If you are looking for a place to escape the sweltering heat, the bustle and hustle of the city, where the sea is blue, the sand is white, the sunshine is golden with a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere, then Koh Lanta is the most appropriate choice. Koh Lanta has a completely different charm compared to other already overcrowded places. So, is Koh Lanta worth visiting, how to visit Koh Lanta, what to do in Koh Lanta and how to plan a budget trip to Koh Lanta for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Koh Lanta travel blog (Koh Lanta blog) with the fullest Koh Lanta travel guide (guide to Koh Lanta, Koh Lanta guide) from how to get to Koh Lanta, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Koh Lanta to help you maximize your trip as follows!
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Koh Lanta is one of Thailand’s quietest islands located in the Andaman Sea. Because the area of this island is quite small compared to other islands such as Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. So night activities are not really popular and bustling in Koh Lanta. For some tourists, this is a reason to skip this place. But for those who want to have a relaxing space and avoid party activities, this place is ideal. Therefore, the tourists coming here are usually middle-aged and elderly people. In addition, Koh Lanta is also one of the best spots for those who like to participate in scuba diving.
Koh Lanta is the common name of the two islands: Koh Lanta Yai (South) and Koh Lanta Noi (North). Koh Lanta Yai is larger than Koh Lanta Noi. The 2 islands separated by a strait need to take a ferry about 5 minutes, ferry ticket (45 Baht for both person and a motorbike). Almost all accommodation and tourist services are located in Koh Lanta Yai.
Overview of the island of Koh Lanta (#koh lanta travel blog)
Koh Lanta is a small archipelago belongs to Krabi province, in the southern region of Thailand, about 800km from the capital Bangkok and about 200km north of the border with Malaysia. The Koh Lanta archipelago is 27km long and 10km wide, made up of more than 50 different small islands. In which there are two main islands, Koh Lanta Noi in the north and Koh Lanta Yai in the south. These are also two islands that are densely populated and are the main tourist attractions in Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta is located separately from the mainland, consisting of 52 large and small islands surrounding an island district with a total area of 339,843 km2, of which about 134 km2 belongs to the Koh Lanta national park – which was established in 1990. Koh Lanta is divided into five sub-districts: Koh Lanta Yai, Koh Lanta Noi, Ko Klang, Khlong Yang and Sala Dan.
If you are looking for beautiful beaches in Thailand, let me tell you that Koh Lanta has very beautiful beaches for you to swim, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and relax. However, in Koh Lanta without the limestone mountains as you see on most other islands that make this place is less impressive than Koh Phi Phi. Meanwhile, tourists coming here are not too crowded, so it is very suitable if you are looking for a place to experience the quiet space of a Thai sea.
Cultural diversity: The unique feature that makes Koh Lanta more prominent in the eyes of tourists comes from the diversity of many ethnic groups. There are three main cultures that you can discover here: Thai Muslim, Thai Chinese and Chao Ley people. When coming here, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the Laanta Lanta lantern festival in the old town. This is an event that celebrates all people, all cultures on the island, as well as their harmony with each other.
Relaxing atmosphere: Koh Lanta is a paradise of peace and tranquility. And it exudes right from the mellow music played in bars and restaurants. There are very few backpackers gathering all night here. Therefore, the island is very suitable for families, couples and solo travelers who want to find tranquility after stressful working days. You will rarely hear the loud honking of car horns. Here, visitors only have complete relaxation in the subconscious.
Stunning sunset: Many people think that Koh Lanta owns the most beautiful sunset in Thailand. Every day, you can sit on the beach, watching the red sun gradually disappear on the horizon. Depending on the day, the clouds, the scenery here is different. It can be said that this natural light show is considered another special specialty for tourists to love Koh Lanta more.
When to come? (#koh lanta blog)
The good time to come and peak season in the beautiful island of Koh Lanta is from November to April next year. The reason why Koh Lanta island is extremely crowded in that time. It is because of the nice weather with brilliant sunshine and blue skies and fine sand beaches that have attracted tourists. In addition, the clear sea water and the waves crashing ashore are also a highlight that visitors like when coming here.
Around the period from May to September is the low season in Koh Lanta. That’s because at this time, the rains fall on the beautiful island a lot. That has made the trip to Koh Lanta of many tourists difficult to participate, have fun as well as entertain.
