15 Amazing Things to Do in Koh Lanta, Thailand

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Koh Lanta is the perfect Thai island for us. It’s not too developed or crowded but has enough facilities to live comfortably.

We love the laid-back atmosphere, long empty beaches, jungle-covered mountains, and spectacular sunsets.

There are plenty of places to eat and things to do in Koh Lanta, and there’s accommodation for all budgets.

We’ve visited three times and spent over five months on the island. It’s the ideal island for both holidaymakers and digital nomads.

Below you will find our detailed Koh Lanta guide which includes our best tips on what to do in Koh Lanta, places to eat, where to stay, and how to get there. There is also a handy map with everything mentioned.


Koh Lanta Highlights Video

Take a video tour of some of Koh Lanta’s highlights to see why we love it. It features the national park, many beaches, Khlong Dao Monday market, and a boat trip to Koh Rok.

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The Best Things To Do in Koh Lanta Thailand

1) Tour Koh Lanta Island by Scooter

Hiring a scooter is one of the best things to do in Koh Lanta, Thailand
Simon geared up to go on our hire scooter, the best way to explore Koh Lanta

We do love zipping around on a moped, and Koh Lanta is a great place for it (much easier than the crazy roads on Koh Jum or in the busy cities).

Koh Lanta is quite a large island (27 km long) so having your own transport makes it easy to explore.

The roads are mostly paved (although with plenty of potholes), there is no traffic, and it’s hard to get lost when there’s only one road that goes around the island and a couple that cut across it.

If you rent a moped, you’ll be able to explore many of our Koh Lanta itinerary suggestions below, but it’s also just fun to drive around enjoying the views and stopping off at quiet beaches.

If you don’t want to hire a motorbike, you could rent a car (much more expensive) or bicycle (but be prepared for the heat and big hills in the south).

You could also take a local taxi—a tuk-tuk with a sidecar attached to a motorbike, but this will be more expensive.

Read our Koh Lanta scooter post for tips on learning to drive and renting a bike.  

If you rent a motorbike make sure your travel insurance covers you as accidents do happen. We recommend SafetyWing, which is available worldwide and covers riding a motorbike.

It’s affordable (kids are even free!) and is ideal if you are on a longer trip as you can pay monthly.

You can purchase it outside your home country, so if you forgot to buy insurance before you left home, there’s still time to buy a policy. 

Get a SafetyWing quote here.

Safetywing insurance

True Traveller is another option for UK and EU residents. My SafetyWing travel insurance review has a comparison of the top insurers. 

2) Take a Walk on Long Beach

Long Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Relaxing on Long Beach is one of the best things to do on Koh Lanta

Long Beach (Pra-Ae) is the longest and one of the most attractive Koh Lanta beaches.

It’s in the north of the island and is a great place to stay if you want to be close to the action as there are plenty of restaurants and a wide range of accommodation—see our post on the best Koh Lanta hotels for recommendations. 

The golden sand is backed by casuarina trees and the warm clear water is perfect for swimming.

It never gets too busy as there’s plenty of space for everyone. We love walking here at sunset. 

Just south of Long Beach you can find the lovely small bays Relax Bay and Lanta Secret Beach (also known as Beautiful Beach). 

Secret Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Gorgeous views at Secret Beach

3) Laze on Koh Lanta’s Southern Beaches

Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Kantiang Bay

Koh Lanta beaches get quieter and even more beautiful the further south you go along the west coast.

Our favourites for day trips are at the very south—Kantiang Bay, Waterfall Bay (Ao Klong Jark) and Bamboo Bay (Ao Mai Pai).

You can combine a trip to Waterfall Bay with a hike to the nearby waterfall.

Bamboo Bay, Koh Lanta, Thailand
The lovely Bamboo Bay, Koh Lanta

4) Explore Koh Lanta National Park

Beach at Koh Lanta National Park, Thailand
Beach at Koh Lanta National Park

For another beautiful empty beach keep driving even further south until you reach the end of the road at Koh Lanta’s National Park.

There’s an entrance fee (200 baht/ $5.60 adults, 100 baht/ $2.80 for children 3-14 years), but you can then hike trails, visit the lighthouse, and relax on the beach.

Just watch out for the monkeys though—Simon got attacked by one that was trying to get into our bag in search of food. And please don’t feed the monkeys and encourage this kind of behaviour.

If you do get scratched or bitten by a monkey (or dog) you’ll need to get a rabies vaccination straight away and then four more at intervals over the following month.

5) Stroll Around Koh Lanta Old Town

Blue and brown wooden houses on stilts over the water in Old Town on the East Coast of Koh Lanta, Thailand
Atmospheric Lanta Old Town

The west coast is where all the beaches are, but we also enjoy visiting the less developed east coast over the lush green mountains.

It’s quiet and peaceful here with a few small settlements of simple bamboo huts and the historic Old Town—a village of teak stilted houses overlooking the sea.

There are only a few shops and restaurants so it won’t take long to explore, but it makes a good break from the beaches.

Why not combine a few of the above tips with this Ko Lanta: Old Town Sightseeing and National Park Tour, which includes hotel pickup and lunch?

6) Island Hop on the 4 Island Boat Tour

Kayaking at Koh Ngai, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Kayaking at Koh Ngai

One of our favourite Koh Lanta activities was taking a day trip to visit the Trang Islands.

We spent the day snorkelling, kayaking, and island hopping around the gorgeous limestone islands.

Our snorkelling spot Koh Maa, Thailand
Our snorkelling spot Koh Maa

The highlight of the 4 island tour was definitely visiting the Emerald Cave.

Swimming through the cave the water really did glow emerald green before it became pitch black.

When we reached the other end of the cave we emerged into the sunlight to find a hidden white sandy beach surrounded by limestone cliffs. We’ve never visited anywhere like it.

Emerald Cave, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Emerald Cave is a Koh Lanta must see

The tour company we did the trip with is no longer operating but there are many other options by speedboat or long tail boat.

