Holidays on Koh Lanta: Our favorite beaches and insider tips

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We felt comfortable from the first moment on the cozy Thai island of Koh Lanta. There is no need to sugarcoat it: Many islands in Thailand are now quite overcrowded. However, Koh Lanta has retained some of that authentic flair that we love so much about Thailand.

Koh Lanta is also a good size: big enough to explore the island on your own and always discovering something new. Small enough to exude the Thai island flair. In this blog article we will tell you what to expect on a holiday on Koh Lanta and of course we will also leave our personally tested tips for Koh Lanta.

1. Koh Lanta: The cozy Thai island Koh Lanta belongs to Krabi province and is located on the west coast of Thailand, not far from the mainland (the you can reach by car ferry, by the way, but more on that later). The island actually consists of two islands: Koh Lanta Yai (southern island) and Koh Lanta Noi (northern island). If you are reading from Koh Lanta then it is to 99 Percent means the southern island, since only this island has been developed for tourism.

What to us liked Koh Lanta? We really liked the mix of hilly, lush countryside and quiet beaches. There is also a small old town on Koh Lanta, which is perfect for a trip. In short: Koh Lanta has the right combination of everything that is important to us in an island stay. And although our favorite Thai island is still Koh Phangan, we really enjoyed Koh Lanta.

Who is Koh Lanta the right island for? Koh Lanta is especially popular with young families and couples. This is because the island is very quiet and cozy. Luckily you will not find any party tourists like on Koh Samui or Phuket. But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing going on on Koh Lanta. On some beaches there are many bars and there are also regular beach parties.

Most of the beach sections are also very quiet during the day – not to be compared with the main beaches on Koh Samui, for example. There are also hardly any hotel strongholds like there. Even in the high season we had the feeling that the beaches were very empty. Nobody was crowded there.

Speaking of beaches: Most of the beaches on Koh Lanta are very flat – ideal for children. We actually had the feeling that families with children felt very comfortable on Koh Lanta because it is so comfortable.

The best travel time for Koh Lanta With the “best travel time” it’s always such a thing in Thailand. Because: There is a rainy and a dry season, but the weather doesn’t always stick to it. You often catch a period in the rainy season that isn’t half as bad. And sometimes it pours daily even in the dry season.

We had the latter case: We were in January on Koh Lanta, so in the absolute high season. The best travel time and therefore the dry season on Koh Lanta is from January to April. Nevertheless, it rained almost every day – sometimes several times a day and often torrential. Of course, this is not the norm – usually you can look forward to reasonably stable, sunny weather and a calm sea during the dry season.

The rainy season on Koh Lanta runs from May/June to September /October. During this time there are noticeably fewer tourists. One or the other accommodation even closes during the rainy season. The advantage: In the off-season, prices drop rapidly. The disadvantage is of course obvious: the weather is very unstable. It can be anything from a few showers a day to days of continuous rain. In addition, the sea is very rough during the rainy season and the beaches can appear dirty or unkempt accordingly.

In general, it must also be said that the rainy season on Koh Lanta tends to be stronger pronounced than in other areas of Thailand. So if you can manage it, we recommend visiting Koh Lanta outside of the rainy season. Then the chance of good weather is simply best. By the way, the months with the least precipitation and the most hours of sunshine are January and February. Before and after increases again the chance of bad weather.

2. The most beautiful beaches on Koh Lanta The bad news first: The beaches on Koh Lanta are all really beautiful, but they are considered to be tropical paradises we only few. This is mainly because most of the beaches on Koh Lanta are long. You will also find small, palm-fringed bays, but not nearly as many as on Koh Phangan.

All beaches on Koh Lanta are located along the west coast. So you have the chance of beautiful sunsets every evening. The beaches in the north and in the middle of the island are very long. The further south you travel, the sooner you get to beautiful bays, some of which are quite secluded. By the way, we have ranked all the beaches that we list here from north to south.

Long Beach The Long Beach (also called Haad Phra Ae) is the most famous beach on Koh Lanta. If you love long walks on the beach, then you will feel at home on Long Beach: At more than 3 kilometers, Long Beach is also the longest beach on Koh Lanta.

Long Beach slopes relatively flat. One thing bothered us a bit: Long Beach is green, but most sections without palm trees. Coniferous trees often grow directly behind them. For the perfect tropical flair you just need a few palm trees, we think.

We were at Long Beach in January. At this time of year the water was very calm and good for swimming. In some places, however, there are stones in the water. We’ve read that the beach is said to be pretty unkempt in the rainy season (although that’s probably true of almost every beach on Koh Lanta).

