Koh Lanta is a relatively large island in the Andaman sea in the far south of Thailand, described by Conde Nast Traveller as ‘deliciously unspoilt’. We visited in March which is the dry season in this part of Thailand when the weather is hot and sunny. The rains come in the monsoon from May to October when many cafes and accommodations are closed.
Getting to Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is more remote than many other Thai islands and for us, getting there from Phuket involved two ferry trips. The reception desk of our Phuket hotel organised an ‘all in’ ticket for us which included collection from the hotel by mini bus, being driven to Phuket’s Rassada Pier and the two ferry trips.
We boarded a fairly large ferry to Koh Phi Phi which departed at 11 am and took around 2 hours. Everyone put their luggage at the front of the boat and most people took a seat in the large air-conditioned inside seating area. There were also outside seats and a selection of drinks and snacks were available. Koh Phi Phi is a popular party island so there was a large number of younger people on board.
The next ferry for Koh Lanta was at 3 pm so we had a couple of hours to spend in Koh Phi Phi. As we disembarked the ferry at Koh Phi Phi (with all of our luggage) we were approached by several people offering accommodation so finding somewhere to stay is probably not too much of a problem if you haven’t pre-booked anywhere.
While on the second ferry en-route from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lanta a member of the crew organised our 20 minute taxi transfer direct to our Koh Lanta accommodation for 250 baht (£5.00) each. Upon arrival at Salandan port, we piled into the back of a truck with 8 other people and our case was hauled onto the roof.
Exploring Koh Lanta
We hired a moped for a couple of days to explore the island. Thai’s drive on the left and the roads are reasonably quiet and get quieter the further south you drive through the island. Roads also start to get steeper in this area.
For our first day out on the moped we visited the very south to the national park where you often see monkeys along the side of the road. The cost of hiring a moped is around 200 baht (£4) a day. On the second day we explored the north and east side. We consider this to be one of the best ways to get around the island, giving you the freedom to come and go as you please.
There are some small petrol stations around the island but many roadside cafes and shops sell fuel in glass bottles for 35-40 baht (around £0.80) each. You simply pick one up while you are paying for your meal or buying your shopping!
We found a good selection of bars and restaurants in Koh Lanta. We had several delicious Thai meals in beachside restaurants along the west coast for around 100 to 150 baht per meal (£2-3). In both Salandan and Lanta Old Town many of them jut out into the sea on stilts! Fish are caught and delivered on a daily basis to local restaurants.
Many of the places we have been so fortunate to visit so far on our RTW trip have had some kind of amazing wow factor. From snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef to sailing through Milford Sound to whale watching in Maui…
We were also somewhat spoiled last week with some fantastic beaches and snorkelling in the Philippines. However the activity we have enjoyed most in Koh Lanta has been the daily routine of sipping early evening cocktails at one of the gorgeous sunset beach bars and eating the delicious Thai food which has probably been the best so far on the trip.
Wifi on Koh Lanta is reasonably fast and fairly reliable so this week we’ve also been able to speak to almost every member of our close family, again a daily routine using Skype or Facetime as the sun sets over the sea next to us…
This week has been relaxed, slow paced and a good opportunity for some time to wind down before the frenzy of the next stage of our trip as we begin to travel north through Thailand and onto Bangkok…