About Ko Lanta Yai
Serene sandy beaches, vibrant multicultural villages and a cave-filled interior – if this sounds like your idea of a dream destination, make your way to Koh Lanta in Thailand. This tropical paradise in the majestic Andaman Sea is a travellers' favourite for its laid-back spirit as well as its snorkelling opportunities, mangrove-studded landscape and rushing waterfalls. Whether you're seeking an activity-filled trip or a cocktail-fuelled holiday, Koh Lanta is calling.
Some hostels in Koh Lanta have outdoor chill-out spaces with fire pits or pools surrounded by palms. Pick from rustic wooden huts in the jungle and eco-friendly spots with free drinking water to reduce plastic use. You can stay in an industrial-style space made from upcycled shipping containers and there's even a Koh Lanta hostel with its own tattoo shop for something a bit different! There's usually free Wi-Fi, with lots of places also doing free breakfast to help you save cash.
Ban Sala Dan is the busiest town on Koh Lanta and it's where you'll find a lot of the diving shops and tour operators. The white-sand Klong Dao Beach is the island's most popular, but with 3km of sand to spread out on it still has a peaceful feel. It's lined with international restaurants, authentic Thai eateries and seafront bars. Lanta Old Town is a melting pot of Chinese merchants, local fishing families and the partly nomadic Urak Lawoi seafaring community. It also has a batik art gallery and shops selling handcrafted items like hammocks.
Exploring the scenic coast is the main thing to do in Koh Lanta. Go snorkelling at the northern end of Kantiang Bay for a chance to spot clown fish. Relax Beach is ideal for catching a sunset or taking a leisurely swim. To get out on the sea, book a kayaking tour to see some of the island's caves and hidden beaches. A half-hour hike through the jungle will take you to Khlong Chak Waterfall, with caves to explore on the way.
The nearest airport to Koh Lanta is Krabi International Airport. You can organise a private taxi or a minibus transfer from arrivals to take you straight to your hostel, boarding a couple of car ferries with memorable ocean views on the way. The journey can take anything from 2 to 4 hours depending on where you're staying on the island. To get around Koh Lanta once you arrive, flag down a tuk-tuk or rent a motorbike or scooter.