What to do in Koh Lanta?
Are you going to visit Koh Lanta during your stay in Thailand?
This island in the southern Andaman Sea is the ideal destination to enjoy superb sandy beaches and spend a super relaxed holiday. Without counting the excursions in the small paradisiacal islands of the surroundings!
To help you prepare for your trip, I have put together the complete guide to Koh Lanta with the 15 best things to do on the island and around.
In addition to these places of interest not to be missed, also find my selection of the best hotels in Koh Lanta and my advice and tips for organizing your perfect stay.
So, what to do and see in Koh Lanta?
1. The Beaches of Koh Lanta
Impossible not to enjoy the splendid beaches during your trip to Koh Lanta. The hardest part will be choosing which one deserves you to put your towel there for a few hours!
So where to go to the beach in Koh Lanta?
First of all, you should know that all the beautiful beaches of the island are on the west coast.
- Klong Dao Beach is considered the most popular on the island. It is ideal if you have children because there is little depth. It is bordered by many hotels, bars and tour agencies and therefore quite lively. If there are waves, you can even try your hand at surfing!
- Long Beach or Pra-Ae Beach: which is just after Klong Dao Beach when coming from the port. Nearly 4 km of fine sand are waiting for you! In the same style as Klong Dao, there are also hotels all along.
- The beaches of Klong Khong Beach, Klong Toab Beach, Klong Nin Beach: 3 long sandy beaches in a row. Quite a few hotels with direct access to the beach and several beach bars or massage parlors. The water gets pretty deep quickly so be careful with the kids. Rather quiet and really nice atmosphere for a drink.
- Khantiang Beach / Nui Beach / Diamond Cliff Beach: a pretty beach overlooked by the Diamond Cliff. This is the perfect place to see the sunset over Koh Lanta!
- Kan Tiang Bay: a beautiful and large sandy beach, really very quiet, without too many people.
- Nui Bay Beach: a very nice little beach too.
- Klong Jark Bay: another very nice sandy beach, smaller and more intimate than the others. For those who would like to do some sport, there is even a beach volleyball court. The others can wait for them at the small adjoining bar!
- Bamboo Beach: this sandy beach is even wilder than the others. Bordered by the jungle and without too many constructions around, you will really have the impression of being stranded on a desert island! There were less than 10 people when we visited.
Tips for your Koh Lanta itinerary:
The further you go from the port and from the northwest part of the island which is the most touristy, the quieter you will be on the beaches.
With the beaches of Koh Yao Noi, those of Koh Lanta are among the most beautiful of my entire trip to Thailand!
2. Go around Koh Lanta by scooter
If you have already visited other islands during your Thailand itinerary then you know it, to visit Koh Lanta, the best way is to rent a scooter.
The island is still quite large, and unless you want to stay at the nearest beach to your hotel, you will need a way to get around. All hotels and guesthouses on Koh Lanta offer scooter rentals at around 300 Bahts per day + gas.
In addition to walking along the beaches and stopping whenever you want to swim, you can take the opportunity to discover the essentials of Koh Lanta:
- The old town (I tell you about it below)
- The port
- The village of Sang-ga-u (Sea Gypsea Village) whose inhabitants are nicknamed the gypsies of the sea (“Chao Leh” in Thai). They were the first to settle on the island nearly 500 years ago. You can of course go through the village (in the south-east of the island) but avoid taking people for curious animals and shooting them with your devices. Ask for their permission to take pictures of them or their home.
- the mangrove
- La Kao Mai Kaew Cave
- The Tiger Cave
- Klong Jark waterfall
- The Mu Ko Lanta National Park
- Koh Lanta Noi
I give you all the details on these places of interest to see in Koh Lanta in the rest of the article.
Tips for your Koh Lanta itinerary:
If you don’t want to rent a scooter but still want to tour the island, I recommend booking a tour with a driver.
Several different options are offered: half day or full day / Shared or private transport. Count between 800 and 1000 Bahts per person for half a day and between 1200 and 1800 Bahts for 1 day.
The most complete tour includes the mangrove, the old town, lunch, Kantiang beach and the national park. Click here and you will have all the information to book it!
