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An idyllic island paradise, Koh Lanta has gained popularity for its relaxed atmosphere, beach bumming lifestyle, national park, heritage town and close proximity to a host of other Thai islands with rich marine life and famous diving and snorkelling spots.
Long Beach is a 4-kilometre strip of sandy beach is fringed by tall pines and is where most of the action happens. It is the most developed beach but still wide and open enough to not feel too over-crowded, with lots of accommodation and restaurants choice amongst the trees by the beach, making it a popular choice for families.
Klong Dao Beach
Klong Dao is located near Ban Saladan village, has shallow waters, white sand and is full of resorts and hotels, making it another favourite for families.
Ba Kantiang Beach
Further south is the second most popular Ba Kantiang Beach where you can often find live music in the evenings and good dining options. This golden sand strip stretches for nearly 2 kilometres, and its crescent-shape makes for clear calm waters and great swimming conditions.
Klong Khong Beach
Klong Khong has the reputation for being the “party beach” of the island, where most of the Koh Lanta nightlife is centred. This beach attracts many backpackers who want to experience a more chilled version of a half-moon party than the likes of those on Koh Phangnan.
Klong Nin Beach
Klong Nin is a more peaceful beach further south with a village feel to it and a few restaurants and bars. The sea is great for swimming and the beach is lined by native Umbrella trees which offer much-needed shade from the blistering sun. With a mountain and tropical rain forest backdrop, the natural scenery is exceptional.
Bamboo Bay is a secluded crescent-shaped southern bay wedged between cliff walls and backed by jungle. It is only accessible by dirt road and remains largely unspoilt with only a few nearby resorts.
Klong Jark Beach
This beach is long, sandy and peaceful with a nearby bohemian cafe. Nearby is a small waterfall takes about 30-minutes on foot to get to. Be sure to visit during the rainy season because it runs dry for the rest of the year.
Ao Nui Bay
South of Ba Kantiang is the stunning yet tiny Ao Nui bay. This hidden gem is only accessible by foot down a steep path for about 100 metres. This idyllic beach remains undeveloped due to its hard-to-get-to location and is the perfect hideaway with only one bar to refresh visitors.
Saladan Village is the bustling entry point to Koh Lanta with a small beach where all the boats moor. It has a large array of restaurants built on stilts over the sea and offers sensational views onto neighbouring island Koh Lanta Noi.
Kawkwang Beach is located in the north close to Saladan Pier. This long stretch of beach is set in a small cove with white sand and shallow aqua water. The currents are generally calm, making it ideal for families with small children to swim
Koh Lanta Old Town
Koh Lanta Old Town is a quaint and relaxed place to visit. It was once a trade route for Chinese merchants between Phuket and Penang in Malaysia. You can still see the Chinese influence today with charming stilted teak houses sitting over the water with walk bridges connecting them and red lanterns hovering in the wind. Enjoy a local lunch in one of the many restaurants in the town and walk around this old-fashioned sea village.
Lanta Animal Welfare Centre
It’s worthwhile paying a visit to Lanta Animal Welfare Centre. This non-profit organization helps stray dogs and cats on the island. They operate a “kitty cafe” where you’ll find feline friends that kids can play with, and all proceeds will go to the shelter. You can also volunteer and help out by walking dogs or donate or sponsor an animal in need.
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Mu Koh Lanta National Park with its hiking trails and long stretches of deserted beaches for a small entry fee of 200 baht. It’s a great idea to head up to the lighthouse which offers one of the best panoramic viewpoints on Koh Lanta. But beware of the monkeys! They are bold so don’t travel with food or anything shiny unless you want a troop following you. Take a guide or go independently and trek to Khlong Chak Waterfall in the national park.
Thung Yee Pheng Mangrove Forest
To Koh Lanta’s northeast coast, not far from Koh Lanta No is the Thung Yee Pheng mangrove forest. Mangrove trees and their far-reaching root crave out a system of tranquil streams and rivers to cruise along. Spend a few hours in a boat, go mangrove kayaking or stay at a floating homestay.
Khao Mai Kaew
Go cave exploring at Khao Mai Kaew which will require a tour guide as solo trips are not permitted. This adventure is not for the faint-hearted with a demanding trek involving slippery and muddy surfaces, crawling through wet dark enclaves, climbing ladders and going across rickety bamboo bridges. You are bound to encounter large siders, bats and other critters along the way but it worth it because once you reach the cave, you can cool off swimming in the cave pool surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites.
Four Island tour
One of the top attractions in Koh Lanta and one of the best day trips is a four island tour. These tours visit the islands of Koh Chuak, Mook, Kradan, and Ngai where you can snorkel and swim and include a visit to the remarkable Emerald Cave and its not-so-secret vivid green lagoon on Koh Mook that is reached by swimming through an eery pitch-black 80-metre long passageway with your tour guide leading. Make sure you add this into your Koh Lanta itinerary.
An idyllic island paradise, Koh Lanta has gained popularity for its relaxed atmosphere, beach bumming lifestyle, national park, heritage town and close proximity to a host of other Thai islands with rich marine life and famous diving and snorkelling spots. Windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, sailing and heading out on a catamaran, scuba diving and snorkelling are some of the most popular water sports on Koh Lanta. There are enough things to do in Koh Lanta and fantastic day trips to keep you occupied, should lounging in a hammock with fresh coconut on hand become tiring.
Koh Lanta is more of a laid-back island than other tourist hotspots in Thailand. Koh Lanta beaches are the main attraction for visitors which will be less crowded in general than other islands and one of the best things to do is just relax and enjoy.
Families will enjoy the liveliest beach on the island- Long Beach. The water is very swimmable with lots of activity happening on and around the beach. Time of Lime cooking school also on Long beach offers Thai cooking classes for families. Adults and kids to learn about Thai cuisine and create a delicious meal together. Or visit the Lanta Animal Welfare Centre that is owned by the same owner as the cooking school. This non-profit organization helps stray dogs and cats on the island. They operate a “kitty cafe” where you’ll find feline friends for kids to play with, and all proceeds go to the shelter. The Four Island day tour is another family favourite activity.
People mainly come to Koh Lanta for its slow pace and because they want to relax on the beach. It’s not an action-packed place but there are enough activities to keep you from boredom. How long you stay depends on what kind of holiday you want to have. If its to see and do as much as possible on a short amount of time, then 3 days might be enough, but if you want some serious down-time, then a week or more may suit you better.
Koh Lanta Thailand, is a small island with stunning uncrowded beaches, a historic town, waterfalls, and jungles. It is nearby many other small islands and is a great base from which to go island -hopping. Although it is developed in the north of the island, other parts remain less busy and undeveloped. What to do in Koh Lanta centres mainly around lounging on a beach and enjoying its relaxing atmosphere.
Koh Lanta Thailand is known for being one of the more relatively quiet islets compared to tourist magnets in Thailand like Koh Samui and the Phi Phi Islands.
The Old Town in Koh Lanta is situated in the east on the waterfront. You’ll find it’s heritage dates back a few hundred years from when it was a trading port for merchants from China and Arabia. The Old Town is home to a thriving local fishing community made up of Thai-Chinese and Sea Gypsies. There isn’t much to do here other than stroll, try some local Thai food, fresh seafood and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
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