A laid back island with a blend of wide sandy beaches and rocky coves, each with their own vibe. Some are dotted with rustic beach restaurants ideal for taking in the spectacular sunsets, while others host bars promoting ‘happy shakes’ and some with live music. Lanta Yai is perfectly suited for exploring.
When people talk about Koh Lanta, they are normally refering to Lanta Yai, the largest of the 52 islands that make up the Lanta district.
Until you get to the southern part of the island the roads are very flat, so it’s a good place to rent your first scooter. It’s a big island with lots of beaches and you’ll cover a lot more ground than you would on foot.
Lanta Animal Welfare
This non-profit organisation treats injured cats and dogs from across the island. It was founded in 2005 by Junie Kovacs with the mission of ending suffering of homeless, abused and injured animals on the island. Since then thousands of animals have been rescued.. The organisation also runs the Animal Welfare Education Programme in local schools to teach children that animals have the same basic needs as people. The hope that this will reduce the cases of animal abuse. The centre is open for visitors who cancan walk the dogs when it’s not too hot or play with the kittens and cats.
Koh Rok Snorkelling
Take a small boat on a day trip to this beautiful island. The snorkelling is off the boat at three different sites. It’s not the most incredible snorkelling I’ve ever done, but it was good fun. The trip includes a big lunch and drinks, all served on the soft white powder sands. There is a 4 Islands Tour available but I thought this sounded a bit too hectic.
HAAD KHLONG DAO BEACH & BAAN SALADAN VILLAGE
Located on the northwest of the island, this first beach area offers easy access to the markets and ferries. Baan Saladan Village is where the ferries arrive from the Krabi main land and northern islands like Phuket. This is the place to do your shopping for the standard souvenirs. The closest beach to the village is Hadd Khlong Dao which is popular with families as it’s wide and sandy. It’s a lovely beach but the whole area is easily the most developed and busy part of the island. Prices for accommodation and food are also slightly higher. This was my least favourite of the areas I stayed and I’d recommend venturing further south.
Stay at Hey Beach Hostel
This is a newer hostel with spacious dorm rooms and super close to the beach. The wifi didn’t work in the rooms further back from the reception area which is sort of annoying, but I guess it makes people socialise more.
HAAD PHRA AE (also known as Long Beach)
A beautiful 3.5 km sandy beach with rustic restaurants set on the sand. This is the perfect place for watching the sunset. They all offer similar things (a mix of Thai and Western dishes) but some are more expensive than others, and all will cost a tiny bit more than eating on the main street (only like an extra 10 baht per dish). This was nicest of the three beaches I stayed.
Stay at Non Le Mer
There’s a communal area which is great for meeting people, clean rooms and free water refills. The bar under the hostel is social, people are here for a few drinks not to get wasted. Friendly staff will help book day trips and onward travel.
HAAD KHLONG KHONG
The beach is not as stunning as others on Koh Lanta but it’s nice and quiet during the day. At night it livens up at the bars along the beach with very obvious advertisements for “happy shakes”, but it’s still nothing crazy. If you want a big parties head for Phi Phi, Patong Beach on Phuket or full moon on Koh Phangan.
Stay at Wayla Hostel
A cosy family run hostel with clean but slightly small four bed dorms. The hostel is very quiet so you’ll get a good night’s sleep, but it’s right near the beach bars if you want to stay out till late.
Koh Lanta is accessed by land and ferry from Krabi, Trang or Phuket airports.
Tourist season is October to April.
Explore the rest of Thailand’s Islands and Beaches.
Visited January 2017