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Koh Lanta Travel Information

Situated in the beautiful Andaman Sea along the country’s west coast, Koh Lanta is actually a protected group of around 50 small islets with Koh Lanta Yai at the heart of everything. All of the development is on Lanta Yai, while the other islands are basically deserted slices of paradise. Since it’s a national marine park, the island has been spared the gross overdevelopment which has blighted some of Thailand’s other islands. People don’t come to Koh Lanta to party, they come here to relax and envelope themselves in a quiet realm of lapping waves and whispering palm fronds.

Ko Lanta is popular with tourists seeking a holiday away from the parties including walking on the beach and watching the sunset than drinking and dancing. It is also popular with families with young children, and of course, with divers. The two largest islands are Ko Lanta Noi and Ko Lanta Yai. Although Ko Lanta Noi is inhabited, Ko Lanta Yai is the primary tourist destination.

Today Ko Lanta has something for just about every budget , from high class luxury to basic thatch huts -- in season. In low season much of the island shuts down due to low numbers, but regardless of what time of the year you go, you'll always find something. Ko Lanta is a little less well-known than nearby Ko Phi Phi but it is hardly undiscovered. The several beaches on the west coast of Ko Lanta Yai are each strung with an unbroken line of resorts and bungalows.

The beaches are powdery white and the sea clear and blue. There is world-class snorkeling and diving at some of the other remote islands in the area and sea kayaking offers an ideal way to explore Koh Lanta from a unique perspective. Ride an elephant, go caving or just rent a motorbike and cruise around the island’s nearly empty roads. There’s a lots to do on Koh Lanta if your goal is to get away from it all.

A popular alternative to Krabi’s Ao Nang or Phi Phi, Lanta has developed into one of Thailand’s best hospitality infrastructures of any of Thai islands. The entire length of the West Coast is lined with resorts, each enjoying a waterfront location with its own beach. Some villas and bungalows practically empty onto the white sand. The northern stretch of Koh Lanta is more densely packed but offers a lively atmosphere, while more exclusive bays towards the South have more private settings.

The subtropical climate of Koh Lanta is dictated by the annual monsoon, which brings heavy consistent rains to the region from May through October. During this rainy season, as it’s known, temperatures are hot and humid, averaging 32�C. The seas are also very rough and swimming becomes more dangerous. Many of the smaller resorts on the island may close up entirely for a couple of months as tourist numbers drop significantly and sea travel can be frequently delayed by rough seas. But not every day is cloudy and rainy and room rates are much lower during the rainy season, so it may be worth a chance if you aren’t coming specifically to go scuba diving.

The rest of the year brings idyllic weather to Koh Lanta and the surrounding region as the cooler northeastern monsoon brings a refreshing breeze, pleasant temperatures and dry blue skies. November through April you can expect consistently excellent conditions. The lack of storms means the water becomes calmer and better for swimming. This is also the prime diving season, when underwater visibility is at its greatest. The month-long shoulder periods between the dry and rainy seasons can also be good times for a visit. The weather is hard to predict, but suffice to say you’ll have a mix of afternoon thunderstorms and sunny skies.

Like most of the islands in Thailand, Koh Lanta is blessed with wonderful, white sandy beaches and clear warm water. As a bonus, the interior is mountainous and relatively uncut, offering a fun jungle walking experience on the few trails at the southern end of the island. There is decent snorkeling and some very good diving sites around the 50 smaller islands within a short boat ride from Koh Lanta. Sea kayaking is another unique way to see the island from a more watery perspective. Otherwise, most visitors to Koh Lanta simply enjoy the sound of lapping water and palm frond breezes as they sit on the beach.

Each of Koh Lanta’s dozen or so beaches has its own unique flavour and atmosphere. They are spread out along the west coast of the island, but you can’t walk from beach to beach along the shore as they’re broken up by rocky headlands and such. All of Koh Lanta’s beaches have nice white sand and clear blue water perfect for lounging and swimming.

The most populous beach is Klong Dao, which is just 2kms from Sala Dan. This is a favourite with families and people seeking a bit of socialising. The northernmost beach is called Phra Ae, which is known for having the finest sand and a coastline that drops off precipitously. Klong Kaong is one of the more tranquil spots on the island, as is Klong Nin. At the southern end of Koh Lanta is many people’s pick for the most beautiful beach at Kantiang. The nearly deserted Mai Phai beach and the national park are also located at the southern tip, offering some of the finest water and beach conditions, as well as great snorkeling spots.

