Apart from its strikingly distinct national culture, many tourists know Thailand for its beautiful landscape. Some of these beaches are well-developed. However, some remain untouched and unspoiled, such as those in Koh Lanta, which maintains its natural allure for tourists to enjoy.
Here’s why you should add the island of Koh Lanta to your Thailand vacation itinerary.
Where Is Koh Lanta, Thailand?
With it being known as a beautiful place to get away from the buzz of the Thai city, you’ve probably heard of Koh Lanta, Thailand by now. But where exactly is this gorgeous tourist destination? If you’re interested in going to Koh Lanta, know that it’s located in Thailand’s Krabi province in the country’s west coast. It’s 70 kilometers away from Krabi town, while it’s 800 kilometers away from the country’s capital, Bangkok.
The Koh Lanta district is composed of more than 50 islands, but only three of those are inhabited. An island, also called Koh Lanta, is one of those three, and it’s the main tourist island destination of the district.
How To Get To Koh Lanta
Bangkok to Krabi Province
It’s possible to travel from Bangkok to Koh Lanta. But first, you have to travel to Krabi and make your south to Koh Lanta. You can choose from the two modes of transportation — airplane or bus to get there.
The first way is by plane. Thailand’s Krabi province has its airport, but it only caters to domestic flights. So, you can book a connecting flight from Bangkok airport to Krabi. There are plenty of budget airlines in Thailand offering domestic flights from Bangkok to Krabi and vice versa. Most of these budget flights start at around US$22 one-way.
If you have time to spare, you can opt for land-transportation like a bus. From Bangkok, the bus ride to the province of Krabi takes about 12 hours. While it costs approximately the same as you would take a flight, you’ll get to enjoy a different kind of travel experience on the other hand. Buses in this route usually leave at night and reach their destination the next morning.
Krabi to Koh Lanta
Once you’re in Krabi, you need to cross the sea to get to the Thai islands in Koh Lanta district. There are two main ways to travel between Krabi and Koh Lanta during peak season: mini-buses via car ferries and ferry boats. For the rest of the year, the car ferries are your only option.
If you want to take the mini-bus, you can get tickets from local travel agencies in Krabi. Tickets are about $14 each, and mini-buses usually leave every hour. The journey from Krabi to Koh Lanta via mini-bus takes about two and a half hours. It also requires you to take two car ferries to get there, but that should be included in your mini-bus ticket.
During peak season, you can opt to take a ferry boat from Krabi to Koh Lanta. The travel time using this mode of transportation is only about one and a half hours. To go via ferry boat, head over to Krabi’s New Pier, buy a ticket and ride the ferry.
There’s only one ferry boat trip per day. And despite being available for the entirety of the peak season, the schedules and ticket prices may vary.
Best Time To Visit Koh Lanta, Thailand
The best time to visit the Thailand Islands of Koh Lanta is anywhere between November to May. It’s the area’s dry season.
If you’re flexible on your schedule, go in between these months. The good weather here allows you to get the most out of the island. Of course, you won’t have to worry about canceling your tours and plans due to the sudden downpours. However, do take note that these months is the peak season in Koh Lanta. So don’t be surprised if some of these areas are somewhat crowded.
Here are the 10 reasons you need to be convinced to visit Koh Lanta before it’s populated with tourists.
A Gorgeous Diving Paradise
A lot of people from all over the world associate Koh Lanta, Thailand with diving. Many groups of people come to the district just for this activity, and with good reason. The waters around the islands of Koh Lanta are teeming with colorful marine life.
When diving in the area, you’ll be able to spot many species of fish and other marine animals swimming near coral walls, sea caves, and underwater pinnacles. Additionally, Koh Lanta diving and snorkeling spots have waters that offer almost 100% visibility. So, you can easily take in the gorgeous underwater scenery unimpeded.
You don’t have to be an expert to go diving or snorkeling here. With the many diving spots located in the district, you’ll be able to find one that’s within your level. If you’re a beginner, many establishments on the main island offer beginner diving courses at a reasonable price.
Home To Many Beautiful Beaches
If you’re looking for a gorgeous beach in Koh Lanta, you won’t be disappointed. The main tourist island is home to a good number of beaches, where you can stroll along the coast, work on your tan or watch the sunset. If not, go kayaking in the turquoise blue water or join a tour to explore the sea caves in Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta beaches are diverse, and it won’t be hard to look for one that’ll fit your preferences. There are developed beaches, such as Klong Dao, that you can find on the northern part of the coast. Meanwhile, if you want a serene and peaceful ambiance, you can find most of the remote beaches, such as Nui beach, to the south.
It’s A Nature Lover’s Paradise
The charm of Koh Lanta doesn’t stop at the coast. The inner part of the islands houses natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Around 80% of the main island is a National park. Thanks to this, the area’s 20 square-kilometer rainforest remains untouched. Going here is perfect for any tourist who wants to witness nature at its best.
