The Ultimate Girls’ Getaway to Koh Lanta, Thailand

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“What’s your favorite place?”

I asked get that question at least once a day and often several times. It’s not an easy question to answer, as most travelers can attest. Our lists are long and we can’t pick one place above all.

…or can we?

Yes, it’s true — I actually have a favorite place in the world now. It’s a little place called Koh Lanta, Thailand.

Koh Lanta
Time for Lime Margarita
Road to Relax Bay Koh Lanta
Kate Shadow Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta

I first visited Koh Lanta just a few weeks into my long-term travels in 2010. I fell immediately in love.

Koh Lanta hits the development spot perfectly. Much of the island has a rustic feel, characterized by jungle huts and a few mountains. Prices are lower than the more popular neighboring islands. The people are incredibly friendly. And the sunsets? THE BEST ANYWHERE.

You don’t come to Koh Lanta for posh resorts (go to Phuket for that). You don’t come here to party your face off (Koh Phi Phi is a better bet).

You come here to relax and enjoy yourself.

Kate and Brenna on the Ferry to Krabi

Our Thirty-Something Girls’ Getaway

For this trip, I’d have a companion. Brenna of This Battered Suitcase (which you should definitely read, it’s one of the best travel blogs out there) and I were going to be in Thailand at the same time, so we decided to plan a trip to Koh Lanta together.

Now, here’s the beauty of our trip: Brenna and I had both been to Koh Lanta in our twenties, and now we were both 31. We had both done the Koh-Lanta-with-a-boy thing. And we had both done the twenty-something-bucket-guzzling-Southeast-Asia-backpacker thing.

This time in our lives, we were looking for something different. This would be a trip back to our beloved island where we could splash out a bit more, getting a much nicer guesthouse and going out to eat without watching our pennies. A trip where we wouldn’t feel pressure to do a ton of sightseeing or activities.

We were getting away from chilly temperatures (Boston for me and London for her) and wanted to chill out, hang out on the beach, read some books, hit up some bars, and meet some cool people.

When you’re in your early thirties, you’re not into partying as much as you used to be, and you probably have more money to spend. It was in this state of mind that we enjoyed a fabulous week in Koh Lanta.

Soontreya Lanta Resort

Living it Up at Soontreya Lanta Resort

I discovered Soontreya Lanta Resort on my last trip, when friends staying there invited me to come visit one evening. I was impressed by the hotel’s grounds and pool, not to mention my friends’ raves about the comfy beds, and vowed that once I started making more money, I would come back to Koh Lanta and stay here.

Promise kept. This is a GREAT place to stay on Koh Lanta.

Soontreya Lanta Resort

Image: Agoda

We had a very comfortable bungalow with twin beds and a bathroom with hot water. Comfortable beds and pillows are a rarity in Thailand, so when you finally get them, you enjoy them!

A standard bungalow, available with twin beds or a queen bed, cost us a very reasonable 2,700 baht ($75 USD) per night during high season (November 1-December 14 and March 1-April 30), which was even more reasonable when split between two. (Peak season of December 15-February 29 costs 3,500 baht/$97 per night; low season of May 1-October 31 costs 1,800 baht/$50 per night.)

Soontreya Resort Koh Lanta

Also, the wifi here is good enough to get your work done, whether by the pool or in your room! It did go out briefly during a few storms, but they have a generator for backup.

Soontreya is located at the bottom of Long Beach, an eight-minute walk from the outstanding beach at Relax Bay. It’s a five-minute walk from the main road, where you can flag down a tuk-tuk anywhere on the island.

One small flaw — like most Thai island resorts, the food here is mostly mediocre Western dishes and dumbed-down Thai fare. That said, their spring rolls are nice and I ate a ton of their chicken burgers!

Relax Bay Koh Lanta

Lazy Days at Relax Bay

I had never visited Relax Bay on my previous visits to Koh Lanta, but now it’s my favorite beach on the island.

Relax Bay is a small beach located just south of Pra Ae (Long Beach). It’s much quieter than the other big beaches and most of the crowd are guests at the Relax Bay Resort.

