Koh Lanta Guide – The Ultimate Things to Do
Koh Lanta is an island located in the south of Thailand, more precisely on the west coast of the Andaman Sea. Just a short distance from Krabi, for years this island has been a popular destination for backpackers and travellers from all over the world. Until today this Andaman pearl is a true paradise and a favoured stop for island hopping. As part of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, Koh Lanta stands for pure nature, long beautiful beaches, hidden bays, deep jungles, caves and incredibly beautiful sunsets. In addition, the island offers an incredibly relaxed hippie flair, countless cozy beach bars, an interesting old town and many memorable activities. So, lots of exciting highlights and things to do await you on a holiday on Koh Lanta!
This blog post is a comprehensive travel Guide on Koh Lanta. Here you will find all lists of things to do in Koh Lanta, the travel highlights, best tours and activities. But also a lot of tips for accommodations, the best beaches of Koh Lanta and where to shop.
Best things to do in Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta offers a huge variety of fantastic attractions and amazing activities. For all who love getting active will be happy about choosing that destination. For help planning a perfect journey, we have summarized the best things to do at Koh Lanta in this guide.
Explore the island by scooter
Cruising over the island by scooter and exploring the best beaches and places is probably the most popular activity on Koh Lanta. With the wind in your hair, you will pass picturesque bays, magnificent viewpoints and discover the highlights of the island on your own. The approximately 30 kilometers long island has a well-developed road network. So, driving a scooter on Koh Lanta is a really pleasant thing. Even the road down to the south, into the national park, which used to be more than adventurous, is now easy to ride.
Renting a scooter on Koh Lanta currently costs about 250 baht per day. If you rent the scooter for longer, then the price can often be negotiable. Gasoline is mostly exclusive. In search of gasoline, look around for the Gasoline signs and the orange bottles sold by the roadside.
Relax on the best Beaches of Koh Lanta
Stand lovers beware, on this island there are numerous great beaches and many great bays to discover. Basically, all beaches are located along the west coast of the island and getting around at Koh Lanta can be organized by island taxi or scooter. In addition to the famous main beaches such as Long Beach, Klong Nin Beach and Klong Dao Beach, which are in our opinion not always the best ones, we have summarized a few tips for the best beaches on the island here. Generally, the bays become more and more paradisiacal the more south one gets.
More about the beaches you will find here: The 10 top beaches on Koh Lanta
Klong Khong Beach
The Klong Khong Beach is a 3-kilometer-long, soft sandy beach and is located approximately in the middle of the island. Especially lovely are its many colorful beach bars and the cozy atmosphere on this long beach. There are also plenty of backpacker accommodations.
The Relax Beach is one of our favorite beaches and is still an insider tip for Koh Lanta. This small bay is really beautiful and the many bars on the beach invites for relaxing. For a perfect stay at Koh Lanta we can recommend the Lanta Casa Blanca, which has fantastic bungalows at the beach and a wonderful infinity pool. Click here for more about the Relax Beach on Koh Lanta.
Bamboo Beach aka “The Beachtiful Beach”
The Bamboo Beach is the next dream beach on our list of the most beautiful beaches of Koh Lanta. Hardly anyone knows this jewel with the huge palm trees, and so it is still really cozy here. Really idyllic is the green meadow just behind the beach, on which almost like an alpine pasture, cows are grazing.
Klong Nin Beach
Klong Nin Beach is one of the island’s main beaches. Here you will find a lot of accommodations and great restaurants. This beach is also really cozy, and due to its length, you will find a quiet spot for relaxing everywhere.
The Kantiang Bay is an ultimate highlight of the island and is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches of Koh Lanta. The bay is a true dream: fantastic blue water colors, huge green palm trees, fine soft sand beach and only a few tourists.
Tip: On this beach you will find the finest Hotel and only 5 star address of Koh Lanta, the Pimalai Resort & Spa.
If you are traveling by scooter, then you should definitely visit one of the restaurants located on the upper coastal street. From there you will have an incredible view of Kantiang Beach! Perfect for taking some instagram pics.
The Nui Beach is another breath-taking beautiful beach in the southern part of Koh Lanta. Although this beach is one of the best places to visit at Koh Lanta it isn`t crowded at all. Perfect for spending a relaxing day at the beach and enjoying the incredible beautiful ambience.
