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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.
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Revision as of 12:05, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 quickest service from Krabi Airport  and Phuket Airport  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.
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.
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  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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Kor Kwang. This beach, with its attractively curved shaped has lovely sand and clear aquamarine water.
- 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 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 "Top Ten Tropical Beaches in The World" by the Sunday Times of London.
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.
- 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.
- Shadow Plays (หนังตะลุง) — this is an Indian influence. 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.
- 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.
- 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, . 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, . Sailing Yachts, Motor Boats, Bareboat or Crewed, Luxury Charters, Fishing Trips, Traditional Boat Tours. ("""",)
- 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, . 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.
- Lanta Longtail/Sun Island Tours, 9/1 Moo 1, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai, ☎ +66 87 891 6619 ([email protected]), . The "Longtail for Lovers Tour", private charters, island tours, beach camping, and fishing trips.
- 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.
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.
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 Ko Lanta
Four Island Trip - Ko Mook's amazing Emerald Cave is the highlight of this trip. The cave is a window into a lagoon through which safety-vest-clad swimmers are towed by local guides. The swim into the lagoon is fully 80 m in length and a real adventure.
Ko Haa - this is the best site in Thailand for mixed groups of snorkellers and divers. For divers only, it offers amazing swim-throughs. In recent years Ko Haa has seen a large increase in the number of fish present at the reefs, due to committed conservation policies.
Ko Rok - some of Thailand’s finest snorkelling spots are located off Lanta’s coast. Ko Rok, 47 km south of Lanta, is considered by most to be the pick of the bunch, though other people say they rate Ko Haa’s snorkelling even more highly. Ko Rok actually consists of two islands, Ko Rok Nai and Ko Rok Nok, both graced with powdery white sand beaches and with an extensive bed of coral in between. This sheltered and shallow channel is an ideal habitat for reef fish, and the place swarms with innumerable shoals of them. Visibility is very good, and many interesting species of reef fish can be found in these waters. Many snorkellers are most amazed by the sheer numbers of fish here, which swirl and swarm around the swimmers.
Elephant rides can be arranged to take visitors to the top of the hill in Ko Lanta National Park.
The east side of Ko Lanta with its rich mangrove forests and caves is a great option for off-the-beaten-path kayaking. Kayaking can also be done on Ko Talabaeng, the limestone cliff near Ko Lanta.
Wannabe fishers can catch the likes of marlin, sailfish, barracuda, red snapper, and tuna. Three different kinds of fishing trip are offered by private longtail boat: half-day, full-day, and night fishing.
and plus there are moon fish , with some exquisit fly fishing with some baitfishing and even big lure fishing
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.
- Time for Lime, 72/2 Moo 3 Klong Dao Beach +66 75 684590 ([email protected]])  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 , 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.
- Hammock House, 35 M2, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai +66 (0)75 697 098 ([email protected])  - 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!
- A Little Handmade Shop, 2 Moo5, BaKantiang Village, Ko Lanta Yai 100m past 7/11 +66 (0)849489688 ([email protected])  - All about handmade inspiration, creating original items for you and your home. Goods such as clothing, toys, ceramics, jewellery, jewely and art.
- Drunken Tailors, Kantiang Bay (Behind the Drunken Sailors Coffeeeshop), . 10:00 - 21:00. 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.
In general, Southern Thai food is renowned for its spiciness. Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (Khanom Jeen) and chicken birayani.
As for Ko Lanta, reasonable priced and tasty seafood is obviously what most tourists long for when visiting a coastal province like Krabi. In this connection, the wing shell (หอยชักตีน) is Krabi’s famous cuisine. It is eaten with a spicy dip. In addition, stirred fried Spotted Babylon (หอยหวาน), which is found in mangrove forests, with chilies and basil is also famous. This cuisine is common in Ko Lanta’s restaurants. Another great Krabi taste is, of course, seafood. The Ko Lanta beach areas have several restaurants with the 'catch of the day' displayed on ice outside. One can find all kinds of fish; juicy crabs and langoustines; shellfish, including giant oysters; as well as squid and lobsters.
