Koh Lanta: Everything You Need To Know

The blissed out tropical island paradise of Koh Lanta district is made up of over 50 islands in the southernmost region of Krabi Province, off the west coast of Thailand, between Koh Phi Phi and the mainland.

The largest island is Koh Lanta Yai, which — thanks to its relatively remote location — maintains a perfect balance between pleasant tourist spots with great facilities, and unspoilt, pristine beaches, jungle covered mountains, and wonderful weather.

Thinking of visiting? Here’s everything you need to know before you go…

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Koh Lanta Weather

Koh Lanta has a tropical climate with two predominant seasons — hot and dry, and cool and wet.

The monsoon season runs from May to October, during which time temperatures anywhere between 23°C to 32°C.

koh lanta thailand

The wet season does indeed get very wet, with sudden violent rainstorms and occasional prolonged rainy spells. These months are low season on Koh Lanta, and though it’s a good time to visit if you want peace and quiet many businesses shut down during this period, and access to the island can be trickier as rough seas mean that the passenger ferries reduce the number of services they offer.

The best time to visit is during the hot, dry season between November and April, when temperatures soar between 27°C and a sizzling 37°C, there is very little rain, and everybody is open for business.

How to get to Koh Lanta

Bangkok to Koh Lanta

There are a few different ways to travel the 440 odd miles to get from Bangkok to Koh Lanta.

The quickest, but not necessarily the most straightforward way, is to take a flight from Bangkok to Krabi airport nearby Koh Lanta on the mainland.

From here, you’ll need to take ongoing transport overland and on the sea to get you to the island — this part of the journey is detailed in the next section.

There are plenty of cheap flights departing daily from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport, with carriers such as Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, and AirAsia, and the flight takes a mere hour and 20 minutes.

A much slower but more direct way to get to Koh Lanta from Bangkok is to take the bus.

koh lanta

By Jens-Petter Salvesen (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

Overnight buses depart from Khao San Road, Morchit Bus Terminal, Hua Lamphong train station, and the Southern Bus Terminal and tickets cost anywhere from 800 THB to 1300 THB, making this a very budget friendly option.

Most buses go as far as Krabi, from where you need to make your own way on to Koh Lanta, but certain companies offer combined tickets that take you all the way to Hua Hin pier where you can hop on a ferry and get across to the island directly.

The bus journey is long — taking 12 hours to get to Krabi and anything from 16 to 18 hours to Hua Hin Pier — which is why it’s recommended to make the trip at night.

It’s also possible to take the train from Bangkok to Koh Lanta. Overnight trains leave from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong railway station, and arrive at Trang train station which is the closest train station to Koh Lanta on the mainland.

Across the street from Trang station there are travel agents who can arrange your ongoing transport by mini van to Haad Yao Pier, from where you can take a ferry across to Koh Lanta.

Sleeper tickets (ones that guarantee you a bed) on the overnight train to Trang cost between 800 and 1730 THB, and the journey takes around 15 hours.

Krabi to Koh Lanta

If you choose to make the journey between Bangkok and Koh Lanta by plane or bus, chances are you will first arrive in Krabi from where you will need to continue your journey independently to the island.

The quickest and most convenient way (but also the most expensive) from Krabi airport is to take an Express Transfer.

This is a combined transfer which included and air conditioned minibus to take you to the private speedboat pier, from where you take a fun 15 minute speedboat trip across to Koh Lanta.

Tickets cost 2045 THB for adults and 1200 THB for children.

If you haven’t got money to burn, a far cheaper option is to take a shared minibus for around 300 THB. Minibuses also depart from Krabi bus terminal. You can choose to be taken either to the nearest ferry port Chao Fa Pier in Krabi Town (approximately 15 to 25 minutes) and make your own way over on the ferry, or directly to Koh Lanta which includes a couple of trips on the car ferry and can take between 2 to 3 hours.

Passenger ferries take roughly 2 hours to get to Koh Lanta, and cost around 400 THB. Certain companies offer combined minibus and ferry tickets.