Based on the Koh Lanta travel guide and experience of most tourists, the best time to visit Koh Lanta to avoid the crowded peak season and limit going in the rainy season, that is from September to October every year. This time is at the end of the rainy season, the weather is about to turn to sunshine with cool, fresh and pleasant weather. Moreover, because it is not the peak season, hotels and guesthouses in Koh Lanta have extremely friendly prices. You can save a lot of money and spend it on other experiences too!
Getting to Koh Lanta (#koh lanta travel guide)
The nearest airport to Koh Lanta is Krabi Airport. To getting to Koh Lanta, you just need to go to Krabi province. Because this small island is right next door. If you depart from Bangkok, you will have to go about 800km to the south of Thailand. In addition, you can also depart from the Malaysian border about 200km to the North.
First, we would like to remind you that ferries to the island in the rainy season are quite limited. So you need to consider transportation when deciding to come here at this time. If you come from Koh Phi Phi it will take about an hour and a half, from Krabi it will take two hours. The fastest ferry from Koh Lipe to here will take three hours, and even four hours if you choose to take the cheap ferry.
Koh Lanta is connected to the big bridges of Thailand. Therefore, you can use a minivan from Krabi to the island, this journey takes about half an hour. If you start from Phuket , it will take you longer with about four hours of travel.
From Bangkok to Krabi
From Bangkok to Krabi, you can go by plane or bus. Airfares from Bangkok to Krabi are only around 20 Euros. Flight time only takes about 1 hour. Another option when visitors can buy tickets to register for the Island Transfer service at the airport to have a guide pick up and buy tickets to Koh Lanta island, this is a popular way due to its convenient, fast and safe convenience.
If you want to save more, you should go by bus from Bangkok to Krabi. However, it will take you about 10 hours to get here.
From Krabi to Koh Lanta (#koh lanta travel blog)
By road: The distance from Krabi to Koh Lanta is about 100km. You can choose to take a bus, taxi or rent a motorbike to getting to Koh Lanta island. The road is beautiful and easy to ride.
Ferry: Koh Lanta island does not have an airport, two ferries daily connect the island to the mainland in Krabi from November to April at 11:30AM to 1PM with a fare of about 250 baht/person/way. Daily ferries also run between Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Ao Nang. In low season, visitors can still reach the island by minivan and 2 ferry trips.
From Phuket to Koh Lanta
Traveling from Phuket to Koh Lanta it will take longer than from Krabi. It will take about 4 hours to get to Koh Lanta island. The ferry ticket price is about 800 baht/way.
Getting around Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is a small island with few taxis or tuk-tuks like other famous tourist islands of Thailand. Therefore if you want to use those means the price will be quite high. So, to save money you can rent a motorbike so you can explore around the island by yourself. For about 200 baht you can rent a motorbike for the whole day to reach different attractions.
Because the island is also quite large, I suggest people to rent a motorbike to get around the island. Easy and proactive to travel. Or a full-day taxi contract.
Tuk-tuks will get you around for about 2USD/trip. If you want you can rent a motorbike, ($10 in high season or $5 in low season) to explore the island. Getting lost on a few roads is almost impossible and driving along the east side of the island is both beautiful and fascinating.
What to do and where to go in Koh Lanta?
Koh Lanta Island is the best place for you to enjoy life with the vast ocean, you can lie down to rest or read a book on the sun loungers to listening to the waves crashing on the shores. Not only that, this is a separate world where full of sunshine, golden sand where you can participate in sports such as: Scuba diving, sailing, parasailing, surfing, snorkeling… In Koh Lanta, there are famous diving spots such as: Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. In addition, in the south of the island, there is Koh Muk or Koh Ngai, which is the paradise of water rides and activities such as windsurfing, swimming, diving…
Resort paradise Koh Lanta is a place for travelers who want to find a quiet and peaceful space. And the beaches in Koh Lanta are also a spiritual medicine that can easily cure the fatigue of tourists when coming here. It is no coincidence that tourists who have been to Koh Lanta have called this place a paradise of sea and islands. That’s because the beaches here always have a clear and cool color. Perfect for a relaxing soak.
In addition, these beaches are also very suitable for you to do many sports activities such as diving, sailing or surfing. Come to Koh Lanta’s beaches, book a room at the resort and enjoy your stay here!