3. Lanta Old Town
We continue this tourist guide with the old town of Koh Lanta, which is located in the east of the island.
At the time, the city represented an important center of commerce thanks to its port which welcomed Chinese or Arab merchant ships.
Today, you can stroll along the main street lined with traditional wooden houses on stilts, converted into clothing and souvenir shops. There are also several very nice seafood restaurants for a meal overlooking the sea.
Finish with a short walk on the pier to admire the view of the surrounding islands. This is where the boats leave for the excursions to Koh Rok and the 4 islands I’m telling you about just below.
4. Excursion to Koh Rok
One of the other things to do on Koh Lanta is to go on a day trip to explore other smaller islands.
One of the most famous around is the island of Koh Rok. With its turquoise water, coral reefs and colorful fish, the island is known to be one of the best places in Thailand to snorkel.
To reach Koh Rok from Koh Lanta, you will have no choice but to go through an organized tour. We will pick you up directly in front of your hotel to take you to the port. Then count an hour by boat.
During this day, several snorkeling stops are planned on the islands of Koh Rok Nok and Koh Rok Nai. If you want to see Nemo, this will be the opportunity to enjoy it!
Everything is included in the price (about 1700 Bahts): pick-up in front of your hotel, transfers, boat, snorkeling equipment, lunch, unlimited drinks and fruit.
To be sure to go through a serious agency, I advise you to book this excursion to Koh Rok by clicking here.
If this excursion is already full, you can also book with another provider by clicking here (it’s exactly the same thing).
5. Excursion to the 4 islands
Another essential excursion from Koh Lanta is the one allowing you to visit 4 pretty islands in the surroundings.
Along with the Koh Yao Noi 4 Island Tour , this day was one of my favorites of my entire Thailand itinerary. The corners chosen for snorkeling are full of fish and the islands to discover are truly heavenly.
Here are the islands on the program:
1) Koh Chuek for a snorkeling stop in search of the most beautiful fish and observe the coral. About 30 mins.
2) Koh Waen where you will make another snorkeling stop at the foot of a fishermen’s hut built into the rock on a small islet.
The fish are really very different from Koh Chuek, there are barracudas and funny fish, very thin and hanging upside down. The corals are also different, with chimneys in which the fish will hide. About 20 minutes stop.
Instead of Koh Waen, some tours prefer to stop at Koh Ma, but in any case, you will have time to snorkel too.
3) Koh Muk (Emerald Cave or Emerald Cave): very unusual, you will swim through an 80-meter-long cave to reach a lagoon surrounded by vegetation. It feels like being in the heart of a volcano crater, it’s really beautiful!
For the little anecdote, Emerald Cave was originally a pirate hideout. They piled up all their treasures there.
On the island, there is also a nice beach (Sabai beach) a little further, on the left side.
4) Koh Ngai: this island has a very beautiful sandy beach with translucent water which is very aptly named Paradise beach. You will stop there for lunch and then can enjoy swimming.
There is also a hotel and 2 nice bars for a drink.
During this 2-hour stop, you can also go for a walk to the viewpoint (20 minutes on foot). The view at the top is not necessarily exceptional because there is a lot of vegetation but it is nice to climb there using ropes. Just before going up, there is a pretty little super quiet beach for swimming.
The price of the “4 islands” excursion starts at 1000 Bahts per person and includes: pick-up in front of your hotel, transfer to the port, cruise and discovery of the 4 islands, equipment for snorkeling, lunch, soft drinks and unlimited fruit during the day.
Departure between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. every morning and return between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
To be sure to go through a serious agency, I advise you to book this excursion by clicking here.
This tour is done on board a longtail, a traditional Thai boat, but if you wish, you can also take the same trip by speedboat.
6. The Mu Ko Lanta National Park
During your stay in Koh Lanta, do not miss a trip to the national park.
It is located at the southern tip of the island.
Entrance to Mu Ko Lanta Park is 200 Baht per person + 20 Baht for the scooter. You will then have to go down a road to reach the car park. In the same place is also the visitor center and toilets.
