Friday, May 4, 2007

Ko Lanta

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LAST VISITED NOV-DEC 2014


All Lanta's tourist beaches face west - great sunsets (image Wiki public domain/Phil Weaver)


Lanta and neighbors (image - modified Google Earth)

Ko Lanta is a fairly long, narrow island with a backbone of forested mountains and a dozen or so pretty nice beaches along its western coast. The pace here is relaxed, much more so than Samui, Phi Phi or Railay/Ao Nang.

Map from Amazing Lanta

BIGGER ISLAND MAP with all beaches and most hotel and bungalow outfits.


THE BEACHES
 From north to south:

KLONG DAO
Closest to the pier and Ban Saladan town (for more detail click image to expand). Klong Dao is a popular beach for visitors. The most heavily developed section is that part close to the main road from about mid-beach right. I noticed latest trip that a fair bit of new construction, mostly mid-range or better was going on in the left section. Note that this is a fair haul from the business strip along the main road and from Ban Saladan township, not that most guests in places like this will walk it.
Pedants may notice I placed the pier marker a bit too far left - it is not right at the end of the main coastal road but a few hundred meters right. The vehicle punts access the island approx center-top of shot (image - modified Google Earth).


Northern Klong Dao. A  nice new midrange joint was under development immediately right of camera. Klong Dao tends to get a bit shallow at lowest tide, with each end being maybe worse affected. But no problems mid-tide as in this shot.


I shot this from much further south a few years earlier - nicer conditions. If I could afford upper-midrange I'd stay at one of the two joints at the far end - Twin Bay Resort or Kaw Kwang Resort. Looked real nice and not crowded by neighbours.


Towards the south end of Klong Dao. Lotsa restaurants, beach bars, massage places and resorts along here. A pretty nice area. 
Bottom-budget travellers will find accommodation choices a bit restricted on this beach away from low season.
In Dec 2014 I managed to stay a few nights in this nice southern area of Klong Dao at Ocean View Resort. I lifted my opinion of not only this part but of the whole beach. I'll put a fuller report in the TRIP REPORT section when I get a chance



The main road behind Klong Dao - more or less a continuous 2km strip of businesses into Ban Saladan. More eating and bar options, plenty of general stores, travel agents and other businesses, several ATMs and one bank branch with money changing facilities. I found the counter outside closed - when I went inside to the deliciously cool aircon it was crowded with farangs and locals, so I continued into town.


Ban Saladan. One of the advantages of Kong Dao beach is the proximity to Ban Saladan town (and the pier). When I first visited Lanta there were about half a dozen businesses here - now there are hundreds of shops etc and you can get most goods and services. I found several banks with money change counters - rates seemed competitive to Phuket and Phi Phi. Plenty of ATMs. A few other money changes.


Many Lanta visitors praise the sea-food restaurants lining the inlet west of the pier/main street. Being a tight-wad, I haven't experienced them. No shortage of restaurants and bars elsewhere in town too.


In Dec 2014 on return from Ko Jum, I stayed a few nights at Sincere Guesthouse less than 100m from the ferry pier - great outlook from the restaurant deck, good value, top management. A fuller report later.


AO PHRAE - LONG BEACH
Ao Phrae (Long Beach) immediately south of Klong Dao. This is my recommendation for people not sure which beach they should stay at. Fairly close to the ferry, plenty of accommodation at all budget levels (although lowest priced joints are in the minority in high season), no shortage of bars and restaurants but still with sizable undeveloped sections in the middle half. Unlike many Lanta beaches, no low tide blues away from the southern most 10-15%. The main road behind the beach has a fair selection of bars, restaurants and other businesses, but not as continuous as at Klong Dao.

Long Beach sure is loooong (image Panoramio-prollee) The busier 30% of the beach starts this end. Pretty nice 
though.

Lanta Palm Beach is an okay flashpacker standard resorts on the northern third of the beach. I stayed here several years ago in this hot water/aircon bungalow (not the flashest they had). They also had some very inexpensive fan bungalows which were mainly for students in the associated dive school.


Lanta Palm Beach does the usual tables-on-the-sand with seafood BBQ at night thing. Prices are kept honest by 3 competing similar beach restaurants immediately south, a whole bunch to the north in the direction of the shot below, and about a half dozen along the beach access road from the main road - including a genuine Indian place for all you Brits hankering for some home cooking.

The northern 35% of Long Beach is touristy but not overdone. Bit early for sun-worshippers in this pre-breakfast shot.

The northern half of Long Beach. As said above first 35% od the complete beach is pretty intensively developed (but nice) - the next 50% is mainly a forested reserve although 2 midrange places and a few small massage platforms have managed to avoid the obvious planning restrictions .......


........ turn 180 degrees from the previous shot for the southern half of Long Beach. 


The forested reserve continues for most of this stretch.


The main beach ends at this small rock section - that is the rather nice deck of Moonwalk restaurant (maybe +20/40% over typical budget bungalow prices). I think Moonwalk has bungalows too.
There is a small klong (creek: it may not be all that small in wet season) hidden in the corner of the beach. A popular swimming spot and some enterprising local had set up sun lounges/umbrellas in back of the beach against the trees here.
The rocks continue some 50m behind camera although at full tide most are covered and the deck piers in shot are sitting in water.

Long Beach far south. The last 10-15% of Ao Phrae is south of Moonwalk. Water shallow at low tide with lots of rock (less than 5 minutes gets you to that nice section in the previous shot), okay above mid-tide for swimming although not too much sand left at full tide. 
Pretty fully developed along here with accommodation at all price ranges. I stayed at the budget/flashpacker Marina which is to right of camera, second last before the headland. The last joint is Korner Bar which in 2012 is running the Saturday night party (they tend to rotate to different beaches throughout the week) with thumping music to 3am and noisy revellers another 2 hours. Jeez. Pretty quiet the other 2 nights we stayed. I'll get Lady Tezza to do a trip report on Marina when she gets the chance.


Lanta Marina - nice budget/flashpacker at the southern end of Long Beach. Quiet - except for Saturday nights 2012/13 (and continuing into the 14/15 high season)

Long Beach south lowest tide. Only the last (southern) 10% of the beach is rocky - more-so in the water behind the camera, but this might make for some good fish-spotting snorkelling at high tide. Platform over beach at right is part of cool new bar/restaurant (great sunsets) - piers would be lapped by water at high tide.
Lots of building going on to right of camera in 2012 - big exxy apartment-style place. Supervising farangs seemed to be speaking Russian. The popular Lanta Marina was further back - nice looking Thai/South Sea island bungalows but I was surprised the sand in front looked to have had no clean-up.
Middle 60% of Long Beach where the trees are is largely unbuilt apart from one smallish very flash place left of the tsunami tower (what sort of bribe did they pay the zoners?) and a bunch of traditional massage cabanas right of tower.
Long Beach has lots of good value places, restaurants, bars but still has over half the beachfront not built on and has no huge Phuket or Samui type western hotels (although a big new upmarket joint set back from the beach is going in alongside the northern headland - the beachside area looks like it will have sitting cabanas, and maybe bars/restaurants in traditional Thai rather than western style).