Relax Bay Relax Bay is a bit hidden south of Long Beach and we personally liked it better than Long Beach. (That’s just our personal opinion and doesn’t have to apply to you, but we simply find bays more idyllic than long beaches.)

There’s only a few accommodations here, a few beach bars and massage huts – so actually everything we think you need for a holiday on Koh Lanta. We really liked the cozy atmosphere here. At high tide swimming is great, at low tide the stones make it a little uncomfortable.

However, the bay can be explored very quickly. For example, if you like to go for long walks on the beach in the evening, then we would recommend one of the longer beaches.

Khlong Khong Beach Our property was nearby of Khlong Khong Beach (= Klong Khong Beach), which is why we were there a few times. Khlong Khong Beach has its very own atmosphere: there are many reggae bars and accommodation that tends to be cheaper. Khlong Khong Beach therefore attracts many younger people.

Some bars offer “happy hour” in the evening. This is of course great for enjoying the sunset directly on the beach. Beach parties also take place regularly at Khlong Khong Beach.

Unfortunately, the sand here is not quite as fine as on other beaches and we also had the feeling that quite a lot of coral was washed up. In our opinion, there are nicer beaches on Koh Lanta for swimming. But if you prefer the relaxed island flair, then you will like it here!

Klong Nin Beach Klong Nin Beach is also a very long beach. We have therefore not become acquainted with all sections. The atmosphere of this beach reminded us a bit of the hippie vibes at Khlong Khong Beach. On Khlong Nin Beach, however, there are more accommodations (or resorts) directly on the beach. The beach seemed great for swimming.

Nui Beach If you are looking for peace and quiet on Koh Lanta, then we can recommend Nui Beach ( not to be confused with “Nui Bay Beach”, which Google Maps draws in the south of Koh Lanta). Even in high season there is almost nothing going on here.

This is because there is hardly any infrastructure: you will only find one beach bar on Nui Beach and that’s about it. Unfortunately, it is not possible to stay at Nui Beach – the beach is well suited for a day trip.

By the way, we took the photo of Nui Beach from the Diamond Cliff Restaurant. Behind the restaurant a small path leads down to the beach.

Ba Kan Tiang Bay Ba Kan Tiang Bay is a beautiful bay that us from really liked it from the first moment. Surrounded by lush hills, the bay is simply heavenly. So it’s no wonder that the luxury resort “Pimalai” chose this spot on the island. If you want to live luxuriously, then you’ve come to the right place.

When the tide is out, some stones make it difficult to get into the water, but it’s generally good to swim here. If we travel to Koh Lanta again, we could well imagine looking for accommodation here. For us the beach was one of the most beautiful on Koh Lanta. But what you need to know: There is not much to discover and long walks on the beach are not possible either, as the bay is bordered by cliffs to the north and south.

Bays in the very south of Koh Lanta Just before the national park you get to a couple of very rough, crescent-shaped bays in the very south, including Bamboo Bay and Klong Jark Bay. We didn’t visit the bays ourselves, just viewed and photographed them from above. There was very little going on everywhere – and that in the absolute high season. If you want to visit secluded beaches, then here in the south you will find what you are looking for.

3. Sights on Koh Lanta Koh Lanta Old Town We were also surprised: Koh Lanta actually has an old town – and a very pretty one at that. Koh Lanta Old Town consists of a quiet street lined with small shops and restaurants on the left and right. If you want to buy a nice souvenir or dine with a view of the sea, then you are in the right place in the old town.

Koh Lanta Old Town is located in the otherwise very isolated east of the island. In order to get there, you have to cross the hinterland. But don’t worry: It doesn’t take long and the road leads through beautiful countryside. You can find tips for scooter and car driving on Koh Lanta at the end of the article. Alternatively, you can of course also rent a Tuk Tuk.

Mu Ko Lanta National Park An excursion destination that you cannot miss on Koh Lanta should, is the national park in the south of the island. In general, we liked the south of Koh Lanta best and the national park is relatively manageable, but really one of the most beautiful spots on the island.

You can park the scooter directly at the entrance and from there the Explore the national park on foot. Because the national park is not very big: There are two beaches, a sandy beach (“Sandy Beach”) and a pebble beach (“Rocky Beach”), whereby only the really beautiful sandy beach is suitable for swimming.

We can recommend that you walk the short path to the lighthouse, which is located on the cliffs. From there you have a great panoramic view over the bays and the Oz ean.