The water is the clearest of any beach I’ve been to on the island!

Relax Bay Koh Lanta

HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?! You don’t see water that clear on the popular islands on the Andaman Coast!

(Two years ago, I met a woman who told me she first came to Lanta in the 90s and all the beaches used to look like that. Sad.)

Relax Bay Koh Lanta
Relax Bay Koh Lanta
Relax Bay Koh Lanta
Relax Bay Koh Lanta
Kate and Brenna at Relax Bay
Relax Bay Koh Lanta
Relax Bay Koh Lanta

A bar called Moloko came recommended by our guesthouse owner and it soon became our regular place. They have exactly one shaded bungalow, so I’d recommend getting there early, especially in peak season, to claim your spot!

A spot to sit and read…fruit shakes and light lunches…a nearby hammock…massages a few doors down.

You can tell why we always ended up there!


How to Protect Your Belongings on the Beach

Koh Lanta Bikes

Explore Koh Lanta by Motorbike

The best way to explore Koh Lanta is to rent a motorbike. The roads are in good condition and they’re not too busy, making it a good place to ride.

We actually didn’t rent bikes this time, but I recommend that first-time visitors do.

Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta

(Either way, please be sure to have travel insurance. I use and recommend World Nomads. You should have it every single time you travel, and it will protect you if you get injured while on a motorbike, which can happen even if you’re cautious.)

Brenna and Dog Koh Lanta

Kitty and Puppy Love

Brenna is a self-declared Dog Whisperer. (She even had a conversation with Carrie Fisher in London the other day — because she started talking to her about her dog!) Me, I’m not a dog person at all. But Brenna wanted to go spend time with dogs and I love Lanta Animal Welfare and the work that they do, so we went to the animal sanctuary together.

If you’re visiting the island, you can show up at Lanta Animal Welfare, take a tour, walk the dogs, and cuddle the cats as much as you’d like. You can even apply to volunteer long-term if you’d like to. (The volunteer who greeted us was actually one of my readers!)

Lanta Animal Welfare
Cat Lanta Animal Welfare

After a few kitty scratches, the volunteers brought out two little dogs and suggested we take them to Relax Bay, a short walk away.

Puppies Koh Lanta
Monroe Dog Koh Lanta

Oh, the dogs LOVED the beach! They were skittish and nervous at first, especially when we walked past a crowd of kids, but as soon as they got to the water, they were so happy.

Kate and Monroe Dog Koh Lanta

And this so-not-a-dog-person fell completely and totally in love with her little doggie! Her name was Monroe and she was SO soft. I came pretty close to packing her in my suitcase.

By the way, you can adopt animals from Lanta Animal Welfare! It’s actually a lot easier than you think, especially if you’re based in Europe or North America.

Brenna and Puppy Koh Lanta

Also, at one point Monroe spun me around and I hit my camera‘s settings and accidentally set them to miniature — but look at how this picture came out! I really like it!

Koh Lanta Sunset

The World’s Best Sunsets

Koh Lanta is my favorite sunset destination in the world (though Boracay is a close second).

To show you just how good the sunsets are, I’m going to show you the progression on a sunset that looked like it was going to be nonexistent.

Koh Lanta Sunset

Eh, kind of boring. Doesn’t look like it’s going to be anything.

Koh Lanta Sunset

Pretty lavender, but no bright streaks…

Koh Lanta Sunset

Ooh. What’s that giant pink thing?

Koh Lanta Sunset

I’ve never seen a sunset like this before!

Koh Lanta Sunset


Koh Lanta Sunset

PERFECT cotton candy skies!

Koh Lanta Sunset


Koh Lanta Sunset

I shall dance in the surf to celebrate!

Koh Lanta Sunset

And the grand finale. I can’t believe this sunset turned out so good.

Sanctuary Koh Lanta Sunset

Sunset Drinks on the Beach

This sunset shot-by-shot above took place on Relax Bay, but one of my favorite places for sunset viewings is Sanctuary, a bar and guesthouse on Long Beach. It’s nothing unusual or extraordinary — just a nice bar with nice people and a great place to watch the sun sink into the sea.