RELAX BAY
Even though Relax Bay is separated from Long Beach by a headland many booking sites class flahpacker/lower midrange Relax Bay Resort as on Long Beach.
There are 2 other resorts on this beach - at the beach end of the central access road is Hippy Bar which has a handful of budget bungalows. Visible towards the right end is Andaman Bay Resort, another budget option. Note the associated Jar Bar was holding the Friday night party in early high season 2012.


I stayed at Relax Bay Tropicana as Relax Bay Resort (far end of beach) was known then on my very first visit to Lanta - it was a wonderful budget joint with an amazing-view restaurant on stilts towards the top of the far headland. These days the resort is upmarket some with a beach level restaurant and much more vegetation hiding the more comfortable accommodation. The bay itself is pretty nice, although it does suffer markedly from the low tide blues.


This Dec 2014 shot taken 2 years after the one above it shows considerable development - at least one extra small resort and several bars/restaurants. Virtually no beachfront left to develop. Relax Bay Resort seems to have spread right down the northern half of the bay. Prices a bit off-putting to this budget traveler - 2500 bungalows.


Everyone's always asking for a beach bungalow on the sand. Relax Resort has this one.

Relax Bay Resort. This is the beachside restaurant. The resort's beach-bar area is abt 50m to the right. The old restaurant high on the steep hillside on looooong wooden piers apparently fell down in a wet season storm. I had a wonderful similar style bungalow last century with funky stone outdoor bathroom - these places are now staff lodging.
The new bungalows are midrange looking concrete and glass types in traditional style, many of them behind the beach to the right of shot.
I rock-hopped around to Long Beach in about 10 minutes - pretty easy except in the top quarter of the tide.




KLONG KHONG
Klong Khong is separated from Relax Bay by a couple of tiny so far undeveloped beaches, easily accessed from Relax Bay. I'm not sure what these are called. 
Klong Khong itself has a shallow S shape. This is the backpackers' beach - maybe 80% of the accommodation is backpacker/flashpacker. The main road parallels most of the beach and has a discontinuous strip of services less impressive than at Long Beach, let alone Klong Dao. However there is no shortage of restaurants, bars, massage places etc along the beach itself.
This beach gets some exposed rocks at low tide particularly at the southern (right in shot) end but is very pleasant in most sections.
The north end (left side in pic) of Klong Kong is approx 8km from Saladan pier.


Klong Khong far north. The beach is pretty narrow here towards full tide. That resort restaurant's piers would be in the water at highest tide. Note the recurved nature of the beach gives you a sense of isolation here, as does the lower density of accommodation. Past the restaurant is an undeveloped (still in 2014) beach section which runs at least 300m - must be worth a fortune. The next shot is several hundred meters around the far corner......


...... Klong Khong central. Budget resorts (and a few higher range joints), restaurants and bars cheek by jowl along here. Note the width of dry sand back of beach indicates not too much beach left at the top of the tide. Some rocks exposed at lowest tide. But altogether a pretty nice bit of beach with a good atmosphere. I regard Klong Khong as the backpackers' beach these days.


In Nov2014 on both sides of a trip to Ko Bu Bu I stayed at two different resorts on Klong Kong. More info, shots in the TRIP REPORT section when I get time


Klong Khong near south. The resorts/restaurants strip continues some 200m around the far corner in the previous shot.


Klong Khong far south. The last 500m of the beach is pretty underdeveloped with only 2 resorts in late November 2012. This is probably partly because the main road diverts inland some distance from the beach and because this area has a sizable rock platform offshore which largely gets exposed at low tide.


KLONG NIN
Klong Nin is mid-island starting about 13km from the pier. Once again there are a couple of small beaches separating it from Klong Khong - I think one is called Klong Toab.
The main road sticks closely behind the beach and is second only to Klong Dao for choice of businesses. If you click to expand you can see the small business district at Klong Nin Junction where the coast road turns a short distance inland about 20% across shot from the left.
 Note the pier at Old Lanta town top right of shot. The saddle road from the west to the east coast can be seen heading across island from the small business district area - doesn't look it but rises quite a bit to cross the divide. You can see a Y junction a short distance inland - the cross-island road veers left and the smaller road into the cave area veers right.


Klong Nin north. More or less a continuous line of resorts, restaurants, bars along here. Big range of prices although budget in the minority. Far headland had some nicely panoramic places, better seen in the next shot......


Klong Nin far north. Vacant area behind sea wall just waiting for development.

Klong Nin facing south. Pic is taken turning 180 degrees from the shot two-above this. The beach-side strip very similar to the southern section until near the far headland. Those rocks may seem a turn-off but I stayed at Lanta Paradise Resort near the more distant ones in 2007 and even at dead low tide the water not far from the beach was deep enough for good swimming at lowest tide. The above pic was shot at about quarter tide.

Khlong Nin is a pretty nice beach, maybe 2 km long, good sand, water deep enough at low tide for swimming close to shore, a few rocky sections but no problems, some nice candle-lit dining tables and bars set up on the sand at night, and a fair bit of accommodation mostly midrange and flash-packer.

Late afternoon low tide shot of the beach in front of Paradise Resort - dining tables being set up for dinner. Even with the tide this low I found I could swim this side of the biggest offshore rock. At high tide they are submerged.
A discontinuous ribbon of the usual restaurants/bars, travel agents, internet places, laundry services etc lines the inland side of the beach road down to the north end of Khlong Nin Bay (in fact it continues with gaps all the way to Sala Dan at the north of the island) about 1km north of PARADISE. Here it intensifies into a small shopping area - there are a couple of ATMs too. The turn-off for the road to the east coast is just past this retail cluster when heading north.

LANTA PARADISE is a pretty nice place in a good section of the beach. It has an attractive pool directly behind the beach and the more expensive bungalows are clustered here. I had a look at one of the most expensive aircon jobs and it sure did look god. One criticism, all these bungalows are clustered fairly tightly. There are some less expensive bungalows across the road - I stayed in one in 2007 and it was a dump. But I noticed in a later trip that they had been updated.
The beachside restaurant has those candle-lit tables on the sand at night, some very nice food and inexpensive prices. Service good. There are a number of beach bars and restaurants in close proximity. Sprawled on a mat on the sand with an elcheapo happy-hour big Chang watching a pretty awesome sunset is my idea of qualiteee time.
Paradise has internet, a small store, a travel desk and washing service. There are similar providers close-by on the beach road.