In the park, you can take a short walk to see the Rock Beach, climb to the lighthouse to admire the view and finish with a break on the second beach in the park, the Ta Noad Beach. The place is nice but it’s true that there are still more beautiful beaches elsewhere on Koh Lanta.
A landscaped path (the nature trail) in the national park also allows you to do a mini hike of 1.7km in the jungle. Just watch out for the monkeys who are having fun stealing your stuff!
7. Walk through the Mangroves
Another pretty cool activity offered in Koh Lanta is to discover the mangrove part of the island.
For this, you will first need to travel to Tungyeepeng Port. From there, you can rent kayaks to navigate the small canals and pass through the trees. Keep your eyes open and you will surely be lucky enough to observe monkeys and birds.
Kayak rental for the day costs 300 Baht. You can book these tours anywhere on the island or go directly and rent your kayak.
If you want to go with a guide and other people, count 900 Bahts for the half-day. The guide will take the opportunity to show you a fish farm and several places where monkeys live.
This 1/2 day kayaking excursion in Ko Lanta can be booked directly here.
For the one-day tour with guide in the mangrove, the prices are around 1300 Bahts. The kayaking excursion includes, in addition to the mangrove, stops on the island of Koh Phee to visit caves, at Talabeng beach for lunch and a passage through sea caves.
Departure every day at 9 a.m. and return at 4 p.m.
For those who do not feel like rowing, it is also possible to make a circuit in the mangrove aboard a long boat tail, the typical boats of Thailand, which allow you to navigate in shallow waters.
For the half-day long boat tour , the prices are around 900 Bahts per person.
And if you want to do a couple activity in Ko Lanta, you can also choose the romantic version which takes place at sunrise. Info and reservations by clicking here!
If you don’t have enough time for kayaking, at Tungyeepeng, wooden walkways allow you to take a 20-minute mini-walk through the mangroves. You will see plenty of amazingly colored crabs.
Entrance fee of 40 Bahts to be paid at the same hut as the kayak rental.
Tips for your Koh Lanta itinerary:
To see the mangrove for free and walk around, I recommend that you go to the place called “Sea per view”, 3 km south of Tungyeepeng.
A walk on a pontoon (pay attention to the last part because the boards are rotten) in the middle of the mangrove allows you to observe crabs of all colors or with a single very large claw. There is also a species of amphibious fish that sun themselves on the sand. It’s quite funny to see them move around by jumping everywhere.
At the end of the pontoon, you will reach a platform with a view of the sea.
8. Go Snorkeling in Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is one of the top destinations for diving, there are also many centers on the island that offer first dives.
The most reputable spot is around Koh Hah, and the good news is that it’s perfect for beginners!
The sites of Hin Muang (Red Rock) and Hin Daeng (Purple Rock) are also popular because you will have the chance to swim with whale sharks or manta rays. On the other hand, they are reserved for slightly more seasoned divers.
Prices for 2 dives on the islands closest to Koh Ha, Koh Bida or Koh Phi Phi start from 3,300 Baht.
For more remote islands like Hin Muang or Kho Yung, count around 4,300 Bahts for 2 dives during the day.
Tips for your Koh Lanta itinerary:
Find out beforehand about the reliability of the agency through which you wish to go. There are many accidents every year in Thailand because safety standards are not respected or the equipment is too old.
This is valid for all sports activities that you can practice during your road trip in Thailand.
9. Koh Lanta Noi
Visiting Koh Lanta also means being able to discover the neighboring island of Koh Lanta Noi.
The 2 are connected by a bridge, which is located in the very north of the island, next to the port of Saladan.
Koh Lanta Noi is much smaller and even less crowded than Koh Lanta Yai. Here, no hotels, restaurants or tourist sites, you will be immersed in nature and in the heart of Thai rural life.
I recommend that you rent a scooter to travel the road that goes around it. You will certainly find some deserted beaches where you can spend some time and you can enjoy the view of the big island of Koh Lanta.
10. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
If I recommend this activity to you in Koh Lanta, it is because the sanctuary is recognized as ethical and really pays attention to the well-being of animals. There is no question here of taking a ride on their backs.