Ko Lanta has a wide variety of restaurants, the kind that most visitors travel to Thailand for: beach-front locations serving delicious and inexpensive Thai and seafood dishes. Eateries line the beaches in front of the bungalows and no visitor will starve from lack of variety or interesting places to dine.
- 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.
- 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.
- Drunken Sailors Coffeeshop, 116 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Yai, Krabi 81150 (On the main road - 100m north of 7-11), ☎ 07-5665076, . 8:30 to 17:00 & 18:30 to 21:00. 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.
- Mary Ann's Bar & Restaurant, Moo 1 Saladan (Near 7/11 in Saladan). 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)
- Kampong, 80 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Yai (On the main road - 100m uphill from 7-11 and opposite Drunken Sailors), ☎ +66 89 908 5977. 9am - about 9pm. 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).
- 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.
- Spices and Herbs, Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Yai, Krabi 81150 (On the main road - a few m uphill from 7-11 (almost opposite)). 9am - about 9pm. 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.
- 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 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 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.
There's not much in the way of party night life, which, for many, is part of the Ko Lanta appeal - Relaxed. But there is always something going on if you ask around — there are a few restaurant/bars at the harbour, beaches and most hotels. Since it is a small island free of crime and drunkards, the local law-enforcers are more lenient about allowing bars to stay open until what time they wish, and that is usually when the last customer goes home.
- Charlee Barleys, ("centre), ☎ coming soon ([email protected]), . A friendly bar/restaurant/bungalow. This is a great place to meet other mellow travellers from every demographic. Relaxed sunset Happy Hours every night. Sometimes live-music from international guests. Relaxed environment wood-style back-packer bungalows from 250 baht up to 350 baht with own bathroom (fan rooms) On the best part of the beach, with no rocks, 24 hour swimming.
- Feeling Bar/Where Else Resort, 149 Moo 2, ☎ +66 75 667 024 (fax: +66 75 667 024), . Indian & Thai food, in a clean, friendly, quiet, and above all, relaxed atmosphere. Funky, chilled out bamboo eco-tourism village surrounded by old coconut palm trees. Each bungalow is unique. Fan bungalows from 500 baht. (7.57072,99.0337)
- Irie Bar, north Phrae Ae Beach (on the main road, beach side as you enter Phrae Ae from Klong Dao, next to Mr. Green Restaurant and Chill House). Local guy named Arms plays here with his band 'Lantana'.
- Korner Bar, Long Beach (far south end of Long Beach, before Relax Bay). Bar on the beach/rocks that often has cheap drink offers on and sometimes guest DJs. Nice atmosphere and open late. Axe pillow seating outside and covered seating inside. Korner Bar's famous Saturday night parties have become a high-season institution.
- Layana Resort & Spa-Tides Restaurant, 272 Moo 3 Saladan Ko Lanta. 11:30-18:00, dinner, 19:00-22:30. This is an upmarket resort on Ko Lanta. The restaurant setting is beach front and beautiful. The staff are friendly and attentive, but not intrusive. Delicious menu and good wine list. Although more expensive than other eateries, it still is not that expensive compared to Australian prices and the food is divine.
- Mooks bar - on Klong Dao Beach between Sun Fun & Sea Bungalows and Hans Beach Restauant and a good spot to relax with a drink on the beach, listen to some reggae, and maybe watch sports on TV. Mook himself is a person worth meeting.
- Oscar's Bar - driftwood terrace on the beach.
- Ting Tong Bar / Klong Khong Bay Bungalows, 24 Moo 2, Klong Khong Beach (At the south end of Klong Khong Beach. Coming from the main road, turn right after the gasoline station after 7-11). Are you ting tong enough?
Basic wooden bungalows as found in cheaper resorts
Ko Lanta has three tourist seasons:
- Peak season: late-December, early-January and for some resorts also around Songkran in April; expect premiums of 25–50% or more over the high season price and on Christmas and New Year's Eve many resorts have a compulsory banquet costing about as much as an extra night's accommodation.
- High season from November until February, excluding peak season
- Low season: April/May to October. Many resorts will be as much as 50% cheaper than the high season price. Many places used to close entirely but increasingly they're open year round.
