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Difference between revisions of "Ko Lanta"

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Ko Lanta was hit by the tsunami in December 2004, which killed 20 people, but virtually all businesses are now operating normally again.
 
Ko Lanta was hit by the tsunami in December 2004, which killed 20 people, but virtually all businesses are now operating normally again.
 
 
 
  
 
===Orientation===
 
===Orientation===
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The nearest airports are [[Krabi]], [[Trang]] and [[Phuket]]. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Ko Lanta, and are the best options if you're only visiting Ko Lanta. Flying into Phuket is a better option if you're intending to spend time in Phuket and nearby islands, or, since Phuket has many more international flights, if you don't want to have to organize a domestic flight to Krabi or Trang from Bangkok. As an alternative to Bangkok, there are daily flights to Krabi directly to and from Singapore, as well as Kuala Lumpur.
 
The nearest airports are [[Krabi]], [[Trang]] and [[Phuket]]. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Ko Lanta, and are the best options if you're only visiting Ko Lanta. Flying into Phuket is a better option if you're intending to spend time in Phuket and nearby islands, or, since Phuket has many more international flights, if you don't want to have to organize a domestic flight to Krabi or Trang from Bangkok. As an alternative to Bangkok, there are daily flights to Krabi directly to and from Singapore, as well as Kuala Lumpur.
 
  
 
=== Express transfer ===
 
=== Express transfer ===
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=== Beaches ===
 
=== Beaches ===
  
* '''Kor Kwang'''. This beach, with its attractively curved shaped has lovely sand and clear aquamarine water.
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* '''Kantiang Bay''' A kilometre-long beach on a gently curving shoreline, Kantiang Bay is home to a limited number of hotels and resorts, leaving the pristine beach with an uncrowded feeling even during the busy holidays. There are excellent corals for snorkelling as well. Lying 18 km south of Baan Saladan, Kantiang Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and was voted one of the [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/holiday_type/beach/article6868417.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1 "Top Ten Tropical Beaches in The World"] by the Sunday Times of London.  
  
 
* '''Klong Dao'''. Over the years, Klong Dao has developed into the most popular beach on the island with a spectacular 3 km long beach of fine white sand and shallow clear water. Yet, because of its length, it is never really that busy. It is located just 2 km from Saladan Pier. The beach has an abundance of accommodation ranging in cost from just a couple of hundred to a few thousand. It is more than ideal for those who like a quiet beach but prefer to have all the usual tourist mods and cons such as international food, music and bars etc.
 
* '''Klong Dao'''. Over the years, Klong Dao has developed into the most popular beach on the island with a spectacular 3 km long beach of fine white sand and shallow clear water. Yet, because of its length, it is never really that busy. It is located just 2 km from Saladan Pier. The beach has an abundance of accommodation ranging in cost from just a couple of hundred to a few thousand. It is more than ideal for those who like a quiet beach but prefer to have all the usual tourist mods and cons such as international food, music and bars etc.
 
* '''Pra Ae (Long Beach)''' This beach, situated in the north of the island, is a stunning crescent of sand about 4 km long. There is a lot of accommodation there but since it is spread out a lot, visitors get the feeling that place is peacefully quiet.
 
  
 
* '''Klong Khong''' For most of the length of Klong Khong Beach there is a klong (canal) running opposite the beach and an old coconut plantation. Towards the southern end is an area where the local fishermen tie up their boats to the shore. A rocky reef runs along the length of the shore making it difficult for swimming but great for admiring the sunset.
 
* '''Klong Khong''' For most of the length of Klong Khong Beach there is a klong (canal) running opposite the beach and an old coconut plantation. Towards the southern end is an area where the local fishermen tie up their boats to the shore. A rocky reef runs along the length of the shore making it difficult for swimming but great for admiring the sunset.
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* '''Klong Nin''' This beach is separated by a klong that runs down to the beach at the northern third of the beach dividing it in two. The beach is covered with coconut and pine trees and the back end is tropical rain forest. Like almost all beaches on Ko Lanta, Klong Nin offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and its sand is white and fine.  The northern stretch is the best for swimming as it has far fewer rocky paths than the southern part of the beach.
 
* '''Klong Nin''' This beach is separated by a klong that runs down to the beach at the northern third of the beach dividing it in two. The beach is covered with coconut and pine trees and the back end is tropical rain forest. Like almost all beaches on Ko Lanta, Klong Nin offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and its sand is white and fine.  The northern stretch is the best for swimming as it has far fewer rocky paths than the southern part of the beach.
  
* '''Kantiang Bay''' A kilometre-long beach on a gently curving shoreline, Kantiang Bay is home to a limited number of hotels and resorts, leaving the pristine beach with an uncrowded feeling even during the busy holidays. There are excellent corals for snorkelling as well. Lying 18 km south of Baan Saladan, Kantiang Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and was voted one of the [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/holiday_type/beach/article6868417.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1 "Top Ten Tropical Beaches in The World"] by the Sunday Times of London.  
+
* '''Kor Kwang'''. This beach, with its attractively curved shape, has lovely sand and clear water.
 +
 
 +
* '''Pra Ae (Long Beach)''' This beach, situated in the north of the island, is a stunning crescent of sand about 4 km long. There is a lot of accommodation there but since it is spread out a lot, visitors get the feeling that place is peacefully quiet.aquamarine water.
  
