A simple google search into where to go in Thailand will come up with many different answers. There is no general consensus of which islands to visit and which to skip, making planning a trip confusing and overwhelming. When we started to look into which islands suited us the best, we came up empty handed and often picked at random or by using google images.
Every traveller is different and therefore has different opinions on which island is ‘the best’ or ‘the worst’. There is a Thai island for everyone, some suited for all night parties, some for great street food, others almost abandoned, and many fully developed. If you are like us, you will be looking for a good mix of options. A place with enough amenities that WIFI is available but still tons of nature to explore and empty beaches to lay out on. After visiting some Islands and talking to other travel bloggers and travellers, we have reached the conclusion that we have found our slice of paradise.
beautiful view of the palm tree lined roads from the beaches
Koh Lanta is located in Krabi Province and caters to a different crowd than neighbouring Koh Phi Phi. The island is lesser known, but still comfortable for tourists. Koh Lanta boasts 10 beaches and a good mix of budget, midrange, and high end accommodation. We did not know what to expect and after visiting Koh Phi Phi and not liking it at all, we were worried it would be similar due to proximity. Thankfully we were surprised in the best way possible!
Arriving by ferry from Koh Phi Phi allows for some beautiful views as you approach Koh Lanta Yai. I enjoyed the one hour ride from the front of the boat with my legs hanging over feeling like a true adventurer. I won’t go into the intense sun burn that came next, but the salt water air and the wind from the boat made this moment one the highlights from my trip to Thailand.
On the car ferry to Lanta Noi with our scooter!
The best way to explore Koh Lanta is by motorbike, which can be rented everywhere. We rented a scooter for half of our time (about 4 days) and paid 200 baht per day ($8 CAD). The southern tip of Koh Lanta has the most stunning scenery and the nearby beaches offer more dramatic landscape that in the north. After speaking with other travellers, we decided not to pay to enter the National Park, as the views along the main road to the south are very similar and it is fairly overpriced. There is a lighthouse and viewpoint in the park, but in our opinion, save the money and splurge on a nice dinner on the beach or an island hopping trip.
The different beaches offer different vibes. It was hard to know where to stay before getting here but now that we have done some exploring I can describe the vibe!
Vicki jogging with the sunset on Long Beach
Long Beach: We stayed on Long Beach on the main road, moo 2. This area has great proximity to long beach, about a 3 minute walk and is also close to fruit stalls, small restaurants, and mini marts. The beach itself is long enough that you will have no problem finding a secluded patch. We were in Koh Lanta in early February and found it to be surprisingly empty for ‘high season’. There are some beach bars and restaurants, but not too many beach bungalows right on Long Beach. There is a newer hostel located on the beach called Funky Fish which is popular. We also recommend Let It Bee Hostel. A very safe and clean hostel that has everything from toilet seat wipes to toothpaste provided and boasts a kitchen for communal use. We got a two bed dorm room (yes it is as cute as that sounds) and really enjoyed our stay here. This is a great beach for sunset viewing and draws quite a crowd of smiling vacationers with bottles of Chang. We loved walking the 3km beach from top the bottom as we watched the sunset every night.
Beach bars and lots of space to chill out on Klong Khong Beach
Klong Khong Beach: This beach has a more alternative hippy vibe. It is located near the islands only pure vegetarian restaurant Kunda and a few bamboo beach bars. The beach itself is nice but the sand is full of small and big rocks which makes walking quickly rather difficult. The water has some big coral and rocks and is better for dipping your feet than swimming, but still we enjoyed the beach because of the atmosphere.
Klong Nin Beach: Is the most developed and the majority of the accommodation is mid range to high end. There are lots of places with private pools and many beach front restaurants which higher prices.
A viewpoint on the way to the southenrn tip of Koh Lanta
Nui Bay: If you’ve rented a scooter this is one beach you must visit. Undeveloped except for one small wooden shack serving up Thai food the beach is protected on either end by large cliffs. The sand is very soft and the water is crystal clear. A quick hike down to the beach from the main road offers stunning photos and endless places to make your own little paradise for the day. Bring a good book or a ball if you are like us and enjoy.
If you are looking for a Thai escape that is a bit more authentic without sacrificing on any beauty, Koh Lanta is a must see. We planned on staying only a few nights and extended our stay to much longer. The highlight of our time on Koh Lanta was visiting Koh Lanta Noi! Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to Koh Lanta and love it too.