Koh Lanta Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know!

by Tsvete Popp
Koh Lanta Travel Guide

Welcome to Koh Lanta, one of Thailand’s most sought-after islands, offering a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that will enhance your trip to this beautiful country! Koh Lanta is the epitome of a perfect Thai island – it strikes the perfect balance between tranquillity and convenience. With its uncrowded tropical beaches, lush jungle-covered mountains, and breathtaking sunsets, Koh Lanta is a paradise that will capture your heart. Picture yourself lounging in hammocks, sipping cocktails, and strolling along long stretches of sandy shores. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while enjoying affordable accommodation options. Koh Lanta truly is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets, waiting to be discovered!

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

Koh Lanta is quite a large island – 27 km from North to South and has a width of only 6 km. Having your own scooter makes it easy to explore. The roads are paved and there is almost no traffic (and absolutely No Traffic when you are in the south of the island). It is hard to get lost – there is only one road that goes around the island and a couple that cut across it.  Koh Lanta is quiet, relaxing and perfect if you want to escape the crowds of Phi Phi, Phuket and Krabi and enjoy the Andaman Sea at its best.

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

As you would expect from a major travel destination in South Asia, Thailand has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. It’s our third time in Koh Lanta, and this time, we decided to stay in the south as this part has the best beaches on the island.

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

We chose to stay at a private villa in the south of Koh Lanta, and yes – this was the best decision ever! Baan Kuer Hill Pool Villa is Located near Kantiang Bay in Koh Lanta, which is certainly one of the most beautiful holiday destinations on the island! The dream beach of the same name is one of the most amazing beaches in Koh Lanta. Several times, this bay was even voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Here, one can enjoy an incredibly paradisiacal scenery and enjoys beach views, like from a postcard. The sea is wonderfully warm, and clear, and shines in the most beautiful blue tones. Nevertheless, this natural jewel is not overcrowded, and the atmosphere is still really relaxed. A real insider tip for a beach holiday on Koh Lanta. How lucky we are to enjoy not only the beach itself but also this amazing panoramic view over it! A true hidden gem in the south of Thailand

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

With grand views over the ocean, this hilltop villa gives us a unique Koh Lanta experience. Located in the secluded south part of the island, the vibes here are undisturbed by any kind of hectic, street noise, or mass tourism. Sometimes, we just need to be on our own, especially when we need some quality time, a peaceful place to work (like during this week), or just a super quiet place to relax.

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

This villa is suitable for all who would like to enjoy their holiday in a beautiful and modern pool villa. BaanKuer Hill Pool Villa is located on the hillside with the best view you can find on Koh Lanta. The villa is equipped with a full kitchen for both short and long stays. You can share a whole villa with your friends or family members without being annoyed by other unpleasant guests.

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

Begin your search for the perfect accommodation now while the excitement is still fresh in your mind. Discover stylish and affordable options, and find the best accommodations at the lowest prices:

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Koh Lanta Travel Guide

How to Get to Ko Lanta

Koh Lanta doesn’t have its own airport. The nearest airport to Koh Lanta is Krabi International Airport (KBV). You can get from Krabi Airport via shared mini-bus for 400 THB ride from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta. It takes between 2 and 3 hours and the drive can be booked from Krabi Airport. The shared mini-bus will drop you off at your hotel and are the most convenient. You could also get a private taxi which costs around 2500 baht – would be a good option if you arrive late at night. For the best travel deals, we highly recommend utilizing 12Go Asia website.

Another option is to travel by ferry from Ao Nang and Railay Beach. There are daily connections to Koh Lanta in both variants.

From Koh Phi Phi you can book a ferry which will take about 1h, and from Koh Lipe – 3h. From Phuket to Koh Lanta you can book a two-hour ferry that stops at Koh Phi Phi Don.

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

The Best Time To Go to Ko Lanta

March – May: the hottest months in Ko Lanta. The average temperatures are between 28° and 35° with humidity levels steadily on the rise.

May – October: the monsoon season in Ko Lanta starts in May, the average temperature is 29°, the prices are low and the rains are heavy! The wettest months are May, September, and October.

December – March: the dry season in Ko Lanta, but you can expect some raindrops at any time of the year.