 
====Far Southern Beaches====
 
====Far Southern Beaches====
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=== Art ===
 
=== Art ===
  
* '''Likae Pa''' (ลิเกป่า) {{-}} an adapted play, Likae Pa follows the adventures of an Indian merchant from Calcutta who married a local girl named Yayi. The story is then followed by other plays. Like Pa is accompanied by the music of folk instruments such as various kinds of drums, cymbals, and gongs. The lyrics are a mixture of the traditional Manora and Buranyawa songs. With its long history of popularity in Krabi, Like Pa performers are abundant here. It is believed that the play originated in this province. Many companies are still performing this dramatic art such as Mr. Truek Plodrit who won a cultural award.
+
* '''Likae Pa''' (ลิเกป่า) {{-}} an adapted play, Likae Pa follows the adventures of an Indian merchant from Calcutta who married a local girl named Yayi. The story is then followed by other plays. Likae Pa is accompanied by the music of folk instruments such as various kinds of drums, cymbals, and gongs. The lyrics are a mixture of the traditional Manora and Buranyawa songs. With its long history of popularity in Krabi, Likae Pa performers are abundant here. It is believed that the play originated in this province. Many companies are still performing this dramatic art such as Mr. Truek Plodrit who won a cultural award.
  
* '''Shadow Plays''' (หนังตะลุง) {{-}} this is an Indian influence. There are many shadow play or nang talung companies in Krabi.  
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* '''Shadow Plays''' (หนังตะลุง) {{-}} this is Indian influenced. There are many shadow play or nang talung companies in Krabi.  
  
 
* '''Manora''' (มโนราห์) {{-}} the performance is native to southern Thailand, which truly reflects its traditional culture.  
 
* '''Manora''' (มโนราห์) {{-}} the performance is native to southern Thailand, which truly reflects its traditional culture.  
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*<do name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Beach hand tennis. A game with a tennis ball and a net played in front of Hans restaurant everyday from 4.30pm. If you have hands come and play. its great fun.</do>
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*<do name="Beach Hand Tennis." alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""> A game with a tennis ball and a net played in front of Hans Restaurant everyday from 16:30pm. If you have hands, come and play. it's great fun.</do>
  
 
*<do name="Lanta Muay Thai Gym" alt="" address="245 M.2 T.Saladan" directions="Near Phrae Ae beach opposite Relax Bay resort road, a dirt road off main rd to gym" phone="+66(0)897397399" url="http://www.lantagym.com/" hours="8:00-6:00" price="500 baht lesson" lat="" long="">Lanta Gym is a professional and exciting place to train in Muay Thai. They welcome any ability from beginners and children. They have a range of trainers, some ex and current champion fighters from all over Thailand including Bangkok. The skills and techniques are taught in a personal, approachable style. They also have fights every Sunday at Williams Stadium, and a lot of foreigners that stay in the area and train can have the option to fight.</do>
 
*<do name="Lanta Muay Thai Gym" alt="" address="245 M.2 T.Saladan" directions="Near Phrae Ae beach opposite Relax Bay resort road, a dirt road off main rd to gym" phone="+66(0)897397399" url="http://www.lantagym.com/" hours="8:00-6:00" price="500 baht lesson" lat="" long="">Lanta Gym is a professional and exciting place to train in Muay Thai. They welcome any ability from beginners and children. They have a range of trainers, some ex and current champion fighters from all over Thailand including Bangkok. The skills and techniques are taught in a personal, approachable style. They also have fights every Sunday at Williams Stadium, and a lot of foreigners that stay in the area and train can have the option to fight.</do>
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=== Diving ===
 
=== Diving ===
There are no [[scuba diving]] sites on the island itself, all require a boat trip. However Lanta is the closest island to the famous Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Haa sites, so it is very popular with divers.
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 +
There are no [[scuba diving]] sites on the island itself, all require a boat trip. However Lanta is the closest island to the famous Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, and Ko Haa sites, so it is very popular with divers.
  
 
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang near Ko Lanta are perhaps the best dive sites in Thailand (frequently ranking in the world’s top ten) with more than 200 hard corals and 108 reef fish catalogued in a study underway, but thousands more organisms abound. Hin Daeng has the steepest and deepest in the whole of the country with fantastic marine life. Hin Muang next door is completely underwater and it is covered with delicate violet coral. The sites also have one of the world's highest incidences of whale shark sightings.
 
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang near Ko Lanta are perhaps the best dive sites in Thailand (frequently ranking in the world’s top ten) with more than 200 hard corals and 108 reef fish catalogued in a study underway, but thousands more organisms abound. Hin Daeng has the steepest and deepest in the whole of the country with fantastic marine life. Hin Muang next door is completely underwater and it is covered with delicate violet coral. The sites also have one of the world's highest incidences of whale shark sightings.
  
For details refer to [[Diving in Thailand]] and [[Diving in Thailand#Ko Lanta|Diving in Ko Lanta]]<!--If anyone wants to start regional dive guides for Thailand, and is willing to supply sufficient information, contact User:Pbsouthwood on my talk page, ot just go ahead and do it-->
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For details refer to [[Diving in Thailand#Ko Lanta|Diving in Ko Lanta]]<!--If anyone wants to start regional dive guides for Thailand, and is willing to supply sufficient information, contact User:Pbsouthwood on my talk page, or just go ahead and do it.
  
 
=== Snorkelling ===
 
=== Snorkelling ===
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=== Trekking ===
 
=== Trekking ===
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Elephant rides can be arranged to take visitors to the top of the hill in Ko Lanta National Park.
 
Elephant rides can be arranged to take visitors to the top of the hill in Ko Lanta National Park.
  
