This post was last updated on February 18th, 2020 at 01:39 pm
Koh Lanta may not have snow-white beaches such as the nearby Koh Phi Phi, but it does have another important feature and that is that the beaches are much quieter here. Koh Lanta is located near Krabi in the Andaman Sea, which guarantees beautiful photos. The largest island of the 50-island archipelago offers the longest beaches of all and offers enough entertainment for every type of traveler!
Not everyone who goes to Thailand comes to Koh Lanta. For those who do go there we will give you some useful tips and travel information on this page:
Our Experience on Koh Lanta
Unlike many other islands in the region, Koh Lanta, which is officially called Koh Lanta Yai, is fairly quiet. We came from Koh Phi Phi and the difference is huge; it is much quieter here. It is especially popular with families. You will not find discos and girly bars on the coast here (yet).
TIP – Rent a scooter and explore the island. There are plenty of hidden places!
Koh Lanta is also a wonderful island to relax. Everything here moves in a typical Asian way, which means not too fast. All this creates a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. In addition, Koh Lanta also has beautiful beaches, many of which are real beaches instead of refined entertainment areas. We planned to stay for 2 days on Koh Lanta but ended up staying for 3 because the atmosphere is so relaxed.
The 5 Most Beautiful Beaches on Koh Lanta
On an island, you cannot escape from the beaches. Koh Lanta has the longest beaches in the area. They call this island Pulao Satak which means “Island of the long Beaches”. Most long beaches are on the west coast. Here we give you the best tips about the beaches of Koh Lanta.
1. Klong Dao Beach
According to many, this is the most beautiful beach on Koh Lanta. And that is understandable because it is really very beautiful. The beach is not as white as on other tropical islands, but the area is beautiful.
The beach becomes very wide at low tide and the water is very clear. Not crystal clear, but still good for a nice scuba diving or snorkeling session.
Klong Dao has accommodations for all types of travelers. You will find budget accommodations, many with their own swimming pools, and exclusive resorts. However, Khlong Dao is far from over-developed, as resorts are not allowed to build on the beach any higher than tree height. This keeps them out of sight, keeping the beach nice and quiet.
TIP – The beach can be found on the west coast of the island.
2. Phra Ae Beach (Long Beach)
This is the longest beach on Koh Lanta in the north. The special feature is that it borders on Klong Dao Beach. The water is beautiful here, but not as clear as at Klong Dao Beach.
For a nice and relaxing day, this beach is a good choice, because with 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of beach you will always find a deserted stretch where you can place your towel. In the evening, when the sun almost sets, this beach is absolutely beautiful.
You will find the beach about a 10-minute drive from the village of Saladan, where the ferry arrives. The golden sandy beach has been attracting visitors for years. This beach is especially popular with families and couples because it is nice and quiet.
TIP – Gooddays Lanta Resort is a nice little resort (800 baht, US $26.10, in the offseason).
3. Klong Nin Beach
Not the most famous beach of Koh Lanta which makes it nice and quiet. It is a large beach surrounded by rocks. Klong Nin is a small village in the middle of Koh Lanta, about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) or half an hour’s drive from Saladan.
The fine white sandy beach stretches for a few kilometers and has a calm, relaxed atmosphere.
The sea is great for swimming and along the beach, you will find the famous umbrella tree of Koh Lanta (bai toey). If you like parties, Klong Ninook is the best place.
4. Bamboo Bay (Beach)
Bamboo Bay is the furthest beach, a 40-minute drive from Saladan. This bay is the definition of a secluded beautiful beach. Until recently, there was not even a paved road to Bamboo Bay, and although there is now, it is still the quietest and one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Lanta.
If you are looking for how Thailand looked like 20 years ago, Bamboo Bay is the place to be. Bamboo Bay has crystal clear water and a fine white sand beach with only a handful of simple resorts spread across the bay.
It is surrounded by mountains covered with rain forests. Because of its location, it is still an unspoiled paradise.
TIP – You can find Bamboo Bay here.
