Koh Lanta is the perfect island if you want to escape massive groups of backpackers and parties. Travellers come here to relax after a crazy week in Koh Phi Phi. Instead of having drunk nights at the beach, you can enjoy the beautiful sunset and take a walk along the many white sand beaches. The island is large; 30 km long and 6 km wide.
Top Things To Do And See In Koh Lanta
Rent a motorbike - If you are confident enough you can rent a motorbike and explore the island this way. It is too large to walk around and this will bring you to the most beautiful beaches on Koh Lanta. The easiest way to rent a motorbike is through your accommodation. They will figure it out for you. Price : between 120 BHT - 250 BHT (less than 7 USD).
Go to Bamboo Beach - The only way to get here is to drive your motorbike along the coast. It's a scenic drive through local communities and has a couple of viewpoints on the way. Take your time and please, don't forget your helmet. It is known as the most beautiful white sand beach on Koh Lanta. The water is clear and calm so it is perfect for a quick dip.
Find yourself a hammock - Travelling continuously can be very tiring even when you are in these amazing places. Especially if you just came from one of the party islands. Take some time to enjoy the tranquility of the island and finish that book that you started reading 2 months ago. Refresh yourself with a nice cold drink.
Khao Mai Kaew Cave - If you don't feel like hanging in a hammock this is much more adventurous. You can only enter the caves if you buy a tour with a guide. You have to hike through the jungle to reach the entrance. You have to be in good physical condition and take lots of water with you. Price : 300 BHT (8.5 USD).
Costs On The Island
Koh Lanta is much cheaper than any other island in Thailand because it is less developed and less touristic. It attracts other kind of people.
Food and Drinks - Try to eat out in local restaurants. The food is delicious and it is cheap. If you eat at a restaurant at the beach it is going to be a lot more expensive. You can also find western food if you really want to, but you will pay extra for it. Cold drinks are okay but cocktails are expensive.
Accommodation - There is a backpackers area close to Long Beach also known as Ao/Haad Phra Ae. There are many unique hostels like tree houses, bungalows and bamboo huts. If you are up to an adventure then don't book any accommodation in front and just find your best unique experience. It will always be cheaper than booking online. If you want to make sure that you have a place to spend the first night, just book 1 night and book the rest of your stay there. Price : between 150-300 BHT (4-8 USD). If you want something more luxurious you can always look into hotels or resorts. But obviously, that will make your cost a lot higher.
Transport - If you book a ferry ticket from another island to Koh Lanta they will also bring you to your accommodation.
Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lanta is 370 BHT (10 USD). 1 hour ferry.
Phuket to Koh Lanta is 660 BHT (20 USD). 4 hour ferry.
There are taxi's but they are not common on the island. It is a lot better to rent a motorbike and explore the island on your terms. Prices are between 120-250 BHT for a day.
We decided to stay in Jackie Bamboo House close to Long Beach in the backpackers area. We found this place and fell in love with the bamboo huts. They have a couple of different bamboo huts. Some huts even have their own bathroom and they all have a hammock on the deck. The area we stayed in wasn't busy at all but some nights it could get a little bit more lively and loud. Live music was one of the highlights of the night. During the day it was all about chilling and soaking up the sun.
We have not stayed in other areas because we liked it so much. It was cheap and it had everything we needed.
Renting a motorbike was the best thing we could do because it gave us the freedom to ride around the whole island and explore every bit of it. The roads are in good shape and it was not extremely busy either. To get to some of the beaches you have to go down some dirt roads but it is all manageable.
After our experience in Koh Phi Phi we were ready to have a real island-life-experience. The island is developed but it still maintains its authenticity. It is a beautiful island getaway with amazing long stretched beaches and beautiful clear blue waters. Koh Lanta is one of our favourite islands in Thailand and it has stunning sunsets!
Drinks from the supermarket - Buy your alcoholic drinks in the supermarket and bring them to the beach for a beautiful sunset. There are not as many 7-eleven stores but you can always find another supermarket.
Go local - Try to avoid western places for food and drinks. It will cost you triple the price and it won't be as delicious. Local restaurants are really good and you help the community at the same time.
Saving on accommodation - Don't book online. Go to the island and let them drop you off in the backpackers area, walk around until you find the perfect spot for you. It is sooo much cheaper than booking online.
Renting motorbikes - ALWAYS BARGAIN. If you are wanting 2 motorbikes, ask for a discount. Are you renting for a couple of days, ask for a discount. There is no harm for asking and it could save you a couple dollars.