Things to do in Koh Lanta

Sunshine Hill Viewpoint

sunshine hill viewpoint koh lanta

By Wanjak Atikomchakorn (CC BY-SA 4.0 licence)

Stunning just doesn’t cut it when it comes to describing the amazing ocean and island vistas that this viewpoint high on a hill has to offer.

There’s also a restaurant on site which makes it the perfect location for a romantic dinner or a few cocktails whilst you watch the sun go down.

Koh Lanta Old Town

old town koh lanta

By ironypoisoning (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)

This charming village on Koh Lanta’s east coast was originally a sea gypsy settlement and the island’s primary trade port.

Now it is a fascinating place which offers a taste of true traditional Thai island culture with a tangible Chinese influence grace of the traders who settled here.

Quaint wooden houses on stilts, cool bars, a bustling market, and excellent seafood restaurants all combine to make a visit here an experience not to be missed.

Klong Chak Waterfall and Cave

On the southern tip of Koh Lanta hidden deep in lush jungle is Klong Chak Waterfall and Cave.

Well signposted, it requires a 20 to 30 minute hike to reach it, which offers the opportunity to spot plenty of wildlife including monkeys, butterflies and other insects amongst others.

The falls themselves aren’t large, but they are very pretty, with crystal waters tumbling into an azure pool below perfect for swimming.

At the nearby cave mysterious tree roots seem to fuse the rocks together, and you are sure to spot chattering bats high up in the cavern.

Visit Lanta Animal Welfare

Lanta Animal Welfare is a community-based project committed to animal welfare, treatment, and care.

Their mission is to end the suffering of the hundreds of homeless, abused and injured animals on Koh Lanta.

To date, the project has sterilised and treated over 15,000 animals, and you can support the cause by making a visit to the centre where you will be treated to a guided tour of the facility and introduced to the rescued animals.

You can even volunteer to exercise a rescue dog or help with daily tasks such as shampooing, de-ticking, and grooming the animals, socialising with cats and dogs, and cleaning or gardening.

Koh Lanta National Park

koh lanta national park

By Wanjak Atikomchakorn (CC BY-SA 4.0 licence)

The Koh Lanta National Marine Park comprises 16 islands in the Ko Lanta group, and exists to protect the islands from encroaching development and guard the natural sanctuary that exists within.

The park is made up of pristine sandy beaches, dramatic limestone formations, beautiful rainforest covered hills, sensational coral reefs, and intriguing caves and waterfalls.

The smaller islands are popular diving sites for both snorkelers and scuba divers with possibility to see some of exciting tropical marine life found in the Andaman Sea.

Alternatively, you can explore Koh Lanta National Park best by sea kayak.

Saladan Market

saladan market

By Neitram (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

The busy little town of Baan Saladan on Koh Lanta plays host to an excellent clothing and souvenir market which turns into a night market on Wednesday evenings.

As Thai markets go it’s not the biggest, but it offers a varied selection of quality fashions, handicrafts, jewellery, and delicious street food that is guaranteed to please.

Don’t forget to haggle to get some serious bargains.

Koh Lanta Lighthouse

koh lanta lighthouse

By Wanjak Atikomchakorn (CC BY-SA 4.0 licence)

Poised atop a cliff at the southernmost tip of Koh Lanta is the Koh Lanta Lighthouse, an elegant white structure in a dramatic setting in the Koh Lanta National Park.

Climb the cliffs either side of the lighthouse and experience some outstanding views.

Koh Rok

koh rok

By dronepicr (CC BY 2.0 licence)

20 miles south of Koh Lanta lie the idyllic islands of Koh Rok Nai and Koh Rok Nok.

The coral reefs surrounding these wild, unspoilt islands are teeming with an abundance of colourful marine life, and are an excellent spot for snorkelling and diving.

There’s very little on the islands themselves apart from pristine white sand beaches, waterfalls, breathtaking viewpoints, a ranger’s station and a restaurant.

