• koh lanta thailand

Kicking Back on Koh Lanta Island

Krabi’s beach buddy, Koh Lanta, was the only deserted beach I made it to in Thailand. I only wish I would have gone there last, so I would have appreciated it more! With stunning views along the Andaman coast, the almost empty guesthouse we chose was perfect to relax and recharge. Had I known what was in store on the other more crowded islands, I would have stayed here a little longer.

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

Where I stayed

We stayed at Lanta New Coconut, which was beautiful. Whenever you read a guidebook about Thailand it says under the budget rooms quotes like, “not much to the place, but cheap!” or “pretty simple, but didn’t cost much!” It’s so ridiculous, because these places are gorgeous! Yes, the roof is made from leaves, but that’s the beauty of staying in these beach huts. I love my luxuries, but I will always want to stay in a private room like this than a hotel, and definitely not a hostel! Our huts were right on the beach, lined up, and surrounded by gorgeous flora. The place had a swimming pool with lawn chairs, wi-fi, little kitchen and overpriced shop, and nice owners. The showers were cold like every other beach hut, but we did have A/C. This one cost me 8 USD/night.

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

Getting there

We booked an overnight bus on Khaosan Road, where we stayed in Bangkok, for 800 baht to Surat Thani. We had to drive across southern Thailand to Krabi’s Khlong Chilat pier, where we caught our 1.5 hour ferry on to Koh Lanta. We ended up paying another 300 to complete the trip. You can go straight from Bangkok to Krabi, but that was booked for us at the time. It is possible to go on to over-hyped Koh Phi Phi from Koh Lanta, which is what we did at the end of our stay on the island.

koh lanta thailand

Partying & Food on Koh Lanta

Our guesthouse was just down a path from the main road. We got lunches and dinner at a local Thai place up the street. There was an art gallery nearby and a 7-11 as there always is. The island offers a Marine National park, but we chose to read by the beach and recover from our Bangkok nights. The hotel offered “The Four Islands Boat Tour” around the island to caves, but we were informed by another group that is was uneventful so we decided to save that money for future excursions.

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

We had one non-thai dinner at the Greek Taverna. As far as Greek food goes, it wasn’t amazing, but if you’re looking for a break from the same food every day, it’s good enough to go for lunch and get a gyro.

Partying on Koh Lanta was pretty dead while we were there. The island isn’t walkable, it’s the largest of 15 islands in the krabi area) so you have to get tuk tuks, which don’t run as late here as other places. The main party spot is Phra Ae/Long Beach to Galaxy Bar, Funky Monkey, Opium Bar, and Ozone Bar. We were in a pretty chill mood while on the island and instead of searching out for buckets, we went to a nearby beach bar.

We obviously still ended up drinking buckets. This island is known for being more laid-back and also doesn’t have the sex tourism scene that you’ll see elsewhere. It surprised me how many Thai are Muslim, and Koh Lanta was the place in Thailand I saw more Islamic culture in dress, and people speaking arabic.

koh lanta thailandearly in the day, while the tide is in, you still can’t hardly swim because the rocks are right under

koh lanta thailandWhile the water had these hidden we tried to swim out and got scraped up! ouch!

koh lanta thailand


Tips for Koh Lanta

  • Rent a scooter! Be braver than me! The land is very hilly in some areas, but the roads are wide and paved, the perfect place to learn. Always remember to take time-stamped photos of the bike before and let the renter know of any previous scratches so you don’t get scammed.
  • The hospital on the island is not equipped for emergencies, so don’t go overdosing on drugs or anything else stupid!
  • The west coast is where most tourists stay, on the beach, but the east coast is the lush location of Old Town
  • If you do take the Four Islands Tour, make sure you include snorkling the Emerald Cave, I’ve heard from other travelers it’s the real deal, and a shame I missed it.
  • November to April is High Season here (no rain). I went in September, so that’s why it was so quiet, luckily the rains were pretty much over.
  • Sea gypsies have lived on Koh Lanta for hundreds of years, having come from Indonesia, and they should not be seen as a tourist attraction.
  • If you’re on a super tight time frame and are interested in partying, skipping Koh Lanta might work for you.

koh lanta thailand

Did you go to Koh lanta? Was it a relaxed break for you as well? 



About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Michael Huxley December 12, 2013 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Such a great post with some really helpful tips (especially agree with the hiring a scooter one, I personally learned to ride one on Koh Chang, what an experience!!) I’m really enjoying reading your blog! I have so many fond memories of Lanta and your photos really bought back a few great ones! Super chilled place, I ended up staying a week longer than I had planned just to sit on the beach and read a book!

    I completely, completely agree with you about the beach huts too. Guide books make them sound so unappealing yet it is their simplicity and lack of function that make them so amazing! They are dirt cheap and you get a private room with en suite shower, a comfy bed, and a view that beats any hotel room as you open your door directly onto the beach! What more do you need? If I wanted a big screen TV and all the mod cons I would have stayed at home!

    • Rachel December 12, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

      thanks mike! i know people who won’t stay in beach huts like these! blows my mind lol. I try to ride a bike still here in india and i can’t they are just too heavy! i swear i’ll either die or kill someone

  2. Krystle November 2, 2014 at 9:43 am - Reply

    We are headed to Thailand next June… Specifically Koh Tao but we might just have to spend a few days on Koh Lanta, it sounds perfect!

  3. Will May 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    I am currently in Koh Lanta and curious if you remember the name of the Thai Restaurant you ate at for “lunches and dinners”. Obviously I can do some exploring but just wondering.

    Love your blog. One of my good friends in India turned me onto it and I’ve enjoyed comparing experiences as my months of traveling have whiled on! Take care and all the best!

    Shanti shanti,

  4. Subhasis December 17, 2015 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel,
    Lovely blog! I am headed to Koh Lanta, in fact New Coconut which you have written about. Any advice? Journeyling alone at the end of the year over the New Year weekend (as I usually do) to re-assess the past year, chart out some work stuff for the new year and practice some taichi on the beach. I will be landing at Krabi and wondering what’s the best way to get to the island.

    • Rachel Jones December 18, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

      Hey, It’s been ages since I was in Ko Lanta, so don’t really have much more advice than this post actually. I did travel bus bus though and ferry.. not taxis or anything else.

  5. Brady and Shelly May 17, 2017 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Super Cool you were / are a nurse! We are nurses too! Love traveling more however! Koh Lanta was absolutely dead when we were there in August. Absolutely dead! It surprised me how many Thai Muslims there were too. Found them to be less “nice” than the Buddhist Thais, however no issues. There wasn’t even any bars really open, and judging by the pictures the seas looked the same when we were there too. Yeah. Koh Lanta in the high season is an ok party spot, and our friends we went with said they were there and it was quite a party! However, in the month I went, you didn’t even see hardly another foreigner. It’s a popular island with scandinavians too in the busy season. It wasn’t our favorite Thai Island. Koh Chang is so much better!

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