Why not try this 4-Island Adventure Tour to Emerald Cave which includes snorkelling stops and a Thai buffet lunch.

Please note that the 4 islands are closed from June to September. 

7) Go Snorkelling at Koh Rok 

Snorkelling at Koh Rok, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Snorkelling at Koh Rok is a must-do in our Koh Lanta Travel Guide

Another beautiful day trip from Koh Lanta is to Koh Rok, which has some of the best snorkelling in the area.

We chartered a boat here, and as there were six of us, this worked out only slightly more expensive than taking one of the group speedboat trips. Another advantage was that we got to visit quieter spots.

It took us about two hours to get to Koh Rok, but as we had plenty of space to relax, either undercover or on the sunny roof deck, this wasn’t a problem.

During the day we had plenty of time at three different snorkelling spots, lunch onboard the boat, and time to relax on a private beach away from the other tour groups.

Kayaking at Koh Rok, Thailand
Simon kayaking at the empty beach we stopped at

It was a true beach paradise with soft white sand and crystal clear turquoise water.

You can do camping trips to Koh Rok and it would be amazing to have this undeveloped island to yourself.

The snorkelling was decent, and we saw plenty of life including titan triggerfish, Moorish idols, false clownfish, and parrotfish.

If you only have time for one boat trip, I’d choose the Four Island trip to see the stunning Emerald Cave, but Koh Rok is also worth it.

If you are with a small group try this Koh Rok and Koh Ha Private Boat Tour which includes accommodation pickup.

Alternatively, this family-friendly Adventure Sea Tour to Koh Rok and Koh Haa, which includes pickup and lunch, is recommended.

8) Scuba Dive Into a Magical Underwater World

Our dive spot at Koh Haa, Thailand
Scuba diving is one of the best things to do on Koh Lanta

Although Koh Lanta isn’t as well-known a diving destination as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Tao, it has some of the best dive sites in Thailand.

After our brief refresher course, we did two dives at Koh Haa.

The visibility was an incredible 30 metres, and we were able to fully appreciate the thousands of colourful fish and vibrant corals.

A highlight was swimming up through a narrow cavern known as The Chimney.

It’s really a magical world underwater and we’d definitely recommend giving scuba diving a try.

Clownfish. Photo by Natasha Lambelin, Liquid Lense
Clownfish. Photo by Natasha Lambelin, Liquid Lense

We dove with Scubafish, who have now closed. Another option is Phoenix Divers who offer this small group Koh Lanta Scuba Dive tour with an instructor, which includes pickups and lunch.

9) Watch a Mesmerising Sunset

Koh Lanta sunset, Thailand
Sunsets don’t get better than this

Watching the sunset is a must-do on Koh Lanta.

We’ve seen some truly spectacular sunsets on the island and made sunset walks along the beach a daily routine.

Khlong Dao, Long Beach, and Khlong Nin are all fantastic places to watch the sun go down. 

For morning larks, why not try this Romantic Sunrise Gondola Tour at Tung Yee Peng.

10) Practice at Oasis Yoga

Oasis Yoga Studio on Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lovely Oasis Yoga studio setting for your class

Oasis Yoga is the perfect yoga studio.

Classes take place in a stilted wooden treehouse in a lush tropical garden with the sea in front and the jungle-covered mountains behind.

The sounds of the waves and chirping birds helped me calm my mind and hold the most difficult poses, and I always came away ultra relaxed.

In addition to the yoga studio, they also have lovely bungalows and an excellent cafe.  

There are usually two to three classes a day. The Flow class is the most energetic, but the instructor gives options for all ability levels.

Chill Flow is slower and stretchier, and Yin is very gentle with deep stretches that you hold for 3-5 minutes—it’s as much about calming the mind and being still as it is about stretching. 

Oasis Yoga is highly recommended whether you are completely new to yoga or an experienced yogi.

1 Class costs 400 baht ($11), or there are various multi-class passes available. See their website for the latest schedule.

11) Take a Cooking Class

Cooking Class in Thailand
Cooking Class in Thailand

Beachfront Time For Lime on Khlong Dao is a great place to take a class (we enjoyed the food at their restaurant). You can read more about the Globetrotter Girls’ experience with this Koh Lanta cooking class.

We didn’t take a Koh Lanta cooking class as we’d already done one in Chiang Mai, but we recommend taking a class during your trip to Thailand. It’s a great opportunity to spend the day eating (a lot!) and learn more about Thai food.

This Cooking Experience at Lanta Thai Cookery School looks good with a range of dishes to choose from, though you will have to enquire about vegetarian or vegan dishes.

12) Try a Traditional Thai Massage

Thai Massage sign

We aren’t massage fans, so we didn’t get one on Koh Lanta, but if you are then you’ll want to take advantage of Thailand’s excellent value massages.

If you wish to try a Traditional Thai massage, be aware that it won’t be what you imagine.

Unlike western massages, where you lie down topless and have your muscles massaged, you stay clothed during a traditional Thai massage. Then, the practitioner uses pressure and stretching techniques to relax your whole body.

Basically, it’s like assisted yoga; afterwards, you will feel energised and most definitely like you have been through a workout.

A tip on Koh Lanta, don’t choose to get a massage in a space attached to a restaurant. It’s hard to relax under the beady eye of nearby diners!

13) Walk Dogs at Lanta Animal Welfare 

If you are wondering what to do in Koh Lanta on a rainy day, animal lovers can visit the non-profit Lanta Animal Welfare to meet the rescued cats and dogs and even take the dogs for a walk. There’s also a vegan cafe. 

14) Watch a Film Under the Stars at Lanta Cinema

Lanta Cinema is an excellent addition to Koh Lanta.

The outdoor cinema has plenty of seating under the stars and is based in Khlong Dao. There is a bar for cocktails, other drinks, obligatory popcorn and other snacks.

They show a mixture of Western and Thai (with English subtitles) films. Check their Facebook page for up-to-date schedules.

It is closed during low season.