The small shopping area at Klong Nin Junction just in from the north section of the beach. Restaurants, a tailor, motorcycle hire, minimarts, a clinic, a pharmacy etc. One unofficial money changer with rates only slightly down on the banks in Ban Saladan. Several ATMs. The main coast road turns hard left at the far end of the strip - the cross island road goes ahead slightly to the right.

The higher of the two viewpoint restaurants on the cross island road. You have the islands between Lanta and the mountainous mainland coast to check out. The coast is closer than it appears here - my elcheapo point-and-shoot's built-in wide angle adds depth.
The slope up from the west coast is deceptively gradual so that when you pop over the top of the saddle just up the road from here you get a surprise at the view. Average cyclists should have little trouble getting up here from the west although the descent to the east coast is initially very steep - not much fun coming the other way even for people like me used to cycling in a very hilly town. The steep section has some sharp bends - there have been some bad motorcycle crashes here. Hire tuk-tuks are even more vulnerable - those babies are real unstable and a trap for the inexperienced farang hirer.
Very reasonable prices were still a feature of this restaurant in early high season 2012/13.

Back towards the west coast a well sign-posted road to the right goes about 700m to the Mai Kaeo Cave area (fee charged). This road is flat, paved for the first part and was in good condition over the unsealed section when I did it. Restaurant area near parking lot is good for information and the recommended guide. Unfortunately I've never had the spare time to actually go into the caves. Maybe next visit.


THE SOUTHERN BEACHES
South of Klong Nin are a couple more smaller beaches including Klong Hin. Then come the 5 very attractive southern beaches - Kantiang Bay, Nui Bay, Ao Jark (aka Waterfall Bay), Mai Pai (aka Bamboo Beach or Last Beach) and the southward facing beach in the National Park area. The eastern ends of Kantiang Bay and Bamboo beaches are approx 19 and 23km respectively from the pier.
Note I have cranked up the vertical exaggeration a bit excessively on this oblique Google Earth image - nevertheless those mountains are pretty impressive.


Kantiang Bay (Ba Kantiang/Ba Kan Tien Bay)
This is a lovely section of sand, shot here from one of the budget Muslim restaurants alongside the main road as it climbs the southern headland (no alcohol here, but a Coke with ice is just the thing after a hike over the steep headlands from Bamboo Bay 3 beaches south). 
No low tide blues except for the northern most 10% where rock is exposed. Much of the beachfront and the adjacent steep hillside across the main road is dominated by the super flash Pimalai Resort. If you click to expand you can see their mid-beach floating pier. Less expensive options are beachside at the northern end, up on the far headland and in Ban Ba Kantiang itself which is adjacent the northern headland. There are also some very expensive villa developments in the higher areas. There is no accommodation in this southern section close to camera. Yet. (as of Dec 2012).
I've wanted to stay at Kantiang so on our return from nearby Ko Jum in Dec 2012 I grabbed a nice room at the very good value Ancient Realm Boutique Resort in Ban Kantiang. I had  fancied a room with a view on the southern headland until I read Mooshie's bar at Marine Park View Resort throws the odd noisy party - our experience at Marina in late November had scarred us. But having been up to the budget/flashpacker Lanta Top View Resort spectacularly sited right at the top of the seaward end of the far headland, I now realise that not too much noise would come up from Mooshie's. However Top View has a 10+ minute hike down to the beach for a swim - Ancient Realm has a nice little pool and a 3 minute walk to the beach. 

Ancient Realm Resort and Spa - a lower midrange place at Kantiang Bay at budget/flashpacker rates. No seafront or views but otherwise in a very good position close to shops, restaurants and the beach. Very quiet except for the call to the mosque.
I'll get Lady Tezza to do a trip report on Kantiang Bay and Ancient Realm when she gets the time. Right now she's busy cleaning the house, mowing lawns and washing the cars - there's a hell of a lot to do on return from a trip. I'd like to help but trips exhaust me. I need time to recover. About 2 months.


The small shopping area at Ban Kantiang as the main road drops from crossing the northern headland. Minimarts, several restaurants, a tailor, several dive joints and other stores. At least 2 ATMs and a store approx across the road from camera offering money changing at around 6% less than the banks in Saladan. The smaller road to the right at the junction in background goes 300m down to the northern section of the beach.

For you seriously rich bastards heading for Kantiang, they don’t look much nicer than PIMALAI RESORT AND SPA, which looked as expensive as it is.

Seriously rich bastards doing it tough while waiting for sunset in front of the Pimalai. And relax big mover, if I published a pic with your secretary snuggled beside you instead of your wife, sure, it's bad luck buddy - but at least you can claim a tax deduction - staff "training". Wives can check on husbands' companions by click-expanding shot.


Sunset is worth waiting for.


The Pimalai has both beachfront and hillside rooms. The higher hillside ones are on the inland side of the main road - guests are shuttled around on golf buggies with security guards holding up main road traffic when they cross.
I shot this from the headland restaurant of Lanta Top View Resort. Aint wrong there.

The beach at Kantiang Bay - one of the nicest on the island (image Panoramio-latinfo.com)



Nui Bay
South of Kantiang you enter the area of Lanta's least developed beaches. Compact Nui Bay has no development apart from a cool beach bar/restaurant which was new from my 2008 visit. A benefit of this seems to be a much better access track down from the main road bike park - this had a dozen bikes at 1400 vs just mine and one fisherman's  same time of day 4 years ago. Nice sand, no low tide blues.
I later walked around the seaside rock platform to here from Kantiang Bay at low tide in around 10 minutes. No worries although there would be some problems in the top half of the tide.

Nui Bay - no resorts here. A handful of sun-worshippers plus some locals fishing. The signposted track down from the main road is not too difficult.


DEC 2012 - beach bar, new to Nui Bay since my 2008 visit (no further development dec 2014).




Ao Jark/Waterfall Bay
Next south is Waterfall Bay. For people seeking the often asked for quiet, relatively undeveloped white sand beach with nice water (no low tide blues apparent) and great sunsets, this and its near neighbour Bamboo Bay could be the go. A few budget/flashpacker places along the beach and above the rocks at the far end. Some more expensive places higher on the far headland and a few cool beach bars - one visible at far right and one hidden by the near headland.
Once again I walked the rock platform to access from the north - pretty easy at low tide and little more than 10 minutes.




Cool bar at southern end of Klong Jak.

The new Last Resort.


 A short distance past Last Resort is the centrl beach's Klong Jark Resort, a sweet old time type budget joint where I stayed a few nights in November 2014. Details in the TRIP REPORT section


The turn to the waterfall is at this elephant-trekking sign on the main road beside the tiny cluster of shops as soon as the main road drops from Ao Jark's southern headland (btw - quickest beach access is to the right at this spot). A good dirt road leads to a pay parking area after about a km - from there a sign advises that the waterfall is a 35 minute walk. When I tried this in 2012 the track seemed to disappear - I learned in 2014 that I had taken the wrong path (who said DUH!)


