Ko Lanta

From isolated beaches and impressive cave systems to exotic marine life and pristine coral reefs, this island in southern Thailand is a true tropical paradise.

Beaches as far as the eye can see, jaw-dropping landscapes and a rainbow of aquatic life await at Ko Lanta. This popular retreat sits just off the coast of Krabi in southern Thailand. It’s a melting pot of cultures, from Buddhist to Thai-Chinese, and where Chao Le (Sea-Gypsy) traditions prevail. Ko Lanta is actually an archipelago of several islands protected by Mu Koh Lanta National Park.

Ko Lanta Yai is the most tourist-friendly island and Ban Saladan is its commercial hub. Here you can arrange inexpensive transport plus activities such as boat tours, snorkelling and trips to dive sites. Go to Ban Ko Lanta (Lanta Old Town), a village home to Buddhist shrines, Chinese temples and handicraft markets. Learn about the intriguing sea gypsies that inhabit the archipelago at Chao Leh Museum.

Discover beaches of soft white sand, crystal-clear water and swaying palm trees along Ko Lanta Yai’s west coast. Among these are Kor Kwang Cape, Klong Dao Beach, Phra Ae (Long Beach), Klong Khong Beach and Kantiang Bay. Enjoy safe swimming, watersports and superb sunsets. Find waterfront restaurants, upscale resorts and simple beach huts.

Be sure to explore Tham Khao Maikaeo, a series of caves and tunnels reached via a jungle hike. Experience the sea-gypsy’s lifestyle at Ban Sang-Ga-U village. Traverse the island’s lush forests on an elephant trek or ride a long-tail boat to the lesser-visited Ko Lanta Nai.

Ko Lanta’s best snorkelling and scuba-diving sites are around the outer-lying islands, all accessible from Ko Lanta Yai. Ko Ha and Ko Rok are great for snorkelling and all levels of divers. Hin Daeng and Hin Muang invite experienced divers to explore an underwater wonderland home to manta rays and whale sharks.

Reach Ko Lanta by taking a ferry from Ao Nang, Krabi or Phuket and then get around via motorcycle taxis, long-tail boats or rented scooter. A paved road connects the beaches of Ko Lanta Yai from north to south. Ko Lanta’s captivating mix of stunning natural beauty, history and adventure make it every bit an idyllic island getaway.

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