You can feed the elephants, give them a mud bath or learn how to prepare their herbal medicines. There is even a very nice little workshop where you will discover how to make paper with elephant dung.
Visits take place in the morning or afternoon and last half a day. Return transfer from/to your hotel is included.
11. Get a Massage
During your holidays in Koh Lanta, do not hesitate to give yourself a moment of relaxation in a massage parlour.
There are many small stalls along the main road and also along the beach. Prices are around 300 Baht for a one hour foot massage and a bit more for the whole body.
For the more chic version, many hotels and resorts have magnificent spas where you will be treated like royalty. The rates are a little higher but it’s not every day that you can be pampered so much!
12. Thai Cooking Class
After touring the island and enjoying the beaches, if you’re wondering what to do in Koh Lanta, I recommend taking a Thai cooking class.
We eat so well all over the country, that it may be worth learning a recipe or two to make at home to impress friends or family. Assuming you can find all the ingredients once you get home!
There are several cooking schools on the island offering half-day sessions to prepare your dishes and of course taste them at the end. Green curries, chicken with cashew nuts or pad Thai will no longer have any secrets for you!
I recommend the “Cooking with Mon” course. Mon is really super friendly and passionate about what he does. Classes are held in small groups where everyone participates and the atmosphere is really friendly.
Mon’s Kitchen is in Old Town Koh Lanta. Classes last from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cost 1600 Baht per person.
You will make 3 delicious dishes and a PDF file will be sent to you at the end of the course to reproduce all this at home.
All information can be found on the official website.
13. Khao Mai Kaew Caves
Khao Mai Kaew cave is one of the main tourist attractions in Koh Lanta.
Located in the center of the island, towards Nui beach, it is one of the most beautiful caves in the country. And it’s true that there is something to be impressed about, if only by its size. Add in the quirky rock formations and it becomes one of the most popular spots on the island.
The network of caves can only be visited in the company of a guide, for 300 Bahts per person.
A few tips for visiting the cave:
- Don’t go there in flip flops. To reach the cave, you will have to walk through the jungle for 30 minutes. It’s uphill, it’s muddy and it’s slippery so good sneakers or even hiking boots are needed (and that’s valid for inside the cave).
- I advise you not to go there with children. The place is really not suitable, you will have to move up and down wooden ladders with precarious balance so not easy for children.
- If you’re claustrophobic, forget it too. You will sink into the depths of the cave and some passages are rather narrow.
- Last thing: there are a lot of spiders and quite impressive sizes so if you don’t really like these little (or big) bugs, you’re not sure you’ll go any further than the entrance! 😀
Tips for your Koh Lanta itinerary:
If you like caves, you can also visit the Tiger Cave.
Here, you will have the choice to take a guide (250 Bahts per person) or to go alone (100 Bahts). After doing it, I advise you to take the guide otherwise you risk missing some passages.
Journey of about 15 minutes on foot to reach the entrance + 20 minutes inside. Bring sneakers and clothes that you don’t care about, as some passages require you to get on all fours in the dust and mud.
Would you like a little yoga class facing the beach at sunset?
In Koh Lanta, it is possible! From a simple course for beginners to a retreat of 4 or 5 days, different formulas are offered. Classes last 1h20 and start at 400 Bahts.
Here is a selection of the most reputable courses:
- Thip Yoga, which offers classes in several hotels on the island depending on the day.
- Yoga Oasis on Klong Dao Beach
- Yoga classes at Moonlight Bay Resort, which is located between Klong Khong Beach and Klong Nin Beach
- Sanctuary on Long Beach Beach
What to do around Koh Lanta?
Have you visited all the must-see things in Koh Lanta? Have you toured the most beautiful beaches?
Then it’s time to leave the island and continue your stay in Thailand! From Koh Lanta, you can easily reach the island of Phuket or the Krabi region .
One of the most famous islands located in the vicinity of Koh Lanta is that of Phuket.
Phuket has the reputation of being a lively island and it is not usurped. Walk the street of Bangla Road, attend a ladyboy show or a performance of traditional dances, it is sure that you will not be bored at night in Phuket!
During the day, the beautiful fine sandy beaches are yours , just as busy and lively, where you can indulge in many water activities such as towed buoys or parasailing.