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== Learn ==
 
== Learn ==
  
Besides diving, Thai cooking courses on Ko Lanta are where wanna-be Thai cuisine chefs can learn to cook up all their favourite dishes such as tom yum kung, sweet green curry and chicken with cashew nuts.
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Besides diving, Thai cooking courses on Ko Lanta are where wannabe Thai cuisine chefs can learn to cook up all their favourite dishes such as tom yum kung, sweet green curry and chicken with cashew nuts.
 
+
* '''Time for Lime''', 72/2 Moo 3 Klong Dao Beach ''+66'' 75 684590 (lanta@timeforlime.net]) [http://www.timeforlime.net] offers professional and fun evening Thai & Fusion cooking classes right on the beach. It's run with a passion, usually only 1 class per day. What is most unique is that all the profit goes to run Lanta Animal Welfare [http://www.lantaanimalwelfare.com], founded by the owner, to help the sad situation for the animals on the Island. Classes starts at 16.00 (Introduction, making curry paste, 4 dishes (mostly seafood) 1800 baht.
+
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
  
* '''Hammock House''', 35 M2, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai ''+66'' (0)75 697 098  ([mailto:info@jumbohammock.com info@jumbohammock.com]) [http://www.jumbohammock.com] - Unique hammocks in a unique decor. Handwoven in Thailand by the Mlabri tribe. Largest selection of quality hammocks on the island. Worth just the look!
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* '''Hammock House''', 35 Moo 2, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai ''+66'' 75 697 098  ([mailto:info@jumbohammock.com info@jumbohammock.com]) [http://www.jumbohammock.com] - Unique hammocks. Handwoven in Thailand by the Mlabri tribe. Largest selection of quality hammocks on the island. Worth just the look!
  
* '''A Little Handmade Shop''', 2 Moo5, BaKantiang Village, Ko Lanta Yai ''100m past 7/11'' ''+66'' (0)849489688 ([mailto:info@littlehandmadeshop.com info@littlehandmadeshop.com]) [http://www.littlehandmadeshop.com] - All about handmade inspiration, creating original items for you and your home. Goods such as clothing, toys, ceramics, jewellery, jewely and art.
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* '''A Little Handmade Shop''', 2 Moo 5, Ban Kantiang Village, Ko Lanta Yai ''100 m past 7-11'' ''+66'' (0)849489688 ([mailto:info@littlehandmadeshop.com) [http://www.littlehandmadeshop.com] - All about handmade inspiration, creating original items for you and your home. Goods such as clothing, toys, ceramics, jewellery, jewelry, and art.
*<buy name="Drunken Tailors" alt="" address="Kantiang Bay" directions="Behind the Drunken Sailors Coffeeeshop" phone="" url="www.drunkentailors.net" hours="10:00 - 21:00" price="" lat="" long="">A colorfully funky collection of men's and women's clothing and jewelry with an emphasis on unique, hand-made items. Great location to shop for vibrant lady's evening wear as well as one-of-a-kind gifts for folks back home.</buy>
+
  
 +
*<buy name="Drunken Tailors" alt="" address="Kantiang Bay" directions="behind the Drunken Sailors Coffeee shop" phone="" url="www.drunkentailors.net" hours="10:00-21:00" price="" lat="" long="">A colorfully funky collection of men's and women's clothing and jewelry with an emphasis on unique, hand-made items. Great location to shop for vibrant lady's evening wear as well as one-of-a-kind gifts for folks back home.</buy>
  
 
== Eat ==
 
== Eat ==
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* '''Abdul's Pancakes''' is a crêpe stall run from a motorcycle sidecar. You can most often find him in Moo 1, Saladan, opposite Lanta Diver when the boat divers come back (around 15:00). His chocolate and banana crêpe and his chicken crêpe are especially tasty.
 
* '''Abdul's Pancakes''' is a crêpe stall run from a motorcycle sidecar. You can most often find him in Moo 1, Saladan, opposite Lanta Diver when the boat divers come back (around 15:00). His chocolate and banana crêpe and his chicken crêpe are especially tasty.
  
* '''Baan Laanta Bay View Restaurant''' (located in Kantiang Bay) serves great fresh seafood BBQ. Enormous tiger prawns, fresh squid, snappers galore - all fish & seafood is caught fresh, locally each day, and cooked in any style you like, served with baked potatoes and a free salad bar (with the best dressings you can imagine). The regular menu is also good, with stir-fries and curries at 100B, only a little more than the 70-80B you'd pay on the road. The juices are small, though. The view out over Kantiang Bay is beautiful and you can request a table on the beach if you like. Aqua Bar - the in-house cocktail bar, serves what may be the freshest and most adventurous cocktails on the island, including mango daquiris and fresh lime margaritas.
+
* '''Baan Laanta Bay View Restaurant''' (located in Kantiang Bay) serves great fresh seafood BBQ. Enormous tiger prawns, fresh squid, snappers galore - all fish & seafood is caught fresh, locally each day, and cooked in any style you like, served with baked potatoes and a free salad bar (with the best dressings you can imagine). The regular menu is also good, with stir-fries and curries at 100 baht, only a little more than the 70-80 baht you'd pay on the road. The juices are small, though. The view out over Kantiang Bay is beautiful and you can request a table on the beach if you like. Aqua Bar, the in-house cocktail bar, serves what may be the freshest and most adventurous cocktails on the island, including mango daquiris and fresh lime margaritas.
  
