Sparkling, azure waters, soft, white sand, a luscious, green interior, endless sun and secluded beaches for days – Koh Lanta is the ultimate castaway fantasy trip. The island is a true paradise in the Andaman Sea. With its unspoilt beaches, exotic marine life and friendly people, it’s clear that this “dazzling island” is the true gem of Thailand.
Technically, Koh Lanta consists of three separate islands, but its collection of idyllic landscapes peppered along the Andaman Sea makes for the perfect sun, sand and sea holiday destination. Less than an hour by boat from Krabi, it’s hard to believe that an island as blissful as this is within such easy reach. From the quaint, teak-wood-lined streets of Old Town and the stilt buildings emerging from the sea in Baan Saladan to the lush, mountainous jungle and the pristine beaches, Koh Lanta epitomises the charm and beauty of Thailand’s rural land and is the ideal destination for a relaxing holiday.
Despite Koh Lanta’s increasing popularity, the long stretches of wide, sand beaches remain mostly deserted, even in peak season. The welcomed feeling of solitude, surrounded by the natural beauty is why this island really stands out. Koh Lanta Yai (often called Koh Lanta) is the most popular and developed island of the three. It is home to luxury hotels, a national park and lively night scene and the most beaches.
The island’s main hotels, restaurants and attractions are located in the north. Baan Saladan, while small, is considered the “metropolis” of Koh Lanta. The busiest and closest to the city centre is Klong Dao Beach. Some of the best villas are located on Klong Khong beach, which has a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. Regarded as one of the best beaches in the Thailand, Kantiang Bay’s crescent shaped beach boasts beautiful golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It’s also home to the island’s first luxury resort and provides visitors with picturesque views, elephant rides and plenty of privacy. The widest and most unspoilt beaches are on the southern end. Klong Jark Beach, with its lone resort, features shallow waters, a stunning waterfall and plenty of activities. Nui beach is even more secluded and only has one bar.
The dense forests, palm-fringed beaches and beautiful coral reef are the main attraction of Koh Lanta. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy picturesque landscapes and endless adventures in one of nature’s best playgrounds. The warm waters of the Andaman Sea are home to leopard sharks, whales, dolphins, manta rays, turtles and a variety of fish – providing Koh Lanta with some of the best dive sites in Thailand. Moo Koh Lanta National Park encompasses the southern edge of Koh Lanta Yai. The reserve is made up of jungles, hills and beaches. The highlight is the Tanod Beach.
Koh Lanta’s Sea Gypsies, known as Chao Leh is a tribal clan that is thought to be the original inhabitants of the Andaman coast. As the primary ethnic group on the island, they have retained their distinct language and traditional lifestyle and customs. For examples of local culture, look no further than the food. With strong ties to the sea, expect plenty of fresh seafood and fruit. Many of the restaurants and bars located in Baan Saladan feature local cuisine as well as typical Thai food. The nightlife, while not crazy, is still fun. People from all different backgrounds and parts of the world gather at the few beach bars, and in sticking to the island’s laid-back style, gaze at the beautiful sunsets while enjoying live music and occasional shows.
Despite its popularity, the sandy beaches manage to remain semi-deserted, even in peak season. Vast expanses of unspoilt beaches beckon visitors who are willing to sacrifice amenities for uncompromised beauty and seclusion.
The island’s picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture makes for unforgettable holidays. Whether lounging beachside or venturing out into the island’s unknown, there are plenty of activities that pique visitors’ interests. Diving and snorkelling are among the must-do activities, however, paddle boarding, surfing, yoga and even cooking classes are very popular.
Things to do in Koh Lanta
For more information about Travelbag’s custom holidays to Koh Lanta, please contact us at 0871 703 4713 Costs 13p/min + network extras and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable experts.
With the hot, humid and generally unpredictable weather in Koh Lanta, it’s wise to bring a variety of clothes to accommodate the ever-changing conditions. Casual, lightweight, breathable clothes are ideal, since temperatures can be extremely hot during high travel season.
At only eight degrees above the equator, the sun here is strong. Protect against sunburn and heat exhaustion by bringing plenty of sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and lip balm.
Bring a small first aid kit with water purification tablets, rehydrating solutions, and other pain medications and antibiotics. Here, insect repellent is essential. Make sure to bring a couple bottles of strong repellent and cream to sooth bites, because the mosquitoes are ubiquitous and persistent.
Pack plenty of waterproof bags to protect personal belongings from the water. A pocket-sized torch is essential. It may also be a good idea to bring a water bottle. Koh Lanta also experiences occasional power outages, so bring back-up batteries.
Koh Lanta has a tropical climate that means that the weather is hot and humid. There are really only two seasons – the hot and dry season and the cool and wet season. However, even the “cool” season is pretty hot, as year-round temperatures rarely drop below 27°C. Daytime temperatures throughout the year average between 28°C and 32°C. The nights are slightly cooler, but not by much. With that said, the weather in Koh Lanta can be extremely unpredictable.
The dry season extends from November to April. This is also the high travel season. Like clock-work, March and April experience a heat wave with temperatures reaching 37°C. So, the absolute best time to visit is during January and February when temperatures aren’t nearly as hot. The rest of the year, May to October, comprises the rainy or “green” season, during which time many restaurants and tourist businesses close. While rainfall is most prevalent during this time, there are occasional showers during the dry season.
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