15) Be a Trash Hero

Plastic waste on beach, Thailand
Help clear the plastic waste in Koh Lanta

Rubbish washing up on the beaches is a big problem during the rainy season on Koh Lanta.

Help out by joining one of the Sunday beach cleanups run by Trash Hero Koh Lanta. It’s amazing the difference two hours can make.

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Where to Stay in Koh Lanta

The pool at Pimalai Resort, one of the best Koh Lanta hotels, Thailand
Pimalai Resort

See my post on where to stay in Koh Lanta for a detailed comparison of the different beaches and reviews of accommodation from budget bungalows to luxury resorts. 

All Koh Lanta’s beaches are on the west coast, so most visitors stay in one of the beach villages here.

If you want to be closer to the ferry in Saladan and near lots of restaurants, I recommend staying on Khlong Dao or Long Beach.

For more of a getaway from it all, head further south to Khlong Nin (in the middle of the island) or Kantiang Bay.

The most remote hotel is LaLanta Hideaway Resort on quiet Bamboo Bay. 

We often take advantage of huge low-season discounts and stay in luxury resorts.

Our favourites are Pimalai Resort at Kantiang Bay (the most luxurious) and Rawi Warin at Khlong Nin (the best value). These are also ideal for families as they offer family rooms and kids clubs packed with daily activities.

Layana Resort on Long Beach is the quietest for those without children as it’s adults only! 

Self Catering on Koh Lanta

We usually stay in apartments and villas on Koh Lanta with access to a kitchen.

For Western food like cheese, muesli, bread, and pasta we shop at Lanta Mart in Saladan.

Everything else we buy from Mai Yod Market, a vegetable shop in Saladan with a big selection of vegetables, fruit, fresh noodles, tofu and rice.

There are also markets on various days around the island where you can pick up fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s in Saladan on Saturdays, Khlong Dao on Mondays and near the Koh Lanta bridge on Wednesdays.

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Koh Lanta for Digital Nomads

Koh Lanta has become one of the most popular Thai islands for digital nomads since the co-working space KoHub opened at Long Beach. 

We haven’t tried KoHub yet, but it looks great with fast fibre optic WiFi, a garden workspace, and air-conditioned rooms.

It’s a good option if you want to meet other digital nomads as there are regular social events. 

The staff can help you find long-term accommodation and motorbike rental. They also offer all-inclusive packages including co-working, accommodation, and two meals a day. 

There’s plenty of affordable accommodation on the island, but apartments with kitchens are usually quite expensive (it’s more expensive than Koh Phangan).

On our last three-month visit we stayed at Malee Highlands on a hill above Khlong Dao—the stylish apartments have fibre internet and are a good deal in low season. 

It’s usually cheaper to find somewhere once you arrive on the island (ideally before high season starts) by asking locals and posting in Facebook groups like Koh Lanta Info

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Where to Eat in Koh Lanta

These are the best restaurants on Koh Lanta we found. Most are on the western side of the island and we generally found the quality better on the road rather than on the beach. All these places have vegetarian options.

Khlong Dao

Time for Lime

Time for Lime restaurant on Khlong Dao beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Delicious food with perfect views at Time for Lime

Our favourite beachfront restaurant on Koh Lanta. It’s pricey, but we think it’s worth it for the quality of food and sunset views.

A set Thai menu changes daily with meat and vegan options and includes three dishes, rice and a tasty Thailand in One Bite appetiser.

I’m a fan of the lemongrass and chile margaritas. They also run cooking classes.

They close for low season and reopen around mid-October.

Oasis Yoga Bungalows

Veggie tacos at Oasis Yoga Bungalows on Koh Lanta, Thailand
Veggie tacos at Oasis Yoga Bungalows

The Oasis Kitchen is my favourite place for lunch on Koh Lanta and I often went here after classes at the excellent yoga studio.

They make some of the best Western food on the island including breakfasts and delicious veggie tacos and bean burgers.

They have excellent kombucha and smoothies too. It closes in low season.

Two Scoops Gelato

Tasty creamy gelato in interesting flavours and delicious cakes.

They change daily but we loved the banoffee pie, red velvet cake, and apple crumble—I’m a huge crumble fan and was amazed to find it so well done in Thailand.

They have air conditioning so it’s a great place to cool off.

The Khlong Dao branch closes in the low season, but the one in Old Town stays open. You can also find their ice cream at various restaurants on the island like Happy Veggie, Malee Highlands Bistro, and Escape Cafe

Long Beach

Red Snapper

Tapas at Red Snapper, one of the best restaurants on Koh Lanta, Thailand
Tapas at Red Snapper

Red Snapper serves tasty fusion tapas and is the best restaurant on Koh Lanta.

There are plenty of vegetarian options on the creative menu, which changes regularly.

We enjoyed everything we tried including cheese and jalapeño croquettes, roast vegetables in a sun-dried tomato sauce, chickpea, jalapeño and orange salad, and the tasty bread with garlic butter and olives.


A simple, friendly Thai restaurant serving delicious food at low prices.

There are a few things that make them stand out from similar restaurants—there are over two pages of vegetarian options, they provide free iced drinking water, they use metal straws instead of plastic ones, and when you say you want spicy, they believe you!

The massaman curry and the fried red curry with tofu were both delicious. The tofu is deep-fried and much tastier than elsewhere on the island.

It’s open every day including in the low season.

May’s Kitchen

Pad thai with penang curry at Mays, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Pad thai with penang curry

May’s Kitchen is another friendly restaurant with consistently good food.

There aren’t many vegetarian dishes on the menu, but they understand the concept and are happy to do vegetarian versions of everything, so just ask.

We loved the fried yellow curry with vegetables and the pad thai with penang curry.

Our friends raved about the Thai grilled beef salad and they even asked for a vegan version made with mushrooms which they said was fantastic.

Happy Veggie

Tofu satay and samosas at Happy Veggie, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Tofu satay and samosas at Happy Veggie

This vegetarian restaurant has a large menu of meat-free international and Thai dishes.

The food is a little more creative than the typical restaurant and they use red rice.

