Top 15 Unique Things to Do in Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta Island is located in the south of Thailand on the west coast of the Andaman Sea. For years, this island was one of the insider tips among backpackers as well as Thailand connoisseurs, and even today this dream island is a true paradise. As part of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, you can experience pure nature on this island. But not only the landscapes are impressive. Above all, there are many exciting things to do in Koh Lanta: Especially the countless attractions on Koh Lanta, the beautiful beaches, the deep jungle and the magical sunsets make this island unique. In addition, it is still really idyllic here, and the many lovely hippie beach bars provide a relaxed vacation feeling.
In this travel guide you will find all the important information and tips about Koh Lanta in Thailand. We provide information on how to get there and what to do, show you the best activities and attractions on Koh Lanta, and where to find the best accommodations on the island.
General information about Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta Island is located on the west coast of Thailand, in the vacation region Krabi and is about 800 kilometers from the Thai capital Bangkok. Strictly speaking, when you talk about Koh Lanta, you are talking about two islands: Lanta Yai and Lanta Noi, both of which have been part of Mu Ko Lanta National Park since 1990 and are separated only by a 1-kilometer-wide seawater shipping lane. The main island, however, is Koh Lanta Yai, and it is here that you will find the many amazing beaches, the countless attractions and the fantastic accommodations. Koh Lanta Noi, on the other hand, is uninhabited and also not developed for tourism.
Koh Lanta has just under 20,000 inhabitants and is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. Here you will find everything that makes a perfect island feeling: beautiful beaches for swimming, good and inexpensive restaurants, chilly beach bars, fantastic bungalows by the sea, a small pretty old town, and even rainforests with waterfalls and caves to discover. The countless worth seeing attractions on Koh Lanta and the wide range of excursion destinations, coupled with unique atmosphere make this island as a destination unique in Thailand.
Things to do in Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta offers its visitors a huge selection of unique things to do, cool activities and gorgeous beaches. If you love getting active during your vacation, you are stranded on this island just right. To make your trip planning easier, we have summarized the highlights and the ultimate best thing to see and to do in Koh Lanta.
Klong Nin Beach
The Klong Nin Beach is one of the main beaches of the island and a real highlight on Koh Lanta. On this long dream beach, you will find lots of cozy accommodations and lovely places to chill out. Especially nice here is the relaxed flair. But also in the evening, when the small colorful beach bars and restaurants fill up, the Klong Nin is really picturesque. Thanks to its central location on Koh Lanta, this beach jewel is a very good starting point to explore the attractions of the island. In addition, you can find countless good accommodations here, mostly also in the cheaper price range!
Tip: Highly recommended here is the Andalay Boutique Resort, a beautiful small hotel with pool and romantic bungalows in a prime beach location!
Worth seeing is also the small village Ban Saladan in the north of the island Koh Lanta. Arriving by ferry, you land directly here. In this fishing village you can find everything you need. There are ATMs, some supermarkets, bakeries and even a hospital. But there are also many opportunities for shopping and strolling. For example, you can buy a souvenir or two in the covered market halls of Ban Saladan. Walking along the waterfront, there are also some good restaurants built on stilts out into the sea. Having a dinner here is especially romantic. More tips about where to eat in Koh Lanta you will find at “Koh Lanta Restaurants”
During the high season, the “Koh Lanta Walking Street”, Koh Lanta’s small night market, takes place every evening, where you can fill your belly with goodies at a reasonable price.
Tip: In Ban Saladan you will find a variety of budget accommodation and backpacker hostels. Really nice is the Lanta Chaolay, a hostel that offers both dorm and double rooms.
Probably one of the most beautiful attractions on the island and also a real insider tip on Koh Lanta is the picturesque Bamboo Beach. Often known as “The Beautiful Beach”, you will experience a true dream beach there. Hardly anyone knows this natural jewel with the huge palm trees and the fantastic sea colors, and so it is still really cozy here. Especially idyllic and almost kitschy is the green meadow just behind the beach on which, almost like on an alpine pasture, cows graze. The small bamboo hut that sells cool drinks and small snacks is also really chilling.
Explore Koh Lanta by scooter
To explore the most beautiful places, beaches and attractions of Koh Lanta by scooter is probably the most popular activity on the vacation island. Driving is pleasant, because the almost 30-kilometer-long island has a well-developed road network and the traffic is also very calm. Scooter rental is offered in almost every accommodation and in the small travel agencies along the main road. A scooter for one day currently costs around 250 baht on Koh Lanta. When looking for gasoline, check for the Gasoline signs and the orange bottles sold along the roadside.