One of the best places to witness the district’s beautiful flora and fauna is by going to Thung Yee Pheng mangrove forest. You can find this protected area to the northeast of Koh Lanta Island. Here, you’ll find lush greenery and the tangled roots of mangroves across streams and rivers. You’ll also find interesting animals here, such as crabs walking across muddy areas and monkeys swinging on the trees.
You’ll Never Be Short Of Outdoor Adventures
Because of its unspoiled beauty, the rainforests and beaches of Koh Lanta are great venues for outdoor adventures. Many tourists visiting Koh Lanta go on excursions to see what other natural wonders the island has to offer.
Some of these natural wonders include a vast number of caves you can find within the jungles of Koh Lanta. One of the more famous caves here is the Klong Jark cave. Apart from being alluring, it’s proximity to the Klong Jark waterfall makes it a go-to destination for hikers in the area. Other popular caves on the island include the Khao Mai Kaew Cave, the Tiger Cave, and the Talabeng Cave.
You Can Explore The Island’s Old Town
If you want to take a nice break from the intimidating allure Koh Lanta’s natural wonders have to offer, head on over to the island’s Old Town. Old Town is a quaint village where you can find traditional houses. Interestingly, most of the houses you’ll find here sit on stilts above the water.
While in Old Town, you’ll be able to spend some downtime. But this doesn’t mean you can’t explore the village! Walk around, take in, and appreciate the interesting architecture of local houses. Find local shops and buy souvenirs to take home for you and your companions. Try out local dishes this place has to offer. Despite being peaceful and quiet, there’s never a dull moment here.
It Has A Fascinating, Diverse Population
Despite being in a remote location, and despite being one of the oldest Thai communities, the island of Koh Lanta houses a diverse population. People from different religious and cultural ethnicities all coexist in harmony on the island. Here, you’ll find the Chao Lae people, Muslims, Buddhists, Thai people, and Thai-Chinese.
But what’s fascinating about this mix of cultures is that it’s noticeable on the island. It brought about an interesting blend of traditions. And you can experience this first hand by trying out Koh Lanta’s delicacies and taking part in local festivals.
You Can Get To Know Local Culture Through Workshops
Given the diverse population that lives on the island, describing their local culture as “interesting” might be an understatement. Apart from eating their food and visiting the island during a festival, a good way to get to know the local culture is through workshops.
A good number of places in Koh Lanta offer some kind of workshop to let travelers experience the local culture. If you’re a foodie, you can go try out a cooking class that will teach you how to cook local recipes. If you’re not good in the kitchen, however, there’s still a wide array of workshops to choose from, ranging from jewelry-making to meditation workshops.
You Can Rest and Relax
Koh Lanta, Thailand is remote, so the ambiance remains to be serene. The culture here is also laid back, so you don’t have to worry about anything that’ll disturb your peace. There’s nightlife on the island, but that’s also more relaxed than what most tourists would expect.
If you’re looking for a nice getaway in Thailand, surrounded by beautiful scenery but not short of any activities, Koh Lanta is the place to be.
Fill Your Tummy With Great Sea Food
Since Koh Lanta, Thailand is an archipelago surrounded by waters blessed with marine life, the local seafood here is also great! Here, you get to choose from a lot of different varieties of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. You can eat seafood as much as you like.
What’s even better is the fact that you can try out these fresh seafood cooked in many different ways. As mentioned earlier, the island has a diverse population, resulting in an interesting mix of traditions. Of course, this diversity resulted in a unique type of cuisine that you’ll only get to try here. So, when in Koh Lanta, don’t hesitate to try out the succulent fresh fish, crab, or lobster cooked in a traditional way!
Do All Of These With On A Budget!
When you’re going to Koh Lanta, things-to-do lists are long and varied. It’s a given that your visit won’t be short of fun activities. But one of the greatest things about this is that you can experience all these and more within a reasonable budget!
A Koh Lanta vacation can fit any type of budget — from economy to high-end. There are many Koh Lanta resorts you can find in developed areas on the island. There, you can get that luxurious and serene vacation you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re on a low budget, however, there are still many Koh Lanta hotels to choose from.
Travel tip: If you want to get the best of both worlds Koh Lanta has to offer, find accommodations near the main road. By doing so, you get easy access to the beach, to Old Town and the rainforest on the island.
Popular Tourist Attractions
One of the most popular Koh Lanta beaches visited by tourists is Long Beach or Pra-Ae. It’s the island’s longest stretch of beach, and it’s located in the northern part of the main island. Here you’ll find a stretch of golden fine sand against crystal-blue waters. It maintains a peaceful vibe all while being accessible to many.
Sea Cave Kayaking
Because the district is made up of more than 50 islands, island hopping is a popular activity in Koh Lanta. One of the best ways to do this, however, is by kayaking. For a sea kayaking tour worth about $42, you get to visit uninhabited islands such as Ghost Island and explore some of their caves.
Find Peace at Koh Lanta
If you’re going on a vacation, find some time to relax in Koh Lanta. When you’re in Thailand, don’t hesitate to visit this laid back island and get back in touch with nature. Take in all the sights and sounds of nature’s best and you’ll surely feel re-energized at the end of your visit.