Known for it’s coral-fringed beaches, tropical mangroves and a relaxed, island vibe, Koh Lanta is part of Thailand’s gorgeous Krabi province. Here you’ll find uncrowded and beautiful beaches, escaping the usual tourist traps for clear turquoise water, legendary for scuba diving and snorkelling.
Kind of like the Thai version of Byron Bay, this beachy, relaxed destination is moderately developed (so we’ve got access to the creature comforts we know and love) yet secluded enough that tourists don’t haunt every photo you take and McDonalds isn’t an option for dinner. Whether you’re here for a long stay or a quick holiday break, Koh Lanta is a laid-back holiday paradise just begging to be discovered.
Koh Lanta is actually a collection of over 50 small Thai islands with just three inhabited and only one welcoming tourists. Unlike the rest of Buddhist Thailand, Koh Lanta is predominantly Muslim. It’s main claim to fame are its sunsets which burn bright pink and orange before melting into the calm water as well as it’s dreamily lush rainforest, declared a national park in 1990s. We also can’t forget the beaches, which stretch on for miles in long sandy expanses. Yep, this Thai island is basically heaven!
Phra Ae Beach (or Long Beach) offers a fabulous view of the sunsets, so grab a table at a restaurant or bar along the beach and settle in for a drink or two to watch the sky transform.
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If you can drag yourself from relaxing on the white sand beaches to take a dip in the crystal clear water the snorkelling in Koh Lanta is all kinds of incredible. Kantiang Bay is one of the best spots thanks to its even more relaxed and authentic locale. If you’re into diving, you’ve found your Disneyland in Koh Lanta with its brightly coloured, spectacular coral reefs and unique marine life. The water clarity doesn’t hurt either! The best way to do this is experiencing a “4 Islands” boat trip that will take you snorkelling at Ko Rok, enjoying a traditional Thai lunch on a pristine Ko Ngai beach and best of all exploring the Emerald Cave at Ko Muk.
While the surrounding islands that make up Koh Lanta boast some of the prettiest in all of Thailand (eat your heart out Samui and Phuket!), the real MVP is of course the deeply green hued Emerald cave which is, according to legend, the place where pirates once hid their treasure. You’ll enter the cave through the water to discover an exotic white beach paradise (even if it may be filled with a few other curious tourists) beyond the mouth of the cave. This secluded beach is surrounded by 100m cliffs filled with jungle vegetation with the only way in through the emerald waters. Amazing!
To check out this incredible Thai paradise, consider travelling outside of regular tourist season from December to March and instead visit during ‘Green Season’, from May to October, where rainfall usually only lasts for an hour each day and you’re treated to a lush island filled with vegetation. This jungle-covered area is best seen green, so this can truly be a spectacular time but be warned, if you’re after nightlife this is not the time as things can get quite low key. The lack of tourists also mean lack of tourist services open for business so be prepared to live like a real local if you travel during this time.
Not sure about you? But we’re adding this dreamy Thai destination to our bucket list asap!
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