South East Asia is one of my favourite places to travel. The food is delicious, the people are friendly and it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! No trip to South East Asia would be complete without a few weeks (or months if you’re lucky enough) in Thailand.
Thailand can be crazy! Once you have had enough of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and partied till sunrise at a full moon party on Koh Phangan, make your way to Koh Lanta for some much need rest and relaxation.
Koh Lanta is an island 70kms south of Krabi. This isn’t the place to party – it’s super chilled and you can just spend your days cruising the coast line and hanging out on the beach. The best way to get there is by boat from Krabi or Phuket. Once you’ve worked out how you’re getting there (and you should go!), here are some of my tips for a great day:
The first thing you need to do is find yourself a scooter. Scooter are available to rent for around 250THB ($8 AUD) per day. This is by far the best way to explore the island. Head south, escape the crowds and see what Thai beaches in Phuket must have looked like 10-20 years ago. No big resorts, no constant buzzing of jet-skis, just undeveloped and untouched island vibes.
Once you’ve got yourself a scooter, its time for breakfast. Some of our favourite places for breakfast were Peak Café and Drunken Sailors. These are also the best places to get coffee on the island, along with Shanti Shanti. I personally recommend you try the traditional Thai iced coffee – which will help you beat the heat and kick-start your day.
Once you’ve fueled up with coffee and food (and petrol in your scooter), start your journey south down the coast. There is really only one main road in Koh Lanta, so stick to it and its hard (but not impossible) to get lost. On your way down the island, some of the best beaches include:
Nui Beach. Pull up on the side of the road, and make your way down a little path through the jungle to the beach. If you’re lucky (like us) you’ll have the entire beach to yourself. There is no bar or restaurant here, just you and the ocean and a few huts to hide from the sun if you need. If you need a refreshment, Diamond Cliff Restaurant is a good option, which has an amazing view of the beach.
Keep heading south and you’ll reach Nui Bay Beach. You might find more people here as there is one beach bar serving cold beers and amazing fresh juices. Grab a coconut, open up a book and relax.
Further south and you’ll eventually come to Bamboo Beach and Bamboo Bay, two more perfect untouched beaches to explore.
In between beach hopping, a great option for lunch is Pad Thai Rock and Roll. It is one of the best ‘one wok’ places on the island, serving traditional Thai food. The panang curry was a hit with our friends, and the fresh juices to wash it down…yum!
Finish your day with cocktails at Majestic Bar, a laid back beach bar serving delicious cocktails where you can watch the sub disappear over the ocean.
If you’re looking for a great activity on Koh Lanta, on way to give back to the island that has so much to offer is visiting the Koh Lanta Animal Rescue. They are doing great work rehabilitating and finding homes for stray animals on the island. Helping them out is a no-brainer! Donations are welcome, but not necessary and you can provide non-monetary help by taking the dogs for a walk along the beach. We’re not sure who had more fun, us or the dogs (see below).
Hope you enjoy Koh Lanta as much as we did!
By Emma van der Meer from @vandermeerkat