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Koh Lanta: The best things to see and do

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Southern Thailand

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 20/05/2024, 19:15

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Koh Lanta is an island on the Andaman Sea, which is famous for wide beaches and being the perfect place to relax for many tourists. Koh Lanta is quite big and there are so many activities and places to explore. Read on and find out the best things to see and do on Koh Lanta.

Koh Lanta was my last stop during my stay in Thailand. I got there from Koh Yao Noi and I spent a week there, visiting most interesting places. I saw nearly all of the beaches and I got some rest. In this post I gathered information for you, so you can also organise your stay on Koh Lanta.

If this island is on your list of places to go visit in Thailand, then I hope that I can help you with planning your trip. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

A woman walking along the beach on koh lanta.
The beaches on Koh Lanta are wide and long.

Information about Koh Lanta

The main part of the island, where you’ll find hotels and most of the restaurants, is called Koh Lanta Yai. The other areas are not so well equipped with facilities and there are not that many people living there. You can still explore them by a scooter or a taxi.

Koh Lanta is quite a modern and crowded place, if you compare it to other islands nearby. There are many resorts and tourists and the main beaches are lined with bars and shops. However, if you’re looking for a place to relax, this island is also for you. You will find a piece of paradise here as well.

Bars and restaurants on Koh Lanta.
There are plenty of places to eat and drink.

When is the best time to go to Koh Lanta?

The best time to go to Koh Lanta is probably between November and March. This is the high season and the weather is the best. However, other months might be great, too, especially that the prices are lower then.

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    Koh Lanta – My impressions

    I can’t really say that Koh Lanta is my favourite place in Thailand. I think I expected it to be quieter, like Koh Phangan – more green, with less cars and scooters, where many beaches are chill and calm.

    Unfortunately, Koh Lanta was the opposite of what I had imagined. The main road, which stretches along the islands, and where you’ll find most bars and restaurants, is very busy. The drivers drive like crazy and you constantly have an impression that you are not on island, but somewhere on the land.

    The beaches here didn’t take my breath away. Water, in some places, was crystal clear and sand was nice and soft, but there was no shade around, so it was hard to relax. Whenever there were some trees and shade, there were a lot of people.

    Palm trees and tourists on a beach on koh lanta.
    Some beaches are really quiet.

    Food in bars and restaurants is expensive, comparing to other places in Thailand. It’s also not that tasty. On one of the streets leading to Mu Koh Lanta there are no restaurants selling Thai food. Instead, you’ll find burgers and pizza.

    Koh Lanta is very touristy, busy and crowded. It’s charming only in few places. Of course, this is only my opinion. I think you need to go and judge it for yourself. Maybe you’ll like it more than me.

    What to see and do on Koh Lanta?

    Koh Lanta is a big island and you can organise your time there by filling it up with activities. Here are some of the best ones.

    Chill on one of the beaches

    A bar with tables on the beach on koh lanta.
    Relax and unwind on a beach on Koh Lanta.

    There are a lot of beaches on Koh Lanta. Some are hidden and quiet, others are filled with people. One thing is certain – there are a lot of places to swim and relax.

    Have an adventure on a scooter

    Rent a scooter and drive throught the island. There are many places, where you can get to by a scooter. I must warn you, though – the roads here are quite dangerous. Don’t drive without a helmet and try not to drive at night. During my stay, there were a lot of roadworks, which were making a scooter trip tiring and risky. Besides that, the locals drive like crazy! So, rent a scooter only if you feel confident that you can survive on the roads on Koh Lanta.

    Visit Mu Koh Lanta

    A beach on koh lanta seen from a view point.
    This national park is one of the must-see places on Koh Lanta.

    Mu Koh Lanta is a national park in the south of the island. It’s one of the places which, despite its popularity, is worth visiting. You can swim in the blue water and relax. I also recommend walking along the designated route in the forrest. It’s hot and humid, so it might not be for everyone, but the views are incredible. If you like nature, this trek will be for you.

    Play with dogs and cats

    A woman sitting next to a cat at the animal shelter on koh lanta.
    Play with cats and dogs on Koh Lanta.

    Koh Lanta Animal Welfare is an institution, which is well-known on the island. The shelter is a home for cats and dogs. Tourists can visit it during the day, play with animals and see how the whole place functions.

    Eat something delicious and contribute to the greater good

    The owner of the shelter also runs a restaurant – Time for Lime, where you can eat delicious food. The profits go to the shelter.

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    Cook something

    Take a cooking course at Time for Lime. There are also other places on the island that offer these type of activities.

    Visit the Old Town

    A woman walking on a street on koh lanta.
    This is a nice place to walk around.

    Koh Lanta Old Town is an atmospheric street with shops and restaurants. Once it was inhabited by the Chinese. That’s why it has very specific architecture. The street is open during the day and night.

    Do some “island hopping”

    You can book a trip to the other islands in any tourist office on Koh Lanta. The most popular one is the 4-island trip, where you have an opportunity to see the most beautiful beaches in the area.

    Chill in Lanta Parklife

    A park on koh lanta.
    This lush green park is a wonderful place to spend a day.

    The owners of Lanta Parklife are an Englishman and his Thai wife. You can spend a whole day here. There is a mini golf and a fish pond, where you can go fishing. If you don’t like these type of activities, stay for a beer and chill under a plam tree.

    Kayak through a mangrove forrest

    Three people walking in the mangrove forrest on koh lanta.
    If you don’t want to kayak, you can walk around the forrest.

    There are a few mangrove forrests on the islands. The locals organise trips through them. You can rent a kayak or take a boat trip with a guide.

    Spend your time in an active way

    What else can you see and do on Koh Lanta? You can go snorkelling, diving and kayaking on the sea. There are yoga studios and muay thai gyms. If you don’t like laying on the beach, then you won’t be bored here for sure.

    Koh Lanta – Practical information

    How to get to Koh Lanta?

    Take a boat from Krabi. The boats depart from Krabi Town or Ao Nang. One ticket is around 600 Baht.
    Click here to book your ticket.

    I got to Koh Lanta from Koh Yao Noi. The trip took 3 hours.
    Book your ticket here.

    Check other connections to Koh Lanta.

    Transport on Koh Lanta

    Koh Lanta is a big island, so there are a lot of transportation options. You can catch a rickshaw, a normal taxi or hire a private driver. There are also scooters to rent. You’ll find them in any hotel or a tourist office.

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    Accommodation

    There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses on the island. I can recommend the Baan Rabieng Resort – clean and comfortable bungalows just at one of the main beaches.

    Booking.com

    Where to eat and drink?

    I wasn’t that happy with the food on the island as many places are very touristy and expensive. There is a lack of local restaurants, but I can recommend:

    What’s next?

    From Koh Lanta you can go to nearby islands:

    I really hope that you’ll have the best time on Koh Lanta. Let me know if you have any questions. Leave a comment!