Koh Lanta Sunset
Koh Lanta Sunset Puppy
Koh Lanta Sunset
Koh Lanta Sunset
Bar on Koh Lanta

There are tons of bars on all the beaches and you might be able to get some happy hour prices on cocktails.

Koh Lanta Friends

Best Restaurants in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta has a ton of great places to eat, including one of my favorite restaurants in the world!

Here are three excellent options:

Red Snapper Bruschetta

Red Snapper in Long Beach — This is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I even spent Thanksgiving Day here once! Red Snapper’s chef is from Holland and she’s always changing the menu, which features international dishes and small plates. I’d recommend making a reservation here if you’re visiting in high or shoulder season. Try everything.

Best dish: chorizo fried with brandy and garlic. My favorite since 2010 and I still dream about smashing those garlic cloves over the slivers of meat!

Kwan's Cookery Koh Lanta

Kwan’s Cookery in Klong Khong — If you’re not planning on visiting Chiang Mai or the north, you must come here to experience some outstanding northern Thai dishes! Even if you’ve already been to Chiang Mai, the food here is so good that you’ll be coming back again and again. Everything on the menu is fantastic here, and nowhere near the usual bland Thai-for-tourists fare.

Kwan’s also offers cooking classes.

Best dish: khao soi. Pretty much every travel blogger is obsessed with this coconut-based noodle soup, and there’s a reason for that!

Time for Lime Fried Som Tam

Time for Lime on Khlong Dao — Nothing but a six-course Thai tasting menu. Oh, and the best cocktails on the island! They’re famous for their mojitos and the tasting menus, which can be made at different spicy levels, are a lot of fun. They also offer popular cooking classes and have an adults-only upper seating area.

Best of all, profits here go to Lanta Animal Welfare.

Best dish: the famous Time for Lime soup. Like all good Thai food, it’s a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and umami, all pureed down into a wondrous blend.

Besides these three, there are plenty of casual places along the main road, some with names, some without. Islands can often be hit or miss, offering bland tourist-friendly Thai dishes, and Lanta can be challenging in that aspect. Look for casual places where locals are eating, not just tourists.

Koh Lanta Beach Party

Party Up

Koh Lanta isn’t a rollicking party island like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Phangan. Instead, there tends to be one place to be each night of the week.

Ask around for where the parties are. Two of our favorite places were Irie Bar for live music on Mondays and Pangea Beach Bar for the Tuesday beach party, both on Long Beach.

The beach party was especially fun! It’s known as the night where I was exhausted and promised Brenna I’d stay three hours — then I got my second wind and we were dancing until 4:00 AM. The DJ was playing incredible music and it was the perfect level of a crowd. There were enough people that it felt like a big party, but it was sparse enough that the bartenders were dancing as hard as we were!

We ended up meeting three English guys who were our age at the party. Dude, meeting multiple cool thirty-something guys on the backpacker trail in Southeast Asia is like meeting a herd of unicorns! (Southeast Asia backpackers tend to skew young; Europe backpackers are even younger. Latin America backpackers skew closer to thirty-somethings.) We ended up hanging out for the rest of our time on the island.

Koh Lanta Storm Arriving

Best Time to Visit Koh Lanta: November or December

I’ve visited Koh Lanta twice in November and once in December and January. High season on the Andaman Coast runs roughly from December through April and this is when you’ll have the sunniest weather.

November is my absolute favorite. It’s still shoulder season, so you get sunny days about 2/3 of the time and big storms about 1/3 of the time. That picture above is November weather in a nutshell — a gorgeous sunny day with a big storm on the way!

Because of this, the skies are streaked with clouds, making bolder and more dramatic sunsets than during the sunniest season from late December to February.

That said, I know some people who came in November and had much worse luck, where it rained almost constantly. If you’re nervous, I’d recommend pushing to December, just in case, but keep in mind rates are at their highest from mid-December to February.

Koh Lanta

My Favorite Place in the World

The night of the beach party, one of the guys and I were chatting about blogging and he asked me that same question that I always get: “So, what’s your favorite place?”