* '''Cook Kai''' is just across the street from Klong Nin Beach. Wholly built of wood and beautifully decorated, it offers a spacious open dining area and bar. The restaurant, run by the cook and his brothers and sisters, serves bland Thai food at 140B for curries and soups.  
+
* '''Cook Kai''' is just across the street from Klong Nin Beach. Wholly built of wood and beautifully decorated, it offers a spacious open dining area and bar. The restaurant, run by the cook and his brothers and sisters, serves bland Thai food at 140 baht for curries and soups.  
  
*<eat name="Drunken Sailors Coffeeshop" alt="" address="116 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Yai, Krabi 81150" directions="On the main road - 100m north of 7-11" phone="07-5665076" url="www.DrunkenSailors.net" hours="8:30 to 17:00 & 18:30 to 21:00" price="" lat="" long="">Drunken Sailors aspires to be nothing more than a laid-back café, but the rave reviews just keep coming. Now in it's 9th season of serving a diverse menu of western classics such as pasta and burgers as well as Thai dishes and unique fusion creations, this jazzy octagonal pad has become the center of social life in Kantiang Bay. Locals and tourists alike spend all day chilling in the café’s beanbags and hammocks. Add to the mix the huge selection of real ground espresso drinks and fresh fruit shakes and you can see why it's so popular. </eat>
+
*<eat name="Drunken Sailors Coffeeshop" alt="" address="116 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai" directions="on the main road 100 m north of 7-11" phone="07-5665076" url="www.DrunkenSailors.net" hours="08:30-17:00 & 18:30 to 21:00" price="" lat="" long="">Drunken Sailors aspires to be nothing more than a laid-back café, but the rave reviews just keep coming. Now in it's 9th season of serving a diverse menu of Western classics such as pasta and burgers as well as Thai dishes and unique fusion creations, this jazzy octagonal pad has become the centre of social life in Kantiang Bay. Locals and tourists alike spend all day chilling in the café’s beanbags and hammocks. Add to the mix the huge selection of real ground espresso drinks and fresh fruit shakes and you can see why it's so popular. </eat>
  
*<eat name="Mary Ann's Bar & Restaurant" alt="" address="Moo 1 Saladan" directions="Near 7/11 in Saladan" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Fun place to start the evening, either for a good meal or as starting point for an evening on the town. Good food and a lively place in the evening(make sure you get a chat with Aiden, if you want to know more about nightlife on Ko Lanta)</eat>
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*<eat name="Mary Ann's Bar & Restaurant" alt="" address="Moo 1 Saladan" directions="Near 7-11 in Saladan" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Fun place to start the evening, either for a good meal or as starting point for an evening on the town. Good food and a lively place in the evening (make sure you get a chat with Aiden, if you want to know more about night life on Ko Lanta)</eat>
  
*<eat name="Kampong" alt="" address="80 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Yai" directions="On the main road - 100m uphill from 7-11 and opposite Drunken Sailors" phone="+66 89 908 5977" hours="9am - about 9pm" price="" lat="" long=""> Southern Thai restaurant with the best "juices" in  town, for size, taste and price. "Juices" are always actually blended, but Kampong gives you a good amount of fruit. 40 B for most juices, 60 B for the Kampong juice (nice combo). Breakfast. Also has a travel agent and some simple rooms (300 B in off season).</eat>
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*<eat name="Kampong" alt="" address="80 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai" directions="on the main road 100 m uphill from 7-11 and opposite Drunken Sailors" phone="+66 89 908 5977" hours="09:00- about 21:00" price="" lat="" long=""> Southern Thai restaurant with the best juices in  town, for size, taste and price. Juices are always actually blended, but Kampong gives you a good amount of fruit. 40 baht for most juices, 60 baht for the Kampong juice (nice combo). Breakfast. Also has a travel agent and some simple rooms (300 baht in off-season).</eat>
  
 
* '''River Restaurant''' is a friendly family operation located on the beach just south of Narima Resort. They have a delicious menu: lots of Thai dishes and a few Western ones as well. The Phad Thai is excellent. It is very popular with families and the owner's children often play with tourist kids.
 
* '''River Restaurant''' is a friendly family operation located on the beach just south of Narima Resort. They have a delicious menu: lots of Thai dishes and a few Western ones as well. The Phad Thai is excellent. It is very popular with families and the owner's children often play with tourist kids.
  
*<eat name="Spices and Herbs" alt="" address="Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Yai, Krabi 81150" directions="On the main road - a few m uphill from 7-11 (almost opposite)" phone="" hours="9am - about 9pm" price="" lat="" long="">Excellent food at a modest price (80 B for a standard dish). Includes Western options like hamburgers, pizza and pasta. Also offers cooking classes, or 100 B extra to help cook your meal.</eat>
+
*<eat name="Spices and Herbs" alt="" address="Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai" directions="on the main road a few metres uphill from 7-11 (almost opposite)" phone="" hours="09:00- about 21:00" price="" lat="" long="">Excellent food at a modest price (80 baht for a standard dish). Includes Western options like hamburgers, pizza and pasta. Also offers cooking classes, or 100 baht extra to help cook your meal.</eat>
 +
 
 +
* '''Sunset Restaurant''' is a very small restaurant on Klong Dao beach close to D.R. Lanta Resort beside Mooks Bar. The Thai food is arguably the best on Klong Dao Beach and cheap too. Real Thai-style eating with the tables directly on the sand and no decorations at all but a nice view and cool breeze from the sea.
  