Kantiang Bay & Viewpoint
Probably one of the best things to do in Koh Lanta is a visit to the picturesque Kantiang Bay in the southern part of the island. This dream beach with its incredibly beautiful sea colors, tall palm trees and fine soft sand is an absolute highlight and a real insider tip. In addition, Kantiang Bay is still little touristy, which creates an incredibly idyllic atmosphere. Pretty are also the small resorts and bungalows, which are located here either directly on the sea or slightly above the beach with a wonderful view of the sea. Also the mega fine Pimalai Resort & Spa, the address for absolute luxury, is located at Kantiang Bay!
Also one of the most beautiful viewpoints of Koh Lanta can be found at Kantiang Bay. If you are there by scooter, then you should definitely stop at one of the panoramic restaurants on the road and enjoy the magnificent scenery with a cool drink.
Tip: Budget accommodation is available at the Aha Lanta Cozy Hostel, a mega fantastic hostel for backpackers. Not far from the beach, it also convinces with clean dorms and a great atmosphere!
Klong Khong Beach
Klong Khong Beach is a breathtakingly beautiful sandy beach about 3 kilometers long, which is located directly in the middle of the coast. Thanks to its ideal location on the island and its unique hippie flair, it is a popular beach for a vacation on Koh Lanta. Especially individual travelers and backpackers love this little paradise, where countless lovingly decorated beach bars conjure up an extremely cozy flair. Here you will also find great massage options for a reasonable price directly on the beach.
Reggae & Hippie Bars
A real highlight on Koh Lanta are the many quaint beach bars, which have almost become a landmark. On hardly any other island in Thailand will you find a cooler selection of original beach bars and nowhere is the density of Jamaica bars, reggae bars and hippie bars greater. With your toes in the sand and a cool beer or tasty cocktail, you’ll enjoy pure joie de vivre here. Also cool are the fire shows that many bars organize for their guests in the evening.
You can find these bars everywhere on Koh Lanta. You will find a particularly large selection at Klong Khong Beach and at Relax Beach.
The Relax Beach is another natural jewel and the perfect place for an unforgettable vacation on Koh Lanta. This small bay is located a bit away from the big main beaches and enchants with really quiet vacation flair. Behind the beach a handful of small bungalow complexes have settled, perfect for those who appreciate peace and relaxation. Also unique are the many cool hippie bars on Relax Beach, which have settled here and provide a unique island feeling.
Tip: A really recommendable accommodation on the beautiful Relax Beach is the Lanta Casa Blanca. The enchanting bungalows in eco-style and the fantastic pool with a view of the sea are fantastic here.
Koh Lanta Old Town
A visit to Koh Lanta Old Town is one of the best things to do in Koh Lanta. It is located on the east side of the island and is mainly inhabited by Thai-Chinese families. Among the main attractions here is the beautiful and even the only Chinese shrine on the island. But also otherwise the small town is really worth seeing. Picturesque wooden houses by the sea, excellent fish restaurants and lovely cafes invite to linger in this town. Even those who love shopping will surely find something nice to buy in one of the many colorful stores.
Tip: Koh Lanta Old Town is located away from the typical tourist centers and beaches. Especially backpackers and individual travelers love this tranquil place. We can recommend the Deep House Sea View. Here you live on stilts in the middle of mangroves by the sea and can enjoy amazing sunrises.
The picturesque Nui Bay is probably one of the most beautiful bathing spots on Koh Lanta. One of the beaches that has not changed for years and still remains incredibly natural and pristine. If you explore the island by scooter, then you should definitely plan a stop at Nui Bay. The sea here is uniquely beautiful and this place is also very suitable for snorkeling. There are still no accommodations, another reason why this hidden dream beach is a must-see attraction on Koh Lanta.
Really cool at Nui Bay is also the quaint hippie bar right on the beach, which attracts with cool drinks and a unique backdrop.
Mu Ko Lanta National Park
Another important place of Koh Lanta is the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, in the very south of the island. Even the journey to the park is really scenic, and with a little luck you can spot some monkeys on the way. The ultimate attraction in the national park is the Koh Lanta lighthouse, which has almost become a landmark of the island. The beach in the national park is also fantastically beautiful, because the sand is particularly bright and the water crystal clear.
But be careful not to leave your swimwear alone, because cheeky monkeys don’t miss any chance of prey here. Sporty people then make a jungle tour through the national park and discover with a little luck wild animals and tropical birds.