In Dec 2014 there were more people about and by following the crowd I reached the falls easily. Only abt a 10m drop but the water was delightfully cool to stand under - check dudes center/right. A short side path leads to some underwhelming caves. I'll put more details of the falls area in the TRIP REPORT section. particularly abt access, in case you visit at a non-busy time.


A short distance along the dirt access road from the main road is this elephant camp. These dudes may be the go for you waterfall tragics - besides general rainforest treks a sign promises to get you to the waterfall (presumably along a separate, dedicated track) visiting several bat caves along the way.



Bamboo Bay/Last Beach/Mai Pai
Arguably even quieter than Waterfall Bay. No development in Dec 2012 south of the mid-beach LaLaanta Resort (midrange). A few flashpacker (maybe budget in the low season) places in the near camera northern beach and rock platform area with one or two more expensive joints a bit higher on the headland. Water seems a bit shallow and rocky this northern end in a shot taken towards lowest tide, but plenty of deep water all tides in other areas.
Note a few gutter obstacles stopped me trying to walk the rock platform from Waterfall Bay - the steepish main road route over the headland took only 10 minutes or so.


Mai Pai is a pretty sweet beach. Place below is in the trees about midway along.

LaLaanta Resort has replaced oldtime backpacker favourite Last Beach bungalows. Not exactly a budget place.


Baan Phu Lae resort at the north end of the beach has a sweet rockside restaurant. Hey wine lovers - 120b and waiters don't realise big balloon glasses usually only get a splash.


The National Park
A big proportion of southern Lanta is national park but the headquarter area takes a much smaller several hundred hectares area at the southern tip of the island.
Several years ago the entrance fee was a ridiculous 400baht. This was dropped to a still crazy 200 (this area is no Ko Surin) which kept tightwads like me out - but I was pleased to notice the fee in dec 2012 was now 100baht which makes a visit worthwile.
This is a pretty nice area with an okay beach (at right - at left the sand-backed boulder beach could be a bit hard and lumpy under the sunbathing sarong although the snorkelling off here is said to be some of the best on Lanta - this may not mean too much: Lanta is a bit close to the mainland to get the crystal clear water good coral needs), some 1000 baht national park bungalows (Ban Phu Lae at the southern end of Bamboo Bay was asking 1400 for their barely flashpacker front rowers and national park bungalows tend to be bigger than the typical private ones), a camping area, eats in the canteen (although NP canteens have been dry for the past 2 years and I have found NP food varies from dire to great depending on the contractor), a visitors' information center and toilet blocks,  a track up to the nearly-southern most point on Lanta lighthouse and an interesting jungle trek which loops for 1.7km from just behind the beach in bottom right of image up to the entry pay station (highest symbol top left). 

The national park beach and distant lighthouse from the jungle trekking track.


These dudes were grooming in the bush just behind the beach. Several were on the sand - it may pay to keep an eye on your valuables when swimming.


The beach-end start of the jungle track. Climbs maybe 200m in about 2/3rds of the 1.7km length to the access pay station - a few short steepish sections but no sustained heart-breakers for people of average fitness (although circumferentially-enhanced cyber terrorist Kananga, aka Singapore Slim, who has never failed to surround a custard pie no matter how big, may feel otherwise) with several stops for information boards along the way.
Question: should you go UP or park your bike up near the access pay station and walk DOWN as this lady is doing? I suggest walking UP - you rise 200m in around 1200m vs the same in under 800m if you walk down the track and chose to walk the shorter return up the access road. This is one steep road - don't crack the throttle of your moped going up or you are likely to get air under the front wheel. Don't ask how I know this.

New section of road at the south of the island - was dirt south of Kantiang until a few years back. Paved section now goes all the way to the national park at the far southern end of the island.



THE EAST COAST
From the northern end of Klong Nin the across-island road takes off to the EAST COAST. I have done this on a bicycles - the climb over the pass is not too bad on the western side. But I gotta admit the haul back up the other side was a real good workout for a thankfully short distance (and I ride every day at home in a very hilly town).

Towards the top of the pass are two scenic restaurants. I called into the higher one, the original VIEWPOINT. The outlook here is pretty special over the east coastal plain, the bay with its various islands and the mainland in the distance. I was amazed at the inexpensive drinks - 30 for a small beer was cheaper than just about every other restaurant or bar this trip. Meals are available and their prices seemed pretty good too.

Late afternoon low-light shot from Viewpoint Restaurant.

The east coast is very relaxed, no nice beaches here, just attractive countryside as you head south a few km to OLD LANTA TOWN. This is a pretty neat seaside town with some nice old buildings, a few restaurants and even a bar or two, none of the usual village roadside junk and rubbish and a very long pier where guys will offer long tail bay-trips to small nearby gems like KO BU BU plus snorkeling/kayaking the area between Lanta and the mainland. South of the town, the road narrows markedly. I believe it goes for another few km to a sea gypsy village, but having the climb back over the pass to look forward too, I turned the bicycle around. That was when I first visited Old Lanta Town in the early 90s. I had a moto in 2014 but not the time to explore further south.

Old Town main street.

Part of Old Lanta Town from the pier (image Panoramio-RN Nilsen)



KO BU BU
If you want one of the most laid back islands in Thailand with only one (budget) resort, no roads/villages or other development, Bu Bu, 20 minutes from Old Town pier, fits the bill. I stayed some time here in late 2014 - got a full page with lots of pix, maps and info HERE.


Back down the hill dividing east and west coasts and less than 2km from the Klong Nin is the turn-off to the MAI KAEO CAVE. It is less than 2km up the sidetrack to the cave. This gets good reviews, but lack of time forced me save this one to next trip. You could walk up here from most places on the closest beach, my Khlong Nin, in an hour or less.

Some of the places mentioned on this page - Google image.


A GOOD LANTA WEBSITE
ANOTHER
AND ANOTHER
LANTA LONGTAILS - trips to nearby islands, camping



others' inputs:
SUNNYSAYAN - "Yoga at Relax Bay - over looking the sea - a nice place to practice.
Lanta Old Town- you can not only visit Bubu from here but MANY other islands and fishing spots off the eastern coast. Ko Talebeng is stunning. To save time - trips to Ko Ngai are offered here too. Trips to Ko Po are only 10 mins away- and there you can have the whole beach to yourself.
If you prefer a big boat and it’s the high season- you can use the 4 island tours boats as transfers- both ways Lanta-Ngai. 400 or 500 each way.
In low season, IF the wind is calm for a few days - day trips can be made to Ngai. check with lantalongtails for more info.
Other places of interest in Old Town are, an original Art Gallery and the hammock house. Behind the town (one street) is a nice Buddhist monestary and next to that is the Lions Tsunami village. Some of the best Thai food on the island is at "Beautiful" restaurant along the seaside street.
The UNDP is funding an Islander Museum to be opened soon, in a beautifully restored 100 y/o government building; it sits in the park at the foot of the pier. The UN is still in Lanta Old town to preserve the 4 delicate cultures of Ko Lanta. It plans on restoring more buildings.
Yes, the new houses built on the road by the sea gypsy’s village (Sang Ga U) are tsunami houses. Stop in at Sea Gypsie House 5 mins. south to check out some nice local crafts."

