Ko Lanta is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, which is yet to experience the immense momentum of development and commercialization as islands like Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, and Ko Samui. Ko Lanta is in the Krabi area, not far from the land, and the arrival to the island is easy and convenient. This makes Ko Lanta an ideal vacation destination for those who finished hiking in the southern area. In my opinion, Ko Lanta will be one of Thailand’s next hot trends.
Ko Lanta Beaches are mostly found along the western side of the island (Sunset side). The beaches start on the north, where the main village Ban Saladan is situated, as well as the ship pier. They continue along the entire western coast, to Ko Lanta National Park on the very south of the island.
Most Ko Lanta beaches are white and sandy, lovely and pleasant, with clear and clean water. Some of them are longer, stretching along several kilometers, while others are shorter, at smaller bays, mostly in the southern part of the island. The total length and width of beaches are impressive, so you won’t feel crowded on the beach, regardless of the season; anyone who seeks a quiet, secluded spot on the beach can find one on the island.
Along all beaches, you’ll find various hotels and resorts of all types and classes – from the luxurious Pimalai hotel, through neat boutique resorts, and on to humble beach bungalows. You’ll also find various restaurants, pubs, shops, massage centers, markets, and more.
Most hotels/resorts are in the northern/central parts of the island. The more you head south, the smaller the number of resorts, shops, and restaurants you’ll find.
Ko Lanta – General & Arrival
In the introductory review of Ko Lanta, I’ve mentioned that in terms of character, atmosphere and developmen level, Ko Lanta resembles Ko Chang – but in my opinion Ko Lanta beaches are far better, and the different location at Andaman sea enables high quality snorkeling and scuba diving – much better than in other areas.
Please note – at the end of the review I’ve attached a video I took, highlighting the best Ko Lanta beaches
Ko Lanta Beaches Review (from north to south)
While visiting Ko Lanta, I got to stay in 4 different resorts at 4 different beaches: Khlong Dao, Long Beach, Khlong Nin, and Kantiang Bay. Each resort was slightly different in its character and atmosphere, but I liked and enjoyed all of them.
Khlong Dao Beach
Together with Kaw Kwang, Khlong Dao is the most northern beach in Ko Lanta. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the island – a wide strip of soft, white sand, stretching along 3 km.
As the sea slope is very moderate, there are no waves and rocks, so the beach is great for families with children – and indeed this is one of the most popular beaches on the island for such travelers.
Khlong Dao is the first beach to develop on the island, and thus offers the largest number of various resorts, shops, restaurants, and such on the island. The beach is close to the main village on the island – Ban Saladan – which features the ship pier along with various restaurants, coffee shops, massage centers, shops, banks, pharmacies, and more. This makes the beach a comfortable, easily accessed tourist destination, and a great point for going on a fun night out.
Long Beach/Phra Ae Beach
Continuing from Khlong Dao from the south – this excellent beach stretches along some 4 km, and features white, soft and pleasant sand. Due to its large size, even in the busiest seasons, you won’t feel crowded on the beach. Much like Khlong Dao, Long Beach is also one of the most popular beaches of Ko Lanta. Along the beach, you’ll find various classes of resorts, some excellent and luxurious and others simpler and humbler, as well as restaurants, pubs, etc.
In the most southern tip of Long Beach, it becomes narrow and rocky, creating tiny creeks – but most Long Beach visitors are based in the central and northern parts of the beach.
The beach and sea strip of Long Beach are excellent; there are no rocks and the slope is even milder than in Khlong Dao, which enables old and young to enjoy pleasant swimming. The resorts are less crowded and there are larger intervals between them, which gives the beach a pleasant, laid-back atmosphere even in the most crowded seasons.
As I’ve mentioned, most resorts at Long Beach are located along the beach facing the sea, when the main road south runs in their backside, along all beaches. Here too, you’ll find restaurants, shops, pubs, diving centers and more.
The description of Long Beach cannot be complete without mentioning the marvelous sunsets – one of the most beautiful sunset sights I’ve seen in Thailand.
Khlong Khong Beach
Located around the center of Ko Lanta’s western side, south of Long Beach. Khlong Khong is less known than other beaches, possibly because it looks very different; it contains many rocks, which makes bathing and swimming here difficult.