There are many beaches scattered around the west side of Koh Lanta, some with little or no development. Here are the three most popular options:
Klong Dao: Klong Dao is the most bustling beach on Koh Lanta Island. The proximity to Ban Saladan offers a wide range of places to eat and three 7-Eleven convenience stores with ATMs are within easy walking distance. Suitable for families, Klong Dao has a long stretch of sand with shallow water. Most accommodation in Klong Dao caters to mid-range and higher-class travelers.
Long Beach: Famously known as Phra Ae, Long Beach is the next main beach south of Klong Dao. Budget travelers and backpackers prefer the quieter atmosphere and cheaper accommodation at Long Beach. True to its name, Long Beach has the longest stretch of clean sand on the island and gently slopes, deep enough for surfing. You won’t find a convenient ATM or 7-Eleven on Long Beach, but you’ll enjoy Thailand’s best swimming experience.
Klong Khong: Although this beach is not as great for swimming as Long Beach, it has small and quiet, friendly bungalows – the perfect place to escape the tourists for a while.
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
In addition to relax in Koh Lanta, this place also has an extremely diverse and rich ecological system. If you are a nature lover. And if you want to see the rare animals in this beautiful island. You should not miss the opportunity to explore Mu Koh Lanta National Park. Here, you will find a lot of rare animals and plants that are preserved and grown here!
Mu Koh Lanta National Park with an area of 134 square kilometers. It is a mountainous and jagged region, especially near the southern tip, with many fine white sand beaches. Mu Ko Lanta National Park is a national park in the southern part of Krabi province, consisting of many small islands. This is a unique mangrove forest with rare animals as well as extremely fresh air. It will take you more than 2 hours on the car to be able to visit Mu Koh Lanta National Park although the time on the car is quite long, it is worth the effort when you admire the scenery here with its wild beauty.
You can kayaking to see the clear blue sea below which is the form of coral with schools of colorful fish swimming. The natural scenery around this beautiful, paradise-like island will make you feel very excited. It only takes about 60 Baht to 80 Baht that you can rent a Kayak boat to experience the interesting things here!
At the Thung Yi Peng Ecotourism Village, you can rent Kayak to Kayaking through the mangrove forest. Kayak rental prices vary depending on the time. Prices range from 300B to 600B depending on how long you need to rent. Note in addition, you have to pay the entrance fee to the tourist village of 50B.
Here, you can also choose a manned boat to visit the mangroves. They offer a breakfast tour to see the sunrise. Departure from 5 am. The tour must be booked in advance of the departure date. Price 800B person. And there are tours to the islands.
There are many nice little bars in Koh Lanta, scattered on the main beach and many other beaches, with wooden tables and chairs, soft cushions on the sand. The experience of holding a cool beer, a delicate cocktail in hand while watching the sunset will satisfy all diners, especially in the late afternoon.
You can take a boat tour at Koh Lanta to enjoy the calm blue sea. At the same time, visitors can also go scuba diving, watching each school of tropical fish with all colors schooling around. In addition, visitors can also wave in the middle of the fairy caves, where the sea water is emerald green. This is also one of the impressive highlights of this island for many visitors.
After conquering Mu Koh Lanta National Park. You can look to the beaches to make the experience of diving deep into the vast ocean floor in Koh Lanta. In addition to the rich flora and fauna, in Koh Lanta, marine life is also a highlight that many tourists come to. And the scuba diving experience will be an activity that can help you find the beautiful sea creatures that are hiding on the seabed. Or, you don’t have to dive too deep to the bottom of the ocean. You can still see fish swimming in the clear waters of Koh Lanta.
You can choose to stay in the areas that I listed in the where to tay section. Or at the tourist village Bon VoYoge. I would like to list some islands as below for everyone to refer to and choose a suitable itinerary for you.
- Koh Talabeng: Especially here there is a cave when the tide recedes, you can walk into the cave. And when the tide is high, your friends can dive into the cave.
- Diamond cave: Located closer to Koh Lanta Noi, so if you choose to go to this cave, you can find information in the northern part of the island. There will be cheaper service.
- Koh Por: The island is also quite large, located near the Old town.
- Koh Ngai: If you go to this island, you should Snorkeling in Ko Chueak. Tour price 800B/adult and 600B/child from 8:30am to 3pm, pick up at the hotel. Including lunch.
- Koh Muk: When the tide recedes, the coral reef appear in a very special way with both honeycomb coral and deer horn coral.