Information on visiting Mu Ko Lanta National Park
Entry: 200 Baht per person; 22 Baht parking fee for the scooter
Tip: Take yourself from the very bold and aggressive monkeys beware! (Those in the national park are just very used to humans and will come uncomfortably close. So never open your bag when a monkey is around – it will think you have something to eat. Also, never leave your bag unattended!)

4. Excursion: 4 Islands Tour We hesitated for a long time: should we or shouldn’t we? To explain: The excursion to the small, offshore four islands is probably the most popular day tour offered in Koh Lanta. That’s why we were a little skeptical, but then we decided to do it.

4 Islands Tour: Goals & Procedure Last but not least, the much-photographed and highly praised highlight of the tour was decisive: The Emerald Cave on the Koh Mook Island. Here you swim through a cave about fifty meters long before you land in a tiny bay surrounded on all sides by rock walls. If we’ve ever felt like we were in the movie “The Beach” in Thailand, it’s here! The atmosphere can hardly be put into words.

But now comes the big downer: We have to be honest, but this heavenly place is just hopelessly overcrowded. In front of us a Chinese tour group, behind us the next one is waiting. If you’re good at blocking out crowds, you’ll love it. If not, then the disappointment will probably come quickly.

Fortunately, the many tourists are better distributed on the other islands. We had relatively generous time for snorkeling (e.g. on Koh Chuek). As so often in Southeast Asia, the snorkeling experience fell short of expectations.

Worth knowing about the tour & our conclusion The tour to the 4 Islands takes about 8 to (exact times vary by provider). You will usually be picked up from your accommodation with an open shared taxi, taken to the pier and brought back to your accommodation in the afternoon.

There are two options: You can do the tour either with a speedboat or with a make a longtail boat. On both tours you are on the boat with many other people (on the speedboat there are even more than on the longtail boat). Unfortunately we tried in vain to negotiate an acceptable price for a private boat. That would have been our wish: to control all destinations individually. In the end we decided on the slower and much cheaper longtail boat.

We paid 700 Baht per person. It includes transport from/to accommodation, lunch, fruit and drinks on the boat. Lunch was taken from Koh Lanta in large boxes and was therefore served lukewarm. To be honest, we’ve had better lunch stops – but good. All in all, you can tell from the first second that the day trip is extremely touristy.

In order for you to be able to take photos of the Emerald Cave, the guides usually collect mobile phones and cameras and transport them to them a dry bag. If you have your own dry bag, it’s best to take it with you!

Would we recommend the tour? no If you are on Koh Lanta for a long time and you definitely want to do a day trip, then it is worth it. The Emerald Cave is really gigantic. If you already know such day tours, want to avoid crowds of tourists and only spend a few days on Koh Lanta, then rather explore the island.

5. Our Favorite Cafes and Restaurants There are tons of restaurants on Koh Lanta and depending on which beach you are on, you’ll probably find yours pretty quickly Find hangouts. Nevertheless, we would like to briefly tell you about a few very special cafes and restaurants.

Shanti Shanti For a coffee break we stopped by at Shanti Shanti which is located in Khlong Nin. There are now three locations: We were in the shop on the main street of Khlong Nin. There is also the Shanti Shanti Beach House (also in Khlong Nin) and now also a restaurant in Old Town.

We were there in the afternoon and therefore chose espresso macchiato (60 Baht) & Nutella Crepe (120 Baht) decided. Both were really delicious. Shanti Shanti is run by a Frenchman, so the menu is French-inspired. Speaking of the menu: the main courses at Shanti Shanti are said to be very good. We’ll test that next time we’re on Koh Lanta.

Same Same But Different Granted : The name is not particularly imaginative, but the location is all the better for it: The Same Same But Different is located directly on the beach in the bay called Ba Kan Tiang Bay. We were there for lunch. You sit here with your feet in the sand – this is not unusual for Thailand, but we still think it’s great.

We were very enthusiastic about the kitchen: We ordered three dishes in total, which all tasted very good. In our opinion, the prices are more in the upper segment. The fish curry in the photo, for example, cost 220 baht. We would like to give a big recommendation for the Egg Plant Salad – it was really excellent.

Address: At the southern end of Ba Kan Tiang Bay

6. Our accommodation on Koh Lanta: Alanta Villa On Koh Lanta we had a really good time and we spent a week as a threesome in a beautiful Villa with private pool rented. Was the villa over our budget? Yes! Was it still worth it? But hello! We still rave about our days in this dreamlike place.