“Here!” I exclaimed. “It’s actually here. I’ve loved this island for five years and this is my favorite trip yet.”

Since visiting Koh Lanta for the first time, I’ve sent more than 30 of my readers here as well. It has made me so happy to hear about more people falling in love with my beloved island.

Consider visiting Koh Lanta later this year. Whether you visit with a friend, like I did, or solo or with a partner or with your family, I know you’ll appreciate what a special place this island is.

Koh Lanta Getaway

Essential Info: To get to Koh Lanta, take a ferry from Krabi town or Ao Nang. Tickets should be around 400-500 baht ($11-14). There are also ferries from smaller islands further south like Koh Mok and Koh Lipe. You can check ferry schedules here. If you’re flying in, you can book a transfer to Krabi’s pier from the airport.

I recommend staying at least a week to get the full relaxed experience, but if you’re short on time, stay for at least three days. Less than that and you’re doing yourself a disservice.

To get around the island, flag down a tuk-tuk on the main road. Know the beach where your destination is located. Most of the time it should cost less than 100 baht ($3) for two people, more with more people.

Koh Lanta is a Muslim island. If you’re a light sleeper, don’t choose a guesthouse next to a mosque, as the call of prayer will ring out early. Swimwear is fine at the beach and at resorts but wear real clothes when you’re in town.

Lanta Animal Welfare runs tours at 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Dogs are walked before 11:00 AM and after 3:00 PM to avoid the heat. Find out about volunteering here and pet adoption here.

If you’re interested in renting a motorbike, talk to your guesthouse and they’ll either rent to you or recommend someone who will. You’ll need to leave your passport as a deposit.

Soontreya Lanta Resort‘s rates for a bungalow with two twin beds or a queen bed start at 1,800 baht ($50) in low season (May 1-October 31), 2,700 baht ($75) in high season (November 1-December 14 and March 1-April 30), and 3,500 baht ($. The cheapest rates tend to be on HotelsCombined. You can find other hotels on Koh Lanta here.

Want more? Read Brenna’s post about our trip here! All photos in this post with me in them (excluding selfies) were taken by Brenna.

What’s your favorite place in the world?

75 thoughts on “The Ultimate Girls’ Getaway to Koh Lanta, Thailand”

  1. Awwww KATE!!!! This post just brought me back to that amazing week with you in Koh Lanta. I had such a great time with you there and can’t wait for our next visit! I obviously love all of your recommendations… can we go back… now?

    And as always you’re too kind about my blog, thank you so much x

    1. I had the best week with you! I hope we get to do another girls’ getaway soon! This time, somewhere new for both of us. (Which, between you and me, doesn’t leave a lot…) 😉

  2. Monroe is the cutest!! I swear, the only dilemma I have in my current travel lifestyle is how badly I want a dog. At least there are places like this that can give you an afternoon of puppy love! On a more relevant note, I’m currently in Penang and it seems like everyday I hear people raving about Koh Lanta. I missed it during my year in Thailand (because I loved the Surin Islands so much I doubled my stay!), but all of this talk has me thinking I should hop on a bus and get myself back to Thailand…

  3. What a great set of photos and an interesting post! I’ve never been to Thailand, but I’d really, really like to go. The thing is – I don’t want to spend my whole time partying and not get to take in the dramatic landscapes. Koh Lanta looks like the perfect place to visit!

  4. I feel this way about Formentera. Riding bikes around the island, nude beaches, hella cheap, amazing wine… it’s a dream and a place I’d love to go back to with girlfriends! The Amalfi Coast, too, assuming I can actually afford to go back and stay in one of the villages and not need to drive anywhere. Just need some friends or family, some good Italian wine, and a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean. This will happen.

  5. I’m going there so so soon! Perfect timing. Thanks for the great recommendations. As far as beaches in Thailand, I’ve only been to Koh Samui and Railay so I’m pumped about visiting your favorite spot.

  6. I went to Koh Lanta on my 2013 Asia trip strictly because of your recommendation, and it was a great one! I also stayed at the bungalows associated with the Time for Lime restaurant/cooking school entirely because the shelter cats stray the property during the day, so I spent basically the entire time eating the delicious food and snuggling with the cats on the balcony of my bungalow.

