The marine park of Koh Lanta consists of 15 offshore islands, most surrounded by coral reefs. The major islands are Ko Lanta Yai, Ko Lanta Noi, Ko Talengbeng, Ko Ha, Ko Rok and Ko Ngai. Located in the southernmost
district of Krabi Province, approximately 70 kilometres from Krabi
town, it offers perfect peace and relxation.
Low key development and unspoiled nature are Koh Lanta's main attractions.
Mountainous and rugged in some areas, especially near the southern
tip, its green forested hills, gravel and sandy beaches, beautiful
coral reefs, clear emerald water and the traditional lifestyle,
provide a charming retreat from modern life.
Only 20,000 people live on Lanta including a clan of Chao Ley,
or Sea Gypsies. This distinct ethnic group still follow their traditional
customs and culture. Along with a mixture of Muslim and Chinese
locals they give the island its unique ambiance.
Although, more locals are becoming involved in the tourism industry,
many remain unaffected by tourism, still earning their living from
rubber, prawn farming and fishing. Luckily traditional houses and
friendly people still remain.
Koh Lanta Beaches
Klong Dao Beach
South of Baan Saladan extends the shallow and relatively hard consisting sandy beach of Klong Dao. The beach is about 2 km in length and is also widely known as Lanta Beach. Good for sunbathing, swimming and relaxing.
Klong Dao Beach
North-west of Ban Saladan. The northern inlet consists out a very shallow mangrove swamp, quiet dry during low-tide. The southern shallow, but very beautiful shallow sand beach pass into Klong Dao Beach.
Also named as Phra-Ae Beach is located about 3.5 km from Baan Saladan, close behind Klong Dao beach. It is a powdery, sandy beach and offers the best place to swim. The beach is about 3 km long.
||The best place to stay is on Koh Lanta's east coast, which offers
stunning white sand beaches, fertile mangroves and clear crystal water.
In recent years steady tourist development has increased the range
of accommodation from simple basic bungalows, to more up market sophisticated
resorts in the 4/5 star category like the Pimalai Resort overlooking
beautiful Kantiang Bay.
|Most of the hotels and resorts are concentrated in the
main beach areas of Long Beach (Phra Ae) and Klong Dao along the east
coast, with a few resorts scattered in the south-east. Most of the
new developments have been designed to blend in with the natural environment
and are low rise, this is mainly due to local laws preventing
high rise construction and protecting Lanta from the negative impacts
of tourism. (great!)
Things to do on Koh Lanta
Dive operators on Ko Lanta have close access to the dive
sites of Koh Phi Phi Ko Ha, Ko Rok, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. Dive
sites tend to reflect the scenery and marine life of the area with
names like Shark Point, Anemone Reef and the King Cruiser Wreck,
which are all within easy reach of dive operators based in Ko Lanta.
Hire a car, rent a bike, or better still go with a local guide.
Tours are available (small minibus) giving you an insight into the
local area, stopping at rubber plantations, taking a short kayaking
tour through the mangroves and visiting local sea gypsy villages.
A traditional symbol of Royal power and an essential feature of
Buddhist art and architecture, elephants are part of Thailand. Although
not indigenous to Ko Lanta, the island provides a perfect habitat
for them and a wonderful way for visitors to view the island. You
can find elephant trekking close to Phra Ae Beach and at Nui Beach.
Take a daily paddle trip through the fascinating world
of the mangrove forest and local caves. The mangroves are seen as
especially important as due to their biodiversity and ecological
significance. You can also find trips to other areas of the province
and Phang Nga Bay's limestone seascape.
Each island is different with its own character. Some inhabited,
others just provide places for fishing boats to anchor. Some are
rocky inaccessible outcrops with an exciting hidden undersea world
beneath, other islands have beautiful beaches, mountains, waterfalls
Go Island Hopping on a day trip. Going with a snorkeling or dive
trip is an excellent way to see some of the islands above and below.
If you want to plan a more ambitious itinerary, take the regular
ferries that run between Ko Lanta, the mainland and the neighbouring
Phi Phi Islands.
Generally low key. Eat, drink, meet people at the local bars, sing
at the Karaoke, see a local Thai boxing match. Lanta isn't about
a rollicking nightlife but you can have fun.