We particularly like the starters—the vegetable samosas and tofu satay. The veggie burger and stir fry were also tasty. It stays open all year.

Fruit Tree Coffee Shop

This cute cafe is our favourite on Koh Lanta. The owner is very friendly and makes some of the best coffee on the island.

Their cakes are delicious (especially the passionfruit cheesecake) and they have vegan options and bliss balls.

Other items are probiotic honey lemonade, smoothies, salad specials for lunch, and excellent breakfast/brunch dishes including pancakes, waffles, avocado toast, and beetroot hummus on toast.

They also sell homemade granola, peanut butter, and coconut oil.

Escape Cafe

It’s unusual to find a cafe that does quality coffee right on the beach. Escape Cafe has comfortable seating and platforms right on the sand so you can enjoy the view while enjoying a frappe or Two Scoops ice-cream.

Le Colibri

A French restaurant that does good pizza and wine.


Banana flower salad at Irie, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Banana flower salad

At the north end of Long Beach, Irie is a good option for vegetarians as everything can be made with tofu and they have some creative vegan salads like banana flower, wing bean, and cashew.

We also liked their western salad with sunflower seeds and feta and their tasty spicy potato wedges.

Khlong Nin

French Bakery

Simon’s favourite pizza on the island. They also sell good baguettes and croissants.

Shanti Shanti

Caramelised apple and cinnamon crepe at Shanti Shanti, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Caramelised apple and cinnamon crepe

Shanti Shanti is a cute French cafe with good coffee, crepes (the caramelised apple and cinnamon was so good) and homemade ice creams including interesting flavours like chai. They close in low season.

Kantiang Bay

Drunken Sailors

Tom Yam Vegetable Noodle soup, Drunken Sailors, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Tom Yam Vegetable Noodle soup at Drunken Sailors

Drunken Sailors is one of those rare places that manages to do both excellent Western and Thai food.

The tom yum vegetable noodle soup, vegetable samosas, Tex Mex veggie burger, and passionfruit shakes are all delicious. It’s also a good place for breakfast and proper coffee. 

We appreciated that they don’t tone the spice down for tourists (although you can ask them to if you want) and that you can order everything vegetarian or vegan.

All the Thai dishes are packed full of veggies, and you can choose to add meat as an optional extra.

The service is great, the atmosphere relaxed with hammock chairs and beanbags, and there’s WiFi and books to browse or exchange.

East Coast

Baja Taco

Refried bean tacos at Baja Taco on Koh Lanta, Thailand
Refried bean tacos at Baja Taco

It’s worth heading over to the East Coast to a quiet location beyond Old Town for the best Mexican food on the island.

This rustic restaurant overlooks the water (there are kayaks to rent) and has a small menu of surprisingly delicious tacos and nachos.

There are meat fillings as well as vegetarian options of refried beans (very tasty), mushrooms, or tofu. Tacos come with three very good homemade salsas. The margaritas are good too.

Afterwards, head to Old Town for a wander and an ice cream at Two Scoops (the branch here stays open in low season).

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How To Get to Koh Lanta

AirAsia runs cheap flights from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and Scoot has direct flights from Singapore. Search on Kiwi to find the best deals. 

Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta

Getting to Koh Lanta is fairly easy. Most people arrive on the island from Krabi on the mainland which you can reach by bus, train or plane.

The nearest airport to Koh Lanta is Krabi International Airport (KBV). From Krabi you can take the ferry or shared minibus (450 baht/ $12) to Koh Lanta. Both take about two hours (longer if you are staying in the far south of the island).

The minibus is more convenient than the ferry as they drop you off at your hotel. They are quite cramped and hot if you sit at the back though (the A/C didn’t reach us very well). You can book minibus tickets at the airport when you arrive. 

You could also get a private taxi (2800 baht/ $79), which would be a good option if you have a lot of luggage or have just arrived after a long flight. We did this on our most recent visit and it was much faster and more comfortable. 

Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta

You can also travel to/from Koh Lanta by ferry to other islands in the Andaman Sea.

We took the ferry from Langkawi, Malaysia to Koh Lipe, Thailand (1.5 hours, 160 MYR/ $35), spent the night there (although it is possible to continue on), and then took the Tigerline ferry from Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta (3 hours, 1750 baht/ $49) which was an easy and comfortable, if expensive way to travel.

Ferries to other islands don’t run in the rainy season. 

Phuket to Koh Lanta

You can take a 1.5 hour ferry from Phuket to Koh Lanta that stops at Koh Phi Phi on the way (one hour from Koh Lanta) and costs 1500 baht/ $42. 

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When To Visit Koh Lanta

The high season on Koh Lanta is from November to March and this is when most people visit. The weather is dry and warm and the beaches look their best with calm water for swimming.

Prices are at their highest (especially over Christmas) and there are more people around, but it never gets too crowded. 

The rainy season (or green season as it’s known here) is from May to September.  It’s very quiet and you’ll find empty beaches and some hotels and restaurants close.

Hotels reduce their rates by 50% or more. Some ferries and tours don’t run. 

The weather is mixed. Although there are days when it rains all day, it can also go weeks without raining (or just the odd shower at night).

The sea is rougher at this time of year and lots of rubbish washes up on the sand.

April and October are shoulder months. We’ve visited three times in April and think it’s the perfect month—not too much rain and the beaches look good, but prices start to drop in the middle of the month. It is particularly hot before the rain arrives though. 

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Koh Lanta Map

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Is Koh Lanta Worth Visiting?

Koh Lanta is our favourite island in Thailand and we’ll be returning next time we’re in Asia.

If you are looking for a relaxing Thai island away from the party scene but not too remote, then we highly recommend Koh Lanta.

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  1. Hi Erin and Simon, Giselle and Mark here! We are off to Koh Lanta next Fri! Can’t wait! I have saved this blog post on my phone to browse for ideas while we are there for a couple of weeks! We are SO looking forward to it and exploring as you did! Keep well and see you in Umbria again one day for a glass or two of Sagrantino!

