Thailand is likely one of the hottest international locations in the world to journey to, and for good motive. The Kingdom of Smiles has bustling cities, awe-inspiring landscapes, a vibrant tradition, and naturally, idyllic islands. Thailand is a journey vacation spot that really has all of it.
There are loads of unimaginable places to visit in Thailand. From the fashionable capital of Bangkok to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, from peaceable Khao Sok National Park to hard-partying Koh Phangan, you’ve obtained some improbable decisions when planning a visit to Thailand.
Those in search of an island getaway with out the crowds that come together with Phuket could need to set their sights on Koh Lanta. You’ll discover extra Birkenstocks than billionaires on this laid-back Thai island. It’s the form of place the place you arrange store in a hammock whereas sipping on a contemporary coconut and simply laze the day away.
If that sounds good to you, learn on for an inventory of the highest issues to do in Koh Lanta. We’ll discover the island’s seashores, mangrove forests, nationwide park, and a lot extra.
1. Beach Bumming
Nobody is aware of for certain what the identify Koh Lanta means, however its previous Malay identify Pulau Satak interprets as “Long Beach Island.” It’s a becoming identify, as this 30km-long island is dwelling to fairly a couple of lengthy, white sand seashores.
For most guests, some high quality seashore bumming is excessive atop the record of issues to do in Koh Lanta. As such, we’re going to dedicate chunk of this information to exploring the numerous seashores of Koh Lanta.
Big Four Beaches
From north to south, the 4 huge seashores of Koh Lanta are: Klong Dao, Pra Ae (Long Beach), Klong Khong, and Klong Nin. In addition, the island boasts a number of extra secluded seashores the place you’ll discover extra native fishermen than vacationers.
Of the principle seashores, Klong Dao is probably the most developed and thus is often probably the most crowded. Don’t fear, although — a “crowded” seashore on Koh Lanta is nothing in comparison with different islands in Krabi reminiscent of Koh Phi Phi. Klong Dao is a well-liked place for households and people in search of extra various choices for consuming out and procuring.
Next up is the aptly named Pra Ae (Long Beach). This 4km-long stretch of sand is certainly the longest seashore on the island. There are numerous decisions relating to lodging right here, from price range backpacker spots as much as luxurious resorts.
Continuing south, you arrive at Klong Khong. This space is a favorite of backpackers seeking to let unfastened, because it’s dwelling to fairly a couple of seashore bars that placed on nightly hearth reveals and events. If you’re travelling with youngsters, you most likely don’t need to keep on this seashore.
The final of the massive 4 seashores is Klong Nin. This seashore is a superb completely happy medium. You can nonetheless discover fairly a couple of locations to remain and eat right here, nevertheless it’s far quieter and extra peaceable than the others.
Other Beaches in Koh Lanta
In between these bigger seashores in addition to additional south, you could find a handful of practically abandoned seashores. Some of the opposite seashores you may go to in the far south of the island embody Bakantiang, Nui Bay, Klong Chak, and Bamboo Beach.
With a couple of days in Koh Lanta and a scooter, you may simply hit each single seashore on the island and select your favorite.
2. Go Scuba Diving
While scuba diving is perhaps one of many top things to do in Koh Tao, Koh Lanta is nonetheless a wonderful scuba diving vacation spot. There aren’t any dive websites on the island, however a few of the greatest in Thailand are situated only a brief boat journey away.
Hin Daeng (Red Rock) and Hin Muang (Purple Rock) boast over 200 arduous corals and 100 sorts of reef fish between the 2 of them. The former truly has the deepest drop off in all of Thailand, taking place to 50 meters. Thanks to the robust currents, these dive websites are solely really useful for extra superior divers.
Beginners can head as a substitute to Koh Haa (Five Islands). This space is highlighted by some superb coral and a cavern referred to as “the cathedral.” While diving round Koh Lanta, you would possibly see manta rays, barracuda, turtles, and even whale sharks. Swimming with whale sharks has obtained to be one of many coolest issues to do in Koh Lanta.
There are a number of completely different dive outlets on Koh Lanta providing all the pieces from half-day newbie classes, to full PADI certification programs, to week-long liveaboard journeys. Reputable outlets embody Blue Planet and Go Dive. Day journeys with two dives vary from 3,000-4,000 Baht ($95-$127) relying on the situation.
