We have both been to Thailand before but strangely neither of us have ever visited Koh Lanta. The island is probably not as popular for travellers’ as the other nearby Thai islands, but after spending just over a week there we both agree that it is now occupies first place as our favourite Thai island! There are a great mix of things to do in Koh Lanta and here is what we recommend:
Rent a moped and explore the island
Koh Lanta has a great road that goes from the north of the island to the south so rent a moped, hop on and go and explore the amazing beauty of the island. The road runs parallel to the coast and therefore you can jump off at any time and go for a swim at some of the amazing beaches or get a beer at one of the many beach bars.
On the southern point of the island is Mu Koh Lanta Marine National Park. The entrance fee is 200 baht and you also have to pay a small amount to park your mountain bike. We didn’t enter the park but hear that it isn’t too dissimilar to the rest of the island unless you’re planning to spend a good chunk of the time there hiking or sunbathing! Word of warning – watch out for the monkeys!
Four Island hopping
Tour companies all over the island will be trying to flog this boat trip to you so there is no chance you won’t hear of it. If you decide to do it, you will first head to Koh Rok for a chance to snorkel wth hundreds of colourful species of fish. Next up is a visit to Emerald Cave (Ko Muk) which requires you to swim in the dark to a small lagoon and beach area surrounded by towering cliffs.
We then visited another snorkelling spot before heading to Koh Hai for an incredible late lunch right on the beach. We looked out on to an amazing stretch of white sand and it was definitely one of the best beaches we had visited thus far. On the way back we were lucky to see a group of dolphins swimming which put a cap on the day. We were back on Koh Lanta by 4pm and the trip was a really good way to see the surrounding islands!
Relax on the golden beaches
Kaw Kwang, Klong Dao and Long Beach are all beautiful beaches with white sand and turquoise water. There are a plentiful supply of beach bars and all offer their happy hour on drinks in the evening time. So make sure you have a beer or a cocktail in hand whilst you watch the amazing sunset that Koh Lanta offers.
Visit Koh Lanta Animal Sanctuary
The amazing work that this place does deserves its own blog so make sure you give Koh Lanta Animal Shelter a read. Briefly, the sanctuary was founded by the same woman who runs the well-known Time for Lime Cooking School. Stray and abandoned cats and dogs are cared for at the sanctuary and put up for adoption once they are all better. You can also walk one of the many dogs at the beach as part of your visit. All you have to do is ask at the reception which dog needs walking and off you go! The sanctuary is well worth a visit and is completely run on donations to make sure you donate!
Hike to Klong Chak waterfall
As explained above the best way to reach this waterfall is by renting a moped. You will see the sign off the main road for Klong Chak and then ride 10 minutes into the jungle to park up. You then have to walk for around 45 minutes to reach the waterfall. Don’t wear flip flops like we did as it’s really slippy and you will fall over multiple times in the mud if you do! You pass some really cool caves on the way to the waterfall and also an elephant camp.
You can hear the waterfall the whole way so just follow the sound of water and then you will reach your destination! It was pretty empty when we visited so we got to swim around in the lagoon at the bottom of the waterfall by ourselves pretty much! The water was freezing but well needed after a hike in the jungle!
You can check out the below YouTube video of our highlights of Koh Lanta and the rest of our time in Thailand!