  7. I went to Koh Lanta in 2011 and loved it – we actually went on to Phi Phi then Phuket but spent 1 night there, hated it, and got the ferry back to Lanta! I don’t understand why so many people skip it and go straight from Phi Phi to Krabi – but then I guess I’m kind of glad they do! I’ll definitely head back one day soon. Also loved Lanta Animal Welfare, they do incredible work with their neutering clinics as well as rehoming.

  8. Koh Lanta – what an awesome destination. It was definitely my favorite island in Thailand.

    I showed up in off-season, near the end of May, in 2014. For those of you doing the math at home, this was exactly the moment Thailand fell into a coup d’etat. Curfew was enacted and everyone appeared to be on high-alert. I firmly remember walking to an internet cafe from my cheap hostel ($10 a night variety, off the beach) and the family running the cafe had the TV on and the only thing playing was the same warning, over and over.

    That being said, I had the most amazing time on Koh Lanta and would love to go back for a long-term stay. There were locals playing soccer every day only a quarter mile from my hostel, and there was an Irish bar that stayed open all through the night for the Champions League final. it was a dream for a soccer-nut like me.

    If you check out my website ( and scroll down to the Thailand section, you’ll see my own entry in the Koh Lanta sunset canon – the colors are definitely some of the most amazing I have ever seen!

  9. Thank you for these great tips! I decided about a month ago that I needed to add Koh Lanta to my itinerary when visiting southern Thailand in April and May, mostly because of the great things you have been saying about it since your trip. I have never been to the southern part of Thailand, and am excited to check out the islands around Phuket. I am wondering if you have ever made it to the National Park on the southern tip of Koh Lanta? If so, I would love to hear if you think it’s worth a visit!

  10. Well, this post came at a good time! I’m going to be volunteering on Koh Lanta starting in two days. Just found out yesterday after I already bought train tickets to go to Koh Phangan, but now plans have changed. This post got me pumped up! I’ve been traveling for a few months now… Goa and Sihanoukville were the only beaches I’ve been to during this time and I didn’t like either of them much. Was thinking about skipping the southern Thai islands if they were going to be more commercialized, especially now that its’high season. There are so many islands though so glad that some are still decently quiet.

  11. Love this post, the photos really capture the spirit of the place. Koh Lanta is definitely my favourite island.

    I just wanted to flag something about motorbikes and travel insurance though. I’m actually in Thailand right now and I have a travel insurance policy with World Nomads. My policy specifically states that I will not be covered for accidents/injuries that occur from riding/driving vehicles without the proper license – i.e. no motorbike license, no cover if you are injured riding a motorbike.

    This may be different for others though. I know that in some parts of the world a license to drive a car also allows you to ride small scooters/motorbikes but this is absolutely not universal. If you have a license that covers this then a World Nomads policy should be fine.

    World Nomads also have their policies underwritten by different companies depending on your country of citizenship/residency so it is possible that people from different countries could have slightly different policy wordings (I’ve never actually been able to compare with anyone so I’m not 100% sure of this. I do know that my policy doesn’t cover me for riding motorbikes/scooters without a license. I am an Australian citizen so my World Nomads policy may be underwritten by a different company to the policy that Kate purchased, and could therefore potentially be slightly different.)

    I urge everyone to please please please double, triple and quadruple check your insurance policy before renting a scooter in Thailand. Please understand that you may not be covered in the event of an accident if you are not licensed to ride a motorbike. Basic healthcare in Thailand can be quite affordable as a Western tourist but serious accidents can have serious medical costs attached to them. There have been way too many cases of tourists getting seriously hurt riding vehicles for which they are not licensed. Please stay safe out there everybody.

    I thought about renting a scooter in Koh Lanta and asked at my guesthouse. The owner had a talk to me about it and when he found out I didn’t have a license he advised me against it (he’d personally seen too many examples of unlicensed foreigners getting injured and not being covered by their insurance policies). This made me love the people who live and work on Lanta even more, often money talks louder than safety in popular tourist resorts but so many people on Lanta seemed to genuinely care about my well-being as a single, female traveller.