3. Explore Mu Koh Lanta National Park
When you’re not stress-free on the seashore or out diving, make sure you take the time to go to Mu Koh Lanta National Park. The park truly stretches far out into the Andaman Sea and incorporates a number of close by islands, together with the aforementioned Ko Haa.
On the precise island of Koh Lanta, you may entry the nationwide park by heading to the far southern level. When you enter the park, you’ll comply with a 2km-long path by way of the jungle. Chances are you’ll spot some cheeky monkeys alongside the way in which who’re in search of one thing tasty.
You’re suggested to not feed the monkeys, and likewise to watch out as they could attempt to search in your bag for a snack with out invitation.
Eventually, you’ll arrive on the park’s twin seashores on both facet of a cliff. Climb to the highest to achieve the previous lighthouse and luxuriate in some unimaginable panoramic views. Don’t neglect to convey your digital camera for this one!
Entrance to the Koh Lanta National Park prices 200 Baht ($6.35) for adults and 100 for kids. It’s open day by day from 8:30AM-5PM. You may even camp right here (250 Baht/$8per evening) or keep in some fundamental bungalows (1,000 Baht/$31.85) should you’re actually seeking to escape from all of it.
4. Walk Around Lanta Old Town
While the west coast of the island is dominated by seashores and tourism, the east coast is dwelling to Lanta Old Town. Here you’ll discover an fascinating mixture of cultures. The city was initially based by sea gypsies, who nonetheless stay right here to today.
Lanta Old Town was as soon as an necessary cease on the service provider route between Phuket and Penang, which drew many Chinese retailers. There’s nonetheless a Thai-Chinese inhabitants right here, as evidenced by the pink lanterns and energetic shrines.
On a day-trip to Lanta Old Town, you may stroll round to admire the teak homes on stilts over the ocean. Some of them are even guesthouses the place you may keep and go to sleep to the sounds of the ocean beneath.
While you’re right here, you would possibly as nicely take pleasure in a meal in one of many many eating places and store for native merchandise like hammocks and batik artwork. Spending a couple of hours strolling round Old Town is unquestionably one of many prime issues to do in Koh Lanta.
5. Visit the Lanta Animal Welfare Centre
If you’re seeking to make a optimistic distinction when you journey to the island, I extremely advocate stopping by the Lanta Animal Welfare Centre. This nice non-profit group helps stray canine and cats by offering sterilization, rabies vaccinations, and extra.
Since the centre was based in 2005, they’ve helped over 15,000 animals! There are many was you may assist out, reminiscent of changing into a volunteer or sponsoring one of many animals in want.
Even simply visiting the centre helps them out tremendously. You can drop into their “Kitty City” to cuddle some cute felines, go for a stroll with one of many canine, or simply sit down for a snack and drink in the Kitty Cafe, the place all proceeds go in direction of serving to the animals.
The animal welfare centre is situated at 629 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae. It’s open on daily basis of the 12 months from 9AM-5PM. Tours of the centre function between the hours of 10-4.
6. Take a Snorkeling Tour
Diving isn’t the one approach to spot marine life round right here. Going on a snorkeling tour can also be excessive on the record of the perfect issues to do in Koh Lanta. Every single journey agent on the island will help you get arrange on a snorkeling tour, and there are fairly a couple of to select from.
The twin islands of Koh Rok are a very talked-about place to go snorkeling from Koh Lanta. There’s some wonderful snorkeling out right here, and your tour must also embody lunch and a while to relax out on the picturesque white-sand seashores.
Remember these Five Islands I discussed in the part about diving? They are additionally a strong selection for a snorkeling tour. If you’ve obtained each divers and non-divers in your group, that is most likely your most suitable option.
The value of snorkeling excursions is dependent upon the strategy of transportation (longtail, gradual, or velocity boat) and the gap traveled. On the price range finish, you may anticipate to pay round 1,000 Baht ($32) per particular person, whereas speed-boat excursions go for round 1,800 ($57).
- See additionally: Top 17 Things to Do in Chiang Mai
8. Rent a Scooter
Without a doubt, one of the simplest ways to discover Koh Lanta is with your individual two wheels. The island actually is kind of lengthy, so having a motorcycle makes it a lot simpler to skip between the varied seashores and expertise all of the cool issues to do in Koh Lanta.
Even should you’re not a professional on a motorcycle, this can be a fairly straightforward place to experience one. There’s actually just one foremost street that goes across the island, and it’s largely flat and paved. There are a couple of potholes and steep bits down south and on the facet roads connecting the coasts, although, so remember.