5. Kantiang Beach
Kantiang Beach is regularly mentioned as one of the best beaches in Thailand. It is located at the southern end of Koh Lanta, a 45-minute drive from Saladan. Because it is at such a great distance it is much quieter than Klong Dao or Long Beach.
This beach is not white, but beautiful gold of about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long.
The crystal clear waters of Kantiang Bay create the tropical feel. Surrounded by palm trees and the mountain range, this beach enjoys a breathtaking location. Even on a busy day, you will only find a handful of people here.
It is a perfect choice for honeymooners and couples who want to stay away from the masses of people.
TIP – Check out Amazing Lanta for more info.
10 Fun Things to Do on Koh Lanta
There is not much to do on this island. Most people just come here to relax on the beach. However, those who enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling can really enjoy themselves here. A few of Thailand‘s best diving spots are within reach of Koh Lanta. Yet you can easily enjoy yourself here for a few days without just lying down on the beach. These are the 10 best things to do.
1. Visit Lanta Old Town
Until 50 years ago this city was a kind of business center on the island. Traders in the area came all the way from China or Arab countries and today you can still see their impact in this small, beautiful city.
The city is considered a cultural highlight of the island and features a Buddhist temple, a Chinese temple, and old Thai wooden houses. Here you will also find a number of the major festivals on Koh Lanta.
If you plan to explore eastern islands such as Koh Nui, Koh Por, Koh Talabeng, Koh Kam, or Koh Bubu, the old town is the ideal place to book an organized tour or a private tour with a long-tail boat.
2. Explore the Underwater World
Scuba diving and snorkeling are some of the best ways to spend your day here. Koh Lanta is known as the paradise for divers and snorkelers, especially in the south of the island. The sea is clear and the water is always nice and warm, which makes it ideal to discover the beautiful underwater world.
You can rent snorkel gear anywhere on the island and dive into the water. Usually, you rent these for around US $6 a day. You can rent the gear at any ho(s)tel. You can also book a diving lesson at one of the many diving schools on the island.
The best places to dive are Hin Muang and Hin Daeng. You come here by sailing a speedboat for about 45 minutes.
TIP – For 2 diving sessions you pay between 3,000 and 3,500 baht (US $98 to $114). You pay around 14,000 baht (US $457) for a PADI Open Water Diver. Check out Dive And Relax for more info.
3. Relaxing at Sunshine Hill Viewpoint
Along the coast of the island, you will find many cafes that are built against or on a cliff. Many of these will give you a beautiful view of the ocean. Every time we saw a cafe with a view, we immediately stopped to relax with fresh fruit juice or delicious coffee.
You shoot a few photos, get on the scooter and ride to the next one! Sunshine Hill Viewpoint was our favorite on Koh Lanta because the water had great colors. An ideal place to do nothing at all!
4. Watch the Sunset on a Quiet Beach
What could be better than sleeping on a tropical island, enjoying the beautiful weather, snorkeling a little during the day and seeing the sky turn orange in the evening during an impressive sunset? We are absolutely beach people and always try to catch a sunset; it doesn’t matter where we are.
On Koh Lanta, you can see very beautiful sunsets. And the great thing is that you don’t have to look far because there is always a beautiful beach nearby. Buy a beer, drive to a deserted beach and watch the sun go down. You will not be disappointed!
TIP – Klong Nin is a good beach for sunsets.
5. Explore Koh Lanta National Park
The National Park is located on the southernmost tip of the island and has a beautiful landscape. A walk through the park takes about 1.5 hours and takes you past different types of trees, plants, and of course many monkeys.
The beaches on either side of the lighthouse are beautiful. There are beautiful paths that run along coconut palm trees. You can easily walk a whole day here. Rent a scooter and plan a day at the National Park.
TIP – Entrance is 200 baht (US $6.50) p.p.
6. Visit the Emerald Cave
Another unique place to visit is the Emerald Cave, only accessible by boat. The entrance is in emerald green water. It’s pretty weird because you “have to” swim inside and swimming into a dark hole is not something you do every day.