Alanta Villa is the name of this little paradise. The complex houses several villas, each with two or three bedrooms. The kitchen and living area are in the covered outdoor area. That gives the whole thing a very special, tropical flair – and doesn’t stop one or the other animal from saying “hello”: For example, we had a visit from a frog.

The Bathrooms are beautiful outdoor oases, beds very comfortable, air conditioners in good working order (we didn’t caught a cold and that means something). A highlight is of course the beautiful private pool, which is very well maintained. To be honest, it has seldom been so difficult for us to leave the accommodation during the day as it is here.

Of course we did have one or the other on the way to the Beach done. Incidentally, that is the only point of criticism that we can think of: The Alanta Villa is located on a small hill in the hinterland and is a good 5-minute walk from the beach (Khlong Khong). Breakfast can be ordered daily as an option, but we took care of ourselves and quickly made ourselves something to eat in the morning.

On our last evening (when we once again didn’t want to leave our personal paradise ) we allowed ourselves the luxury of having food delivered directly to the villa. The food is prepared at the nearby Lucky Tree restaurant (which we highly recommend!) and was absolutely delicious. A worthy end to our time on Koh Lanta, we think.

Here you can book our accommodation: Alanta Villa

7. Transport on Koh Lanta Without exception we always have the urge to discover an island. Staying in one place all the time is not an option for us. If you feel the same way, then we strongly recommend that you organize your own transport on Koh Lanta.

Like almost everywhere in Thailand, you can Rent a scooter . A scooter is the cheapest option: For a day (=24 hours) it costs about 200 until 250 baht. Riding a scooter on Koh Lanta is comparatively easy as there is little traffic on the roads. If you also want to explore the south, then you should be prepared for quite steep roads.

If you don’t trust yourself to ride a scooter or are traveling in a larger group (maybe even with a child), then we recommend it you to rent a car. Usually we always choose a scooter, but on Koh Lanta we rented a car for the first time in Thailand. We paid 800 Baht for one day (= 20 hours), whereby it must be said that here – unlike the scooter – liability insurance is also included. To what extent you really benefit from it in an emergency is of course the question.

On Koh Lanta, like everywhere in Thailand , there is left-hand traffic. But we think that you get used to it relatively quickly. Of course, this also means that you should drive extra carefully.

Alternatively, you also have the option of being taken from A to B in a tuk tuk. Negotiation is the order of the day here. For a shorter distance calculate about 60 Baht.

8th. Getting to Koh Lanta Koh Lanta does not have an airport, so you will need to take a ferry from the mainland to get there. It’s pretty easy though, as Koh Lanta is very close to the mainland.

From Krabi (Airport) by minibus and car ferry The nearest airport from Koh Lanta is Krabi. From there you usually travel south by car/minibus to the height of Koh Lanta and then transfer onto the island. There is one car ferry between the mainland and Koh Lanta – actually there are even two: one between the mainland and Koh Lanta Noi and once between the two islands of Koh Lanta Noi and Yai. Both car ferries have no fixed departure times, but run non-stop between 6 a.m. and 22 Watch. You can reach your destination in just a few minutes.

The easiest way to get there is to organize transport from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta directly through your accommodation on Koh Lanta. For such a private shuttle, however, you usually leave a lot of money.

You can therefore also book the transport to Koh Lanta directly at the airport (or of course in Krabi) in a Book Minivan. This costs approx. 300 Baht. Make sure you are taken straight to your accommodation on Koh Lanta. If you are at the pier in the Nor If you leave the island, the onward transport will of course cost you extra.

The trip in the minivan takes about 2.5 hours. By the way, for the return transport from Koh Lanta to Krabi Airport, we only have 300 Baht paid. So apparently there is room for negotiation.

From Krabi (Ao Nang) by boat If you are for example If you are in Ao Nang (Krabi Province) and are already close to the port, then it is worth taking the boat all the way to Koh Lanta. We have for the route (including transportation from our accommodation in Ao Nang to the pier) 450 Baht paid. Our trip ended at the port on Koh Lanta. From there we took a tuk tuk to our accommodation.

From Bangkok to Koh Lanta If you are planning to travel from Bangkok to Koh Lanta, we would recommend booking a flight to Krabi and then taking the car ferry from there as above. Flights from Bangkok to Krabi are a dime a dozen. With a bit of luck you can find very cheap flights, for example with Air Asia.

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Koh Lanta yourself? How did you like it? Or maybe you are planning a holiday on Koh Lanta? Bring on your questions – we look forward to your comments!