Renting a scooter prices round 200 Baht per day, however you may positively cut price if renting for per week or a month. Little outlets everywhere in the island promote petrol out of previous whiskey bottles for simply 35-40 Baht, and a full tank will final you a few days.
If you’re going to be using a motorcycle round some distant island in the south of Thailand, ensure you’ve obtained adequate travel insurance. And, should you’re in search of a very epic bike journey, try the Mae Hong Son Loop!
8. Practice Yoga
Yogis in every single place, rejoice — Koh Lanta is likely one of the prime yoga locations in all of Thailand. Whether you’re seeking to simply drop in for a chilled yoga class on the seashore otherwise you need to enroll in a multi-day yoga retreat, Koh Lanta has you coated.
One place that comes extremely really useful is Oasis Yoga. They have quite a lot of courses on daily basis besides Sunday, together with Flow, Yin, and Ashtanga. They even do a sundown stretch in the evenings and free meditation courses in the morning a couple of days per week. Check their current schedule here.
Oasis Yoga is situated at 215 Moo 3, Saladan subsequent to the Cha-Ba Bungalows. Classes vary from 400 Baht ($12.75) for a drop-in as much as 4,500 ($143) for a limiteless month-long go.
9. Feast on Seafood
On a Thai island stuffed with fishermen, it ought to come as no shock that the seafood right here is top-notch. Many eating places show the day’s catch, so take your decide from crab, lobster, oysters, squid, and extra.
While you could find contemporary seafood everywhere in the island, your greatest wager is to move to the city of Baan Saladan. Just north of the ferry pier, there are a number of wonderful eating places cooking up tasty seafood at costs a lot decrease than you’ll discover in the seashore facet eating places additional south.
When I first moved overseas to show English in China, my dad instructed me to all the time comply with the locals to eat. It’s strong recommendation irrespective of the place you might be on the planet! In Koh Lanta, which means becoming a member of the crowds at Laanta Seafood, which has some spicy salads and curries in addition to all of the grilled seafood.
- See additionally: Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Koh Samui
10. Sundowners on the Beach
Nothing says “I’m on vacation” like sipping a fruity cocktail when you watch sundown on a tropical island. As such, sundowners on the seashore simply make our record of the perfect issues to do in Koh Lanta.
The complete west coast of the island is ideal for watching the solar dip beneath the horizon. Grab a couple of beers from a neighborhood mini-market and plop down in the sand, or sit down in one of many many bars and eating places that line the massive seashores.
Some of the most well-liked locations to take in the sundown in Koh Lanta embody Pangea Beach Bar, Majestic, and the aptly named Sunset Beach Bar. Best of all, most locations run their Happy Hour round sundown, so you may have a few drinks with out spending an excessive amount of.
11. 4 Island Tour to the Emerald Cave
One of the most well-liked issues to do in Koh Lanta is taking the 4 island tour. These excursions go to Koh Chuak, Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, and Koh Ngai. They embody loads of snorkeling and swimming, in addition to a go to to the gorgeous Emerald Cave on Koh Mook.
Swim by way of the pitch-black 80m-long passageway with the assistance of a flashlight and your tour information. Once you make it by way of, you’re greeted by a secret lagoon and towering limestone cliffs. This is a journey expertise you’ll be speaking about for years to come back!
Full-day excursions of the islands and the cave value round 1,200 Baht ($38) for adults or 600 for kids. The excursions embody switch to Old Town from anyplace on the island in addition to a buffet lunch in addition to all of the actions.
While you may e-book a tour with nearly anyone when you’re on the island, the parents on the Four Islands come extremely really useful.
- See additionally: 21 Awesome Things to Do in Chiang Rai
12. Be a Trash Hero
An effective way to present again to the island and depart a optimistic impression is changing into a Trash Hero for a day. This non-profit has chapters everywhere in the world and it does some superb work bringing communities collectively to scrub and cut back waste.
The Koh Lanta Trash Heroes meet each Sunday at 4PM on the Long Beach Park. They present cleansing supplies, gloves, and refreshments. There’s no value to get entangled and also you don’t even have to enroll in advance, simply present up!
You may also assist their trigger and assist defend the atmosphere of this stunning island by shopping for one in all their refillable metallic water bottles. Not solely does this assist cut back the plastic waste on the island, however the proceeds additionally go in direction of retaining this group going.
If you need to discover out extra about Trash Hero Koh Lanta, make sure you comply with their Facebook page.