A stay in Phuket will also allow you to easily visit Koh Phi Phi on a day trip or go snorkeling in the Similan Islands.
To not miss anything to do in Phuket, I advise you to read our article: What to do in Phuket?
16 . Krabi
The province of Krabi is located northeast of Koh Lanta.
The region is known for its many karst cliffs and small islands with fine sandy beaches, ideal for swimming.
One of the must-do things if you are spending a few days in Krabi is to spend a day in Railay. You can easily get there by boat from Ao Nang Beach, 20 km from the center of Krabi.
The place is really very beautiful, with a long sandy beach bordered by the forest. Take the opportunity to swim or rent a kayak for a sea trip. There are also bars and restaurants if you feel peckish.
Railay also attracts climbing enthusiasts from all over the world with nearly 700 routes designed for this sport.
All the details to organize your trip to Krabi are in our article: The Complete Guide to Krabi.
Tips for your Koh Lanta itinerary:
It is also possible to take a day trip from Ko Lanta to Krabi. Return pick -up in front of your hotel (car + ferry + bus tour) as well as lunch are included in the price.
In Krabi, you will have the chance to discover the Emerald Pool and bathe in the hot springs.
How many days to visit Koh Lanta?
I recommend that you plan at least 3 days to visit Koh Lanta.
Between the tour of the island, relaxation on the beaches and ideas for excursions, your days will be busy.
And to take full advantage of all the island’s activities or simply relax, the best is even to plan 4 or 5 days, or even why not a whole week! We won’t blame you for not wanting to leave.
1 Day Koh Lanta Itinerary
Do you have a day to visit Koh Lanta?
So get on your scooter and explore the island at your own pace.
Walk along the coast and stop whenever you want to enjoy the beaches. Remember, the further south (west coast) you go, the quieter and wilder they will be!
If you don’t want to or can’t rent a scooter, the best option to see as many of Koh Lanta’s must-sees as possible in a day is to book this small-group tour with hotel pickup and drop-off.
- A walk in the mangroves of Thung Yee Peng
- Visiting the old town of Ko Lanta
- Lunch in a typical restaurant
- A swim on Kantiang beach
- The discovery of Lanta National Park.
2 Days Koh Lanta Itinerary
For 2 days in Koh Lanta, resume the program of the first day.
On the second day, go on an excursion to the 4 islands. It is, for me, the best to do since Koh Lanta!
3 Days Koh Lanta Itinerary
In addition to the program of the previous 2 days, on day 3 I offer you several options:
1) The boat trip to Koh Rok for a snorkeling day
2) Discover the mangrove by kayak in the morning / Spend the afternoon in Koh Lanta Noi
3) Do your first dive
4) Take a cooking class at “Cooking with Mon” and take a digestive walk in the old town of Koh Lanta
5) Learn yoga in the morning / Visit the Khao Mai Kaew Caves or the Tiger Cave / Go through Mu Koh Lanta National Park
Visit Koh Lanta in 4 or 5 days / 1 week
Your holidays in Koh Lanta last 4 or 5 days? Do you even have the chance to go to Koh Lanta for a week?
It’s perfect! You will have time to do all the activities that we tell you about in this top. If you spread the day 3 options over several days, there is plenty to do for 7-8 days!
You can then choose to go to Phuket or Krabi to continue your Thailand itinerary.
Accommodation in Koh Lanta
The accommodations of Koh Lanta are concentrated on the west coast of the island, along the various beaches.
- Hub of Joys Hostel: Hostel located 350 meters from Long Beach. Bed in clean and pleasant dormitory from 6€ per night, breakfast included. Most: the smiling staff, the location 5 minutes from the beach, the good breakfast. This is the cheapest accommodation on Koh Lanta! Ideal for backpackers.
- Long Beach Chalet: Located directly on Long Beach Beach. Bright and comfortable bungalow from €25 per night, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the direct access to the beach.
- SriLanta Resort: Located on Klong Nin Beach. Thai-style villa with terrace overlooking the garden from €35, breakfast €10. The pluses: the 3 swimming pools, the setting, the ideal location for going to the beach, the comfort. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio!