* '''Sunset Restaurant''' is a very small restaurant on Klong Dao beach close to D.R. Lanta Resort beside Mooks bar. The Thai food is arguably the best on Klong Dao beach and cheap too. Real Thai style eating with the tables directly on the sand and no decorations at all but a nice view and cool breeze from the sea.
+
* '''Thai Cuisine''' is a long-established favourite. It is in Phra Ae just south of the Opium night club. The menu features a wide selection of wonderful Thai dishes and Chinese as well. The "special" spring roll is excellent. There is bar service and a small artisan boutique. Say hello to the chef/owner, Somkuan. He's a great guy.
  
* '''Thai Cuisine''' is a long-established favorite. It is in Phra Ae just south of the Opium night club. The menu features a wide selection of wonderful Thai dishes and Chinese as well. The "special" spring roll is excellent. There is bar service and a small artisan boutique. Say hello to the chef/owner, Somkuan; he's a great guy.
+
* '''Time For Lime restaurant & bar''' is not just a well known professional Thai & Fusion Cooking School, it also has a  
  
* '''Time For Lime restaurant & bar''' is not just a well known professional Thai & Fusion Cooking School, it also has a beach & tree-top restaurant where you can relish the sunset & the breeze while peeking at what the cooking “students” are  creating down below. In just a short time because of the word of mouth, more and more people are checking out the great food, atmosphere and mojitos. They offer a filling 6-course tasting menu for 495 Baht, all year round. Bungalows are also for rent. Open all Year.
+
* '''Time for Lime Restaurant, Bar, Cooking School''', 72/2 Moo 3 Klong Dao Beach +66 75 684 590 (lanta@timeforlime.net]) [http://www.timeforlime.net] Beach & tree-top restaurant where you can relish the sunset & the breeze while peeking at what the cooking “students” are  creating down below. In just a short time because of the word of mouth, more and more people are checking out the great food, atmosphere, and mojitos. They offer a filling 6-course tasting menu for 495 baht, all year round. Bungalows are also for rent. Open all Year. As a cooking school it offers a professional and fun evening of Thai & fusion cooking classes right on the beach. It's run with a passion, usually only 1 class per day. What is most unique is that all the profit goes to run Lanta Animal Welfare [http://www.lantaanimalwelfare.com], founded by the owner, to help the sad situation for the animals on the island. Classes starts at 16:00 (Introduction, making curry paste, 4 dishes (mostly seafood) 1,800 baht.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==

Revision as of 12:03, 28 December 2012

Ko Lanta (เกาะลันตา) is an island off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. Like many other destinations in Krabi Province, it is known for its diving and long white beaches.

Contents

Understand

Ko Lanta beach

Ko Lanta consists of several islands, the two largest of which are Ko Lanta Noi (เกาะลันตาน้อย, "Small Lanta Island") and Ko Lanta Yai (เกาะลันตาใหญ่, "Big Lanta Island"). However, Ko Lanta Yai is where all the tourist action is, so this article will refer to it simply as "Ko Lanta".

Ko Lanta is popular with tourists seeking a holiday away from the parties. It's popular with a significantly older crowd than nearby Ko Phi Phi: more walking on the beach and watching the sunset than drinking and dancing. However, there are plenty of bars and the longer term stayers are friendly and know how to party! It is also popular with families with young children, and of course, with divers. Ko Lanta can provide a party if you know where to look.

Ko Lanta is a little less well-known than Ko Phi Phi, which has become more commercialised and corporate, but it is hardly undiscovered: the several beaches on the west coast of Ko Lanta Yai are each strung with a line of resorts and bungalows, although the farther down the island you venture, the less this is true. And even when the island is at it fullest, there will be a quiet place for you to relax - the beaches are never full. Ko Lanta is especially popular with Swedish tourists: although the "tourist language" is English as it is in most places in Thailand, and you will find menus and so on are translated into English, expect the poolside language to be Swedish much of the time. However, there are still many English and Irish bars and restaurants to visit.

Ko Lanta was hit by the tsunami in December 2004, which killed 20 people, but virtually all businesses are now operating normally again.

Orientation

The main island is 6 km wide and over 30 km long, located approximately 70 km from Krabi Town. The island has 9 attractive white sandy beaches, splendid scenery; coastlines have more than 70 small islands and plenty with forest, coral reefs and under water life. The geography of the island is typically mangroves; coral rimmed beaches; and rugged tree covered hills.

A paved road runs along the beaches from the northern part of the island almost all the way to the southern tip. The last 8 kilometers leading to the headquarters of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park in the south are quite hilly and aren't yet paved so can become quite tricky to negotiate if it rains. The landscape is dominated by a series of mountains covered with virgin rainforest.

Climate

Weather in the region is tropical - there are only two seasons: the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures during the year average 25ºC to 32ºC (77ºF to 89.6ºF) and the yearly rainfall averages 2568.5mm. Unlike in say Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily and quickly over short periods.

Weatherwise, the best time to visit Ko Lanta is between the months November to April when the area’s climate is less hot than usual. During this period the island gets a lot of dry North Easterly winds, so giving dry blue skies and starry nights. Then, down on the beaches one can enjoy nice sea breezes. From May to October the area gets a lot of rainfall, more on average than the rest of the country. During this period the island gets a lot of moist South Westerly winds, so giving a mixture of dry days and wet ones. The sea stays at a warm 29°C all year round.

Culture

Krabi and Ko Lanta are a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas is Muslim. The area however, does not suffer from any religious tension and the folk live in peace and harmony. Most of the folk speak with a thick Southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand.

With this kind of mixture, Krabi is always celebrating something be it part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic tradition.