Entrance fee: 200 Baht National Park entrance fee | Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Lanta Animal Welfare
You love animals, you want to do something good and at the same time collect unforgettable Koh Lanta experiences? Then you should definitely visit the Lanta Animal Welfare. This is a non-profit institution that has taken care of the welfare of street dogs and cats. During a guided tour through the sanctuary you will get an insight into the fantastic work of the volunteers and if you are interested you can also help out at the Animal Welfare yourself.
In the café you can spend time with the cute cats and give them love and cuddles. There is also the possibility to walk the dogs. Speaking of donations, of course the organization is happy to receive a small gift from visitors!
Opening hours & guided tours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Khlong Chak Waterfall
The Khlong Chak Waterfall is a pretty little waterfall and one of the most popular nature sights on Koh Lanta. It is part of a national park and is located in the southern part of the island. This waterfall can only be reached via a 1-hour hike through the jungle, along a trail. Admittedly, it is not one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Thailand, but still, if you like to do a jungle tour, you can easily see this waterfall. The Khlong Chak Waterfall carries the most water in the rainy season, in the dry season, unfortunately, quite little water flows here.
Klong Jark Beach
The Klong Jark Beach is an absolute dream beach on Koh Lanta. Especially the huge palm trees and the beautiful sea colors make this beach a real postcard motif. In addition, it is quite tranquil on this beach, which is especially appreciated by those seeking peace and quiet. Snorkeling is also possible in this bay. Nearby are also exciting attractions, such as the Klong Jark waterfall or the Bat Cave in the jungle.
On this dream beach you will find only a few simple accommodations, like the Klong Jark Bungalows with sea view.
Koh Rok Island
A tour to Koh Rok is one of the most popular things to do from Koh Lanta. When we talk about this island, we are actually talking about two islets: Koh Rok Nok and Koh Rok Nai, which are only 200 meters apart. The highlights of this tour are mainly the fantastic snorkeling spots, which are located around the island. But also the beautiful dream beach with the kitschiest turquoise blue sea colors is really unique. Another attraction are the giant monitor lizards that have settled on the island and often pay a visit to the tourists.
Tip: Really cool excursions by speedboat from Koh Lanta to Koh Rok can be found online at GetyourGuide.
Emerald Cave Koh Mook (Emerald Cave)
A really popular excursion from Koh Lanta is also a boat trip to Emerald Cave on Koh Mook. Awaiting you on a visit is an approximately 80-meter-long, partly pitch-black sea cave, at the end of which lies a once-secret pirate beach. Just swimming through it is an adventure that you will not forget that soon. On many boat tours, you can then visit other island highlights that will delight you with their fine, powder-sugar beaches.
Tip: You can also book an excursion to Emerald Cave on Koh Mook online on GetyourGuide!
How to get to Koh Lanta
The journey to Koh Lanta is usually via the province of Krabi from the mainland. It is also possible to travel from Phuket to Krabi by ferry in about 3 hours.
From Krabi to Koh Lanta you can take a ferry or a minibus to the island. The ferry stops briefly at Koh Jum Island and lets passengers on and off there. Another option is to take a minibus from Krabi. This takes around 3 hours and you are usually picked up at your hotel.
All transportation options, travel times and prices can be found conveniently on 12go.asia.
Best places to stay in Koh Lanta
There is a wide range of accommodation on Koh Lanta. Whether you are a backpacker, a family with children or a luxury traveler, everyone will find the perfect place to stay on Koh Lanta. From fine 5-star hotels, to bed and breakfasts, bungalows by the sea and budget backpacker hostels, everything is here. If you are looking for a recommended accommodation, then we can give you these accommodation tips on the way…It’s worth a look!
- Lodge by the Sea (Klong Khong Beach): The Lazy Lodge is one of the best accommodations on the popular Klong Khong Beach. This small 4-star hotel spoils its guests with ingenious breakfast and dreamlike bungalows in top location.
- Bungalows with pool (Relax Beach): The Lanta Casa Blanca is another jewel among the best accommodations on the island. Here, beautiful ECO accommodations, a fantastic pool and the best location on Relax Beach enchants.
- Backpacker Hostel (Long Beach): The Bubu Lanta Hostel is a mega fantastic hostel for backpackers. Travelers love the central location near Long Beach, the cleanliness and the cozy flair of this accommodation.
- Luxury Hotel (Kantiang Bay): The elegant Pimalai Resort & Spa is probably one of the ultimate best hotels on the island. Here you can expect pure luxury, a fantastic facility with ingenious pool landscape and the best culinary. The perfect hotel for a very special vacation on Koh Lanta.
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