  12. It’s funny, the last few times I’ve been to Thailand was to go up in the Northern region. This would really be a wonderful respite after some busy tours in Thailand or for that matter SE Asia. Will have to give it a go next time.

  13. Such a lovely post and brilliant photographs Kate. I’m glad that you’re having fun with your girlfiends and your mates, as one must always put in “a little time with our friends” lol!

    My favorite place in the world has got to be Hong Kong for it’s vibrant flavour and utter madness, and where I live right now – Berlin, for probably the same thing – it’s vibrant energetic flavour and complete and utter craziness!!!!!

  14. Thank you for all of the tips! Loved reading your blog post. My brother and I are headed to Koh Lanta, and now I am even more excited about it! I was also wondering if you have any suggestions for Koh Phi Phi? Where to stay?
    Thank you!


  15. So nice to see a piece on Koh Lanta. My husband and I love this place too. We first visited Koh Lanta in 2006. we are finally heading back this year .
    Love the photos.

  16. Exciting that you decided to return and rediscover…and I agree: the post-30s traveling experiences is so much better for too many reasons to list.

    As a Thai, I know of greats spots in the South. If you pass through Thailand again, give me a shout! We can having some food and share some good travel ideas na kha. 🙂

  17. Great pictorial Kate! We had a wonderful time in Koh Lanta. The beaches are indeed beautiful and there are many great places to dine. The sunsets are to die for. Being a little on the older side (60’s), we found the noise at night a little bit of problem, sleeping-wise. We’re glad we had our white noise machine along. We were in budget accommodations across from Kae Ae Beach with an open air nightclub on each side of us. With such a beautiful beach, who needs sleep anyway, right? Have fun! -Neil

  18. Wow! I have never heard of Koh Lanta before and it seems like such an ideal destination for a long term, female, solo traveler like me! I have lived near the sea my whole life and taking a break in a seaside town is that I’m most comfortable with.
    Wonderful how you guys found a worthwhile to support while vacationing! Any suggestions on what type of volunteering is available in the island? I found that it’s the most satisfying way to immerse yourself in a culture different from your own.

  19. Great posting and beautiful pictures about The Ultimate Girls’ Getaway to Koh Lanta, Thailand, do not forget to visit Lombok island the hiden island in Indonesia, thank for sharing

  20. Lovely post of Koh Lanta, it really is a wonderful place. We stopped by for a few days r and r while backpacking and ended up staying for 12 nights and not going much further than the beach.

  21. After reading your posts/love letters to Ko Lanta over the years I finally made it myself. 🙂 Even staying at Soontreya! Thanks for all the great info and recommendations.

  22. What a beautiful island – those sunsets! It just looks perfect. I can definitely see myself at one of those beach bars, having a drink and watching the sunset.

  23. Hey Kate, this post is awesome! My sister and I are in ko lanta right now, and went to time for line last night! The food was amazing, and we got there just in time for the most unbelievable sunsets ever! Great suggestions!

  24. Hey Kate, Im currently in chiang mai on a solo backpacking trip and I’m going to head to koh phangan next and koh phi phi after. After reading several of your posts, I was thinking of ending my trip on koh lanta, however, I just wanted to know which hostels would be the best for me to stay at if I’m trying to meet other solo backpackers. Im staying at a hostel in chiang mai right now however its not a social one and so far haven’t met anyone so far. I’m 24 by the way if thats any help.

  25. Hi Kate!
    Thank you for so many great tips. I going on my first solo trip ever this November. I have 10 days to spend in Thailand and researching where to go. I’m 30 years old and used to travel (but in a pair). Would u recommend Koh Lanta for a solo traveller? Or is it mostly couples/families here? Any other island that is better to meet up with other solo-travelers?
    Thank you very much 🙂

    1. If you go to Koh Lanta solo, you’ll probably be solo unless you stay in a hostel. Phi Phi is much rowdier but it’s easier to meet people (again, go for a hostel or backpacker spot).

