Things to do in Ko Lanta – Thailand

Things to do in Ko Lanta – Thailand

As professional journalists, we’ve had the opportunity to travel to many destinations around the world. One of our favourites, without a doubt, is Ko Lanta in Thailand. This beautiful island has something to offer for every type of traveller – from pristine beaches and lush jungles to delicious cuisine and cultural experiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Ko Lanta is a popular island destination in Thailand with a variety of activities and attractions available.
  • The island is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and soft sand.
  • Visitors can also immerse themselves in nature by hiking through the jungles and exploring national parks.
  • Ko Lanta offers cultural experiences, such as visiting traditional Thai villages and trying authentic cuisine.
  • Travellers can choose from a range of accommodations, including luxury resorts and budget-friendly guesthouses.

Exploring Pristine Beaches

Ko Lanta is home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches. If you’re looking for a relaxing day soaking up the sun, or an adventure snorkeling or paddleboarding in crystal-clear waters, Ko Lanta has no shortage of options.

Beaches in Ko Lanta

Long Beach stretches over 3km of stunning white sand and is the perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing. For a more secluded experience, head to Kantiang Bay where you can enjoy the serene atmosphere and explore the nearby caves. Klong Dao Beach is another popular choice with its shallow waters and stunning sunsets.

Best Beaches for Water Activities

If water activities are your thing, head to Klong Nin Beach where you can snorkel amongst schools of tropical fish, or paddleboard along the calm waters. Klong Khong Beach is another popular spot for kayaking and windsurfing.

Whichever beach you choose, make sure you take some time to appreciate the stunning views, relax on the soft sand, and enjoy the tranquility of the coast.

Beach in Ko Lanta This photo is used with Creative Commons Photography by dronepicr

Immersing in Nature

One of the best things about Ko Lanta is its natural beauty. The island is home to lush jungles, pristine beaches, and stunning vistas that are sure to delight nature lovers and adventurers alike. Whether you’re looking to hike through dense forests or explore the island’s national parks, there are plenty of nature activities to keep you busy during your stay. So, pack your sunscreen, bug spray, and a sense of adventure, and let’s take a closer look at what Ko Lanta has to offer.

Jungle Exploration

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, a trek through the jungles of Ko Lanta might be just what the doctor ordered. The island is home to a number of lush forests, where you can hike through thick foliage, spot exotic wildlife, and enjoy stunning views of the island’s interior. Some of the best jungle treks can be found in Mu Ko Lanta National Park, which is home to a range of ecosystems, including mangrove forests, limestone cliffs, and coral reefs.

For a guided tour of the island’s jungles, consider booking a trek with a local tour operator. Many tour companies offer half-day or full-day treks through the island’s interior, which are led by experienced guides who can point out the best wildlife viewing spots and provide interesting information about the island’s flora and fauna.

National Parks

In addition to the island’s jungles, Ko Lanta is also home to a number of national parks that are worth exploring. One of the most popular is Mu Ko Lanta National Park, which encompasses several islands and covers a total area of over 100 square kilometres. The park is home to a range of ecosystems, including lush forests, coral reefs, and mangrove swamps. Visitors can explore the park on foot, by boat, or by kayak, and can visit several notable attractions, including the lighthouse at Koh Lanta Noi and the stunning beach at Koh Rok.

Wildlife Spotting

Whether you’re exploring the island’s jungles or its national parks, there are plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife in its natural habitat. From monkeys and wild boars to exotic bird species and reptiles, Ko Lanta is home to a range of unique animals that are sure to captivate nature lovers and adventure seekers.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the island’s more exotic wildlife, consider booking a guided tour with a local operator. Many tour companies offer wildlife spotting tours that take visitors to some of the best viewing areas on the island, and provide interesting information about the animals that call Ko Lanta home.

Embracing Local Culture

Mangroves in Ko Lanta This photo is used with Creative Commons Photography by Jutta M Jenning

When visiting Ko Lanta, immersing in the local culture is an essential part of the experience. With traditional Thai villages and markets, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the local way of life and interact with friendly locals.

We highly recommend attending cultural events such as festivals and ceremonies to get a taste of the vibrant traditions and customs of Ko Lanta. The Loy Krathong Festival, which takes place every November, is a beautiful cultural event that involves releasing small boats decorated with flowers and candles into the sea.