The unique lifestyle of the Chao-Le (sea-gypsy) in Ko Lanta particularly is well-worth a witness, a life-style that has been almost completely unaffected by the booming tourism on the island.

Get in

By plane

The nearest airports are Krabi, Trang and Phuket. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Ko Lanta, and are the best options if you're only visiting Ko Lanta. Flying into Phuket is a better option if you're intending to spend time in Phuket and nearby islands, or, since Phuket has many more international flights, if you don't want to have to organize a domestic flight to Krabi or Trang from Bangkok. As an alternative to Bangkok, there are daily flights to Krabi directly to and from Singapore, as well as Kuala Lumpur.

Express transfer

The quickest service from Krabi Airport [1] and Phuket Airport [2] to Ko Lanta is by using the express transfer which is a combination of minivan and speedboat travel. If you arrive early you will not have to wait for the ferry and if you arrive late at these airports you can still arrive on Ko Lanta the same day.

From Krabi airport a 45 minute air conditioned minivan to the first car ferry port. You then go on board the speedboat which then takes you on a stunning boat ride across the water along the coastline of Ko Lanta. The journey takes around 15 minutes depending on weather and conditions. You will arrive directly in Saladan (alternately written as Sala Dan) on Ko Lanta, where you are then transferred to your hotel by car. That means the total journey time should be 1.5 to 2 hours. This eliminates the waiting time at the car ferry and also if you are going from Ko Lanta to one of these airports allows you more time to enjoy your visit.

By car

Ko Lanta does not have roads connecting it directly to the mainland, but is served by car ferries. Take Rt 4206 off Hwy 4 about 20 km southeast of Krabi airport. Drive to the end of the road, where there is a car ferry from Baan Hua Hin to Ko Lanta Noi. From the pier here, turn right and follow the "ferry" signs to the second car ferry to Ko Lanta Yai. Ferries operate 07:00-22:00.

There are plenty of car taxi and minivan taxi services from Krabi and the nearby airport. A seat in a ten person minivan from the airport to Ko Lanta costs about 300 baht. These minivans usually don't have much room for luggage (although they can usually find room for one or two large suitcases together with backpacks for the rest of the passengers) so if you're not traveling light you might need to get a private taxi.

This is what the divemasters do. A private minivan taxi will usually be quoted as 2,500 baht. It's possible to bargain a few hundred baht off this price but not much more or the tolls will consume too much of the price. Car taxis cost about the same.

When travelling to/from Ko Lanta in the afternoon by road, allow 2–3 hours for the journey as the queues for the vehicle ferries can be lengthy. The passenger ferry which leaves Ko Lanta pier (high season) at 08:00 and arrives at Krabi pier at 10:00 is quicker.

By boat

Ferry arrival at Ban Saladan pier

From Ko Lanta to other islands

Private companies on Ko Lanta operate boat services to many destinations.

  • Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi: 08:00 and 13:00, 350 baht.
  • Ko Lanta – Krabi: 08:00 and 13:00, 300 baht (apparently, in high season, at least 400 baht)
  • Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Phuket: 13:00 and 14:30, 700 baht
  • Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Krabi: 09:00 and 13:30, 700 baht

Ferry services run from Krabi, Ao Nang and from Phuket via Ko Phi Phi to Ko Lanta Yai's Saladan pier. During high season, there are sometimes direct ferries as well. Ferry services are subject to weather and to demand. Many ferries have limited room for luggage. Often the ferries dock alongside each other, meaning that to get on and off passengers must clamber onto and across other boats with their luggage. However many times boat staff will be there to help you board your bags.

All ferries can be booked online ahead on [3] from all the destinations including Phuket, Krabi, Ao Nang, Rai Leh, and Phi Phi as well as hotel pickup service except for on Phi Phi where there are no roads.

Services from Krabi are run by P.P. Family Co (+66 75 630 165) and depart Krabi pier at 10:30 and 13:30, taking 2 hours to reach Ko Lanta (200 baht including free pickup from Krabi hotels). There's a transit bus from Krabi town centre for 10 baht.

Services from Ao Nang are run by Ao Nang Travel and Tour (+66 75 637 730) and depart at 10:30 (280 baht).

Ferries depart from Ko Phi Phi at 11:30 and 14:00, and take 1 hour. If travelling from Phuket in a single day, you will need to leave Phuket on the 08:00 ferry to transfer to the 11:30 ferry. Tickets to Ko Lanta are 200 baht from Ko Phi Phi and 450 baht from Phuket.

Once you arrive, if you have a booking at a hotel/resort, there should be a person at the ferry exit with a sign giving the name of the hotel you have booked.

By passenger van

All the travel agents in Krabi can arrange passenger vans to Ko Lanta. There is no regular, scheduled van service from Krabi Airport, although vans and taxis can be chartered to Ko Lanta for about 2,000 baht per vehicle (2,500 baht if you are going to the south end of Ko Lanta). Taxis (usually vans) are also available at the airport at the same rate.

There is a mini van service that runs between Krabi and Ko Lanta, However it must be booked in advance through your hotel or someone local. The cost is 400 baht per person. Book early as it fills up quickly. It will pick-up, drop-off at the airport. You should factor in 3 to 4 hours to get from Ko Lanta to the airport, since the mini van will pick-up and drop off other people along the way.

If you want to return to Krabi by van rather than by ferry, ask at your hotel/resort and they will book you on the minibus which will take you there (as a group with others from other hotels), for a reasonable price.

It is worth travelling to Lanta one way by boat and the other by road just to see the contrast. The price is not much different.