You won't have much trouble finding accommodation as late as your arrival at the Saladan pier except in peak season. Standard accommodation on Klong Dao and Long Beaches (the two most northerly beaches) now start at about 1,200 baht for a basic air-con bungalow or hotel room. The places further South offer free transport and can be much cheaper (100 baht for a spotless beach hut with bathroom), but the rides into town will be lengthy approx. 20 minutes. You can hire motorbikes for 250 baht a day a see lots of the island after a good nites sleep.
Accommodation is arranged by beach, north (most convienient to Saladan) to south (least convienient). Prices quoted here are for the high season unless otherwise specified.
- Lanta All Seasons Beach Resort, 303 Moo.1 T.Saladan A. Ko Lanta 81000, ☎ 66 75 668 299, . all equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, and phone. Restaurant, swimming pool, and massage. From 1,000 baht.
- Sincere Guest House & Restaurant, 150 Moo 1, Saladan (near Saladan Pier), ☎ +66 81 828 5163, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. This little cute wooden house near the sea is located in the middle of Saladan community. It is designed in chic Chinese-style and is divided into 3 zones. The first zone is the guest house room. The 2nd zone is the front coffee bar area that has a tall table and dark brown chairs which look comfortable and relaxing. And if you want an atmosphere of the seaside, behind the coffee shop, you will find a seaside restaurant. There is a wooden terrace which makes it look wide and spacious and it is decorated with oil paintings, adding to the atmosphere of ease and relaxation. 500-1,400 baht. (7.648722,99.040251)
Klong Dao Beach
- ChaDa Beach Resort & Spa, 278 Moo 1, Saladan, ☎ +66 75 668 124-7 (fax: +66 75 668 123), . On 8 acres of white sandy beach front Rooms from 5,600 baht Emerald Suite Room.
- DR Lanta Resort, 206 Moo 3, ☎ +66 81 081 5679 (fax: +66 75 684 383), . Restaurant, bar and swimming pool. Rooms 1,800 baht, air-con bungalows from 2,000 baht.
- Lanta Mermaid Boutique House, 333 Moo 3 Klong Dao Beach, Saladan (across from Mermaid Beach Front Resort), ☎ +66 81 643 0864 ([email protected] or [email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:30. Amazing hotel that is not on the beach, but extremely clean, very comfortable beds, very helpful staff, well managed. The rooms look like the ones posted on their site, unlike some other hotels. A five minute walk to Klong Dao beach - just have to cross the street. And the prices are excellent, especially in low season. The staff will arrange for a motorbike for you and have it brought to the hotel. Open all year round and close to many good restaurants. Low-season 1,000 baht, high-season from 2,100 baht, includes breakfast.
- Lanta Nakara Resort, 120 Moo 3 Saladan.
- Lanta Sand Resort & Spa, 279 Moo 3, ☎ +66 75 684 633 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 684 636), . 48 bungalows. Villas from 7,000 baht.
- Lanta Summer House, 208 Moo 3, ☎ +66 75 684 099 ([email protected]). Typical beach-side bungalow resort with three-bed air-con bungalows. The restaurant is in the lower price range but the offerings, while extensive, are very watered down (they don't do spicy). Nice, friendly staff. Poolside bungalows with air conditioning from about 1,300 baht.
- Maya Lanta Resort, ([email protected]), . Hotel-style building on the beach. They have a food and a fancy (by Lanta's standards) restaurant. From 4,400 baht.
- Royal Lanta, . Luxury villa with beautiful bungalows in the Thai architectural style, pool, and laundry service. Bungalows from 3,700 baht.
- Southern Lanta. Large resort with 100 bungalows, pool, restaurant, and beach side bar. Bungalows 1,800-15,000 baht.
- Time for Lime bungalows, ([email protected]), . Personal and friendly place with 8 cozy fan-cooled bungalows. Free Wi-Fi. You will love the food and you must love dogs also, as the Norwegian owner is the organiser of Lanta Animal Welfare. From 750 baht.
Long Beach (Ao Phra Ae)
- Chaw Ka Cher Tropicana Lanta Resort, 352 Moo 2, ☎ +66 75 637 970 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 637 404), . Secluded resort with tropical garden. From 2,000 baht.