Trying Authentic Thai Cuisine

No trip to Thailand is complete without indulging in authentic Thai cuisine, and Ko Lanta has an impressive variety of dining options to choose from. From fresh seafood offerings to street food stalls, there is something for everyone.

We suggest trying out some of the local specialties such as Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup, and Massaman Curry. Vegetarian and vegan-friendly options are available too. Make sure to visit local markets and food stalls to experience the true flavours of Ko Lanta.

“No trip to Thailand is complete without indulging in authentic Thai cuisine, and Ko Lanta has an impressive variety of dining options to choose from.”

Best Places to Stay

Whether you are looking for a luxurious stay or a budget-friendly option, Ko Lanta offers a range of accommodations to suit every need. From beachfront villas to guesthouses, you will find everything in this picturesque island.

Accommodation TypeBest Area
Luxury ResortsLong Beach
Beachfront VillasKantiang Bay
Budget-Friendly GuesthousesBaan Saladan

Long Beach is an excellent area if you are looking for a luxurious stay. You will find several resorts with private beaches, infinity pools, and spa facilities. Kantiang Bay is known for its beachfront villas that offer stunning views of the Andaman Sea.

If you are on a budget, head to Baan Saladan, where you will find guesthouses and hostels that offer affordable stays. It is also an excellent area to experience local culture, as it is close to traditional Thai villages and markets.

Whether you prefer a luxurious stay, beachfront villas, or budget-friendly guesthouses, Ko Lanta has a perfect accommodation option for you.

Best Places to Eat

When it comes to dining options, Ko Lanta has a diverse food scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai cuisine, international flavours, or fresh seafood, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re a fan of seafood, head to the beachfront restaurants that offer a wide selection of freshly caught fish and shellfish. Try the grilled squid, prawns in garlic sauce or indulge in the famous Thai curries. You’ll also find street food stalls serving up tasty snacks like grilled corn and pancakes.

For vegetarians and vegans, Ko Lanta has plenty of options too. Most restaurants offer vegetarian dishes and many also have vegan options. Give the vegan Pad Thai a try or head to the local market for fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.

If you’re looking for a nice night out, check out the fine dining options available on the island. Some of the best places to eat include Red Snapper, a seafood restaurant on the beach, and Time for Lime, a relaxed eatery that serves Thai and international cuisine.

Red Snapper

Red Snapper is a must-visit restaurant if you’re a seafood lover. Located on the beach in Klong Nin, this restaurant offers a wide selection of freshly caught fish and shellfish. The menu includes grilled jumbo prawns, squid in garlic butter, and spicy seafood soup. They also have an extensive wine list to pair with your meal. Make sure to book in advance as this place is always busy!

Time for Lime

Time for Lime is a popular restaurant in Baan Saladan that offers Thai and international cuisine. The restaurant has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends. Try the green curry or the chicken massaman and make sure to leave room for the homemade ice cream, which is delicious!

Overall, Ko Lanta’s food scene is diverse and delicious. You’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds and budget.

Enjoying Water Activities

Ko Lanta is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, offering visitors a range of exciting water activities. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a first-time snorkeler, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re interested in diving, Ko Lanta is home to some of the best dive sites in Thailand. The nearby Hin Daeng and Hin Muang offer a chance to see whale sharks and other marine life, while the wrecks at Koh Haa are perfect for exploring.

If you’re new to diving, don’t worry – there are plenty of dive centres on the island that offer courses for beginners. And if you prefer to stay above water, snorkeling is a great way to see the colourful coral reefs and marine life.

Other popular water activities include kayaking, paddleboarding, and island hopping. You can rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the nearby mangroves, or take a day trip to nearby islands like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Rok.

No matter which water activity you choose, be sure to respect the marine life and the environment. Avoid touching or damaging the coral reefs and follow all safety guidelines provided by your tour operator.

Exploring Nearby Islands

When visiting Ko Lanta, we highly recommend taking a day trip to nearby islands. These stunning destinations offer breathtaking natural beauty and a variety of activities to enjoy. Some of the most popular islands to visit include:

IslandActivitiesFerry Services
Koh Phi PhiSnorkeling, diving, beach hopping, hiking to viewpointsFerries depart daily from Saladan Pier
Koh RokSnorkeling, diving, hiking, kayakingDay trips available from Ko Lanta, usually departing early in the morning
Koh LipeSnorkeling, diving, beach hopping, island explorationFerries depart daily from Saladan Pier

These islands offer a different experience than Ko Lanta, with their own unique beauty and charm. Whether you want to relax on a secluded beach, explore coral reefs, or hike to scenic viewpoints, there is something for everyone. Ferry services are available from Ko Lanta, and day trips can be arranged through local tour operators.