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  2. Hi Erin…I enjoyed reading your post. A group of friends and I are heading to Koh Lanta for the last 4-5 days of our trip in a couple weeks. I am most interested in the Four Island boat tour you did. Did you book ahead? If so, how far in advance? Also…where did you rent your scooters from? Did you require an international driver’s license? Lost if questions, sorry! Last one…did you find a way around using your passport as collateral when renting the scooter? I’m not sure how comfortable I am being separated from mine, lol.

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    • You can usually just book the boat trips a day in advance. We went with Freedom Adventures but no longer recommend them based on a reader’s more recent experience. You’ll find loads of options on the island though.

      More info on scooter rental in this post: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/koh-lanta-guide-update/

      It’s easiest if you rent through your accommodation if possible. You don’t need any kind of licence.

      Enjoy Lanta!

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    • I have just booked 4 island tour for tomorrow and just booked at one of the tourist information huts and they did 2500 Baht for 2 of us :) hope this helps… ask if it’s their ‘bets price’ because it should have been 1500 each – every little saving helps! X

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    • Great post! Extremely helpful to make sure we make the most out of our time on this gorgeous island! Unfortunately oasis bungalows are fully booked :( really wanted to do the yoga there after your recommendation

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  3. This is tremendously helpful. We’ve just made the decision to tack on four days to our trip in Koh Lanta instead of Koh Phi Phi. All this information confirms that we’ve made a good choice.

    I do wonder whether you can provide any insight into which higher end-ish hotel would be best located for some of these day trips or which would be organizing such tours? The remote corners look tempting but if it’s a trek to get to the point of a tour departure, it might eat up the precious little time we’ll be able to spend here.

    I’d love any advice you could provide.

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    • Great choice!

      All the high end hotels run their own tours although they are likely to be more expensive.

      If you are interested in the boat tours then staying in Kantiang Bay (where Pimalai Resort is) won’t be a problem as Freedom Adventures (who we used) are based there. Staying down there is also good for trips to the quiet southern beaches and the national park.

      The only downside of staying further south is having less choice of restaurants and shops (or a longer drive to get there) and it’s a longer journey from the ferry/airport.

      For exploring, I don’t think the quieter locations are a problem. You’ll likely want to spend a day driving around the island anyway.

      I assume you’ve seen our Koh Lanta hotels post: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/koh-lanta-hotels/

      Pimalai is the most luxurious and if that’s too expensive then Rawi Warin is great value.

      Enjoy Koh Lanta!

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  4. Hi! Thanks for your informative blog post :) We are planning Koh Lanta for March 2020 and were wondering if we could get the shared van from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta in the evening, our flight arrives at 8PM. Do you know something about their times? And is the price for the short car ferry included in the price? Looking forward to your reply!! Thanks!

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    • You’d need to pay for a private taxi or stay overnight in Krabi when arriving that late. The ferry is included in both private and shared vans.

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  5. Thanks for the info! We’re headed to Koh Lanta tomorrow, one of us vegetarian, so this was super helpful. Good for you for finding this amazing way to work and travel! We’ve been lucky enough to live in Bangkok (from US) for two years and this is our last trip south before we go back. Love Thailand!!

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  6. Thank you for a great article. Perfect for us and our interests, budget and desire while in Thailand.

    Well done :). Super Grateful.

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  7. Hi Erin, yes it is informative. However I must say that it is not different form the rest of the reviews by other travelers. If you really want to make the difference then you should focus on all those items and activities and places that are dead cheap. What I will be looking for to enjoy without spending money if can. By recommending those star resorts and food, it looks like more of a sponsored advertisement instead of free and voluntary (I apologies if I hurt your feelings) I must say you have done a wonderful job. I do post reviews and comments in Agoda, google map, trip advisor. If you see my posts, I would indicate both the expensive and cheap way and suggest the cheap way to all the readers. Well that is my way. Hope you can understand my view and accept it with open heart. Thanks and do keep up the good work

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    • Everyone travels in a different way and not everyone wants to travel on a shoestring budget (including us). Thailand is very affordable and as we usually travel to Koh Lanta in the low season we take advantage of the good deals on resorts at that time (often more than 50% off).

      That said, you can enjoy the beaches of Lanta for free and we’ve included our favourites in this post.

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    • In what way is it sponsored? We’ve spent a combined time of over five months on the island and paid for most things ourselves.

      We received a complimentary boat trip and scuba dive on our first trip back in 2012 but have since returned and paid for them ourselves. This post has been updated many times since then and I’m under no obligation to keep recommending those companies.

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      • My daughter, her husband, and their daughter are all on Koh Lanta. I sent them a link to this article after swooning over the food and beaches, and they LOVED it, to the extent of enrolling in a cooking class at Time for Lime.

        (No idea if there is a connection, but I spent years in the Caribbean where liming means relaxing, hanging out, chiilin’. Seems to translate well).

        Reply ↓

        • I’m so glad your family enjoyed their time on Koh Lanta!

          I have no idea if that’s why Time for Lime got its name, but I like that meaning and it definitely works for the island!

  8. Hi its our 1st time travelling to Thailand 3 friends for our 50th. We are spending 4 nights in phucket then on to phi phi then koh lanta. We are going in February, would we be OK to find accommodation when we get there or with it being high season would the hotels be full.

    Reply ↓

    • I think you’ll probably find places when you get there (peak season is over Christmas), but if you want to stay in a certain place you might want to book in advance.

      Reply ↓

  9. Nice detailed descriptions thanks am gona do all those things, need to ask tho what did they ask from when renting the scot and im going to lanta for my 2nd anniversary coming Monday 12/08, wanted to ask you how to get there from krabi since all the boats and ferries are not operational at these time and how is the weather there now?

    Reply ↓

    • I arrived today and got a private car organized by the hotel that we are staying at. The ferries are operational at the moment. There were also mini buses available to book at the airport. The weather is unpredictable at the moment but has been warm and cloudy today – similar forecast for the next few days. I am here diving so having to wait to check on the weather one day at a time.