November – February: the coolest season in Ko Lanta. The average temperature is between 23°C and 30°C. From December to March the humidity is slightly lower and the night temperatures rarely drop below 20 °C.

The high season in Koh Lanta is from November to April when the skies are sunny, the rain is at ease and all of the businesses are up and running. The high season is when most people are visiting the island. Expect to pay slightly more than normal for hotel rooms during the peak season due to increased demand.

Koh Lanta Travel Guide
The Best Amount of Time to Spend on Ko Lanta

Ko Lanta is about beach-ing and relaxing – for the rest, there isn’t really much going on here. If you are a beach lover like me, you can spend a whole month here without getting bored. But if you are searching for some parties or activities different than sunbathing, 3 to 4 days on the island would be enough for you!

West Coast vs East Coast

99% of the hotels and bungalows are located along the beaches, mainly on the west coast of the island. All the beaches in Ko Lanta are on the west coast too. Even during the peak season, they are never crowded, whether in the north or in the south of the island! Probably the only interesting place you can visit on the east side of Ko Lanta is the Old Town located in the center of the east coast. Originally the Old Town was a Chinese local fishing village with wooden houses on stilts going out into the sea.

Best Places to Stay in Koh Lanta

Ko Lanta has the most beautiful wild beaches in Thailand! Ko Lanta translated means the best beaches in Thailand. Just kidding! Ko Lanta means “grilled fished” … Anyway, Ko Lanta has the best underdeveloped and secluded beaches in Thailand! It’s a difficult choice to choose the most beautiful one as they are so many tropical, unspoiled beaches here.

All the beaches in Ko Lanta are on the west coast. Even during the peak season, they are never crowded, whether in the north or in the south of the island! Ko Lanta is about beach-ing and relaxing – for the rest, there isn’t really much going on here. If you are a beach lover like I’m, Ko Lanta is a must-visit place when you are traveling to Thailand.

And the good news is – the hotel selection is quite large and most accommodations are located on the northwest coast.

The most popular beaches on Ko Lanta are the beaches located in the North of the Island. The three main beaches are Klong Dao (3.5m long), Phra Ae Beach (5km long), and Klong Khong Beach (3 km long) – they are more developed and offer more accommodations compared to the beaches in the south, mainly because they are nearest to the port of Saladan where most travelers arrive on the island.

Koh Lanta Travel Guide

The most beautiful and wild beaches of Ko Lanta are located in the south of the island (Klong Jark Beach, Bamboo Beach). Here you will find paradise on Earth only for yourself! The further south you go, the more remote and peaceful the beaches become! In the south of Ko Lanta, the beaches become shorter, and the number of hotels and the density of people – are lower!Beach Guide Koh Lanta

The beaches in the middle of Koh Lanta are less spectacular in terms of length and quality of sand but are a good place to relax and swim.

The most beautiful and wild beaches of Ko Lanta are located in the south of the island (Klong Jark Beach, Bamboo Beach). Here you will find paradise on Earth only for yourself!

So instead of trying to tell you which beach is the best one, I’ll put together the most beautiful beaches of Ko Lanta, listed in the order from north to south. Enjoy!

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Klong Dao Beach

Klong Dao Beach is the nearest beach to Ban Saladan village, where all tourists arrive at Ko Lanta. Due to this fact, it is also the most developed and the busiest beach of Ko Lanta. Klong Dao has the greatest number of beachfront hotels (25) along its 3.5 km length. Klong Dao is very sandy, without a rocky ocean bottom. The sand is very soft and almost white, and in the water,  there are no stones. The only downside (after being the busiest beach on Ko Lanta) is that there are only very few trees that give you shadows during the day.

You can walk to the little village of Saladan where you will find many restaurants, street food opportunities, 7/11s and other mini-markets, pharmacies, coffee shops, etc.

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Long Beach, Phra Ae Beach

Phra Ae Beach, or also known as Long Beach, is the longest beach of Ko Lanta (5 km). The Long Beach is easily accessible – a 10-minute drive from Saladan village and the ferry port.