- Coconut Home, north end of beach, close to Ozone. Nice wooden bungalows in the tropical garden, about 150 m from the beach. With laundry service and bike rental (200 baht per day, discount is possible). 300-500 baht.
- Escape Cabins (438 Moo 3, Saladan) The amount that will save by staying in the jungle compared to staying at the beach in Ko Lanta is pretty ridiculous. This is one of the only off-beach options on the island. The rooms are large, very comfortable and stylish. Wi-Fi, television, DVD player, air con, private bathroom, free water, swimming pool, friendly staff, mini fridge, patio and all around good value. Double or twin rooms from 450-1,000 baht depending on season and large four person guest house also available.
- Good Days Lanta Chalet and Resort, 183 Moo 2, ☎ +66 75 684 186 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 684 187), . Fan bungalows from 900 baht, air-con from 1,400 baht.
- Lanta Castaway Beach Resort, 299 Moo 2, ☎ +66 75 684 851 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 684 790), . Small resort with simple fan bungalows and more luxurious air-con bungalows. The restaurant offers Thai, Western, and Tex-Mex dishes. On-site PADI dive centre called Dive & Relax. Fan bungalows from 500 baht, air-con from 1,500 baht.
- Lanta Casuarina  On Phra Ae Beach which stretches for 2 km along the Andaman Sea.</sleep>
- Lanta Pura Beach Resort, 405 Moo 1, Saladan, ☎ +66 75 668 300-2, . All equipped with Air-conditioning, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. Poolside bar, restaurant, and swimming pool with Jacuzzi. From 1,190.00 baht.
- Lanta Sunny House, 42 Moo 2, ☎ +66 75 684 347 (fax: +66 75 684 772), . This place is set well-back, located behind another resort, leading to a walk down a rather grungy alley to get to the beach. No beach view on offer here! Fan, air con, and triple rooms with balcony, en suite and breakfast. Also has sun terrace, restaurant, massage service and travel agency.
- Long Beach Chalet Boutique Resort, 472 Moo 3, ☎ +66 87 707 6076 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 684 805), . Thai-style villas set in quiet gardens, 100 m from the beach. All rooms have air-con, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, king-size beds, fridge, and mini-bar. 1,300+ baht.
- Layana Resort & Spa, 272 Moo 3 Saladan, ☎ +66 75 607 100 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 607 199), . From 6,800 baht.
- Nakara Longbeach Resort, 172 Moo 3, ☎ +66 75 684 198 ([email protected]), . Pools, bike rental, Wi-Fi and a restaurant. There are 141 air-con bungalows (11 by the beach). Prices start from 1,700 baht.
- Relax Bay Resort, 111 Moo 2, . French-Belgian owned resort on a 1 km beach and Thai-French restaurant, Manao, which has a superb view over a the beach and rocky promontory. Try the fresh local king prawns or daily catch at the restaurant. Fan bungalows from 1,300 baht, air-con from 1,900 baht, breakfast included.
- Sanctuary, 186 Moo 2, ☎ +6681 891 3055. Well-designed bamboo bungalows, mosquito nets, and great Indian and Thai food from the restaurant. Fan huts up to 800 baht per night.
- Starwin Resort. Cheap resort with nice gardens, 200 m from the sea. Fan huts up to 250 baht per night (low season).
Klong Khong Beach
- Bee Bee's, Moo 2, Saladan (next door to Lanta Pavilion). Very basic fan bungalows, no hot water or sinks, but set in a nice and relaxed atmosphere. A good amount of books to borrow while relaxing in the beach lounge area, complete with hammocks and little treehuts. Fairly priced attached restaurant. Very chilled staff, show up and stay as long as you'd like. Fan bungalows from 350 baht.
- Blue Andaman Lanta Resort, 251 Moo 2 Sasadan, ☎ +66 75 667 082, . 50 rooms and bungalows, all equipped with comfortable bedding and safe. Facilities and services are garden, outdoor swimming pool, and barbecue facilities. From 600 baht.
- Klong Khong Bay Bungalows, 24 Moo 2, Klong Khong Beach, ☎ +66 84 445 7140 ([email protected]). 12 bungalows and bar at Klong Khong Beach, a three km stretch of golden sand and shady palms. The bungalows are clean, cheap and simple. Have a drink in Ting Tong Bar, an authentic Thai style beach bar and famous for its live music. Enjoy your cocktail while watching the stunning sunset. A relaxed and laid back atmosphere and a place that's hard to leave! Bungalows with fan and AC from 500 to 800 baht.
