Koh Lanta, Thailand

Klong Dao beach, Ko Lanta, Phuket, Thailand

Klong Dao beach, Ko Lanta (island) just off Phuket.

Why visit Koh Lanta?

Although Lanta’s port area is cramped and the 25 km long (16 miles) island’s only road is a dusty, pot-holed mess strung with cables, bars, restaurants and net cafés, Ko Lanta’s beaches are big, clean, relaxed and served by a string of efficient mid-range bungalow operations – some with pools.

The Andaman Sea here is warm and generally calm but hardly azure and though there are no concrete skyscrapers on the horizon, neither are there the gorgeous limestone karsts (rock pillars) of the Krabi and Phi Phi areas.

The island has sufficient facilities to keep seekers of interesting cuisine happy though late-night party people might find a limited number of venues.

Ko Lanta Yai  is on the west side of Thailand’s mainland in the Andaman Sea, Krabi Province, and a bridge was built in 2015 connecting it to the island of Ko Lanta Noi, about which we know nothing.

Beach house in Ko Lanta, Phuket, Thailand

A typical smart beach house on Ko Lanta. Photo by dronepicr.

Koh Lanta beaches

Lanta’s beaches are mostly on the west side of the 30km long, 6 km wide island and the best are the first three – Khlong Dao,  Phra-Ae (Long Beach), and Klong Khong Beach. These are at the north end of the island, long and wide, with brown sand and good modest hotels and cabins directly on the shore.

About halfway down the island hotels get much cheaper, less well cared-for and even neo-hippyish, with great ambience and tranquility but sharp rocks in the sea make swimming tricky.

Beach bars in Ko Lanta, Phuket, Thailand

Ko Lanta beach bars/restaurants. Photo by dronepicr.

Ko Lanta National Park, Phuket, Thailand

Mu Ko Lanta National Park. Photo by dronepicr.

Hotels are generally good value, Lanta’s uncrowded, with big quiet beaches, good sand and clean water. Lanta also survived the 2004 Tsunami better than most of the west coast of Thailand due to being more protected.

Downside: Lanta is not stupendously beautiful and it’s a bit of a pain to get to.

Relax Bay Hotel living room, at the far end of Pra-Ae Beach, Ko Lanta, Thailand.

Relax Bay Hotel living room, at the far end of Pra-Ae Beach on Ko Lanta.

Ko Lanta crescent beach, Thailand.

 A southern Ko Lanta beach.  Photo by dronepicr.

Getting to Lanta

Ko Lanta ferry, Thailand

Most visitors come and go at the north of the 25km (16m) long island via ferries from Phuket, Krabi or Phi Phi Don, or by a road/ferry combination.