MOSEGRISEN - "Between the two "VIEWPOINT" places you mention and the village, there's in fact a third one... SAME SAME.. we stopped there for some ice cream...very inexpensive and fabulous views.
Koh Lanta - Koh Ngai Daily Ferry Boat
High Season only: The Excursion Ferry Boat leave Ban Saladan Pier, North of Koh Lanta daily around 8 am. arrive Koh Ngai at 10.00 am. Vice versa, the trip back to Koh Lanta by the same ferry boats leaves Koh Ngai around 2 p.m. takes 2 hours to arrive Ban Saladan Pier, in Koh Lanta Yai - THAI TOUR
The Casuarina is a great resort. situated on Phra ae Beach (Long Beach), one of the best sandy beaches on Koh Lanta Yai. It stretches for a two kilometres facing the Andaman Sea and Phi Phi Island. Nice garden and pool.
They have 6 beach bungalows. Actually only 2 of them have "front on beach view" the other 4 are kind of "a side view"....
Anther 6 set a little further back. They are all very good size. Then they have a number of hotel rooms.. some with sea view.. set a little further back again...
Thai style hotel rooms and bungalows nicely decorated and fully air-conditioned with complete modern amenities.
The food is ok... and the general feel of the place is that of a well run operation
Royal Lanta on Klong Dao beach, offers Traditional Thai style bungalows , individually built mostly with wood interior design. The grounds are super well kept; the pool is great. The restaurant and food also. Bit more expensive than other restaurants along the beach but the presentation of the food is also nicer.
Rooms are great... very large especially the executive rooms with a vary large bathroom and spa bath. Standard of hotel and service is about as good as it gets without paying a kings ransom.
D. R. Lanta resort on Klong Dao beach, very cheap, clean and well equipped bungalows, good food and excellent friendly service, they have a pool too."

BALYANG - "We stayed at Lanta Marine Park view, Kantiang Bay  - we were happy to have the more expensive sea view bungalows which did have great views.
The restaurant/bar was very good. We also had a few meals at Same Same But Different restaurant at the other end of the beach that was very nice.
Good swimming although we had very cyclonic weather for most of our stay which was disappointing.
Some back packers got very upset with management as they had booked ahead for the cheaper bungalows but were told when they arrived they weren't available - it seemed to us the cheaper ones were often not available. That was really the only negative thing we came across.


Kantiang: Marine Park View starts at beach level against the far headland and ranges diagonally up the headland. I don't know if the fancy joint right at the top left of the headland in this poor-light shot is part of the joint. Floating pier mid-beach is part of the Pimalae which shuttles guests in on a big speedboat.

We hired bikes form the little village nearby and accessed most of the island - really liked old Lanta town - very quaint. We were a bit disappointed with bamboo bay bungalows as that was were we originally wanted to stay but it was very isolated and a bit hard to access in wet weather - resort bit delapidated for price
but sensationally positioned restaurant overlooking the bay, just gorgeous views although food only ok."


BANGSUE - "We stayed on lanta last weekend (late April 07) on klong dao. yes it's really built up all the way along but the beach is clean and this time of year it is quiet, we only stayed one night, but we pushed the boat out and paid 2K for a beach front suite (they quote 4.5 - 5K during high season). It was a great room with a large bathroom and bedroom/living area. It had a veranda with table and chairs on the beach front where we could sit and watch the night fall looking across to both of the Phi Phi islands.
The 8am ferry Lanta to Krabi had finished for the low season and we had to get a minibus across to krabi town. That was 200b each, from Saladan from there you can get a songthaew across to Ao Nang for 40baht. A share long boat to Railey was 60B each way from there."
(Bangsue came up to Lanta from Ko Ngai) - "From ngai a (longtail) boat across to lanta was 1200 to the Lanta Town pier - 'koh ngai villa' reception sorted out the longtail for us. 'koh ngai villa' reception sorted out the longtail for us. There was no-one else going across that morning, so we had to pay it all, took about an hour or so. They said they would take us up to saladan for 2k, but we just stuck with 1200 and making our own way up. we were walking up the road from the pier at lanta and a guy in a pick-up said he would take us up the north end for 400, so we said ok. he then took us round to his house to meet the wife and kids and change his shirt, he took us up to phra ae and then on to klong dao, which was 'suay' enough for the other half."

BANYANTREE232 - "The southern bays are more relaxing but the best restaurants are just north of Relax Bay. Plus there's a Muay Thai gym inland a few hundred metres.
But it doesnt really matter where you stay as long as your room is good. The island is easy to explore on a bike. Little traffic compared to Phuket.
Apart from the cave and beaches the island has few attractions.
Good place to relax or practice some muay thai at the gym."


Khlong Jak - one of the lovely laid back southern beaches (image Panoramio-prollee)

LOUISE BERGER
On Koh Lanta I can strongly recommend staying at Red Snapper. It's primarily a restuarant run by Dutch chefs (fantastic creative food) but they also have some lovely fan bungalows that are newly built, en-suite, with patio, chairs and hammock. Every two days our room was cleaned and sheets and towels replaced. At 500 Baht a night it felt like really good value compared to other accommodation on Koh Lanta. The owners, Ed and Joyce, were really friendly and very helpful and accommodating. When we left, a few days ago, I know they had some space for November still.
Red Snapper is about 6km out of Saladan along Phrae Ae beach (which I've probably mispelt). It is set back from the beach, about a minute's walk. Opposite is Faim de Loop bakery and Flip Flop Divers (who are a fab diving company). Flip Flop also have a restaurant which serves tasty, good value food. To our pleasure they showed Friends episodes on a big screen from 6.30pm - 7.30pm and then a film from 7.30 onwards. There is a 7/11 a few minutes down the road.
.
JIMMYK who tends to stay midrange to high-end had this to say:
Ferry ride to Koh Lanta, my favorite island. As you get off ferry in saladan, you can either take your hotel's or a tout's free ride to hotel , or if you wanna save time, walk about 200 meters into town (stop at supermarket to buy fireworks and other provisions is optional) hire a moto-sidecar to Long beach which is still largely undeveloped.
The beach closest to Saladan is too crowded and not as nice.
In Saladan The overwater restaraunts(Lanta Seafood) are good and a good value and thai locals actually can be seen eating there. The sunday market is also kinda fun.
Lanta Sand Resort is best place to stay on Long Beach (better than the the pricier Layana). We stayed in a private bungalow with a very romantic outdoor garden bath---no beachview though-- for about 5000B and then moved to the new block of Hotel style rooms for 4200B (new so they are running a promotion). In room 1005, your patio is on top of the pool so you can swim from your room to swim-up bar---great, new HUGE room. This was my girlfriends favorite room.
Long Beach is fairly quiet at night, but usually one beachside bar has a party somewhere if you want to socialize.. Nearby The Funky Fish and Mr Wee's Pizza are great places to lay in a sala and grab some food.
We then moved down the beach to Lanta Castaway, which is new this season. we stayed in their one beachfront unit for 2800B which was an excellent value if you can get the room. No pool here, and rooms not as flash as some of the places described above.

