As soon as you step foot on the shores of Koh Lanta Thailand you’ll realize it’s not like other islands! The rustic beaches blend with the jungle atmosphere and a local feel that makes you never want to leave. It’s no wonder we planned to come to Koh Lanta for a few days and ended up staying 2 weeks!! After our 2nd awesome visit to the island, we are happy to share a travel guide with some of the best things to do in Koh Lanta Thailand.
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Getting to Koh Lanta Thailand
There are a few different ways to get to Koh Lanta. The closest airport is in Krabi which is about a 2-hour transfer away. The unique thing about Koh Lanta Thailand is there is actually a small 10 minute car ferry that connects the island with the mainland!
Depending on the season, there may also be a ferry service running from Krabi. Still, the shuttles are reliable and go year-round.
If you’re coming to or from the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Lipe, or arriving by boat you’ll come into Saladan Pier. The high-speed ferry is what we recommend as it takes less than an hour from Koh Phi Phi Don.
→ Use 12go to find ferries and to get an idea of the prices and different routes while island hopping in Thailand!
Our Koh Lanta Thailand Story
The first time we visited Koh Lanta was back in 2016. We were weary travelers coming from Koh Jum and had just started to get our blog going. So when we found out that you could get a hotel ON THE BEACH for under $20 USD a night we were sold! What was originally only supposed to be 4-5 days turned into 2 weeks… Honestly, at one point we thought we’d never leave.
Fast forward to 2022 and we found ourselves back in magical Thailand again. Starting in Phuket, we worked our way to the Phi Phi Islands, and from there returning to Koh Lanta Thailand was an obvious choice! This time we had a slightly bigger budget ($30/day haha!) and stayed for another 1.5 weeks.
On both visits, we feel we’ve covered most of the best things to do in Koh Lanta Thailand. However, if you see something we missed be sure to let us know in the comments at the bottom of this post.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
10 Best Things to do on Koh Lanta Thailand
1. Visit Koh Lanta National Park
This sprawling 134 square km park will be a highlight of your time in Koh Lanta Thailand! It’s full of caves, epic viewpoints, and an abundance of natural wildlife. Just driving through the gates we saw monkeys and many of the over 130 species of birds that frequent Koh Lanta’s nature reserve.
This part of Koh Lanta is also a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving with its clear water and coral reefs. We were surprised to find out that there are actually 16 different islands that make up the park!
While here you should hike up to the Koh Lanta Lighthouse for an unreal view of Tha Nod Beach. There is also a 1.7 km nature trail to take on, but beware! These are where you’ll find some of Koh Lanta’s most wild animals. We saw a huge monitor lizard right by the entrance to the trail.
2. Explore Koh Lanta Thailand by Motorbike
The best way to see Koh Lanta is by renting a motorbike. This long island is full of beautiful beaches and unique nature. You can even take a scenic inland route!
We loved cruising along the coasts and through the small towns of Koh Lanta by motorbike. The mountains make for some majestic scenery and truly give off a jungly island feel.
Here we saw so many interesting things that you would never experience on a more touristy island like Phuket! Renting a motorbike should only cost you between 200-250 baht ($6-8 USD) and will give you the freedom to explore. They are also a great way to do one of the best things in Koh Lanta Thailand that we talk about next.
→ Exploring Koh Lanta by Motorbike: One Fun Day of Adventure
3. Beach Hop Down the West Coast
Ready for the beach? Well, you’re in luck! Koh Lanta Thailand has so many beautiful beaches to experience! Compared to other Thai islands, Koh Lanta may not be known for its beaches. However, once you take a trip down the West Coast you’ll see that it can definitely hold its own.
Starting from Laem Kho Kwang Beach all the way down to the National Park, the island is dotted with stunning sands and clear blue waters.
On some islands we’ve been to in Thailand the ocean was completely still. Yet, in Koh Lanta depending on the weather you may have some fun waves to play in as well! Views of the golden sands can best be seen from the many cafes and bars perched on the cliffs above.
→ 8 Best Beaches on Koh Lanta: Ultimate Guide from North to South
4. Check Out Koh Lanta Old Town
Visiting this one-time sea gypsy settlement is now one of the best things to do in Koh Lanta! Wander down the quiet main street with colorful houses on the water for a glimpse into what the island may have looked like years ago.
This can also be a great lunch spot as you’ll have views of the islands in the distance. One of the best meals we had was grilled Baraccuda in Panang Curry at the restaurant Sunees Place in Old Town. You can even stay in Koh Lanta Old Town overnight if you really enjoy it!
5. Kayak the Koh Lanta Thailand Mangroves
One of the best things to do in Koh Lanta Thailand for nature lovers is to take a kayak out. The Tung Yee Peng Mangrove Village will bring you deep into the wildlife in a truly unique way. Paddle through the dense forest from this local village to get a different perspective to see birds and other animals.