13. Hike to Khlong Chak Waterfall
If you’re the sort who prefers just a little little bit of journey to lounging in a hammock, by no means concern – there are nonetheless loads of issues to do in Koh Lanta that aren’t seashore associated. One strong choice is taking the 2km hike by way of the jungle to reach at Khlong Chak Waterfall.
One factor to maintain in thoughts is that there actually isn’t a lot of a waterfall in the dry season (December to April), which is when most individuals select to go to Koh Lanta. Even although the waterfall itself isn’t too spectacular right now of 12 months, it’s nonetheless price it simply to take the brief jungle hike.
Along the way in which, you may even see some macaques swinging up in the bushes. You may also take a short detour to discover an actual life bat cave. Along the way in which, you’ll absolutely see teams using elephants to achieve the falls. It’s suggested to skip out on the elephant using in Thailand, and anyplace else in the world for that matter.
Khlong Chak is situated in the center of the southern a part of the island. Just comply with the indicators to get there. There is not any entrance price to go to the waterfalls, however you’ll should pay 20 Baht to park your bike exterior of the path.
14. Attend a Local Festival
There are a number of conventional festivals in Koh Lanta all year long. Taking half in one in all these festivals is an superior journey expertise, so make sure you verify the calendar to see what’s occurring.
The greatest native competition is the Laanta Lanta Festival. That’s not a typo – laanta is translated as “eye-dazzling,” and that’s exactly what this competition is! There are musical performances, folks video games, sport competitions, and naturally loads of scrumptious Southern Thai meals.
This competition takes place over three days in March in Lanta Old Town, so make sure you add it to your itinerary should you’ll be in Koh Lanta in March.
15. Water Sports
As I’ve already talked about, diving and snorkeling are two of the most well-liked issues to do in Koh Lanta. That’s not all there’s to do in the water on this Thai island, although. You’ve obtained a number of different choices for water sports activities if you journey to Koh Lanta.
On the entire 4 foremost seashores in Koh Lanta, you may participate in all kinds of water sports activities. The water is usually calm right here, so it’s a terrific place to do a little bit of SUPing (rise up paddle-boarding, for these not in the know).
There’s some wind once in a while, which means you may attempt a little bit of windsurfing. You can join classes for round 1,000 Baht should you’ve by no means tried it. Koh Lanta will get a surf break as soon as in some time, and there are each surf and boogie boards obtainable for lease alongside the seashores.
- See Also: 21 Fun Things to Do in Koh Lipe
16. Sign Up for a Cooking Class
If you like Thai meals, why not discover ways to cook dinner it when you’re there? Bringing dwelling some basic Thai recipes and the know-how to whip them up in the kitchen might be the perfect memento ever!
There are a couple of completely different choices for cooking courses in Koh Lanta. The authentic is Time for Lime, which simply so occurred to be began by the proprietor of the Animal Welfare Centre. All proceeds from their cooking courses go proper again into caring for the animals, so that you’re supporting a terrific trigger by signing up right here.
Time for Lime is situated at 72/2 Moo 3, Saladan. Their courses final from 4-9:30PM and price 2,000 Baht ($64) per particular person. Additionally, they run particular household programs in addition to a cooking & cocktail expertise for companions or associates.
17. Explore the Mangrove Forest
In the northeast nook of Koh Lanta, you’ll discover the Thung Yee Pheng Mangrove Forest. Visiting this scenic space is a should when travelling to the island. With a couple of hours right here, you may take in the attractive panorama and doubtless encounter some monkeys and perhaps even monitor lizards.
You’ve obtained a couple of choices for exploring the mangrove forest. First up, you may simply hoof it and stroll alongside the wood walkway. Kayaks are additionally obtainable for lease should you’d reasonably paddle your self across the rivers. Finally, you may simply leap in a longtail boat and go for a leisurely cruise.
It’s potential to enroll in a kayaking tour of the mangroves for round 800-1,000 Baht ($25-$32) per particular person, which incorporates round-trip transportation. If you get your self there, you’ll pay a 20 Baht entrance price and might then lease kayaks for 3 hours for 500.
Those actually seeking to get away from all of it could need to e-book a keep on the beautiful Koh Lanta Mangrove Floating Homestay. Sleep on a floating home, discover the mangroves by day, and dine on contemporary seafood at evening.