-----------------------------------------------


WHEN TO GO
Ko Lanta is not a great wet season island so the obvious time is dry season which tends to be mid-late November thru to sometime in April (I gotta say the start and end of this period has been dodgy in recent years up until late 2012, perhaps coinciding with the La Nina wet period in the nearby western Pacific - apparently an El Nido dry period is kicking in late 2012 onward so hopefully we will get some drier starts/ends to dry season in the next few years).

The main problems with wet season in Lanta are:
- all the tourist beaches face west into the prevailing south-west monsoon. This means that on those 20-25% of days when the monsoon winds get real blowy you can have blustery unpleasant conditions on the beaches, often with biggish dangerous surf which usually continues for a day or two after the winds drop.
- the onshore winds blow a lot of fishing, household and forest junk onto the beaches. Because many resorts close there is less beach cleaning in this period and some smaller open resorts give up because the volume of junk gets overwhelming.
- storm water runoff impacts water clarity.
- lack of visitors can be a bit boring for the outgoing party animal
The ferries from Phi Phi, Ao Nang, Krabi and Jum don't run (surely this has to change soon?)

The pluses are:
-significantly discounted prices - you can get a really nice room in an upmarket resort for what you would be paying flashpacker in high season. And high end places will make sure their section of beach is cleaned.
- fewer noisy gits for people who like seclusion or quiet.
- usually enough sunny periods for a good beach holiday. Some wet season days can be serene - no wind and not a cloud in the sky.
Anyway, on my latest Lanta trip I noticed quite a few signs outside accommodation proclaiming OPEN ALL YEAR! Not so long ago 90% of resorts would close for the wet season.
.
.
GETTING TO LANTA - UPDATED DEC 2012

FROM KRABI and KO JUM

For several years only one ferry per day from Krabi town has run - at 1IOO. Accommodation places, trip booking counters etc in town can sell tickets which ususally include transfers to the pier at Klong Jirat several km west of town. If you are arriving at Krabi bus station several km the other side of town, the lady who runs the small travel agency there can sell tickets and arrange transfers. She often meets incoming buses.

FROM KRABI AIRPORT
Several flights a day come in to Krabi from Bangkok, Ko Samui, KL, Singapore and less frequently Sweden charters. See details in the FROM BANGKOK section down page for transfers from the airport to Lanta.

FROM AO NANG/TON SAI/RAILAY
One ferry per day leaving at 1030. The ferry starts at the Noppharet pier just east of Ao Nang -  if you are at Ton Sai and Railay you will be shuttled out from the beach in longtails to meet the ferry mid-bay. This used to be a separate ferry to the Krabi town one but the guy on my ferry from Jum in Dec 2012 insisted the ferry started at Ao Nang and called into Krabi town. Maybe there still are two ferries - I have seen a published 1030 start to the one out of Klong Jirat pier near Krabi town.

There are touts on the ferries showing pictures of their places and if you haven’t got somewhere to stay, this can be an easy shortcut. There are even more touts on the pier at Ban Sala Dan, heaps of taxi drivers, along with drivers from the resorts because a hell of a lot of places send transport to meet the ferries.

The above ferries usually shut down some time in May and don’t run again until Oct/Nov.

When the ferries stop running, from Krabi you need this PUBLIC MINIVAN SERVICE which starts opposite a footpath table set up in Krabi town's Soi 6, runs around town to various guest-houses and businesses and then to the bus station, and before heading south, crossing to Lanta via two short vehicle punts. Once on the island the minivans should run down to Old Lanta Town and should drop you at your resort as far south as Klong Nin, but I have found them a bit selective. This service also runs in high season, when it is hourly. It is cheaper than the ferries and is also supposed to take 2 hours, but my last trip saw almost 3 pass before we were on the island. It depends a lot on the number of vehicles waiting at the punts. We also cruised around Sala Dan for almost 30 minutes dropping packages and people off before heading south.
 I noticed latest visit that these minivans will also call into the airport if contacted beforehand. The shot below has contact details.
I also noticed signss in 2012 saying this outfit now has a pick-up service in Ao Nang. Travel desks will have the details.

About time the Krabi airport taxi mafia had their monopoly busted

FROM KO JUM
One of the morning Lanta bound ferries from the Krabi aea picks up passengers off Ko Jum at around 1200. Ko Jum resorts will have details and kojumonline website (see my Ko Jum page) tends to keep information up to date.
Accessing the Ao Nang/Krabi to Lanta ferry off Ko Jum.
When this ferry is not running in low season you need to catch the public longtail ferry from Ban Ko Jum to Laem Kraut on the mainland coast, ride the waiting public songthaew across to the main north-south highway and wait for a Krabi-Lanta public minivan to come by.

FROM PHI PHI AND PHUKET
Two ferries per day do this trip (in around 90 minutes from Phi Phi - add 90/120 from Phuket). This Phi Phi-Lanta leg of this service also shuts down roughly May thru to Oct/Nov.
At other times the Phi Phi-Lanta ferries coordinate departue with the Phuket to Phi Phi ferries' arrival. You can buy a thru ticket in Phuket - for some reason tickets at accommodation and tour desks are cheaper than at the Phuket pier if you shop around, and usually include free transport to the pier.

Out of Phi Phi in low season when the direct Lanta ferry has ceased, catch the Krabi town ferry and buy a ticket at the pier for the minivan to Lanta. Phi Phi travel desks etc can arrange this trip right thru if you don't want to buy the separate sections.

Tigerline can get you to Lanta in high season more quickly from Phuket via Phi Phi. Once again Google is your friend.

A fast speedboat now runs between Phi Phi and Lanta - at 1000 in 2012/13. Note that Tigerline burns along at 80% the pace of a speedboat and can be way less bumpy and wet in choppy conditions. But maybe the speedboat delivers directly to beaches south of Saladan - ask.

There is also a speedboat service from Phuket to Lanta leaving Phuket at 0830 and 900. This takes only 90 minutes and for the time-deprived may be worth the rough wet ride on choppy days.