- Lanta Darawadee Hotel (ลันตา ดาราวดี โฮเต็ล), 162 Moo 2, Saladan.
- Lanta Emerald Bungalow, 154, Moo 2, Saladan, ☎ +66 75 667 037, . A great bar, restaurant, swimming pool and motorbike rental available. Prices range from 600 baht for a fan bungalow to 1,800 baht to get the Seaview A/C Bungalow.
- Lanta Full Moon Bay View Resort, 261 Moo 2, Saladan, ☎ +66 89 647 6525 (fax: +66 75 667 143), . Wonderful place, great staff, and low price. Food and drinks are great. Free Internet in lounge, laundry service available, pool, so many shady places to relax and read. Quiet beach, but really close to the action. The staff can help you with anything you need. Wonderful house cats lounging around. Fan bungalows from 550-800 baht, A/C from 1,000 baht.
- Lanta Pavilion Resort, 120, Moo 2, Saladan (just north of 7-11 on Khlong Khong Beach Rd.), ☎ +66 75 667 079 ([email protected]), . Centrally located on the beach. Single, double and family bungalows with A/C, hot shower, cable TV, minibar, free Wi-Fi in restaurant. Lots of discounts. Best garden with trees and flowers and the pool is nice with a sea-view. Also includes Lanta Pavilion Sunset Restaurant, which offers Thai standard dishes, a selection of European favourites, and a few Indian, Mexican, and Japanese dishes. There is also daily seafood BBQ on the beach with a great variety of the fresh seafood done in many styles. They've got pizza, burger and steaks, exotic cocktails, fruit shakes, and deserts. Fan bungalows from 800 baht, A/C bungalows from 1,200 baht (high-season).
Klong Toab Beach
- Lanta River Sand Resort, ☎ +66 75 662 660 ([email protected]), . Thai-style bungalows for 900 baht (no air-con).
- Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, ☎ +66 75 607 400 ([email protected]), . offers a luxurious escape from the stress of the modern world. Situated on 35 rai of land, in the foothills of the Ko Lanta Yai and overlooking the crystal waters of Klong Tob Bay, this beautiful, award-winning resort offers a choice of rooms, each with its own distinct style and ambience, numerous sports activities, superb dining options and private swimming pools..
Klong Nin Beach
- Lanta Nature Beach Resort, ☎ +66 75 662 560, . Beautiful resort with full amenities for only 1,200 baht a night, all bungalows. A/C in all rooms, incredibly sweet staff, and restaurant+bar with some good music and some performances now and then. Can rent motorbikes, schedule side trips, do laundry etc. all in the resort for the same price as anywhere else on the island. On the beach, with no rocks, 24 hour swimming. 1,200-1,800 baht/night.
- Baan Kantiang See Panorama Villa Resort, 263 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, ☎ +66 75 665 136 ([email protected]), . 2,250 - 11,000 baht for fully-equipped villas that sleep 6-8 persons.
- Baan Laanta Resort & Spa, 72 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, ☎ +66 75 665 091 ([email protected]), . Bay View Restaurant + "Aqua Bar" directly on the beach. Massage and Spa particularly good with a large 'menu' to choose from. Do not miss the cocktails at Aqua Bar. 3,500 - 5,500 baht for traditional thai-chic luxury bungalows 3 steps from the beach. Air-con, large balcony (with sun loungers), hot shower, fridge & TV as standard, swimming pool with view out over the bay. Open all year with exceptional discounts during the low season. 7-11 just opened on the main street, good souvenir and clothes/jewellery shopping at nearby 'Indigo Gekko'..
- Eyes Lanta Resort . 153 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, 2 types of room: Eyes View villa and Eyes Star villa with full facilities 1,950-5,800 baht. Free WiFi at restaurant.
