Koh Lanta

Retreat to Paradise

Venture off the tourist island trail to Koh Lanta, a place where time stands still and the local community of ethnic sea gypsies follow traditional customs and have their language and beliefs. Located between Krabi province and Phuket Island, Koh Lanta is a little more difficult to access than the likes of Phi Phi, making it perfect for those wishing to escape the crowds.

Accommodation is generally bungalow-style, single storey and built of natural materials, blending into the environment and maintaining a rustic island feel. Enjoy the island's landscape of little coves and untouched beaches surrounded by rugged mountains and verdant jungle. Go skin diving over offshore coral reefs, scuba diving, snorkelling, cave exploring and enjoy adventure on a jungle safari. Massage parlours and Thai cooking classes will also keep well-entertained.

Koh Lanta is an island of wonderful beaches facing west, with magical sunsets. It's an island people come back to, again and again, a place where it's always around 30 degrees, and where time is soon forgotten. If possible plan your trip to coincide with the Lanta Festival, held every year around March; this is a chance for locals and visitors to enjoy unique cultural facets still prevalent on this unspoilt island today.

Insiders' Tips

  • Breathe ... and Relax: Overlook the Andaman Sea as you yolk your body, mind and soul on the cliffsides of Koh Lanta. The island has many idylic locations if you're wanting to venture out on your own, or join a yoga class. It's a blissful way to start your day.
  • Old Town: Take a quick trip to the east coast of the island and you'll find the historic non-touristy village of bamboo huts and teak-stilted houses overlooking the sea.
  • Laem Tanod: This is the headquarters of Koh Lanta National Park. There are various trails and a lighthouse located on one of the islands southernmost tips.
  • Chao-Le Sea Gypsies: Sea gypsies have occupied the area for hundreds of years, settling along the coast in stilt-built houses erected in the ocean. The isolation has ensured that their unique customs have remained intact, as well as their language and spiritual practices.
  • Go Kayaking: A great place to go kayaking is on the east side of Koh Lanta. Full of mangrove forests and caves, this location offers great off-the-beaten-path kayaking.

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