It is only a two or three-minute swim. You need a flashlight to see something (incl. in the tour). Once you have swum into the cave you will come to a small lagoon and beach surrounded by rocky cliffs. Magnificent!
TIP – On the Four Island Tour you also go to the Emerald Cave (1,700 baht, US $55.50 p.p.)
7. Relaxing at the Klong Chak Waterfall
Just like on Koh Phangan you will find different waterfalls on Koh Lanta. The Klong Chak waterfall is hidden in the jungle. You have to walk a bit along a river that finally ends up at the waterfall.
There is not much water during the high season; the waterfall is most impressive in the rainy season. The crystal clear water in the pool below the waterfall is great for swimming.
TIP – Just around the waterfall you will also find the Klong Chak Cave.
8. Go island Hopping
Around the coast of Koh Lanta are a number of beautiful small islands. Thailand would not be Thailand if you cannot book an Island Tour to visit these islands; this is also the case on Koh Lanta. You can book different tours and visit different islands.
It is a great experience to sail past all the small islands.
The most famous tour is the 4 Island Tour. The islands you visit are Koh Cheok, Koh Mook (Emerald Cave), Koh Kradan, and Koh Ma. This costs 1,700 baht (US $55.50) per person. Other famous tours are;
- Koh Ngai & Koh Talabeng (750 to 1,500 baht)
- Koh Rok Snorkeling (900 to 1,700 baht)
TIP – Check Opal Speedboat for more information. You can choose a speedboat or a long-tail boat. We personally liked the latter more!
9. Relax at the Beach
You don’t always have to do something. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand are on Koh Lanta and the surrounding islands. Here you can easily relax a whole day at the beach. Certainly, on the more famous beaches mentioned above, there is something to do all day.
Take your towel with you, occasionally drink at one of the beach bars and in the evening you eat fresh fish on the beach and then you watch the sun go down. You go to bed tired but satisfied!
10. Rent a Scooter
Renting a scooter is always a good idea, provided you have the necessary experience of course. It is by far the best way to discover Koh Lanta. It is a fairly large island and with the scooter, you can easily explore a large part of the island.
You can drive endless stretches along deserted beaches, through beautiful mountain passes, or through small villages.
In general, the roads are fine, only in the south, they are more hilly and winding, but easy to do. You can rent scooters almost everywhere. Most hotels rent out scooters and otherwise, there is always someone who knows where you can rent one.
TIP – The average price to rent a scooter is 250 baht (US $8.10) per day. It will be cheaper if you rent a scooter for several days.
Life on Koh Lanta
Whereas at Koh Phi Phi or Krabi the limestone and karst formations dominate the views, Koh Lanta is remarkably flat. On the other hand, it is forested. You can explore this 25-kilometer-long (15.5 miles) island with a scooter. Along the way, you will come across many different cultures with here and there a temple in one of the forests.
The locals mainly enjoy fishing, agriculture, and tourism. They can only benefit from tourism for a short time because the season on Koh Lanta is relatively short. You should come here between November and April. After that, the sea and the weather become restless, making the island difficult to reach.
Best Time to Visit Koh Lanta
The best time to visit Koh Lanta is from November to March. In these months, the least rain falls and the temperature is pleasant. In addition, the sea is the calmest during these months, which is ideal for diving and day trips. The most rain falls from May to October.
TIP – Please note that some resorts will close between May and October due to the weather.
How to Get to Koh Lanta
From Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lanta
Boats between Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta only sail between October and April. They leave between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The boat trip takes only 1.5 hours and costs you around 250 baht (US $8.10). If you book a speedboat you pay at least 700 baht (US $23).
From Krabi to Koh Lanta
Boats depart from Krabi’s Khlong Chilat pier between 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Cost for the crossing is 400 baht (US $13) and it takes about 2 hours.
From Phuket to Koh Lanta
Several boats depart from Phuket each day to travel between Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta. A boat trip from Phuket to Lanta costs around 700 baht (US $23).