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    • The ferries from Krabi are operating but it’s easier to get a taxi or minibus from Krabi anyway. Some scooter rental places require your passport as a deposit but if you rent it through your hotel you probably won’t need to. Nothing else is needed (no licence).

      The weather is very mixed at this time of year. You’ll likely have a mix of everything. Enjoy!

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  10. Great info and very comprehensive!
    One correction though: you don’t get a rabies “vaccination” after being bitten or scratched by an animal. It takes your body several weeks to build up the immunity to any vaccine, which would be too late for a possible viral infection. What you actually get is rabies immunoglobulin. Rabies immunoglobulin is a medication made up of antibodies against the rabies virus. It is often followed by a course of rabies vaccinations, but the vaccinations are not required, as they are unnecessary if you are no longer in contact with possibly infected animals. ?

    Reply ↓

  11. Awesome photos and blog! We just booked for Feb 2020. Hoping to grab a tuk tuk or the likes to tour around for the day … we had a really bad moped crash in Mexico years ago and it ruined the rest of our vacay so no scooters for us unfortunately. Hoping that is a doeable option so we can get to coconut beach and explore a little :).

    Reply ↓

    • Hi Meaghan
      While renting a scooter is the easiest and cheapest way to get around, I understand why you don’t want to. There are some shared songthaew and motorbike taxis with sidecars, but you won’t find them everywhere and they are quite expensive. To tour around for the day it’s best to book one in advance through your hotel or even rent a car. It’s possible just takes a bit more planning and cash.

      I’d make sure you stay somewhere in walking distance of restaurants.

      Enjoy! Erin

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    • I had a look on TripAdvisor and there are four bad reviews recently. They seem to focus on their lack of communication and how a couple of people were moved onto a different company’s boat, rather than the quality of the trips themselves. I’m hoping they are just going through a bad phase, as I don’t know any other tour companies I would recommend. I would love to hear any feedback from anyone who has gone with Freedom Adventures recently or has had a good experience with another company.

      Reply ↓

  12. Wow! This is an amazing and comprehensive guide and it is easy to read too! Always wanting to try the secluded areas of thailand and I’m convinced Koh lanta is different than Krabi and Phuket. Good job anyway!

    Reply ↓

  13. Hey Erin , Nice writeup on Koh Lanta. Me & my finacee are planning to travel Koh Lanta in Mid – April 2019. Are there ferries available from Krabi during this period or it is difficult reaching here? Please can you help me with the best way to reach lanta in mid april.

    Reply ↓

  14. Hi! My sister and I (aged 29 and 31) are planning on visiting in March for 4 days. I’ve been reading online that it’s best to rent a scooter to get around but I’ve also been reading that if you’ve never driven a motorbike you shouldn’t. What do you recommend? If we decide against renting a scooter, is it pretty easy to get around just hiring Tuk tuk or will we find ourselves stranded somewhere?

    Reply ↓

    • It is much easier to get around with a scooter. We have friends who managed it with tuktuks but they found it quite frustrating and expensive. I don’t think you’ll get stranded. Maybe get a phone number of a driver or you can always ask a shop or restaurant to call you one.

      I learnt to ride a scooter on Koh Lanta but really it’s best to get some proper training – in the UK Simon took his CBT (a one day course) which gave him the basic skills and confidence he needed. To be covered by your travel insurance you’ll need to get a full motorbike licence though.

      Reply ↓

  15. I found this article really useful and felt compelled to leave a comment! One thing to suggest though, there’s the Lanta Animal Shelter where one can take the dogs for walks, which I as a dog lover (but cannot own one) is looking forward to.
    Will be checking out your other articles~

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  16. Hi guys,
    I was wondering if you could give a tip as to where would be the best place to look for accommodation in Koh Lanta, one that is in walking distance to the beach, but also restaurants and local shops. Could you help us out?

    Thank you so much!

    (also thank you for your blog, it’s really really helpful!)

    Reply ↓

  17. Hi Erin. Grey reticle on Koh Lanta. We re a family of 5 likely visiting koh Lanta for 3 weeks in November as part of our 12-month tour (3 months europe, 1 month Thailand, 1 month US, 7 months Costa Rica) looking to rent a villa on PR very close to a beach. I’d love to kite surf but most important is the kids to have fun – ages are 2, 9, and 26. Is there a beat beach to look at? Thanks! Scott

    Reply ↓

    • We really like Long Beach and there are lots of villas and families in the area. I’m not sure where kite surfing is possible though. Enjoy!

      Reply ↓

  18. What an incredible article!! I really enjoyed reading all the wonderful advice you offered about Koh Lanta, very helpful! I just visited Koh Lanta recently and loved it and hope to come back soon! I didn’t know it also has excellent diving, good to know. And the photos of Emerald Cave on here look lovely, would love to check it out next time I’m here. It’s definitely a lesser known island in Thaiand, but so worth seeing in every way! Thanks again for the insightful article. Cheers! Blossom

    Reply ↓

  19. Hey you two, nice guide, thanks. I’m planning a vacation as a present for my girlfriend, and i’m thinking about Koh Lanta. It just looks perfect, one thing missing perhaps, are there any shops where she can nurse her shopping-gene?
    Also I see that you have experience with the La Laanta Hideaway, I’v got at nice offer for this resort, any comments on what villa to choose?

    Reply ↓

    • There are shops selling clothes and souvenirs. We’re not shoppers so I don’t have any recommendations. We actually stayed with Lanta Hideaways which is a different company, so we haven’t stayed at La Laanta.

      Reply ↓

  20. Hi guys – loved reading this. We’re headed to Krabi area and were hoping to get a little surfing in while we are there and Koh Lanta is supposed to have some. Have you seen any surf shops while you were there? I read that one of the main surf shops closed so wasn’t sure if there were others…

    Reply ↓

    • We’ve never seen any surf shops or surfers in Koh Lanta. It isn’t very wavy, at least when we were there.

