Are you trying to figure out where to stay on Koh Lanta? Then you've come to the right place.
Koh Lanta is an island in southern Thailand, belonging to the province of Krabi. It is a fairly large island and therefore it is important to choose the best area to stay.
In this article we see how Koh Lanta is made, where the main tourist centers are located, the best beaches and how to choose the perfect location according to your needs.
Where to Stay in Ko Lanta
First we must specify that the island is divided into Ko Lanta Yai e Ko Lanta Noi (respectively large and small), two islands connected by a bridge, built in April 2016.
The main island where tourist facilities are concentrated is Lanta Yai, and therefore the part we will talk about in this guide. Ko lanta Yai has a long (25 km) and narrow (10 km) shape.
The beaches are all concentrated on the west coast, the part to be privileged for the choice of accommodation. There isn't much on the east coast except the Old Town. However, this area of the island is also worth a visit, because it is very wild and with a beautiful landscape.
At this point you will then have to choose the location that best suits your preferences.
Keep in mind that the north of Koh Lanta is more animated and more developed, offers more tourist facilities and services. Among other things, in the north end there is the port of Saladan, the main port where ferries arrive and the starting point for various excursions.
The south is wilder instead, surrounded by nature, and it is here that some of the most beautiful bays of the island are located and where it will be easy to meet monkeys, iguanas or to spot an eagle gliding over your head. In the far south there is in fact the Ko Lanta National Park.
Therefore, we could say that the north offers more services, while the south offers greater tranquility. Remember that in general we are talking about an island that is never too crowded, even in high season.
Keep in mind that the island turns easily with a moped, there is a road that runs along the sea and cuts the island from north to south. The road conditions are not bad, except for many potholes and some more bumpy areas. Allow about 45 minutes to travel the entire stretch from north to south.
Well, now let's see in detail the places to consider for a stay on the island of Koh Lanta.
Saladan is located in the northern part of the island, it is the first village you meet and the main one of Ko Lanta. Most of the tourists from Krabi, Phuket or other islands land in Saladan.
It is the starting point for excursions or diving sessions, there are in fact many tourist agencies. In Saladam you can find all kinds of services, there is a large supermarket, ATMs, exchange, massage centers and markets. There are also several places to dine or have a drink and very characteristic restaurants built on stilts overlooking the sea.
On the other hand it is less suitable for swimming, there are some beach resorts, but it's not among the best on the island. A few minutes by tuk-tuk or scooter you will find more beautiful beaches such as Klong Dao or Long Beach.
It can be a good base if you are passing through the island but for a stay of a few days I recommend other areas where there are better beaches.
Starting from north to south, the first beach you will encounter is that of Klong Dao, very long with many restaurants and a wide choice of hotels.
The street behind the sea is full of clubs, pubs, cafes, shops and offers all services, such as ATMs, minimarkets and tourist agencies.
The proximity to Saladan should not be underestimated, both for excursions but also for a walk in the village.
The sea here is not among the best on the island and is strongly affected by the phenomenon of the tides. But the strong point of Klong Daos are the wonderful sunsets overlooking Phi Phi island!
A good choice for those looking for seaside accommodation in a developed and well served area. Particularly recommended for a family vacation.
Long Beach (Phra Ae)
Phra Ae, or Long Beach, is one of the most popular beaches on the island, in my opinion one of the best places to stay in Ko Lanta.
About 5 km of white sand beach, full of resorts and restaurants, but never crowded. Thanks to its large size, in fact, you will always find a space just for you.
A quiet place, perfect for a stay directly on the beach. At the same time, the area is well served, along the main road you will find many clubs and restaurants for all tastes, from typical Thai to western options.
There are many Yoga centers and gyms for those wishing to try a Muay Thay course.
There are also many solutions where to stay at low cost, in particular there is an area full of cheaper hostels and guest houses.
The location is great to reach Saladan, just 10 minutes away, and all the main beaches in the northern area. In particular, do not miss Relax Beach and Secret Beach, located just south of Long Beach.
The sea is also not bad, it is not as beautiful as in the south of the island, but it is ideal for a relaxing bath or for a swim. Then it also depends on the days and the tides, some days the water was transparent and crystalline.
A very nice resort where they also do Yoga classes is Nakara, located in the north area of the beach.
Klong Khong is located a few kilometers south of Long Beach. There are many options where to sleep at low cost and together with Long Beach it is one of the areas with more places, ideal for a holiday with friends.
We are certainly not talking about big discos, but places on the beach where you can listen to music, have a drink at sunset or where to spend the evening observing the usual fire shows, a must in Thailand.
The beach is nice but it is very rocky and is affected a lot by the tides.
Located in the center of the island, about 15 km from Saladan, Klong Nin offers a long beach with restaurants and resorts overlooking the sea. In the evening there is a bit of movement, but in general it is a quiet area ideal for those looking for an area close to the most beautiful beaches on the island and with all the services.
The beach is very wide and suitable for long walks, the sea is at the level of Long beach and other northern beaches. A few kilometers away, however, there are beautiful beaches such as Nui Beach and the beautiful Kantiang.
Kantiang is located about 45 minutes from Saladan in the south of the island, where we find beautiful and unspoiled bays and a very fascinating landscape with the jungle behind the sea.
The beach is considered one of the most beautiful in Thailand, white sand and sea with shades from blue to light blue.
Here you will find some of the best luxury resorts on Koh Lanta. In the northern part of Kantiang, on the main road there is a small center where you can find a minimarket (7-Eleven) and other services, such as ATMs, tourist information points, laundries, massage parlors and some restaurants.
In the southern part of the beach there are instead some panoramic restaurants where you can admire the splendid beach.
The Bamboo Bay and Klong Jark
If, on the other hand, your desire is to be a stone's throw from the pristine beaches of the far south, the Bamboo Bay or Klong Jark area, near the Koh Lanta National Park, is the choice for you. You will be immersed in nature and away from the chaos and all kinds of noise, except those of nature.
There are a few resorts at these beautiful beaches. The location is a bit isolated and far from the Saladan Pier. Staying in this area is recommended for those seeking only peace and relaxation, ideal for a couple's stay. Keep in mind that there is almost nothing in the area and if you decide to move you will have to rent a scooter.
Beware of the monkeys that tend to open your backpack in search of food!
Finally there is the Old Town, which as I said is the only point of interest on the east coast, where there are no beaches.
Characteristic of the city are its wooden houses built on stilts overlooking the sea.
From the Old Town depart some excursions to the eastern islands.
Staying here can have its own charm especially on the occasion of the Koh Lanta festival, which takes place on the first full moon of March. But as a position it is quite uncomfortable. In the evening the area is too quiet and moving to other areas would not be comfortable.
In my opinion it is preferable to choose the other areas I have told you about and come in the day to visit the Old Town.
In this article I wanted to explain how the island of Ko Lanta is made, so as to guide you on choosing the best area to stay.
So in summary:
By choosing one of the northern beaches you will be in a convenient location for the center of Saladan and well served; but the beaches are not as beautiful as those in the south. The latter, however, can be reached by hiring a moped. Among the various beaches in the area I would choose Long Beach.
If, on the other hand, you want a middle ground between the south and the north you might think about Klong nin.
If you are looking for relaxation and tranquility and pristine beaches, opt for accommodation from Kantiang down to the National Park.
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