  26. Koh Lanta is amazing. I much prefer there to places like Phuket. Phuket has the nastiest, greediest people in the whole of Thailand. The people are so friendly and warm in Koh Lanta.

  27. Thanks for this great post! My friends and I are heading to Thailand for New Years and Ko Lanta seems to be the type of beach we are looking for.
    We don’t want a beach that is too complicated to get to.
    About how long does it take to get to from Bangkok? Thanks!

  28. Thailand seems amazing and made for adventures! It seems like a beautiful and traditional country with exotic nightlife. I have always thought about going to Thailand and then travel further to Sri Lanka, but somehow never. Working for an events promotion company in London where travel and trips is a quite popular category, I am always excited about which destination to pick next! Now I know, next stop Thailand!

  29. Kate! I love the sound of the area where you stayed but would love something beachfront in a similar price range or a little more. Any recommends? Thank you in advance!

  30. Interesting that Koh Lanta was one of your favourite places. For me it was one of the worst. As the island relies mainly on tourism, I felt the divide between locals and tourists was particularly strong there.

    1. I didn’t feel that way at all, George. There is always a divide between expats and locals, but I found in Koh Lanta both groups tended to interact more harmoniously than elsewhere in Thailand.

  31. Just loved reading this article, my now husband and I spent three weeks in koh lanta in late 2009 as part of a 6 month backpacking trip. We moved slowly from beach to beach over the time we had there. We are going back next year but we were worried it would have changed too much but it sounds like it still has the same vibe! Can’t wait!

  32. Hi, fantastic post and it has gotten me intrigued! I’ll be in Thailand this summer (July) with my two boys (10 and 14) and want to get to an island (or two). Would you recommend Koh Lanta this time of year? Some have said I should head to the other side toward Koh Samui or Koh Phanang. But I haven’t made any decisions yet. What are your suggestions/ I just discovered your blog and am really enjoying it, thanks!!

  33. I always have a great time traveling with my girl friends. It’s like we can totally do everything that we want to do spontaneously. Me and my best friend had been to Koh Lanta 3 years ago and after reading your post, I’m thinking of asking her to go with me again so we can relive the moments/ activities that we did before. 🙂

  34. Hi Kate, this blog post has helped me decide out location for our next trip to Thailand!! Can you tell me how you found travelling around koh lanta this time if you didnt use scooters? We have a child with us so cant use scooters, how far was it from relax bay to long beach? We are hoping to stay in Relax Bay resort but not sure if we will be too cut off?

    1. Your easiest way would be to hire a tuk-tuk driver either for short journeys or hire someone for the entire day. You would negotiate with him or her directly. Relax Bay to Long Beach isn’t too long — less than 25 minutes. You will definitely be more cut off at Relax Bay Resort than if you stayed on one of the other beaches — you would have to take a ride to go anywhere. You can manage a trip like that (they can call tuk-tuks for you) but it might be more hassle than you’d like on your trip.

      1. thanks Kate, decisions decisions!! I keep thinking Ive found the perfect resort for us then something pops up to make me question it!!

  35. Monroe is the cutest!! I swear, the only dilemma I have in my current travel lifestyle is how badly I want a dog. At least there are places like this that can give you an afternoon of puppy love! On a more relevant note, I’m currently in Penang and it seems like everyday I hear people raving about Koh Lanta. I missed it during my year in Thailand (because I loved the Surin Islands so much I doubled my stay!), but all of this talk has me thinking I should hop on a bus and get myself back to Thailand…

  36. Hey Kate, I loved reading this, as I also fell in love with Koh Lanta in 2009 and am still here, 12 years later! The island was slowly developing over the years, but places like Moloko Bar on Relax beach closed a while ago, and one of my personal favourites, Red Snapper was a victim of Covid, and now closed. Sadly Soontreeya Resort is also up for sale. I’m pretty sure you already know that Lanta is famous for scuba diving and snorkeling, did you get a chance to try when you were here on the island? If you do come back to Lanta, hopefully you’ll find many new restaurants serving not-so-dumbed-down Thai food and some new places on the island to write about!

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