      Reply ↓

  21. Hi, i’ve read some of your posts and congratulations for your neverendingvoyage.
    But i also wanted to ask you a few questions: as a digital nomad, just like you guys, i’m looking at the possibilty of renting a flat/condo/apt for a month with some good/solid wifi.
    Is that possible in march without spending a fortune?
    Thanks for every tip and keep up the good work!

    Reply ↓

  22. Hi Erin, thanks for a great blog. Im very much wanting to go to Koh Lanta now!!! Ill be with my daughter (11years old going on 16;-) in Hong Kong this christmas, with two weeks to spare from the 26th-10th Jan before having to face reality again and return home to very chilly Copenhagen… your blog has inspired me so much, its great.

    I am just concerned at the price of good clean and cheap accomodation…that it might break my budget, which would be sad as Im there with my daughter and Id like to have some legroom in there to afford dives, good food and activities..etc..
    Ive travelled a little bit in India, which I get the impression is quite a bit cheaper- at least when it comes to accomodation and infrastructure/travel.. So, please can you help and advise me? Im wondering if you have stayed at some low-budget beach huts not completely isolated, but where you can get a descent nights sleep and where people dont come to booze and party allnight through…or maybe youve heard of some places that suit me, and what the price range is during these festive days in the high season??

    As I said above, Id prefer to spend money on exploring the island and activities, snorkling, scooter and/or bikes, day trips, good food and so on, rather than on expensive hotels. Ideally you know of somewhere far enough away from the late night bar scene, but where my daughter still will be able to meet other kids around her age, on, or very close to, a beach where you can find activities… Im a single parent, (calm but social :-) so Id like to meet other grown ups that like to relax but also like to be social, so its ok if theres somewhere more lively nearby to meet people, variety of restaurants and scene, yet where wed be able to withdraw back to the accomodation easily…

    I have never been to Thailand, the most exotic Ive visited, was Goa. Beach huts with their own restaurant in a cool laid back atmosphere… which were between 1000 and 2500 Indian Roupees/night (about 500-1250 Thai Baht). The lovely places mentioned here appear to be way out of my budget especially in the high season (on hotel.com pimalia was advertised at about 200 UK pounds/night(?)).

    Ive seen a few comments on the internet that indicate that its possible to find clean beach hut accomodation for around 400-800 Baht in Thailand even in the very touristy places…, but I havent been able to find an actual list of accomodation at that rate for Koh Lanta during christmas/newyear high season.. Please help :-)

    Reply ↓

    • Hi Glenn
      Thailand is more expensive than India, especially at Christmas. We’ve only rented apartments in off season so I don’t have any personal recommendations. Long Beach would be a good family friendly option, although it’s not really a party island so I think anywhere would work for you.

      Our friends stayed at White Flower on Long Beach, although it’s on the main road, not the beach: . Rooms start from 500 baht.

      Otherwise I’d just suggest looking on TripAdvisor, Booking.com and going through the options on wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Ko_Lanta#Sleep.

      Good luck with it!

      Reply ↓

  23. Loving your blog – it’s full of so many great tips. My husband and I are living in Chiang Mai right now and have used it as our unofficial guide for our travels in SE Asia.

    I was wondering if you can recommend a particular motorbike rental place on Koh Lanta? I’ve heard lots of bad stories about motorbike rental places in Phangan ripping folks off, but I’m not sure there are spots in Koh Lanta to avoid or not.

    Reply ↓

    • We don’t worry about it. The first time we used a restaurant around the corner from Sai Naam apartments and last time we used a hairdresser that was next door. We haven’t heard of any problems and didn’t have any ourselves. Have a great trip!

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  24. Spent a month this last winter in a fantastic rental house not far from Lanta Town. Strongly recommend _against_ a scooter! We got a good deal on a small car for a month and were glad we did! Saw many tourists who had scooter accidents. Unless you are young and indestructible we suggest a small car for longer stays . Potholes cannot be seen at night and you don’t want to visit the small hospital!

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  25. Thank you for all the wonderful tips! My husband and I are heading to Thailand for the first time and will be staying on Lanta for a while. Can’t wait!

    Reply ↓

  26. Hi,
    I’m 5 months pregnant & my husband & I are looking to do a ‘babymoon’ to Thailand from mid to end of May. We’ve done the west coast & so really want to do the east coast & Koh Lanta sounds amazing. (We’re thinking of doing 2 nights in Bangkok, 3 in Krabi & 6 in Koh Lanta). My only concern is that, with it being low season, lots of restaurants will be closed & we might not get as much time to kick back & lie on the beach & swim in the sea because of the weather. How much of an issue is this? Are most of the restaurants on the beaches open still? I see you went for longer than a week, so the odd rainy day wouldn’t impact a big part of your trip – if you’re only going to be in Koh Lanta for a week, could the weather ‘ruin’ it?
    Thanks, in advance!

    Reply ↓

    • It’s difficult to say but I think you should be fine as long as you don’t mind it being quiet. Most restaurants are closed now but there are still enough open (including our new favourites Mays on Long Beach and Kwans on Klong Khong beach, although they are both on the road not the beach). You’ll have more choice the further north you stay.

      It’s hard to predict the weather but right now it rarely rains during the day (only at night and not every day) but it does get cloudy most afternoons. It stays hot and the sea is really warm so you can always swim.

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  27. First trip to SE Asia coming up this summer (yahoo!). Found very reasonable places in both Krabi or Koh Lanta for a 5-6 day stay there. Sounds like Lanta is a great spot. Just wondering if staying in Krabi proper is a better location for trips to the islands, snorkeling, etc. I don’t need a crazy social scene with bars – I just didn’t want my small group to feel like we were in the middle of nowhere. The whole “are we missing out on something?” syndrome. :)

    Thanks for a great post!

    Reply ↓

    • There are still plenty of trips you can do from Koh Lanta so I don’t think you’ll feel like you are missing out. From May to October it’s low season though so things are definitely quieter, some restaurants close, and less trips are running. You can get some great deals on accommodation though.