- Ko Rok Noi and Ko Rok Yai islands: Located a bit far from Koh Lanta, but well worth the 1-day tour to these islands. Pristine beach, shallow and clear water. More specifically, when it rains, there will be water from the stream on the mountain top of the island flowing down to form a very special thread-shaped waterfall.
- Five island: From Koh Lanta, people can also choose a tour to Five island. It is a lagoon made up of 5 closed islands. Swimming, scuba diving.
- Koh Phi Phi: Contact the tour office’s phone number (+66 )898754938
- Koh Phee Ghost Cave Island: This is the most special island for me. Because I accidentally came to the island that was not on my itinerary. Even so, I found the trip to the island well worth the money. The island is very small, there is no beach, but the whole island is a very beautiful cave. You can google it to find out more.
Lanta Old Town
The last place that we does not want you to miss is Lanta Old Town. Lanta Old Town is a place located in the northwest area of the island of Koh Lanta. It can be said that Lanta Old Town is an extremely attractive place for tourists when coming to the beautiful island of Koh Lanta. Coming here, you will easily find peaceful beaches suitable for watching sunrise or sunset. In addition, in Lanta Old Town, there are peaceful streets and luxurious resorts so that you can enjoy a pleasant stay.
Running along the sea is Lanta Old Town, built partly on land and partly on water. Fishing at the semi-floating village of Lanta Old Town, Koh Lanta is also an interesting experience that you should try when coming here. You will participate in fishing and enjoy typical Thai dishes such as crispy fried fish with Thai chili sauce or Tomyum fish hot pot from the fish you have caught. You can rent fishing rods for from 30 baht to 40 baht for two hours or use the fishing rod you have prepared in advance.
Visiting Lanta Old Town, in addition to enjoying the unique dishes here, can also combine with bathing in Klong Khong beach. Although not as famous as Phra Ae or Kantiang Bay, Klong Khong is a popular beach for locals.
South of Koh Lanta is the beautiful island of Koh Rok. These two islands (Koh Rok Noi and Koh Rok Yai) are not far from Koh Lanta. And is the ideal place for you to participate in scuba diving in 1 day. Specifically, early in the morning, the speedboat will take you to the diving spot. After fully equipped, you will be able to admire a diverse marine ecosystem right under the clear blue water. And don’t forget to bring your camera to capture beautiful moments on this island. You can have lunch right on the beach and return to Koh Lanta at the end of the day. Really this is a very interesting tour.
Visit the old town of Saladan
The town of Salandan in Koh Lanta is located in the north of this small island. The village is located a short distance from the bridge connecting Koh Lanta with Koh Lanta Yai (a small island in Koh Lanta). Here you can see a lot of street food stalls, souvenir stalls, handicrafts made by local people. This is also considered the paradise of street food in Koh Lanta. You can easily come across traditional Thai dishes such as Thai patty, mango sticky rice, grilled seafood, etc., which are quite cheap and cost-effective during your trip to Koh Lanta, you can enjoy them at the same time. Enjoy a lot of delicious food while visiting this old town of Saladan.
If you are tired of going to the beach, you can also enjoy walking along the trails to visit the old town of Saladan. The main town in the northern part of the island, the village is located a short distance from the bridge connecting Koh Lanta with Koh Lanta Yai (the small island of Koh Lanta).
Here, visitors can find local cafes or traditional convenience stores, some of the restaurants are also highly rated in this town.
Like most other islands in Thailand. Exploring this island by scooter is one of the most ideal ways. And almost all visitors to Koh Lanta choose to do so. Scattered throughout the island are beautiful, quiet beaches waiting for you to explore.
Renting a motorbike and riding around in the island is the best option that I have experienced.
Motorbike rental prices here range from 150B to 500B depending on the type of means you rent. And depends on everyone’s ability to negotiate the price. The most common is the click scooter about 150B to 250B. After renting a motorbike, I would like to introduce some beaches for everyone to refer to and arrange in my bike loop itinerary in the most reasonable way.
- Long Beach
- Klong Beach
- Lanta Klong Nin Beach
- Kantiang Bay (Bamboo bay)
- Nui Bay
- Bamboo Beach
- Lighthouse (Mu Ko Lanta National Park) for 200B entrance fee.
- Then run around to the east coast and stop at some viewpoints to see the sea and islands. The water here is emerald green, so it’s very nice to take pictures.
- Going around the island, remember to take advantage of the west coast to watch the sunset. Cliff Sunset Restaurant in Bakantiang beach is a suggestion.