There is also a Phuket-Lanta minivan service. It also picks up/drops off at Krabi bus station and other points along the way. There were about 4 services a day early Dec 2008 when I last used it and not the hourly trips indicated by the website - but this may change in peak season. I used it going the other way between Lanta and Phuket airport - it charges double to go into the airport (high vehicle entry fees) so I got them to drop me at the airport turnoff on the main road. An airport limo picked me up before any motorbike taxi or tuk tuk came along and dropped me at arrivals for free - I gave the guy 50baht for a Singha. Trip took me 4.5 hours - add 30 minutes or so if you want Phuket town. This service starts at the Phuket end at the bus terminal in Phuket town and terminates at the depot in Klong Dao from where you need to find your way to your resort.

This minivan service is a good Phuket-Lanta option to the public bus to Krabi or the Lanta turn-off approx 50km south of Krabi in low season when the direct Phi Phi-Lanta ferry is not running. In high season I prefer the ferries - although more expensive the trip is shorter (it is a hell of a long haul out of Phuket around Phang Nga Bay: delays at the two vehicle punts near Lanta can be time consuming in high season too) and more scenic if you sit outside. Take precautions re sunburn. And if you are in a real hurry, both Tigerline and the speedboats can save more time.

If you want to do Phi Phi to Lanta in low season, you would best catch the ferry to Krabi and go into the town's Soi 6 for the minibus service. Thing is, any accommodation or travel desk on Phi Phi can arrange this and tell you of any changes.

FROM TRANG.
Minivans leave from the travel agents opposite Trang railway station and go onto Lanta via the vehicle punts. This takes about 3 hours. They deliver to accommodation as far sourh as Klong Nin. In recent years the trips have been hourly. Look for the minibuses outside KK Travel. The trip took me 2.5 hours the last time I did it.

Minivan and others accessing Lanta via vehicle punt.

Progress Dec 2014 - bridge link between Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai underway. If there is parallel work to replace the vehicle punt at the mainland end of Noi then road access to Lanta will be so much faster.

For people flying in: - I read that Air Asia flies into Trang from Bangkok and transfers people to Lanta by ferry from Hat Yao pier south of Trang. That sounds like a quick and scenic way to get to Lanta.


FROM THE TRANG ISLANDS AND FURTHER SOUTH
Tigerline run a fast ferry from Langkawi island in north-west Malaysia calling in at Ko Lipe, Hat Yao on the mainland south of Trang for Ko Libong, then Kos Kradan, Muk and Ngai before calling in at Lanta.

In Dec 2012 I noticed Phetpailin had a boat leaving Ko Mook/Muk at 0900 for Lanta. I also noticed this boat picking up at Ko Ngai a bit later - presumably it also picks up at Ko Kradan.
For later transfers their morning Trang Island daytrip boat out of Ban Saladan will take other people back from the Trang islands to Lanta. I have used this boat from Muk/Mook long ago and I noticed a guy hop on this year at Mook around 1230. This ferry tends to cruise past Ngai and Kradan on the return trip at various times depending on its snorkelling/Emerald Cave schedule which is tide dependent - your accommodation on the islands will know. The Petpailin boats are much faster than previously, but not as speedy as Tigerline although considerably cheaper.

In Dec 2012 speedboats were also running transfers. Daytrip boats out of Lanta from Lanta Garden Hill and Opal Tour were taking people from the Trang islands resorts back to Lanta (some will drop you at beaches along the Lanta coast on the way to Saladan).

Lanta Garden Hill daytrip speedboats at Ko Kradan. We saw these boats picking up people from resorts on both Kradan and Ngai to take back to Lanta.


Note that daytrip longtails also come down to Kradan, Mook and Ngai (seen here) from the southern beaches of Lanta (this is how we accessed Ko Ngai in Dec 2012 - 450 baht each). It is possible to pay for a ride back to southern Lanta on one of these if it is not full. A group of 4 on our boat so liked Ngai they booked bungalows for the following 2 nights and came down again next day, arranging with the boat guy to be taken back two days later.
Lanta Longtails operate all sorts of trips around the small islands between Lanta and the mainland, and can shuttle you to/from the Trang islands.

SPB SPEEDBOAT which leaves Lipe and picks up at Ko Bulon Lae used to also pick up people on some of the Trang islands on the way to Lanta. I'm not sure what the current deal is. I also heard in early 2012 that SPD were running a speedboat between Phuket and Lipe which probably calls in at Lanta.

Accommodation places on the islands will contact these boats for you.



FROM SAMUI-PHANGAN-TAO
Bangkok Air run flights from Samui into Krabi airport. There you could have a prior arrangement for the Krabi-Lanta minivan to pick you up, or your accommodation's transport if it has a transfer service or even one of the expensive Krabi airport taxis.

You can buy a less expensive ferry/minivan-bus thru ticket from accommodation and travel agencies on these islands. This usually involves a ferry to Donsak (there is also a night ferry from each island directly to the Surathani town pier) from where you will be shuttled to a travel agency in/closer to Surathani and then put on a minivan/bus for Krabi followed by either the ferry or the minibus to Lanta. This can run seamlessly but there have been complaints of lots of time wasted sitting about waiting for connections, poor buses etc.
You can avoid this by getting your own ticket to Donsak with inclusive transfer the 40+km into Surathani (can pay at the departure pier or on the ferry), making your own way to the Surathani public bus station or nearby public minivan station and heading to Krabi and onwards to Lanta.
Note in Dec 2012 I noticed a minivan cruising around Lanta picking up at accommodation with LANTA-SAMUI on the side. I have no idea where and at what times this starts on the Gulf island side (I'm assuming it  is waiting at the Donsak ferry pier, but when?) but Google may help you here. A direct Donsak-Lanta service sure would save a lot of mucking around. Hell it might even start on Samui - the Donsak ferries are mainly vehicle ferries.

FROM BANGKOK
The quickest way would be to fly into Krabi and do the minivan, resort pickup service or taxi thing. Flying via Trang would take longer although note the bit about Air Asia and its Hat Yao ferry transfers above - flying via Phuket longer again.

The cheapest would be a bus from the either Khaosan Road or Bangkok's southern bus terminal to Krabi bus station and then the public minivan or if the timing is right, the ferry. Note the private buses running out of the Khaosan Road area have a bad reputation for thefts from underbus luggage and other hassles. Bangkok-Krabi is about 12 hours.

Train tragics could condider a train to Surathani (12h) and then a minivan or bus transfer to Krabi and then the public minivan or the ferry. Or a train to Trang (15h) followed by a minivan directly onto Lanta from the travel agencies across the road from the station (KK Travel is a good one and co-ordingates the vans). Both Surathani and Trang have sleeper train services from Bangok. I think I'd go for the Trang service - spend the extra 3 hours on the train cutting the zzzzzs and then save time and hassle with a one step hop onto Lanta.