By train

The nearest train station to Ko Lanta is in Trang province just south of Krabi. From there, there are trains to and from Bangkok.

Distances from Bangkok

The distance from Bangkok to Krabi is approx 950 km or about 12 hrs by car.

  • Route 1: Phetburi → Prachuabkirikhan → Chumphon → Phang Nga → Krabi = 946 km.
  • Route 2: Phetburi → Prachuabkirikhan → Chumphon (Hwy 41) to Chaiya (Surat Thani) → Krabi (Viangsra) → Hwy 4035 → Krabi (Ao Luk) and along Hwy 4 again = 814 km.

Get around

The main roads on the island are well paved. However the road just north of Mu Ko National Park is still unpaved dirt. That road ends at the park and so it isn't possible to drive from that point up the eastern side of the island.

It's worth knowing the names of the resorts near yours: both the pickup trucks and motorcycle taxis will often want to pick you up or drop you at a nearby resort with a better road.

Resorts and some of the major tourist services (like the dive shops) own large pickup trucks and transport tourists around in the tray. Very occasionally, they own minibuses instead. If you come in by ferry your resort will almost certainly meet you at pier with their truck; if you're travelling with very small children who you don't want to cling to while you bump along sitting on the side of the truck you might want to warn them in advance that you'll want to ride in the cab: it's generally assumed to be the private domain of the driver.

You will find the locals almost exclusively ride motorbikes; you can hire these in several places for a few hundred baht a day. You can also hire motorcycle taxis with sidecars. These will happily take you on the unpaved roads but the ride can be as slow as walking. A typical fare for a ride from Saladan to Klong Dao Beach is 40 baht.

Jeeps can be hired for 1,200 baht per day. Be sure to check insurance, contract terms and the condition of the vehicle. The "roads" of Ko Lanta combined with the driver operation characteristics of some renters are a serious challenge for any car. The frequently available Suzuki Sporty seems primitive and therefore sturdy, and a replacement should cost around 150,000 baht.

See

  • Ban Saladan Ban Saladan, approximately 3 km from Klong Dao Beach, is the tourist centre of Ko Lanta. Facilities include inexpensive and easy to find transport, diving trips, banking, and shopping.
  • Khao Mai Kaew Caves Getting away from the beach for the day, tourists can visit the stunning Khao Mai Kaew Caves which are located in the centre of the island, offering a wonder of rocks and caverns and housing spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, some of the caves are just huge and one of them contains a pool. For getting around inside the caves you will need a guide, but one is cheap, around 200 baht per person. You can also take an elephant-ride for around 600 baht per person. Take some good shoes, as the caves are slippery. The caves are located just off the lower of two cross-island roads, down a narrow 1.5 km dirt path through the rubber plantations.
  • Ko Lanta Noi. Lanta Noi has no tourist facilities as such but is well worth a visit. Hire a motorbike and catch the ferry or longtail from Saladan Pier, there's a few circular roads, all well covered that will take you around the island to see the local way of life. There are a few local restaurants along the way so you can stop for some fried rice, pick up a map before you go from one of the tourist offices on Lanta Noi, and drive carefully!
  • Lanta Old Town is a small village on Ko Lanta's East side. It's one of the region's most culturally diverse with Chinese merchants, original Thai fishing families and an ancient Sea Gypsy community. Many years ago, Ko Lanta's Old Town acted as the port and commercial centre for the island and provided a safe harbour for Arabic and Chinese trading vessels sailing between the larger ports of Phuket, Penang, and Singapore. Today, Old Town is the district capital; it has a post office, Buddhist temple, Chinese temple, and the island's hospital as well as a long pier. It's a charming place to visit and boasts many good restaurants and interesting shopping like handmade hammocks and an original batik and art gallery. It's also a great jumping off point to other Islands like Ko Bubu, Ko Talenbeng and Ko Por.
  • Orchid nursery farm This farm is recommended to all those who like flowers. The Orchid Nursery Farm is located at Long Beach (Pra Ae Beach) and the entry fee is 30 baht per person. It’s easily accessible by bike or motorbike.
  • Sea-Gypsy Village Known to the Thais as Chao Le, sea gypsies have occupied the area for hundreds of years settling along the coast in stilt-built houses erected between the water level of high and low tide. They are unique in that they mix very little with the general population, speak their language and have their very own supernatural and traditional beliefs and rituals. And example of the latter is the Loy Ruea (floating boat) ceremony where the village men build a symbolic boat and place wooden statues of themselves in it along with nail pairings, hair and popped rice. By performing this ritual, they ask for forgiveness from the sea gods and for any wrongs that may have done to the sea. It is believed that all evil is carried away in the symbolic boat.