The Long Beach is distinctly relaxed and laid-back, with many beach bars and restaurants on offer. Here you can find several luxury hotels but also very good reasonably priced bungalows. Most of the beach runs into clear water with a nice sandy bottom. Since the beach is 5 km long you can always find a lonely place to enjoy your day. In the south end, the beach breaks up into rocky zones, though the scenery is photogenic.

Long Beach is the perfect place for watching Ko Lanta’s amazing sunsets! Here you can watch the sun while it changes the sky in all beautiful sunset colors over the ocean and Phi Phi Islands in the distance.

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Klong Khong Beach

Klong Kong is meant to be the best-value beach on the island if you are searching for a young party beach with some cheap bungalows and bars. The number of beach bars makes it one of the island’s top places for partying.

­­Klong Khong Beach is a 3-kilometer-long white sand beach with several rocky patches that make swimming at low tide difficult.

Most accommodations are in the southern part of the beach and are hidden among the trees. Klong Khong beach is less developed, more peaceful, and more laid-back than Long Beach or Khlong Dao Beach.

The small village near the road offers only basic shops and supplies, plus a few restaurants and bars. Klong Khong is also a great place to watch the amazing sunset and at night many bars have their own fire shows and parties (The Sound Shack Bar, Fisherman’s Cottage, Where Else, The Chocolate Bar, etc.).

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Klong Nin Beach

Khlong Nin is one of Ko Lanta’s most unique beaches situated in the middle of the island. The distance between Klong Nin and Saladan is about 15 km and 30 minutes of drive.

Klong Nin Beach is a fine white sandy beach with a laid-back atmosphere. It’s a good place for swimming and sunbathing. At some parts, the beach is a bit rocky, but you can still find a few places without stones at all. The surrounding mountains and tropical rainforest make Klong Nin Beach very special and unique.

Here you will find a few beachfront accommodations but there are more places to stay if you walk just across the road. There is also a small village center, with a supermarket, cafes etc. within walking distance on the main road.

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Ao Nui Bay Beach

Ao Nui is a rugged and rocky bay, built into its own patch of forest overlooking a private cove and beach. Here you can choose among three mid-range resorts that remain entirely unseen with a natural, ‘hidden-in-forest’ atmosphere. The Beach of Ap Nui is very isolated, rocky, and beautiful! Come here if you don’t want to share your experience with others!

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Kan Tiang Beach

Kan Tiang is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches on Lanta! Kan Tiang is a pretty white sand beach that runs into clear water with a sandy bottom that creates some great swimming opportunities. Natural forest covers much of the landscape, creating shady midday escapes. In the south end of Kan Tiang Beach, you will find Ko Lanta’s most famous luxurious resort “Pimalai”. Kan Tiang also has four smaller hotels overlooking the very top end of the beach.

Kan Tiang Beach is regularly voted as one of the best beaches in Thailand and the most attractive beach on the Ko Lanta! As almost everywhere in Ko Lanta, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere since the beach is never really crowded. Kan Tiang is perfect for enjoying some amazing sunsets over the ocean!  And is also very popular for being the best place for snorkeling on the island!

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Klong Jark Beach

Klong Jark is a remote, hidden beach far south of Ko Lanta which is not so easy to reach. It is probably my favorite beach of all we visited during our stay on Ko Lanta!

The drive to Klong Jark is pretty long, curvy, and hilly, and “unfortunately”, there is no surfaced street leading to the beach.  Anyway, once you arrive here you’ll be rewarded with the amazing beauty of Klong Jark and you’ll never want to leave it! It can happen that you are the only person at this beach – and this, somehow, happened to us!

Beach Guide Koh Lanta

Bamboo Beach, Mai Pai Beach

Another favourite beach of mine – Bamboo Beach! This piece of land is an absolute beauty and perfection if you are looking for a more secluded beach on Ko Lanta! Bamboo Beach is an 800 metres long white sand beach that remains undeveloped and virtually pristine. This is probably the most beautiful beach location on the island! Here you will find no restaurants, beach bars, shopping opportunities or what so ever … The real paradise, if you ask me!

The Best Way to Get Around Ko Lanta

The best way to get around the beautiful island of Ko Lanta is by renting a motorbike. The rent is about 200-300 THB per day including a helmet. The petrol costs around 100 THB per day. I recommend choosing a rental shop that doesn’t need to hold your passport as a deposit- give a copy of your passport instead plus despot in cash.