GETTING AROUND ON LANTA.
When arriving by ferry, many people are met by drivers from their resorts. If you use a tout on the ferry or at the pier to pick accommodation he/she will often lay on free or inexpensive transport to the resort. Otherwise you will be met by a wall of shouting "taxi" (pickups with canopies over the tray) drivers who expect to retire on your fare alone. Offer one third their first price and work up to half.
I noticed in 2012 that there seems to be a policy of dropping customers on the main road near the resort and leaving them to walk the last few hundred meters. "Lane too rough" is the excuse. Rubbish, because ferry tickets out of Lanta usually involve inclusive shuttles to the pier from your resort's reception.

For general trips around the place there are plenty of these pickup truck taxis but few or no public songthaews in 2012. In Nov/Dec 2014 I noticed a new HOP ON HOP OFF SHARE TAXI running from Saladan to Old Lanta Town (I've got an idea it will divert into Kkong Kong). I'm not sure how often these run - I got the impression that your accommodation etc can ring and find out when the next one is passing by.

Distinctive blue and white share taxi - I'd just got off in Klong Dao near the north of the island from Old Lanta town (150b vs 400+ in conventional pickup truck "taxi". Catalan couple in back had got on at Long Beach and were going to Saladan - 100 each.

The main form of public transport for locals seems to be tuk-tuks and motorcyle-sidecars, no doubt inexpensive to those in the know, but the drivers seem to want a fortune from tourists. In Dec2012 the Koh Lanta Pocket Guide had these tuk-tuk prices:
Saladan to Klong Dao 40b
Long Beach 60b
Kkong Khong 90b
Klong Nin 150b
Kantiang Bay 300b. Hopefully their website will keep prices updated.

RIP OFF! - I'm getting dismayed at the Lanta transport cartel - the prices they are charging are probably 4x what you would pay in Bangkok - to sit in the back of a bumpy, noisy, diesel spewing pickup truck with dirt flying abt yer eyes, no aircon, no safety belts or airbags - any accident and you will dash yer brains out on the hard steel of the cabin rear. Reckon these guys carry any third party insurance? Hey, see all those new luxury pool condos on Phuket's Surin Heights? - this is where the Lanta taxi mafia and their buddies from Phuket plus the longtail cartel from Ao Nang, Phi Phi and all the nearby Andaman islands, retire. After half a dozen fares. And you thought fugitive Wall Street bond traders were buying those joints.

Pickup "taxi" price board at Klong Dao late 2014 This is the nearest tourist beach to the pier. From Saladan (the pier area) you could maybe add 50baht. Or heaps more if you are a pussy bargainer. The per person bit kills me - tip, if a big group, bargain hard for a BIG reduction.

If you are staying in Kantiang Bay maybe your accommodation can organise the Kantiang Shuttle to pick you up - we paid 150 each in Dec 2012 - just a seat under a pickup canopy but quiter and more comfy than a tuk tuk and way cheaper than a "taxi" which the resort said was 700.
.
A lot of people hire motorcycles which are ubiquitous and inexpensive. Main roads are mostly well sealed and not too crowded but keep an eye open for pot-holes, particularly during or soon after wet season.
Tuk tuks are available for hire but caution should be applied - these things hate corners.
I didn't see too many fellow bicyclists.

On my cycle to Lanta Town in 2008 I noticed a farang family had a local driver in a private car showing them the east coast. Maybe some of the nicer resorts have private drivers hanging around offering trips like at Phuket.


DAY TRIPS
These days Lanta is offering a whole bunch of day trips. Speedboats make so many distant locations more accessible.
Do a Google for trips out of Lanta including to:
The 4 islands - the Trang islands south of Lanta which includes the fantastic Emerald Cave on Ko Muk.

Inside the Emerald Cave - shot click-expands nicely.  I've done a TRIP REPORT of my 2014 4 island day trip 2nd from the top here.

Ko Rok - a national park island west of the Trang islands with the best snorkeling I've seen in Thailand.

Sweet National Park HQ beach at Ko Rok. Also on above link.

Ko Phi Phi - The Beach (Maya Bay) of movie fame on Phi Phi Ley,/Phi Phi Don,/Mosquito island.

The Beach, Maya Bay. Unusually uncrowded here because it is 0630. I haven't done the daytrip out of Lanta. Here I stayed overnight at Maya Bay out of Phi Phi Don. Once again TRIP REPORT details when I get a chance.

Longtail snorkelling/kayaking trips of the islands and mainland coast out of Old Lanta Town pier.

Longtail day-trippers out of Old Lanta Town pier check the snorkeling off Ko Bu Bu

I'm not sure which is best value. I personally think the Emerald Cave is the most gob-smacking location in the Andaman. However people who have not seen Maya Bay may get better value from the Phi Phi trip and snorkelers the Ko Rok trip.

Note too there is a whole bunch of Lanta land tours including full island tours, caving, elephant riding, cooking classes yada.

Any resort or travel desk/agent can organise these.



------------------------------------------------------


Lady Tezza, Gianna, Rachael and Cocodrilo have info and pix of their Dec '12, Feb '11 and Dec '09 visits to Lanta in the READERS' TRIP REPORT SECTION.

If you want to fire in a trip report on LANTA or any other location please send text and/or captions plus any pix to lajolla22@hotmail.com. Hopefully we can keep info up to date without me having to return to dozens of islands every second year. There are so many other places I want to visit.

-----------------------------------------------

If you are visiting Lanta you may also be interested in nearby:

PHI PHI

KO JUM

KRABI/RAILAY/AO NANG/TON SAI

KO NGAI

KO KRADAN

KO MUK

KO HAA (DAYTRIP)
------------------------------------------------

If you have any questions, please ask them in THE FORUM rather than below. I don't get a chance to check all threads daily, but unless I'm travelling I'll try to monitor THE FORUM regularly.

10 comments:

แอร์ said...

Koh LantaIsland is a tourist attraction that I admire most I have ever seen. And when you have to experience it, you will be obsessed with the place and the beauty of the island. Each time it has to be relaxing and enjoyable.

phiphi said...

the other location near koh lanta is Koh Lipe was our favorite spot while backpacking in Thailand and the most beautiful island. We´ve seen staying in a lovely bungalow directly on the beach for only 500 Baht. We´ve been trying to capture the amazing time we had

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Garylanta said...

Absolutely love Koh Lanta

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Sbipk said...

Thank you nice article.
your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
I love here Surin Beach Resort This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
Thank again.

Jackie said...

Spent many months on Lanta 99 to 02 at Waterfall Bay. Hardly recognize anything now though. Paved roads, atms, carparks, shops.... don't think I'll go back. Keep the memories instead.

Sofia Alissa said...

Very nice information about island we also want to go their but for good travel service hire our new cabs any time any where we known as Detroit airport taxi .

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