6. Enjoy A Local Meal
Like many of the Thai islands, Koh Lanta has an insane amount of delicious local food to try. Some of our favorites are Thai curries, papaya salad, and you can even the popular northern dish of Khao Soi.
Yet, one thing you should not pass up in Koh Lanta Thailand is a grilled fish dinner. We mentioned the Baraccuda in Old Town, however that had nothing on our Red Snapper BBQ we ate for sunset with all the fixings!
7. Four Island Boat Tour From Koh Lanta Thailand
The most popular day trip from Koh Lanta is easily the 4 Island Boat Tour. Take a high-speed ferry or traditional longtail boat out to some of the most beautiful islands in Thailand!
Here you will get to do some snorkeling and explore the scenic islands of Koh Ngai, Koh Ma, and Koh Chuek. The highlight for most travelers is the gorgeous Emerald Cave! This is definitely a tour not to miss when looking for the best things to do on Koh Lanta Thailand.
→ Book a 4 Island Snorkeling Tour by Long Tail Boat
8. Happy Hour on Long Beach
Long Beach is one of our favorites and somewhere you may find yourself spending a lot of time on in Koh Lanta. For us, the best part of the day to be there is happy hour!
Fun beach bars line the sand with lounge chairs with music playing from all angles. The bars and restaurants on Long Beach seem to go on forever! So grab an ice-cold Chang beer or discounted cocktail for what’s coming up next in this Koh Lanta travel guide…
9. Watch the Koh Lanta Thailand Sunset
The sunsets are absolutely magical in Koh Lanta Thailand! Long Beach is a fantastic place to watch it for the happy hour we just mentioned. However, there are many more fun places to catch the sunset on Koh Lanta.
If you go just down the coast you’ll come to Klong Nin Beach. We actually stayed here for a week and loved it specifically for this time of day! Also, head towards southern Koh Lanta and stop at a cliffside bar or cafe for sunset. We loved overlooking the ocean as the colors change in the sky.
10. Experience a Koh Lanta Fire Show
The last of the best things to do on Koh Lanta is a real can’t miss on any trip to Thailand! After the sun goes down its time to check out an authentic Thai fire show. They are held in front of the restaurants on the beach and the display is incredible.
Usually we look for the signs during the day that say fire show times and head back there when it gets dark. You may think you’ve seen a fire show before, but there’s nothing like the one we saw on Koh Lanta!
Where to Stay in Koh Lanta Thailand
Ultra Luxury – Pimalai Resort & Spa – Welcome to the most luxury resort in all of Koh Lanta! Sitting right on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, you’ll have everything you need for an amazing stay. Enjoy the infinity pool in a lush jungle setting, and the delicious onsite restaurant when you get hungry.
Fun Vacation – Beach Home Lanta – We stayed here on our recent trip to Koh Lanta and it seemed like literally, every room around us extended their visit! We actually booked it for three nights and loved it so much we ended up staying for ten. All bungalows are modern with an oceanfront view and just steps away from several great restaurants and beach bars.
Budget-Friendly – Lanta Infinity Resort – Koh Lanta in Thailand has some great budget options of good quality. Lanta Infinity Resort offers a swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms while being just a short walk to the beach.
Hostel Life – Best Stay Hostel At Lanta – If you’re all about the hostel life then this is the spot for you! The bar and shared lounge are a great place to meet other travelers, and it’s situated in the most fun part of the island for nightlife near Long Beach.
For more places to stay in Koh Lanta Thailand you can explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions on our Koh Lanta travel guide or want to share your own favorite things to do in Koh Lanta Thailand? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
THAILAND TRAVEL PLANNING
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we found flights from Bangkok to Phuket for $12 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Helpful Thailand Articles
Phuket: 22 Things to Do – Old Town Food Guide – 6 Sunset Spots – Rawai – Elephant Sanctuary – Promthep Cape Sunset – Sunday Night Market – Phuket Old Town – Big Buddha – Renting a Motorbike
Phuket Beaches: 15 Best Beaches – Nai Harn & Yanui – Kata Beach – Kata Noi – Nui Beach
Koh Phi Phi: Ferry from Phuket – Maya Bay Private Tour – 3 Viewpoint Hike – Monkey Beach – Phi Phi Don Boat Tour
Railey Beach: 12 Things to Do – 3 Epic Beaches – Krabi to Koh Phangan
Gulf of Thailand: Koh Phangan 10 Things to Know – Bottle Beach Koh Phangan – Koh Tao 12 Things to Know – Freedom Beach Koh Tao – Koh Samui
More: Planning Thailand Trip – Koh Lipe – Chiang Mai
Hello, where can we find the statue Koh Kanra on the island ? Like in the photo at the top of the article
Thank you 🙂
Hi Emma! It’s located in front of Why Not Bar in Kantiang Bay! Have fun 🙂