- Kantiang Bay View Resort, 9 Moo 5, ☎ +66 01 787 5192. Restaurant + "Why not?"-bar directly on the beach. Wooden bungalows. Good atmosphere and spills out right onto the sand. Not to be confused with the nearby Marine Park View Resort, which is on the hill! Free pickup from Ban Sala Dan to Ao Kantiang, but return to Ban Saladan is 500 baht. 600 baht and up for fan bungalows and 1,500 baht and up air-con. Open all year round with some great rates in low-season..
- Lanta Marine Park View Resort , 58 Moo 5, Ko Lanta Yai. Price ranges between 1,250-1,750 baht per night. Direct beach access, free transfer to/from Saladan pier, restaurant, bar, motorbike & jeep rental services, broadband Internet, laundry, scuba diving & island tour, national park camping trips. Elephant trekking, waterfall trekking.
- Pimalai Resort & Spa, 99 Moo 5, ☎ +66 75 607 999 ([email protected]), . A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World since 2001. Offers a PADI diving centre and cooking classes. Also includes The Seven Seas Wine Bar & Restaurant, which serves fusion cuisine and has an extensive wine list and nice sea views.
Klong Jaak Beach
- Anda Lanta Resort (formerly Waterfall Bay Resort), "79, ☎ +66 28 995 919 ([email protected], fax: +66 24 157 436), . Overpriced luxury bungalow resort with satellite TV and Internet access for guests. However there's no room service and the telephones don't work. Open during the low season. Room from 2,300 baht, bungalow from 4,500 baht.
- Sun Moon Bungalow, Klong Jaak. The quieter option at the south end of the island. Basic, but clean bungalows in a peaceful garden setting. Beautiful quiet beach in front. Fabulous home cooking. Family-owned and run. Recommended for couples. 500 baht.
Mai Pai/Bamboo Bay
- Baan Phu Lae, . Bungalow resort with budget price ranges for fan and air-conditioned bungalows. Located quite far from other resorts as in the last beach of Koh Lanta. 650-1,800 baht.
- Bamboo Bay Resort, Aow Mai Pai, ☎ +66 75 665 023 ([email protected]). Fan bungalows from 500 baht, air-con from 1,300 baht.
- LaLaanta Hideaway Resort, Mai Pai/Bamboo Bay, ☎ +66 75 665 066 ([email protected], fax: +66 75 665 123), . Twenty spacious bungalows on Mai Pai/Bamboo Bay, the southernmost beach. Facilities include two beach front swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, a beach bar, a Thai/Western restaurant, and a beach front dining area. All bungalows include air-conditioning, satellite TV, a mini-fridge, free Wi-Fi, and covered front porches. Most have ocean views. Open all year with some great rates in low-season. This is Lanta's 'Robinson Crusoe' resort, and will suit those who want to escape the crowds. Some rooms are of course better than others.
Hat Khlong Nam Chuet (หาดคลองน้ำจืด)
Kaw Kwang Beach (Had Kaw Kwang)
Lanta Old Town
- Lanta Buri Resort, ☎ +66 84 052 7758. Next to the hospital in Old Town. There are 9 separate rooms available, each with a shower/WC, TV/cable, and fan or air conditioner. The rooms surround a lovely garden with small pond. The kitchen is available for use by guests as well as the outdoor dining area with ample tables and chairs.
- Lanta Ko Por Homestay, (10 minutes from the Ko Lanta old town pier), ([email protected]), . Homestay has rooms available in the family house on the beach, or in five traditional huts in the rubber tree garden.
- Lanta Nature Beach Resort, ☎ +66 75 662 560, . Comfortable accommodation adjacent to a beautiful white-sand beach. Rooms equipped with air-conditioning, balcony, Internet connection, TV, and refrigerator. Has business centre, beachfront restaurant/bar, massage service, and beach activities.
- Lanta Pole Houses, ☎ +66 87 891 6619, . Two stilted houses over the sea, Lychee House and Coconut House fully equipped with Western kitchens and bathrooms in the style of the 150 year old teak shop houses that line the street in Old Town, Rates vary according to season and length of stay. Open all year.
- Mango House Seafront Villa, ☎ +66 86 948 6836, . All units are built directly over-the-sea in what many describe as Thailand’s most charming and culturally diverse fishing village. Rooms are renovated to feature the original teak structures that served as Chinese merchant shop houses over 50 years ago.
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