Klong Jark Beach
The Klong Jark is another real paradise on the island. Here you can swim and relax, and this beach is also a great place for snorkelling and bathing. Also here you will find a quiet spot everywhere.
The famous Nui Bay is the favorite beach of many Koh Lanta fans. One of the beaches that has not changed for years and is still natural and original. Especially the cool hippie bar is worth visiting. Also for snorkelling this place is suited very well.
Visit Koh Lanta Old Town
Koh Lanta Old Town, the island’s old town, is mainly inhabited by Thai-Chinese families, so here you’ll find the island’s only Chinese shrine in town. The small town is really worth visiting and has a few nice things to see. Beautiful wooden houses by the sea, delicious seafood restaurants and nice cafes, invite in the village for a cozy stay. Also, those who love shopping will find something nice in one of the many colorful shops. Lanta Old Town is located on the east coast of the island and one of the must-see attractions in Koh Lanta.
Tip: Staying at Koh Lanta Old town has its own charm. For that we can recommend the Deep House Sea View. Here you live on stilts in the midst of mangroves by the sea and in the morning, you will enjoy breath-taking sunrises.
Waterfall and jungle tour
The Khlong Chak Waterfall is the waterfall in Koh Lanta, which is worth seeing. It can be reached after a 1 hour hike through the jungle. Beware, the jungle trail is not well marked and in hot season there won`t be much water coming out the falls. Granted, it is not one of Thailand’s best waterfalls, but if you would like to do a jungle tour, go and see this lovely attraction. Also, you have the possibility to explore a nearby cave. The Khlong Chak Waterfall is located near the Klong Jark Beach, in the southern part of the island.
The National Park in Koh Lanta
Another important attraction is the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, which is located in the very south of the island. Already the journey to the park is very scenic and with a bit of luck you can discover some monkeys on the way. The ultimate highlight and top attraction inside the National Park is the Koh Lanta Lighthouse, which has almost become a landmark on the island. Inside the lighthouse itself cannot be visited, but also from the outside it is a real eye-catcher. In addition, the beach in the background is really gorgeous, the sand here is especially bright and the water crystal clear. Here is the perfect place for swimming and snorkelling. But beware of monkeys, do not leave bathing suits alone, because these naughty ones do not miss any chance for stealing. Sporty people can go for a jungle hike and explore the nature of the National Park. With a bit of luck discover wild animals and tropical birds.
Tip: The best view of the beach and the lighthouse you have from the National Park Trail, which starts at the bottom of the beach.
- Entrance Fee: 200 baht national park entry, 20 baht for the scooter.
- Opening hours: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
Lanta Animal Welfare
You love animals, you want to do something good and at the same time collect unforgettable holiday experiences? Then you should definitely visit the Lanta Animal Welfare. It is a non-profit institution that helps abused and hurt street dogs and street cats. During a guided tour through the rescue center you will learn more about the fate of these poor animals, about the great work of the volunteer helpers, and if you are interested, you can also give some help at Lanta Animal Welfare (eg go for a walk with the dogs). In the café you can spend time with the sweet cats and give them love and cuddles.
Opening Hours & Guided Tours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Shopping in Ban Saladan
The small town of Ban Saladan is located in the north of the island, and if you come by ferry, you will land directly here at the ferry terminal. There are ATMs, some supermarkets, bakeries and even a hospital. But also many opportunities for shopping and strolling. For example, you can buy your souvenirs in the covered market halls of Ban Saladan, which is actually a great thing to do when it is raining. Additionally, during the main season every evening the Koh Lanta “Walking Street” takes place, a lovely street where you can buy yummy and cheap street food.
Tip: Don`t miss taking a walk along the waterfront promenade. Here are some good restaurants built on stilts into the sea and a dinner can be very romantic there.
Nightlife & Bars
The island has no exciting nightlife, not for example such as Koh Phangan, but the quaint beach bars of Koh Lanta are unique. There is hardly an island where you will find a cooler selection of cosy beach bars, and nowhere is the density of Jamaican bars bigger. With your toes in the sand, in original hippie style you can enjoy cool beer and delicious cocktails. Some bars do offer fire shows and lovely lightning at night.