Exploring Nearby Islands Tips

  • Book ferry tickets in advance to ensure availability
  • Plan your day trip ahead of time to maximize your time on the islands
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water for outdoor activities
  • Respect the local environment and don’t leave any trash on the islands
  • Be aware of weather conditions and potential sea-sickness when taking a ferry

By exploring nearby islands, you can enhance your trip to Ko Lanta with unforgettable experiences and stunning scenery. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit these incredible destinations.

Relaxing in Wellness Retreats

When it comes to relaxation and taking care of our bodies, Ko Lanta offers a wide range of wellness retreats and spa resorts to choose from. These luxurious facilities are located in serene environments, perfect for unwinding and rejuvenating the mind and body.

For those looking to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, yoga classes and meditation sessions are available in many wellness retreats. Expert instructors guide participants through various techniques and practices, allowing them to achieve a deeper sense of relaxation and mindfulness.

Spa treatments are also a popular activity in Ko Lanta’s wellness retreats. From massages to facials, these treatments use natural ingredients and traditional techniques to soothe and heal the body. Guests can choose from a variety of options, tailored to their individual needs and preferences.

Aside from yoga and spa treatments, many wellness retreats offer other health and wellness activities, such as fitness classes, detox programs, and healthy eating workshops. These activities are designed to help guests improve their overall health and wellbeing, providing them with the tools they need to continue living a healthy lifestyle even after they leave Ko Lanta.

If you are looking to unwind and take care of yourself, consider staying at one of Ko Lanta’s wellness retreats or spa resorts. Allow us to help you find the perfect retreat that meets your needs and preferences, and give yourself the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Nightlife and Entertainment

When the sun sets on Ko Lanta, the island comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. There are plenty of options for entertainment, from beach bars to live music venues and fire shows.

If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, beach bars like Lazy Days Beach Bar are the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing drink while gazing out at the sea. For a livelier atmosphere, head to Why Not Bar, where you can dance to a DJ’s beats and watch a fire show on the beach.

Music lovers will appreciate venues like Lanta Rock Club, which hosts live performances by local and international bands, or The Irish Embassy, a popular pub with a welcoming atmosphere and live music every night.

If you’re interested in cultural performances, catch a traditional Thai dance show at the Lanta Old Town Cultural Centre or attend a Muay Thai boxing match at the Lanta Gym.

For a more laid-back evening, catch a movie at the outdoor cinema at Retro Box, where you can lounge on a beanbag chair and enjoy snacks and drinks.

Cultural experiences

As well as a lively nightlife, Ko Lanta is also home to cultural experiences that are worth exploring. The Old Town is a beautiful place to stroll around and soak up the local atmosphere. You can explore the quaint streets and visit the many shops, galleries and restaurants. The weekly night market is also a great place to try out local food and crafts.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, the Koh Lanta Cultural Festival is held annually and showcases Thai traditions, dance, music, and food.

Transportation and Getting Around

Getting to and around Ko Lanta is relatively easy and convenient. The island is accessible by boat or ferry from nearby destinations such as Krabi, Phi Phi, and Phuket.

Once on the island, there are several options for getting around. Taxis are available, but can be quite expensive. Alternatively, rental scooters are a popular choice and can be found easily on the island. However, it is important to exercise caution when riding them, as the roads can be steep and winding.

Another option is to use the local transportation services, known as “songthaews.” These are small trucks with benches in the back and can be flagged down easily along the main road. They are a cheaper alternative to taxis and provide a more authentic local experience.

For those looking to explore nearby islands, ferry services are also available. Day trips to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Rok and Koh Lipe are popular activities, and ferries depart regularly from Ko Lanta.

Tips for getting around Ko Lanta

  • Be wary of rental scooter scams and ensure you rent from a reputable company.
  • Wear a helmet at all times when riding a scooter or motorbike.
  • Exercise caution when driving, as roads can be steep and winding.
  • When using songthaews, be sure to negotiate the price before getting in.
  • Plan your trips to nearby islands in advance, as ferry schedules can vary depending on the season.

