We decided to spend a week in Koh Lanta towards the very end of our time in Thailand. We had heard mixed reviews about the island, and I’m about to give a mixed review. It was nice, but there are definitely better island out there. (Read: Koh Yao Islands) We went during the end of rainy season, and majority of hotels, restaurants & activities were all closed. The roads were under construction, and it just looked like a deserted village. I would highly encourage only going to Koh Lanta during season.
Maybe we are just completely spoiled, but we’ve seen a lot of Thailand. Koh Lanta wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst. Like I said, this will be a mixed review.
Where to Stay on Koh Lanta
We stayed at Koh Lanta Miami Resort. This was one of the nicer places we’ve stayed in Thailand, maybe because it was one of the only places we’ve seen actually do maintenance on their property. The rooms were really nice, big and clean with English TV channels and working air-conditioning.
The pool was nice, but you weren’t allowed to have any drinks at all near the pool. Not a deal breaker for me, but for Sam the world was going to end! Also the beachfront bar (where you could drink), hotel restaurant (where you could not) and hotel itself were all owned by different people. So there were constantly 2-3 different bills coming to us for different things. Just a small annoyance.
Also, we went through 3 motorbikes that we rented through the hotel. All were completely shit, and one broke down after the first 5 minutes of driving it. You’d be better off renting outside the hotel. The staff were very accommodating though to all of our needs. Other than that, Lanta was situated on by far the best beach we saw on the island, and it was perfect for sunset.
What To Do on Koh Lanta
Mu Koh National Park – This was a fun drive to get to the National Park. It was 200 baht entry fee per person. We did the Nature Walk, which was a 45 min loop through the jungle, with a few pretty views of the ocean. Be super careful of the monkeys. They’ve been fed by humans in the past, and expect if you have food on you that you will give to them.
We’ve heard stories from friends of monkey dropping from the trees to grab the packet of chips they were carrying. We only kept water with us, zipped up in a backpack and carried a large stick on the walk. We also walked around the surrounding beaches which were by far the best on the island.
Khlong Chak Waterfall – Really cool hike through the jungle to get to a decent sized waterfall. You do have to walk through a little bit of water, but we found some big rocks to hop along when we had to cross the river. There’s also a big cave you can walk through as well. Be careful of the wild life. We saw a highly venomous & fatal centipede, and we also were warned of a big python in the tree. Just wear closed-toe shoes and be smart.
Lanta Animal Welfare – This was one of the cooler things we’ve done in Thailand. We went to the shelter around 9:30 am, and each walked one of the dogs there. Then we took a tour of the property from one of their many volunteers. They have a kitten/cat sanctuary, as well as a shelter for dogs. The story behind the shelter is really inspiring and they are doing great things for the community with their sterilization program & education program in local schools.
Beaches – The beaches were not the best we’ve seen through South East Asia. The beach outside our hotel, Khlong Nin, was one of the cleaner & better beaches. Also the beaches down in the National Park were beautiful too. Lots of rocks though everywhere, so be careful going in and out. Also the Andaman sea is known for the killer box jellyfish, especially during rainy season. So just ask your hotel how the conditions have been before hopping in without protection.
Diving – Sam went diving with Scubafish. Diving on Koh Lanta was HEAPS more expensive than any other place in SE Asia. While the diving & the company he went with was good, he said he wouldn’t pay for it again on Koh Lanta. There are better places worth spending your money for the value you get out.
Where To Eat on Koh Lanta
Our favourites are bolded 🙂
- Lanta Miami – Good food, reasonably priced for a hotel, on the beach
- Cliff Restaurant – Great view for sunet, but very expensive for Thailand
- Kunda Cafe – Really delicious vegan food, lovely owners & pretty garden
- Suryo Restaurant – Located inside one of the fancier resorts, you can expect to pay more, but the food is really good and has an excellent location for sunset.
Headed to Koh Lanta soon? Let us know in the comments below!