Koh Lanta is a district within the Krabi province and consists of nine white sandy beaches running the entire length of the west coast, forests and tropical jungles. If you’re looking for a Thai island with a chill vibe, nice beaches and good food, you’ll love Koh Lanta. It’s easy to reach from Krabi town, Phi Phi or Phuket (which is where we were coming from). Depending on which pier you depart from and the boat speed, it can take from 1.5 to 5 hours to reach Lanta’s Saladan Pier. Booking ferry tickets is easy and you can do so on 12Go.Asia. In this guide, you’ll find some insight into our lodging, things to do on the island, restaurant recommendations and volunteer opportunities!
We stayed at the KeereeLay guesthouse for 5 nights (2,200BHT/$70USD) which was perfect for our backpacker budget. We absolutely loved our stay there. The owners are incredibly nice people who were always willing to help and answer any questions. They also picked us up from the Saladan Pier for free. Our room was spotlessly clean and incredibly functional. The bed also had a built in fringe which was extremely useful for packing/unpacking.Every cottage has its own deck area which is a cool place to relax, see the mountain views as well as incredible sunrises! The guesthouse is in a great location and easily accessible to anywhere on the island via motorbike, which we rented directly from the guesthouse.
Here are some things to do during your time in Koh Lanta:
1. Rent a motorbike – If you’re comfortable driving one, you can easily get around the island fairly easily. As always, please exercise extreme caution and make sure you always wear a helmet.
2. Visit Kantiang Bay – There are so many different beach areas you can check out on Koh Lanta. We highly recommend visiting Kantiang Bay. It was right by Why Not Bar and the views are pretty awesome. Go for a swim, have a few beers, repeat.
3. Sneak in to Rawi Warin Resort – As we’re on a backpacker budget, we definitely can’t afford/don’t want to spend extra money on fancy resorts. But then we found out about this little trick through another blogger, Salt in Our Hair. We snuck in to the Rawi Warin resort and had a nice day in the various infinity pools. Once you pass the resort entrance (on the right), you can find the small side road that leads to the beach. From there, make a right on the beach, walk down a little and then walk into the resort slowly/casually and spend the day by the pool. Try at your own risk and let us know if it worked!
4. Visit Old Town – This small little town is located about 30 minutes via motorbike from the main area of Koh Lanta. You will find cute little shops like Hammock House and a few restaurants overlooking the water. It’s easy to spend a short afternoon here.
5. Have some drinks at Why Not Bar – This is an awesome chill bar right on the beach with great owners, good music and a cool set up. We sat on the floor seats, had a few afternoon beers over a game of Jenga while taking in the views before going for an afternoon swim. Apparently, this place gets packed during high season given the live music stage. We came in low season and were perfectly fine with the relaxed and chill environment. They also have a fire show every night.
If you’re traveling anywhere in Southeast Asia, TripAdvisor is without a doubt the best place to check out the reviews. Dan’s TripAdvisor page has all of our reviews and pictures of our meals. These are the spots we checked out and our two cents:
Ni Restaurant – Great Thai food and great owners for expected prices. This is a place you should definitely visit while in Koh Lanta.
La Marina Restaurant – Great Thai food and great owners for expected prices. We came here for lunch on the way to Kantiang Bay.
Pinto Restaurant – Located in Old Town, this spot has a real cool view of the water and awesome Thai dishes to go with it! Without a doubt, the most beautiful and delicious mango with sticky rice that we had in Thailand as well!
You can become a shelter volunteer with Lanta Animal Welfare. The primary role of a volunteer is to socialize and walk the dogs, as well as help socialize the cats and puppies. Learn more about how you can be a shelter volunteer on Lanta Animal’s website.
If you’re looking to help the environment, definitely check out Trash Hero Koh Lanta. At the time of writing this blog post, the Koh Lanta chapter is active and holding weekly beach cleanups every Sunday. You’ll collect any trash from a local beach and ensure that Koh Lanta stays beautiful and trash free! Check out their Facebook page (specifically the events section) to sign up and become a Trash Hero!