On the other side, the different atmosphere attracts backpackers and low budget travelers, seeking peaceful and quitter atmosphere. You’ll find here mainly basic resorts, simple bungalows and beach pubs in a laid-back atmosphere. Here too, the sunsets are beautiful.
Located at the center of Ko Lanta’s western side, slightly south of Khlong Khong and has a completely different vibe and atmosphere than the rest of Ko Lanta beaches. The long beach strip has white, soft sand, with a wide range of resorts that are scattered along – from luxurious accommodations to basic bungalows, with many restaurants and pubs on the beach.
Unlike the rest of Ko Lanta beaches, where the road is somewhat distant from the beaches (though it parallels them), at Khlong Nin the road is just dozens of meters away from the beach. In between, there are various restaurants and pubs– attracting many tourists, mostly younger crowds, who enjoy hanging by the beach during the day and at night, having a great meal or a nice drink with a marvelous sunset on the background.
As I’ve mentioned – the beach here has soft, white sand, and even though in some areas there are rocks in the water – other areas, mostly at the center of the beach, are cleaner from rocks, enabling fun swimming and bathing. Because of the short distance from the road to the beach, even those who took cheaper resorts from the other side of the road can take a very short walk and enjoy the beach with everything it has to offer.
Towards the sunset time, many travelers arrive to this beach from all parts of the island, enjoy one of the restaurants/pubs right on the beach and fancy the beauty of the place – so this is a great place to finish off your day, even if you are staying elsewhere on the island.
As I’ve mentioned earlier in the review, as you head further to the south along Ko Lanta’s western side, you start seeing smaller, more secluded bays such as Khlong Jark beach, the Bamboo Bay and the most famous one – Kantiang Bay.
This is clearly one of the most beautiful Ko Lanta beaches – it isn’t too small, it has a beautiful wide beach, pleasant and quiet atmosphere and of course, spectacular sunsets.
You’ll find the huge, luxurious hotel Pimalai at the center of the bay, and from the beach to beyond the road heading south, some lovely boutique resorts (I’ve stayed in one of them), along with several restaurants and few nice pubs including one with a unique name – “Same Same but Different”.
On the northern part of Kantiang Bay you’ll find a few nice, small resorts along with a small area of stores, shops massage parlors and a nice pub.
From all of the known Ko Lanta beaches – this beach is the most distant from the ship pier and Saladan Village (45 minutes away). It is more suitable for travelers who want to stay away from the more active parts of Ko Lanta and spend most of the time at their resort.
The National Park Beach
Mu Ko Lanta National Park stretches across a part of the island and includes nearby islands such as Ko Rok and Ko Ngai, on which I’ll elaborate more on the review of Ko Lanta attractions.
The part of the national park which is located on the island includes walking tracks, caves and a beautiful quiet beach without restaurants, reclining chairs etc. However, it has white, soft sand, turquoise water and the entire area around is lovely and groomed.
If you plan to visit the national park during your Ko Lanta vacation, you should bring a bathing suit and enjoy this beautiful, secluded beach.
In Conclusion: Ko Lanta is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, which is yet to experience the immense momentum of development and commercialization as islands like Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui.
It combines a pleasant Thai atmosphere without tourist crowds, offers excellent beaches and a wide variety pf hotels and resorts of all sorts, snorkeling and diving opportunities that are among the best in the world, along with easy access from anywhere in Thailand. All of this makes Ko Lanta one of the most attractive islands and tourist destinations in southern Thailand.
In the introductory review of Ko Lanta – General & Arrival, I’ve mentioned that in terms of character, atmosphere and development level, Ko Lanta resembles Ko Chang – but in my opinion Ko Lanta beaches are far better, and the different location at Andaman sea enables high quality snorkeling and scuba diving – much better than in other areas.
In my visits to Ko Lanta over the years (last one on November 2018) I’ve started seeing the emerging development momentum – a bridge was built between Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai, roads are paved and expanded, new resorts are built, and old ones are going through renovations, new restaurants and shops are opened etc.
I have a feeling that in the next 5-10 years, Ko Lanta will change and become one of the hottest, high demand island destinations in southern Thailand, so if you would like to experience the calm, pleasant atmosphere of the island nowadays, you should probably hurry and do it in the next couple of years.
Find More Reviews on Ko Lanta
♦ For a general review on Ko Lanta
♦ For a review of Travel & Transfer in Ko Lanta
♣ Check out the attached video I took on the beaches of Ko Lanta