Ko Lanta is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, which is yet to experience the immense momentum of development and commercialization as islands like Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui. Ko Lanta is in Krabi area, not far from the land, and the arrival to the island is easy and convenient. This makes Ko Lanta an ideal vacation destination for those who finished hiking in the southern area. In my opinion, Ko Lanta will be one of Thailand’s next hot trends.
Ko Lanta is comprised of several islands including two that are the largest in the area – Ko Lanta Noi, which means ‘the small Ko Lanta’ and Ko Lanta Yai, which means ‘the big Ko Lanta’. ‘Ko Lanta Yai’ (the big) is the island that features beaches, hotels, resorts, restaurants and other tourist attractions and activities, hence this review refers to it; I will simply refer to it as Ko Lanta.
The island is not small – some 30 km long and 6 km wide. On its eastern side you’ll find mostly small villages of locals, including “sea gypsies”, and Krabi old town, which is a lovely tourist attraction I will elaborate later and in a separate article.
Ko Lanta Beaches – are mostly found along the western side of the island (Sunset side), so you can enjoy the spectacular sunsets. The beaches start on the northern side of the island, where the main village Ban Saladan is situated, as well as the ship pier. The beaches continue along the entire western coast, to Ko Lanta National Park on the very south of the island.
Most Ko Lanta beaches are white and sandy, lovely and pleasant, with clear and clean water. Some of them are longer, stretching along several kilometers, while others are shorter, at smaller bays, mostly in the southern part of the island. The total length and width of beaches is impressive, so you won’t feel crowded on the beach, regardless of the season; anyone who seeks a quiet, secluded spot on the beach can find one on the island.
Along the beaches you’ll find various hotels and resorts of all types and classes – from the luxurious Pimalai hotel, through neat boutique resorts and on to humble beach bungalows. You’ll also find various restaurants, pubs, shops, massage centers, markets and more.
♦ For a detailed review of Ko Lanta -> Click here
Hotels and Resorts – Most accommodations are on the various beaches, between the road heading south and the beach, with direct access to the shore. However, some resorts are located on the other side of the road and lack such access so make sure to check it first. Most hotels/resorts are in the northern / central parts of the island, Khlong Dao, Long Beach, Khlong Khong and Khlong Nin beaches. The more you head south, the smaller the number of resorts, shops and restaurants you’ll find.
So, if you are looking for the more active part of Ko Lanta, make sure to choose a resort in the north, and if you’d rater a more secluded atmosphere, peace and quiet, you should pick a resort in the south.
FYI: travelling in Ko Lanta is rather easy (using a scooter, tuk-tuk or a car), so you can get from any resort to other parts of the island rather easily.
Restaurants, Pubs, Massage Parlors, Shops and More: Ko Lanta doesn’t have a city or even a town. Up in the northern part of the island there’s an area called Ban Saladan close to the pier, which is the main ‘village’, where you’ll find bank branches, various shops, guesthouses, markets, pubs and lots of restaurants. Additionally, along the road heading south, in the western side of the island and along all beaches, you’ll find lots of shops, restaurants, massage centers, clubs, pubs and diving clubs – those are clustered next to the different beaches and vary in their nature and atmosphere.
Nature & Atmosphere: Ko Lanta is a quiet, laid back island, with a local atmosphere encompassing beautiful beaches and spectacular sunsets. Most tourists here are Anglo-Saxons and many of them come from Scandinavia.
The island is mostly fitting for those seeking calmness and relaxation in a laidback island, which offers great beaches, quality diving and snorkeling, traveling in nature and enjoying the evenings in one of the pubs on the beach, or dinning in one of the excellent restaurants. You won’t be finding noisy nightspots and men’s clubs around here.
The island is fitting for all ages, individual travelers, couples and families – from a very young crowd, through families to older tourists – anyone can find his attractions here.
Activities & Attractions:
The main things to do here are hanging at one of the excellent beaches or hotel pool, hiking in nature (at the local National Park), diving, snorkeling in various small islands close by, visiting the Old Town etc. During the evenings you can enjoy many markets, pubs, fire shows on the beaches, and various restaurants. Ko Lanta features some of the greatest Scuba diving sites in the world – Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Ko Ha and more.
♥ The picture on the right was taken by one of our travelers who took my recommendation for a family vacation in Ko Lanta right after their “coast to coast” tour.
This review was written on December 2018, when no active attractions as ziplines, water parks etc. were available in Ko Lanta, but you won’t be finding these things in most of the islands and beaches of Thailand anyway; just in heavily toured destinations as Phuket, Ko Samui and Hua Hin.
♦ Follow this link for my review of Ko Lanta Travel Guide attractions and activities -> Click here
The season in Ko Lanta: the high season in Ko Lanta, as in other destinations on the western side of island (Andaman sea) begins on late October and ends around mid-May. If you get here off-season, it’ll be quieter with less restaurants, pubs and businesses open.
Ko Lanta Travel Guide In conclusion: Ko Lanta is a lovely island with a laid-back atmosphere and spectacular sunsets, which is yet to experience the immense momentum of development and commercialization as islands like Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui. The arrival to the island is easy and convenient, and while it is as developed as Ko Chang, it offers better beaches, a wider variety of accommodations and far greater snorkeling and diving opportunities. This travel destination is suitable for families and couples of all age groups. The easy arrival makes it an ideal vacation destination for those who travelled in the south and would like to finish off with a calm, quality vacation.