Basic services like ATM machines, mini-marts
and western restaurants can be found in the main resort areas of
Khlong Dao and Phra Ae (Long Beach.)
Where to Eat
Local Thai (good value) restaurants have now been joined by pizzerias,
a bistro and specialty seafood restaurants in the main beach areas.
If you're looking for that special meal, the Baan Pimalai Restaurant
inside the upscale resort of the same name, offers great food, attentive
service and and the largest selection on wines on the island.
By boat from Krabi: During the high season, two ferries depart from Chao Fa pier on Uttarakit Road daily at 10.00 and 13.00 hrs. The trip takes about 2 hours to reach Saladan pier. Double check the times as Thai people often change them!
From May to October the boats from Krabi to Ko Lanta do not operate
due to strong winds and high waves in the monsoon season. During
this time, public minibuses take over the transportation between
Krabi and Ko Lanta.
By road: Minibuses to Ko Lanta leave Krabi town at 11.00 and 13.00 hrs, taking about 2 hours. There is a vehicle ferry between Ban Hua Hin on the mainland and Ban Saladan on Ko Lanta Yai.
Access by road from Trang is easy. An extensive network of local
buses, ferries and private transport operates throughout the province.
Public minibuses leave daily at 12:00 opposite the train station
in Trang Town. During high season additional buses leave at 10:30,
11:30, 12:30, 13:30 and 15:30 from Trang. You can book a seat at
any of the local tour agencies. Journey time approx. 2½ hours
to Ko Lanta.
There is no direct ferry from Phuket to Lanta.
Take a ferry (2 per day, morning and evening) to Phi Phi Island
and then from Phi Phi to Lanta. (Ferries operate high season only.
- Nov - April.)
|Ko Ngai Island
Koh Ngai is south of Ko Lanta Island, close to the coast of Trang Province are
a number of smaller islands with great beaches, coral reefs quiet
Koh Ngai (Hai) is a small island measuring 4 kilometres
long and 2 kilometres wide. Mountainous, covered by tropical forest,
much of the coastline is indented with rocky headlands, while the
eastern part has some beautiful sand beaches, backed by coconut
Don't be surprised to see crab-eating monkeys and monitor lizards
coming down from the mountains. In the uninhabited western and northern
parts of the island, bird watchers should have a field day looking
out for migrating birds. Snorkeling is easy along the western and
southern coast, where some reefs can be accessed directly from the
Koh Ngai accommodation is limited to a few
resorts which offer a choice of fan cooled huts to deluxe air-conditioned
bungalows. Bungalows are charmingly constructed to blend in with
the natural surroundings.
How to Get There
From Pak Meng , located 15 kilometres away on
the mainland opposite, in Trang Province. Standard ferry takes about
one hour, Boats leave Pak Meng pier in Trang for Ko Ngai daily at 10.00 and 14.00 hrs. A faster speedboat connection from Pak Meng Pier is also
available, departing around the same time. It takes just 20 minutes. These islands are best visited during the non-monsoon months from November to April.
From Ko Lanta Island
There is no scheduled ferry service from Lanta Island to Ngai Island
although it is possible to rent a private longtail boat from Saladan
(Koh Lanta Island) during the high season (Nov - April)
Koh Kradan Island
Known as Koh Ha by the locals, Koh Kradan Island
lies south of Lanta and belongs to the neighbouring Haad Chao Mai
National Park. Named after the oblong shape of the island, Kradan
Island covers 4 square kilometres and is considered one of the most
beautiful islands off the Trang coastline. It offers seclusion, dazzling white beaches and easy snorkeling
in clear water off the eastern coast, where reefs containing coral
gardens, lie close to the beach.
Koh Kradan offers a few private bungalow developments,
with both fan cooled and air-con bungalows. Accommodation in tents
can also be booked with the National Park Office. Electricity is
available from 18:00-20:00 during weekdays and until 22:00 on Saturdays
There is no scheduled ferry service from Lanta Island to the islands
of Ngai, Muk or Kradan. You can, however, rent a private longtail
boat in Saladan (Lanta Island) or join a snorkeling excursion from
Lanta Island and get off the boat at your preferred island. Check
the snorkeling destinations first to ensure you go to the right
island before booking!!