It’s possible to rent a tent or basic bungalow if you want to stay overnight.

A fast boat from Baan Saladan Pier Koh Lanta will get you to Koh Rok in around an hour and a half, or go there as part of an organised day trip organised by one of the many tour companies in the area.

Koh Lanta Hotels

Pimalai Resort & Spa

koh lanta hotels

Pimalai Resort & Spa offers a luxurious 5 star boutique hotel experience in an outstanding location nestled amidst lush tropical forests, rugged mountains, and the azure waters of the Andaman sea.

Spacious accommodations feature exceptional views of the gardens or the sea from a private balcony, bathroom with bathtub and a separate walk-in shower, hardwood floors and quality Thai furnishings.

Certain villas are placed right on the beachfront and feature private infinity-edged pools.

There are 3 restaurants to choose from at the resort, serving Thai specialities and Western fine dining.

The award winning luxury spa offers a combination of traditional and contemporary treatments that will rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

  • Beachfront location
  • Outdoor infinity pool
  • Choice of 3 restaurants
  • Bar
  • Spa and wellness centre
  • Fitness centre
  • Tennis courts

hotels in koh lanta

Lanta Castaway Beach Resort

hotels in koh lanta

The 3 star Lanta Castaway Beach Resort offers guests a little slice of affordable luxury in the heart of a tropical paradise.

Located at the southern end of beautiful Long Beach, the resort boasts several types of accommodation ranging from large to medium sized air-conditioned bungalows/rooms featuring private terrace — some with sea views — en suite bathrooms with shower, cable TV, mini-bar, and safe.

Enjoy terrific Thai and western dining at the resort’s open air Beachcomber restaurant with garden and beachfront seating, or kick back and relax with a tasty fruit shake or cocktail at the Mad Bull beach bar.

Guests are also invited to pamper themselves with a traditional Thai massage at the beach-side massage platform.

  • Beachfront location
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Thai massage available

hotels in koh lanta

Lanta Sand Resort & Spa

koh lanta hotels

Surrounded by the unspoiled natural beauty of Long Beach Koh Lanta, Lanta Sand Resort & Spa offers guests the pleasures of a 4 star spa retreat and the sumptuous comfort of rooms, suites and private villas finished with stylish wooden furnishings.

Deluxe rooms feature private balconies with stunning views, separate living room, en suite bathroom, and cable TV and DVD player, with some benefiting from direct pool access or private plunge pools.

Villas are either situated beachfront or within tropical gardens, and feature private terrace, and some have open air bathroom with bathtub.

The Rabeang Restaurant offers all day dining and serves delicious local Thai and International cuisines.

Massage and beauty services are available at both the spa or directly on the beautiful sandy beach.

  • Beachfront location
  • Open air swimming pool
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Spa and wellness centre

hotels in koh lanta

Twin Lotus Resort and Spa

koh lanta hotels

Tranquillity is assured at this adults 4 star only resort in a heavenly location on the sands of Klong Dao Beach.

Rooms offer spacious accommodations complete with en suite bathroom with rain shower, and 32” Flat Screen TV with DVD Player.

Villas feature private terrace with either garden or sea views, and some are located directly on the beach.

The open air Bua Fah restaurant offers a buffet breakfast and a wide selection of Thai and International dishes. The Barracuda Restaurant & Beach Bar is literally just steps from the beach and is the perfect spot to sample fresh seafood as well as Thai and Western favourites — not forgetting a cocktail or two.

The Bua Luang Spa boasts treatment rooms for both singles and couples, as well as an outdoor oversized Jacuzzi and peaceful open-air Pagoda where guests can enjoy a range of treatments from traditional Thai massage to body scrubs and beauty treatments.

  • Beachfront location
  • Adults only
  • 2 open air swimming pools
  • Choice of 2 restaurants
  • Bar
  • Spa and wellness centre
  • Fitness centre

hotels in koh lanta

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