      Reply ↓

  28. We are headed to Koh Lanta in Nov and I have 2 questions:
    1) Is Pimalai worth the $$ you have to shell out to stay there? It looks lovely, but perhaps a bit isolated?
    2) Does it make sense to go to Ko Phi Phi first, then Koh Lanta, or the other way around?

    Thank you for this excellent info!!

    Reply ↓

    • Hi Bethany,
      We haven’t stayed at Pimalai so I’m not sure. We definitely recommend Baan Kantiang See though and I think it might be cheaper.

      It depends where you are coming from. We haven’t been to Phi Phi so I don’t know.
      Enjoy Lanta!

      Reply ↓

  29. Great Website! We will be in Koh Lanta in a couple of weeks and appreciate all of your recommendations. I am also really looking forward to the Tom Yom Noodle soup at the Drunken sailor!!!

    Reply ↓

  30. Good blog! Thumps up!

    Thanks for sharing these information. I am also going to Koh Lanta with my girlfriend over xmas… After reading this, I am more than ready to go…! : )
    Great pics, great advice! Thank you guys!

    Reply ↓

  31. Thanks for this informative piece! I am travelling to Malaysia with my mother and we have 5 nights that we are hoping to spend in Thailand. We are looking for something relaxing, beach-y and without many tourists. It sounds like Koh Lanta may be the perfect destination!

    Reply ↓

  32. Headed to Ko Lanta in January. Plan to rent a car in Krabi and take it to Lanta as we have rented a villa for a month. Any road issues using a car vs moped?

    Reply ↓

    • Take a taxi to the island, and rent a bike… it’s the best way to get around if you ask me, Not that there is a whole buunch of road… If you plan on traveling off the island then that would be different, but if your just staying on the island… Do yourself a favor and get a bike or 2…

      Reply ↓

  33. Great info, thanks heaps,.
    We are a couple looking to stay Ko Lanta first 2 weeks December, from some reviews I have read Ko Lanta might seem to be teaming with families with small children, not sure if this is true lol.
    Any advice on an option for accommodation that might have less children staying???
    Any help would very much appreciated.

    Reply ↓

    • When we were there in April/May we didn’t find kids a problem (and they would bother us) but maybe December is different, I don’t know. No other accommodation ideas I’m afraid but maybe more of a boutiquey hotel rather than apartments/villas might attract less families.

      Reply ↓

    • Steve,

      I highly recommend The Houben. It is a chic boutique hotel with a million dollar view. Best part, they don’t allow children under the age of 12.

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  34. Great site – I envy you both!

    I just got back from an adventure in Koh Lanta. I do have to tell all your readers that Freedom Adventures is not as good as they once were. We took the Emerald Cave snorkel trip (after an awesome day of diving with Scubafish – highly recommend!), and were exceptionally disappointed. We aren’t travel snobs by any means and enjoy roughing it up. But Freedom Adventures was a joke.

    First of all, if you use them for a tour, bring your own snorkel gear! The ones we used were filled with mold and the masks were nearly all broken. Not a single swimmer could use the equipment. It was disgusting.

    Secondly, due to poor weather, the boat could not go to the Emerald Cave… no worries from us, but I overheard the guide, Ray, talking to the owner on his cell phone, asking if the people on the tour should get refunded. The answer was a resounding no!

    I felt bad for Ray, he was a nice guy, but he really got put in a rough position. His English was really bad (again, no big deal), so he had difficulty explaining anything to us. We just kept floating from location to location. The cook used the same knife to cut into raw chicken as he did the fruit without washing. I know this is pretty common in Thailand, but it was gross to see. Watching him throw food and

    So – to all people going to Ko Lanta and thinking of using Freedom Adventures please think again. Take your 2500 baht elsewhere!

    Otherwise, love the blog. Scootering Ko Lanta is the best!

    Reply ↓

    • Hi Court
      We just returned to Koh Lanta (April 2014) and took another trip with Freedom Adventures (a group charter to Koh Rok) and we still found them great. The snorkelling gear seemed quite new and our only issue was not having quite enough vegetarian food. There was so much fruit that it wasn’t a real issue though. The other boat trips we saw were very crowded speedboats so Freedom Adventures are still our first choice.

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  35. I work here in Thailand, and my wife is meeting me in Phuket on Saturday… spending the night there as we are not into the crowds and heading on to Lanta Sunday… The more I read about this place the better it gets, Thanks for the heads up on a few places… I’ll touch back later after our vacation and add a few more comments…

    Reply ↓

      • What a time, It was nothing but Perfect, A great romantic getaway, I highly recommend the “same same but different restaurant, we stayed at he Amantra resort and spa in a nice little villa on the beach, loved the fact no one was trying to sell us anything. The locals said it was really busy due to the Chinese New Year. I can’t say enough about the place and we can’t wait to go back…

        Reply ↓

  36. Hah just read this post and was funny to see I commented back in June before our trip even started and now we are in Thailand, on our way to Koh Lanta in a few days! Lots of great info here – I was invited to take 6 cooking classes at the Time for Lime Cooking School and that was the primary reason we’ll be spending a week in Koh Lanta, but it looks like we’ll have plenty to do there!

    Reply ↓

  37. Oh wow, this looks absolutely amazing!! This is definitely on the top of my list of places to visit! You guys did a great job on the description. This blog is so helpful! Thanks so much! Beautiful pictures!

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  38. Thanks guys. This was helpful. I plan on landing in Thailand in the fall and would love to check out this island.

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  39. Hey guys, great round up of Koh Lanta! We definitely did not take advantage of all the great things to do here like you did – in fact this seems like paradise. I suppose jet-lag, a bit of Bangkok drama and a scooter accident (!) kept us from seeing just how special Koh Lanta really is. When we go back we will definitely be staying at one of these amazing properties!

    Reply ↓

    • You did have a rough start to your time in Thailand so that probably didn’t help. It is also great to have a scooter so that you can explore the island fully – maybe next time!

      Reply ↓

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