Essential Travel Tips for Ko Lanta

Planning a trip to Ko Lanta can be an exciting experience, but it’s always important to be prepared. Here are some essential travel tips to help you get the most out of your trip:

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ko Lanta is during the dry season, from November to April. This is when the weather is warm and sunny, and the sea is calm. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the shoulder season, from May to October. Just be aware of the possibility of rainy weather.

Weather Conditions

Ko Lanta has a tropical climate, with hot and humid conditions throughout the year. During the dry season, temperatures average around 30°C, while in the wet season, temperatures can drop to around 25°C. It’s important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, regardless of the season.

Packing Recommendations

When packing for Ko Lanta, keep in mind that the island is quite casual. Comfortable, lightweight clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, and dresses are suitable for most situations. If you plan on visiting during the wet season, be sure to bring waterproof clothing and shoes.

Respecting Local Customs and Traditions

Thailand is known for its friendly and welcoming culture, but it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. When visiting temples, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. It’s also considered impolite to touch someone’s head or point your feet at them.

Safety Tips

Ko Lanta is generally a safe place, but it’s always important to take precautions. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your valuables secure. If renting a scooter, make sure you have a valid license and wear a helmet. In case of emergency, dial 1155 for medical assistance or 191 for the police.

Getting Around

Ko Lanta is a relatively small island, and getting around is easy. Taxis and tuk-tuks are widely available, as well as rental scooters. If you plan on renting a scooter, be sure to have a valid license and drive safely. Alternatively, local transportation services and ferries are available for longer journeys.

By keeping these essential travel tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Ko Lanta. Remember to take it slow, and enjoy the island’s natural beauty and friendly culture.


Q: What are some of the best beaches in Ko Lanta?

A: Some of the best beaches in Ko Lanta include Long Beach, Kantiang Bay, and Klong Dao Beach. These beaches are known for their crystal-clear waters, soft sand, and serene atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Q: What nature activities can I enjoy in Ko Lanta?

A: Ko Lanta offers various nature activities, including hiking through lush jungles, exploring national parks, and visiting the Mu Ko Lanta National Park. These activities provide opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy scenic viewpoints.

Q: What cultural experiences can I have in Ko Lanta?

A: In Ko Lanta, you can immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional Thai villages and markets. Attending cultural events like festivals and ceremonies is also recommended. Don’t miss the chance to try authentic Thai cuisine and interact with locals.

Q: Where are the best places to stay in Ko Lanta?

A: Ko Lanta offers a range of accommodation options, including luxury resorts, beachfront villas, and budget-friendly guesthouses. Popular areas to stay include Long Beach, Klong Nin, and Baan Saladan. You can choose from different types of accommodations based on your preferences.

Q: What are some of the best restaurants in Ko Lanta?

A: Ko Lanta boasts a diverse dining scene, with popular restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine. Seafood options and street food stalls are abundant. You’ll also find vegetarian and vegan-friendly establishments to cater to different dietary preferences.

Q: What water activities can I enjoy in Ko Lanta?

A: Ko Lanta offers a range of water activities, including snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding. There are popular diving sites, coral reefs, and abundant marine life to explore. Rental services and guided tours are available for convenience.

Q: Are there any nearby islands worth visiting from Ko Lanta?

A: Yes, nearby islands such as Koh Phi Phi, Koh Rok, and Koh Lipe are worth visiting from Ko Lanta. These islands are known for their beauty and offer various activities. Ferry services and day trips are available for easy island hopping.

Q: Are there any wellness retreats in Ko Lanta?

A: Yes, Ko Lanta is home to wellness retreats and spa resorts where you can relax and rejuvenate. These retreats offer a serene environment, yoga classes, meditation sessions, and rejuvenating spa treatments for your wellness needs.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Ko Lanta?

A: Ko Lanta boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with beach bars, live music venues, and fire shows. There are popular spots for socializing and enjoying the lively atmosphere. You can also enjoy cultural performances and evening activities.

Q: How can I get around Ko Lanta?

A: Getting around Ko Lanta is easy with transportation options such as taxis, rental scooters, and tuk-tuks. Local transportation services and ferries are also available. Make sure to follow the tips provided for efficient travel around the island.

Q: What are some essential travel tips for visiting Ko Lanta?

A: Some essential travel tips for visiting Ko Lanta include knowing the best time to visit, being aware of weather conditions, and packing appropriately. Respecting local customs and traditions is important, and it’s recommended to take safety precautions and have emergency contact information handy.