The Sunsets of Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is famous for its magnificent sunsets and actually they are a main attraction of the island. They are considered to be very special, and so every evening you will be offered a new romantic ambience. The best way to enjoy the natural spectacle is at one of the many cute beach bars or while a romantic walk at the beach.
Attend a Cooking Class
Thai food is known to be delicious, and Thai cooking is great fun. Why not combine both and take home delicious recipes. At a cooking class on Koh Lanta is one of the coolest things to do. Here you will learn everything important about the Thai cooking basics and after the course you can enjoy the cooked treats. Here is a recommendation: Lanta Thai Cookery School.
Boat Trips & Snorkeling Tours around Koh Lanta
In and around Koh Lanta are plenty of fantastic places to visit. On a holiday on Koh Lanta a huge selection of exciting excursions and tours await you. The most popular tours are snorkelling trips and island hopping tours. The best trips from Koh Lanta are listed here:
- Koh Rok: If you love snorkelling, then you should definitely book a tour to Koh Rok. It is one of the best spots for snorkelling around Koh Lanta. Especially the beach of this island is just heavenly and the perfect spot to watch huge monitor lizards crawling around.
- Excursion to the Emerald Pool: The Emerald Pool is another natural highlight in the Krabi region. It is located on the mainland and can also be visited on a day trip. More about this natural wonder can be found here: Excursion tip Emerald Pool Krabi.
- 4 Island Tour: For the more adventurous, why not take a trip to the mystical Emerald Cave on Koh Mook? In addition, you can visit some of the ultimate Thailand island highlights when island hopping to Koh Ngai or Koh Kradan. Also, this tour is a perfect choice if you love snorkelling.
Here are the coolest day trips:
Koh Lanta offers a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes in all kind of price ranges. At this island you can expect very cheap and also very good food. Especially recommended is the Yawee restaurant, right on the main street at the amount of Relax Beaches. The restaurant itself is kept very simple, the kitchen, however, is top-notch yummy and serves probably the best food on Koh Lanta. Be sure to try the Crispy Chicken with Lemon Sauce, the crunchy Papaya Salad and also the Massaman Curry is exquisite.
If you are looking for a good place to have breakfast, we can recommend the legendary German Bakery. Typical German breakfast, delicious coffee and every day a German dish.
Best travel time
The rainy season lasts from Mai to November. The summer months like July and August to September and October are strongly influenced by the monsoon. Accordingly, the best time to visit Koh Lanta and the best climate is during the winter months from December to March. In this period, it is dry, and the chance of rain and storms is rather low.
How to get to Koh Lanta
The island Koh Lanta does not have its own airport. Accordingly, the closest airport is in Krabi Town. Cheap flights from Bangkok to Krabi can be found at Skyscanner.
From Krabi to Koh Lanta, take the ferry or minibus to the island. The ferry stops at Koh Jum Island, allowing passengers to board and disembark. The trip by minibus from Krabi takes about 3 hours and you are usually picked up at your hotel. Transport from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta is provided. The journey takes about 2.5-3 hours by mini bus.
If you want to go from Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta, take the speedboat. The trip takes about 3 hours and is the fastest way to get to the island.
Where to stay at Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta offers a wide range of accommodation and fantastic places to stay. Whether backpackers looking for cheap bungalows, families with children or discerning individual travellers, here everyone will find their ideal place to stay. During our trip we stayed at Lanta Casa Blanca. This small but very fine bungalow complex was recently opened and boasts with very beautiful rooms and a particularly beautiful location right on the Secret Beach. We also enjoyed the fantastic pool to the fullest. Here you can find more information about the amazingly beautiful bungalows of the Lanta Casa Blanca.
In addition, we can recommend these accommodations on Koh Lanta:
- Cheap Hostel: The Hub of Joys Hostel is the perfect hostel for backpackers. Clean, with delicious breakfast and only 2 minutes to Long Beach – one of the best hostels of the island.
- Top Resort: The LaLaanta Hideaway Resort impresses with a wonderfully quiet location on Bamboo Beach, beautiful bungalows and a fabulous pool.
Find the best Accommodation on Koh Lanta:
More about South Thailand:
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