Koh Lanta is home to a large community of semi-nomadic Sea Gypsies, called Chao Ley, who live in the village of Ban Sangkha-Ou on the southern tip of the island. In the past they lived in their boats, moving from island to island and fishing for their food. Once considered pirates, these people have settled in stilt houses along the coast, and their way of life is a unique and interesting facet of Thai ethnic diversity. These people, who have never integrated into Thai society, have their own traditions, ceremonies and language. Their animistic spirituality involves a lovely annual ritual where they build a symbolic boat and set it adrift to ask the sea for forgiveness and good fortune in the coming year. If you are visiting during this period, don’t miss the chance to witness this amazing spectacle.

The nearest airport to Koh Lanta is in Krabi, although many visitors fly into Phuket or Bangkok since they offer a much broader flight schedule. Krabi’s airport is very small and is only serviced by Thai Airlines from Bangkok and Tiger Airways from Singapore. The ferry to Koh Lanta is 40kms south of the airport and the only transportation available from Krabi’s terminal is by private taxi.

As yet, there is no land bridge to Koh Lanta, which means every visitor will have to take the car ferry or a boat to get onto the island. All ferries leave from Baan Hua Hin on the mainland 40kms south of Krabi and arrive at Sala Dan, the island’s main town. The ferries operate everyday from 07:00 to 22:00. Once on Koh Lanta, there will be hoards of red truck taxis and minivans vying for your business. There is essentially one paved road which runs from Sala Dan south along the western coast for about 30kms. The taxis will drop you off anywhere along the way. It’s possible your resort might provide pick up service, so check on that option. You can also rent a motorbike in Sala Dan and drive yourself if you are travelling light.

To get to the ferry crossing, you can take a bus or private minivan from Krabi to Baan Hua Hin. There are also ferries which leave from Klong Chi Lard Pier about 5kms south of Krabi, but transportation availability changes often, so always check with a local travel agent.

If you don’t want to fly from Bangkok to the south, you can take a VIP bus. These fairly comfortable coaches run frequently from Bangkok’s bus terminal to Krabi, where you can arrange to get to Koh Lanta. There is no train service to Krabi, but you can take the train to Surat Thani, on the eastern coast and catch a bus to Krabi. Once on Koh Lanta, the only way to get around is to rent a motorbike for the day or flag down a passing red taxi. 

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Koh Lanta Hotels

Aloha Lanta Resort
Amantra Resort & Spa
Ananda Lanta Resort
Anda Lanta Resort
Andaman Lanta Resort
Andalay Boutique Resort
Baan Laanta Resort & Spa
Cha-Da Beach Resort and Spa
Chaw-Ka-Cher Tropicana Lanta Resort
Clean Beach Resort
Crown Lanta Resort & Spa
DR Lanta Bay Resort
Dream Team Beach Resort
Golden Bay Cottage
Gooddays Lanta Beach Resort
Holiday Villa
Kaw Kwang Beach Resort
Lanta Bee Garden Bungalows
Lanta Castaway Resort
Lanta Casuarina Beach Resort
Lanta Garden Home
Lanta Ilmare Beach Resort
Lanta Island Resort
Lanta Klong Nin Beach Resort
Lanta Manda
Lanta Marine Park View Resort
Lanta Mermaid Boutique House
Lanta New Beach Bungalow
Lanta Nice Beach Resort
Lanta Palace Resort Beach Club
Lanta Palm Beach Resort
Lanta Pavilion Resort
Lanta Pura Beach Resort
Lanta Residence & Spa
Lanta Resort
Lanta Riviera Resort
Lanta Sand Resort & Spa
Lanta Scenic Bungalow
Lanta Seafront Resort
Lanta White Rock Resort & Spa
Lantawadee Resort & Spa
Layana Resort & Spa
Long Beach Chalet
Maya Koh Lanta Resort
Mook Lanta Boutique Resort & Spa
Moonlight Exotic Bay Resort
Nakara Long Beach Resort
Ocean View Resort
Phra Nang Lanta
Pilanta Spa Resort
Pimalai Resort & Spa
Rawi Warin Resort & Spa
Relax Bay Resort
Royal Lanta Resort & Spa
Sayang Beach Bungalows
Soontreeya Lanta
Southern Lanta Resort
Sri Lanta
The Houben
Twinbay Resort

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