Beaches

  • Kantiang Bay A kilometre-long beach on a gently curving shoreline, Kantiang Bay is home to a limited number of hotels and resorts, leaving the pristine beach with an uncrowded feeling even during the busy holidays. There are excellent corals for snorkelling as well. Lying 18 km south of Baan Saladan, Kantiang Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and was voted one of the "Top Ten Tropical Beaches in The World" by the Sunday Times of London.
  • Klong Dao. Over the years, Klong Dao has developed into the most popular beach on the island with a spectacular 3 km long beach of fine white sand and shallow clear water. Yet, because of its length, it is never really that busy. It is located just 2 km from Saladan Pier. The beach has an abundance of accommodation ranging in cost from just a couple of hundred to a few thousand. It is more than ideal for those who like a quiet beach but prefer to have all the usual tourist mods and cons such as international food, music and bars etc.
  • Klong Khong For most of the length of Klong Khong Beach there is a klong (canal) running opposite the beach and an old coconut plantation. Towards the southern end is an area where the local fishermen tie up their boats to the shore. A rocky reef runs along the length of the shore making it difficult for swimming but great for admiring the sunset.
  • Klong Nin This beach is separated by a klong that runs down to the beach at the northern third of the beach dividing it in two. The beach is covered with coconut and pine trees and the back end is tropical rain forest. Like almost all beaches on Ko Lanta, Klong Nin offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and its sand is white and fine. The northern stretch is the best for swimming as it has far fewer rocky paths than the southern part of the beach.
  • Kor Kwang. This beach, with its attractively curved shape, has lovely sand and clear water.
  • Pra Ae (Long Beach) This beach, situated in the north of the island, is a stunning crescent of sand about 4 km long. There is a lot of accommodation there but since it is spread out a lot, visitors get the feeling that place is peacefully quiet.aquamarine water.

Far Southern Beaches

There are a few beaches in the south of Ko Lanta. All are the beaches are small, just a few hundred meters long. The beaches are very quiet with little in the way of accommodation - ideal for those who want to ‘get away from it all’. They are:

  • Ao Nui (Nui Bay) — next to Bakantiang, the road changes to a dirt road in 5 km length leading to Mu Ko Lanta National Park. It is difficult to come around this area and you will need a good quality 4-wheel drive vehicle or a bike if you’re a really good rider.
  • Ko Lanta National Park — there are two beaches in the national park, such as Had Hin Ngam.

Art

  • Likae Pa (ลิเกป่า) — an adapted play, Likae Pa follows the adventures of an Indian merchant from Calcutta who married a local girl named Yayi. The story is then followed by other plays. Likae Pa is accompanied by the music of folk instruments such as various kinds of drums, cymbals, and gongs. The lyrics are a mixture of the traditional Manora and Buranyawa songs. With its long history of popularity in Krabi, Likae Pa performers are abundant here. It is believed that the play originated in this province. Many companies are still performing this dramatic art such as Mr. Truek Plodrit who won a cultural award.
  • Shadow Plays (หนังตะลุง) — this is Indian influenced. There are many shadow play or nang talung companies in Krabi.
  • Manora (มโนราห์) — the performance is native to southern Thailand, which truly reflects its traditional culture.
  • Rong Ngeng (รองเง็ง) and Phleng Tanyong (เพลงตันหยง) — a Malaysian adaptation, which is of Portuguese origin, rong ngeng is a traditional folk dance and music customarily performed in noble houses. It was later performed by the locals with Thai lyrics called phleng tanyong.

Do

  • Beach Hand Tennis.. A game with a tennis ball and a net played in front of Hans Restaurant everyday from 16:30pm. If you have hands, come and play. it's great fun.
  • Lanta Muay Thai Gym, 245 M.2 T.Saladan (Near Phrae Ae beach opposite Relax Bay resort road, a dirt road off main rd to gym), +66(0)897397399, [4]. 8:00-6:00. Lanta Gym is a professional and exciting place to train in Muay Thai. They welcome any ability from beginners and children. They have a range of trainers, some ex and current champion fighters from all over Thailand including Bangkok. The skills and techniques are taught in a personal, approachable style. They also have fights every Sunday at Williams Stadium, and a lot of foreigners that stay in the area and train can have the option to fight. 500 baht lesson.
  • Boat Charter Thailand, +66(0)884907290, [5]. Sailing Yachts, Motor Boats, Bareboat or Crewed, Luxury Charters, Fishing Trips, Traditional Boat Tours.

Massage

  • Lanta Massage, on Long Beach (Phra Ae Beach), Moo 3 Saladan. (walking towards the water, it's on your left, near where the road meets the beach. You may have some difficulty finding this place.). Open late.. A wonderful, humble little studio with a wall fully adorned with photos of happy customers. Very relaxing, great technical massage, with care and attention.
  • Serenity massage and Spa, 147 Moo 1, Saladan (travel to Saladan's centre and turn right at the water's edge.), +66 81 569 9852, [6]. 10:00-22:00. Open all year. Inside Serenity you will find soothing touches, tranquil settings, ambient sounds, intoxicating aromas and a team of fully trained staff which will all help you on a rejuvenating journey to restore and harmonise your mind, body, and soul. Serenity is built entirely on the sea on wooden stilts and enjoys a private pier where you can relax before and after your treatments.

Longtail boating

Long tail boat
  • Lanta Longtail/Sun Island Tours, 9/1 Moo 1, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai, +66 87 891 6619 (), [7]. The "Longtail for Lovers Tour", private charters, island tours, beach camping, and fishing trips.

Sea kayaking

  • Rapu Sea Kayaking, 10/5 Moo 2, Ko Lanta Yai +66 92 871 749 (contact Chutima Junsirikamon) - guided sea kayak tours of the mangrove areas.

Diving

There are no scuba diving sites on the island itself, all require a boat trip. However Lanta is the closest island to the famous Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, and Ko Haa sites, so it is very popular with divers.

Hin Daeng and Hin Muang near Ko Lanta are perhaps the best dive sites in Thailand (frequently ranking in the world’s top ten) with more than 200 hard corals and 108 reef fish catalogued in a study underway, but thousands more organisms abound. Hin Daeng has the steepest and deepest in the whole of the country with fantastic marine life. Hin Muang next door is completely underwater and it is covered with delicate violet coral. The sites also have one of the world's highest incidences of whale shark sightings.

For details refer to Diving in Ko Lanta

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