beach and looking more for revitalization and a private atmosphere.
From the mid of July to the end of October the weather is mostly rainy and it can rain for many days in a row with only a few short breaks. Due to the strong monsoon with its winds a lot of junk can be washed onto the beaches and bays.