If you rent a motorbike you’ll be able to explore all the beautiful sides of Ko Lanta, but it’s also just fun to drive around enjoying the views and stopping off at quiet beaches.

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

Island Hopping: 4 Island Boat Tour

One of the most famous activities on Ko Lanta is the 4 Island Hopping Tour. There are many boat trips to choose from. You can spend the day snorkeling, kayaking, and island hopping around the gorgeous limestone islands, including Emerald Cave and Koh Muk. Another beautiful island trip is to Koh Rok, but here it can be very crowded during the high season.

Get a Massage

… As anywhere in Thailand! My very favourite thing to do is to enjoy a good old Thai Massage!

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

Snorkelling & Scuba Diving

Although Ko Lanta does not have as good a diving location as Koh Tao, snorkeling or scuba diving is still worth it when you’re there. The southern beaches, such as Kantiang Bay, tend to have the clearest water and best sea life. The best place for snorkeling near Ko Lanta is Koh Rok and Koh Haa.

Travel Guide Koh Lanta


Ko Lanta National Park

The national park is one of Ko Lanta’s most beautiful spots, located at the southern end of the island. Many tourists decide not to experience the park, so it’s relatively secluded. You will have to pay an entrance fee of 200 BHT per person to enter it. As a result, you’re able to enjoy the park and its beautiful beach in peace – there is one big minus point: the water has almost only stones, which makes nice swimming impossible for me.

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

View Point Restaurant

Anyone who comes to Ko Lanta and explores the island by scooter will come across this amazing Viewpoint Restaurant, located on a mountainside facing the East coast, offering some amazing views of the surrounding islands, mainland, old town, and Koh Lanta’s farmer’s fields!

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

Enjoy The Sunset

There isn’t a bad place to enjoy the sunset on Ko Lanta unless you are on the east side of the island 😀 This activity is, of course, completely free and you can be engaged every evening between 5:15 PM and 6:15 PM in watching the sunset over the ocean and Phi Phi Islands.

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

Safety on Ko Lanta

Don’t drink the water! It is not potable. Water from the tap will make you sick and that is definitely the last thing you want during your trip to Ko Lanta!

Don’t do drugs! Technically, imprisonment of anywhere from 1-20 years and 20,000-400,000 Baht may be applied.

Although it is not unusual to see people smoking e-cigarettes in Thailand, this is technically breaking the law as possession and smoking of e-cigarettes are illegal.

Be aware of the Sun! The sun is also something different than the sun we know in Europe … Always wear sunscreen with 50+ SPF! Not kidding, it will heart if you don’t!

Don’t drink and drive! It is tricky enough when you are sober … The roads are dirty and in a bad condition. You will notice a lot of travellers around the island with bandaged appendages or the so-called “Thailand tattoos” from motorbike accidents.

It is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving because you never know what could happen and when you might need it!

Travel Guide Koh Lanta

What to Pack for Ko Lanta

Umbrella or Raincoat: Because of its tropical location, whenever you travel to Ko Lanta you will see some afternoon raindrops during your stay for sure! Thailand is a tropical country so escaping the rain and humidity is not really possible. So you better bring an umbrella or raincoat every time you travel to Ko Lanta.

50% DEET Spray: There is no vaccination against malaria or dengue fever so you have to prevent mosquito bites as far as you can. Malaria could be a problem if you’re hiking through the jungle or mountain trekking during the rainy seasons. The best solution: use 50% DEET spray, wear long sleeves and trousers and sleep inside mosquito nets.

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is very expensive in Thailand! 100 ml costs about 15 €, so make sure you have enough in your bag. Be aware of the Sun! The sun is also something different from the sun we know in Europe … Always wear sunscreen with 50+ SPF! Not kidding, it will heart if you don’t!

Medicaments: Traveller’s diarrhea is a common problem too. I would recommend you to choose what and where you eat more carefully, and also to bring some anti-diarrhoea pills (like Imodium) with you.

Nappies, Sanitary Towels, Panty Liners, and Tampons: These are also very expensive and sometimes difficult to get on Ko Lanta.

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