Koh Lanta, situated in the southernmost district of Krabi Province, is an idyllic area where despite increasing popularity, you can still find peace and tranquillity.

Koh Lanta has changed from a southern Thai backwater into a midrange-to-luxury getaway for tourists, who come for the divine miles-long beaches unpolluted by jet skis.

Koh Lanta consists of several islands, the two largest of which are Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai.
Ko Lanta Yai is where all the tourist action is.  It is 6 km wide and over 30 kms long, 9 beaches lie from north to south along the sunset coast.

The island boasts stunning scenery, fantastic white sandy beaches, coastlines dotted with more than 70 small islands and plenty of forest, coral reefs and under water life. The geography of the island is typically mangroves; coral rimmed beaches; and rugged tree covered hills.

Koh Lanta is popular with tourists seeking a holiday away from the parties and is a little less well-known than Ko Phi Phi.  The several beaches on the west coast of Koh Lanta Yai are each strung with a line of resorts and bungalows, although the farther down the island you venture, the less this is true.

Even when the island is at it fullest, there will be a quiet place to to relax – the beaches are never full.

Visitors travelling by road from the mainland, pass through the smaller island on the way to the resorts of Koh Lanta Yai and across the new Koh Lanta bridge.

The island hills are cloaked in emerald forests, a haven to a variety of arboreal mammal species such as tree shrews, squirrels, macaque monkeys, and over 50 nesting and migrant bird species.

People and culture

Until recently, almost 90% of the 20,000 odd inhabitants of Koh Lanta were Thai-Muslims and Thai-Chinese people, but with a burgeoning tourism industry, the population of the island has swelled considerably and there is now a very significant Buddhist presence as well. Koh Lanta is also home to sea-gypsies and a number of Westerners who now reside on the island too.

Things to do
Year-round, a variety of activities exist ranging from elephant trekking in the jungle to peaceful kayaking among the mangroves; from bird watching to mountain biking around the island; from exploring the island by car or motorcycle and seeing the nature reserve in the south to taking a long-tail boat to Koh Talabeng and Koh Bubu east of Koh Lanta; from enjoying delicious, spicy and authentic Thai meals in small local restaurants to experiencing gourmet cooking in the more expensive restaurants.

Snorkeling and diving are usually only possible from November to April. During these months, daily trips to Koh Ngai, Koh Muk (and the Emerald Cave), Koh Rok, Koh Ha and Koh Phi Phi and the well-known dive spots of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are possible. Although there are windows of opportunity to dive during the monsoon season (May to October), most of the regular dive operators are closed during this time and travel by small boats is not always possible.

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