- See additionally: 21 Cool Things to Do in Pai
18. Learn About the Urak Lawoi
If you’re in studying in regards to the nomadic sea dwellers who’ve settled into Koh Lanta, it’s price testing the Sankga-U Museum in Old Town. This museum was created by the native folks themselves to assist protect their historic tradition.
Their identify is definitely Malay, which means “Sea People.” The Thai translation (Chao Leh) means the identical factor, however the Thai authorities has taken to calling them Thai Mai (New Thai) for some odd motive. Many English-speakers seek advice from them as “Sea Gypsies,” though only a few of them stay a nomadic life nowadays.
There’s no cost to go to the museum, however you might need to contemplate leaving a small donation with whoever is there to assist them hold the place up. It’s situated on a hill up from the Sangka-U village itself on the island’s foremost east coast street. Just keep in mind that the village itself just isn’t a vacationer attraction, and folks most likely gained’t admire you poking round there together with your digital camera.
19. Train in Muay Thai
Even you probably have no curiosity in getting in the ring to truly compete, coaching in Muay Thai is likely one of the prime issues to do in Koh Lanta. Not solely is Muay Thai a wonderful type of train, nevertheless it additionally helps to alleviate stress and enhance self-confidence.
You’ve obtained a couple of decisions should you’re in stepping into Thailand’s hottest sport. Up in Klong Dao, you may signal as much as prepare on the in style Lanta Muay Thai Complex. Their group courses begin at 400 Baht ($12.75) for a single 1.5-hour session. If you’re actually hardcore, you may join a complete month of coaching for six,500 ($207) and be in wonderful form if you depart!
Another choice is the Lanta Muay Thai Academy. It’s situated simply south of Phra Ae Beach and gives coaching to folks of any degree. They even have fights each Sunday evening that you would be able to attend should you’d reasonably be a spectator. Don’t miss watching, or training Muay Thai, it’s probably the greatest things to do in Thailand.
20. Get Pampered in a Spa
If getting whipped into form in a sweaty fitness center isn’t for you, that’s cool. Those who would reasonably go for some old style R&R will probably be completely happy to listen to that there are additionally loads of wonderful spas in Koh Lanta.
In Koh Lanta, your choices differ from getting a easy therapeutic massage from the consolation of your seashore chair as much as fancy 3-hour couple’s spa packages. The world is your oyster relating to spa therapies in Koh Lanta!
One place that comes extremely really useful is Serenity in the principle village of Saladan. They’re situated at 147 Tambon Sala Dan and are open day by day from 9AM-10PM. Their choices vary from facial therapies for as little as 300 Baht as much as a 2.5-hour bundle for 1,200 that features a number of completely different therapies.
Other choices for Koh Lanta spas embody: Summer Leaf Lanta, Dreamy Spa, and Twin Lotus. You actually don’t have to look very far to discover a place to get a therapeutic massage in Koh Lanta.
21. Chilled Out Nightlife
Compared to different Thai islands, the nightlife in Koh Lanta could be very subdued. That being stated, there are nonetheless loads of relaxed seashore bars to hang around in after darkish.
The vibe at bars in Koh Lanta is extra bean bag than bottle service, so this isn’t the kind of place the place it is advisable dress up, wait in a queue, and pay some ridiculous cowl cost.
At the numerous bars that line the principle seashores of Koh Lanta, you may catch some stay music, shoot a sport of pool, or simply take pleasure in chatting with fellow travellers over a chilly one. Some good decisions embody Rasta Baby Bar, Funky Monkey, and Otto Bar.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an evening out on a Thai island with no hearth present. Several of the seashore bars have nightly hearth reveals, together with the favored Why Not Bar. Grab a drink, pull up a cushion (this place is so chilled out they don’t even have chairs), and watch the mesmerizing efficiency.
Ready For Koh Lanta?
With a lot occurring but such a laid-back vibe, it’s no surprise Koh Lanta has develop into a favorite vacation spot for intrepid travellers in Thailand. If you’re in search of a calming out island vibe but nonetheless need to fill your days with journey, Koh Lanta is the place for you.
If you – like so many different travellers – resolve you need to attempt dwelling right here, make sure you learn up on the cost of living in Thailand. Those content material with simply taking an epic journey by way of the nation will need to try this superior guide to backpacking Thailand.
For these planning some severe travels, Thailand is likely one of the greatest international locations to go to on a gap year journey. We spent a full two months in Thailand on ours and have been again a number of occasions since. It’s a kind of international locations that simply sucks you in, thanks in giant half to superb islands like Koh Lanta.