- A special thing in the sea bordering the island Koh Lang is when the water dries up an undersea trail is exposed and the distance from Koh Lanta Yoi island to Koh Lang is very close.
Where to stay?
Most of the places to stay on Koh Lanta are located around Saladan old town. This is a rather luxurious place, so it is not suitable if you are looking for a budget trip. For cheaper accommodation you should head south of the island where has many hostels and guesthouses with quite reasonable prices.
Tourists often stay in the following areas:
- Old town (floating house area): This area has simple amenities in the room, but the price is a bit high. But there is the advantage of watching the sunrise very beautiful. Another plus point is that late at night when everyone goes to bed, the landscape is very quiet and listening to the sound of waves below the floor is so relaxing.
- The beach area is located on the west of the island such as: Klong Nin beach, Long Beach, Klong Khong beach, Kantiang bay,…
If you go alone, choose a hostel where you share your room with others and meet many solo travelers around the world. Cultural exchange as well as language.
Guests can stay at Lanta Palace Beach Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking), this is a place to stay with a swimming pool and a prime location to watch the sunset. In addition, Avani+ Koh Lanta Krabi Resort (Agoda, Booking) located on a private beach is no less luxurious in terms of luxury. With two super large swimming pools located in the middle of the palm forest, creating a sense of separation from the outside world. There is also a pool bar that specializes in cocktails with discounted hourly rates. This is a place where once you arrive, you won’t want to leave.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- The Lazy Lodge (Agoda, Booking)
- Lanta Casa Blanca (Agoda, Booking)
- Layana Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
- Lanta Sand Resort and Spa (Agoda, Booking)
- Rawi Warin Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
- Twin Lotus Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
- Long Beach Chalet (Agoda, Booking)
- Lazy Days Bungalows (Agoda, Booking)
- Lanta Pearl Beach Resort (Agoda, Booking)
Some tips before you go
- Traveling to the sea cannot be without sunscreen. Bring sunscreen to protect against ultraviolet rays!
- Hats and umbrellas are also two indispensable items in the Koh Lanta discovery tour.
- Don’t forget to bring swimwear so you can enjoy the cool water at Koh Lanta.
- If you are participating in the journey to conquer the Koh Lanta National Park, remember to bring insect repellent. At the same time, high-neck socks will also help you minimize the amount of insect bites.
- When exploring the National Park, you should not throw garbage or damage the environment.
- Scuba diving is an activity that many tourists love. But do not break or tear the coral ashore.
- If you see starfish in Koh Lanta. You are also not allowed to go ashore. Because when you catch them, these starfish will die.
- Experience diving or exploring the National Park should be accompanied by a professional guide. You can contact the tour operator for assistance.
- Do not ignore the attractive seafood dishes caught right at the beach of the local residents.
- You should exchange money to Thai Baht before coming to Koh Lanta. If you exchange on the island, maybe the exchange rate will be more expensive than in Vietnam.
- You should buy a 4G sim card to use when coming to Surat Thani. There are two ways to buy, one is you buy first in Vietnam. Second, you can find them at convenience stores or airports in Thailand.
- Koh Lanta is mostly Muslim. You should try Muslim food in restaurants or markets. And of course seafood. As a large island, there are many areas for people to live in. Eating seafood here will be cheaper than in the area with many tourists.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Koh Lanta you can refer to
- Sightseeing Lanta Island Day Tour with Optional Activity
- Snorkeling Tour to Koh Rok & Koh Haa from Koh Lanta
- 4 Island Day Tour by Longtail Boat from Lanta Island
- [SALE] Koh Rok and Koh Haa Snorkeling Experience from Koh Lanta by TTD
- Lanta Island Day Tour with Kayaking Experience
- One Day Trip to 4 Iconic Islands by Longtail Boat from Koh Lanta
- Snorkeling Tour to 4 Island & Emerald Cave from Koh Lanta
- Lanta Thai Cookery School at Koh Lanta
- Snorkeling Tour to Phi Phi Islands from Koh Lanta
- 4 Island Tour to Emerald Cave by Longtail Boat from Koh Lanta
- Tin Adventure Sea Tour to Koh Rok and Koh Haa from Koh Lanta
- Ferry & Bus Combo Ticket from Koh Tao to Koh Lanta by Lomprayah
- Ferry & Bus Ticket from Koh Pha Ngan to Koh Lanta by Lomprayah
Read more Thailand guide here.