Koh Lanta, oh Koh Lanta… we can’t get enough of your pure beauty! Even before you set foot on this beautiful island, you’ll understand what Koh Lanta’s biggest selling point is: it’s beaches! The coastline is bordered by countless beaches, each one more gorgeous than the next. So grab your swimwear and let’s go!
Ao Nuy Beach
What? This can’t be possible; it just can’t be!
Bewildered, I looked around, amazed at the spectacle before my eyes. Behind a leafy canopy a beautiful bay unfolded – perhaps the most beautiful bay I’ve ever seen. Say hello to Ao Nuy Beach!
Green, rolling hills with jet-black rocks surround a golden, sandy beach. I raced to the beach and splashed my bare feet in the emerald blue water. When I looked around, I realized that we had this beach completely to ourselves. Amazing!
With the exception of a cute restaurant, the beach is deserted. The restaurant itself is built completely from driftwood. Here we enjoyed a delicious Pad Thai that was clearly prepared with love.
So take my advice: even if you have very little time on Koh Lanta, you must, absolutely MUST visit Ao Nuy Beach!
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
At the southernmost tip of Koh Lanta you’ll find the Mu Koh Lanta National Park, with two gorgeous beaches that you shouldn’t miss. On the one side you have a pebble beach with great snorkeling. Directly on the opposite side you’ll find a golden, sandy beach where you can have a lovely swim or enjoy a good book.
You won’t have these beaches to yourself though! Dozens of monkeys call this place their home and got their hearts set on the contents of your bag. So be sure to keep all food and drink items hidden.
On a dazzlingly beautiful cliff between the two beaches stands a beautiful, white lighthouse. Climb to the top and enjoy the view on both beaches.
To visit the National Park, you must pay an entry fee of 200 baht per person (100 baht for children), plus 40 baht for your motorbike. But it’s totally worth it – even if it’s just for the views along the route. In addition, the budget travelers tend to stay away from the national park, which means you can enjoy the beaches at your leisure!
One day we cruised along on our motorbike – until suddenly we saw this:
We quickly made an U-turn to take in the view. This scenic strip of white sand with its immense green hills is Kantiang Bay, a wonderfully peaceful bay with plenty of cosy restaurants and bars.
Sunscreen, swimwear and a towel are all you need for an awesome day at the beach.
Drive your motorbike to the south where there are a number of restaurants with amazing views over the beach. As a bonus you also get an unforgettable sunset – what more could you want?!
North of Kantiang Bay you can unwind at the Toppy Bar, with insane views of the islands landscape. Enjoy a fruit shake, unwind in one of the hammocks, swim in the pool or just relax.
Klong Khong Beach
Koh Lanta’s most laid-back beach is without a doubt Klong Khong Beach. Make no mistake: this is not a beach for swimming as there are enormous rocks on the coast. But the unique atmosphere on this beach more than makes up for it!
Chilled bars, lovely restaurants and guesthouses with bamboo huts are all available on Klong Khong. In the evenings it’s super cosy – as soon as the sun sets, the lanterns are switched on and the entire coastline is decorated with torches and red and yellow colored lights.
You won’t find club music or partygoers here. Just chilled music coming from the speakers while you relax on a hammock or lounge cushion.
At Klong Khong Beach you should definitely sleep at Bee Bee Bungalows, in one of the simple beach shacks with hammocks. A great place to eat is Sonya’s Restaurant, where you can enjoy freshly baked brown bread, pasta or godly lasagna.
Bamboo Bay Beach
Want to experience Koh Lanta how it used to be decades ago? Then go to Bamboo Bay right before the National Park in the far south of the island. It’s a spectacular, unspoiled bay where you’ll only encounter a handful of tourists.
We stayed here for a week at Baan Phu Lae Bungalows.
During your stay at these bungalows you can have a delicious breakfast on the beach. The atmosphere is good but the location is a bit remote.
So make sure that your motorbike is ready so that you can explore the island. You can rent motorbikes directly at the Saladan Pier, and it’s about 45 minutes ride from the north to the south side of the island.
Koh Lanta Old Town
Lastly, we must tell you about Koh Lanta Old Town!
On the west coast there are no beaches, but you’ll find an authentic village where you can enjoy delicious food and enjoy spectacular views of the sea.
Photo credit: INflowmotion
Koh Lanta is located on the coast of Krabi and is accessible by ferry from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, Ao Nang and the Trang Islands. Information regarding departure and arrival times of the ferry can be found here.