- Kaw Kwang Beach Resort: Located at Klong Dao Beach. Pleasant and spacious double room from €50, breakfast included. Most: the view of the sea, the very calm and accessible beach, the swimming pool, the landscaped garden, the free return transfer to the port.
- Rawi Warin Resort And Spa: 5 star hotel located 400 meters from Klong Nin Beach. Modern Thai style double room with wooden furniture and balcony from 85€, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pools, the playground for children, the view, the competent staff, the hearty and varied breakfast. Ideal for a top-of-the-range romantic getaway!
- Pimalai Resort & Spa: 5 star hotel located 200 meters from the Kantiang Beach. Very spacious and tastefully decorated double room from €210, breakfast included. Most: the splendid infinity pool, the attentive staff, the location, the view, the excellent breakfast. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Koh Lanta!
Where to eat in Koh Lanta
On the west coast of the island, there are bars and restaurants all along the road that goes from the port to the national park and also along the beaches. You will therefore be spoiled for choice!
If you are near Klong Toab Beach, I advise you to eat at Sai Nat, a very small restaurant with a few tables, located on the side of the road. Everything is homemade and to the minute. It’s super good and very filling.
The cuisine is more Indian than Thai, we ate the best cheese naan of all our lives! And the other dishes were just as delicious.
How to get around Koh Lanta
As on many Thai islands, the best way to get around Koh Lanta is to rent a scooter.
There are rentals everywhere on the island for around 300 Bahts per day + gas.
To make the trip from the port to your hotel, it is best to book the transfer in the boat that takes you to Koh Lanta. A person passes during the trip and offers the services of a collective taxi.
The price varies depending on the distance to travel to reach your hotel. The rates are identical to those charged directly at the port so no worries about accepting. You can even try to negotiate a little.
This person also offers to sell you tickets for the return trip at the same time. Here too, it does not cost more so it can be practical.
How to Get to Koh Lanta
To get to the island of Koh Lanta, no choice possible, it will be by boat. Unlike Phuket or Krabi, the island does not have an airport.
To go to Koh Lanta from Phuket, you will need to take a boat from the port of Rassada, which is located in the southeast of the island. Not to be confused with the port of Rang Bang Pier, which is located to the northeast and only allows you to reach the island of Koh Yao Noi.
The journey takes place in 2 stages : you will take a first boat to Koh Phi Phi (2h20 journey) then a second to Koh Lanta (about 1h15).
Our transfer to the port and the reservation of the boat trip were made by our hotel which negotiated a rate of 700 Bahts instead of 1000 Bahts if we had bought it directly on the Internet. So do not hesitate to ask them to call for you.
There is also the possibility of taking a speed boat, which is faster and more direct to Koh Lanta without stopping at Koh Phi Phi (2 hours) but it is more expensive than the classic boat. It is not recommended for pregnant women or people with back problems.
If you arrive in Phuket by plane, you will have to either take a taxi to the port, or the bus to Phuket Town and then another bus or the taxi.
Arriving at the end of the day, you will probably have to spend a night at the hotel to take the boat the next morning.
I recommend “The Malika Hotel” which is located just 2 km from the port. The rooms are comfortable, the hotel is quiet and has a swimming pool. Rate from €38 per night. To book directly by clicking here.
From Krabi and to go to Koh Lanta, you can also take the boat.
Count about 2h20 journey for 350 Bahts per person.
From Krabi Airport, you can take a private taxi or a shared taxi to the port. It takes around 40 minutes for the journey.
And if you don’t want to bother with organizational matters, I recommend that you book a private transfer from Krabi airport directly to your hotel in Koh Lanta.
Your driver will meet you when you arrive and then you will board the boat by car. There is no change of vehicle and the price is fixed in advance, so there are no bad surprises!
You will find all the information and can make your reservation for this transfer by clicking here!
Tourist Map of Koh Lanta
To help you visualize the city a little better, I made you a tourist map of Koh Lanta listing the places to visit that I talk about in this top 15 things to do in Koh Lanta and around. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.
And you, what are you planning to do in Koh Lanta?
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