We almost didn’t go to Koh Lanta based on another traveler’s advice. “It’s not that great and the beaches are all rocky, not very nice.” Based on my too many hours of research of which island I wanted to go to; this feedback surprised me and made me second guess if I had chosen the right one (as if you could choose a wrong island in Thailand to visit….what a problem to have).
I asked one of the Thai guys working down by the pier in Krabi if Koh Lanta was a good island to go to. He said “I don’t know. It depends on your mind. If your mind is good, everywhere can be good. If your mind isn’t good; you won’t like it anywhere.” You’ve gotta love simple wisdom from the boat guy- and so absolutely true! I thanked him for the reminder. Later I found out that the person that told me Koh Lanta was no good had food poisoning the whole time they were there. I suspect that may have influenced their opinion.
We, on the other hand, could not have been happier there. After 1 day on the island, we both agreed that 1 more month would be nice. Although there wasn’t great snorkeling off-shore in Koh Lanta (that would have made it our next home) ….we couldn’t really find any other faults with it. Much like the rest of Thailand; the people were incredibly nice, helpful, and chill. The island was very relaxed and much larger than we had imagined (27 km long…no exploring only by foot here!). This was a blessing for me because I finally convinced Shane to rent motorbikes, which is now one of my all-time favorite things that we’ve done.
One of the great things about Koh Lanta is that it isn’t overly developed. No high-rises, no crazy clubs, and I didn’t see one Starbucks or McDonalds. The #1 thing to do there according to TripAdvisor (and me) is go relax on the beach. In my opinion, all the beaches are fantastic, but they only get more beautiful and secluded as you head south. The sand is clean, the water is clear, and no fighting for space on the sand….many of the beaches you’ll see only a few other people. And that is on the west side which is much more “developed”. On the east side, it is very with minimal accommodations. The main area on the east is called “Old Town” and after about 1 hour there, we both agreed we would like to stay in that area for at least a week. 🙂 I think that you can find beauty anywhere you go, but in Koh Lanta- you are most definitely surrounded by it….immersed in it.
The food is amazing, the accommodations are very reasonably priced, and there is one reggae bar after another to relax and listen to free live music. They love Bob Marley and Norah Jones!
I could go on and on about Koh Lanta, but to make a long story short- this island stole my heart! I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Planning a trip to Thailand? Koh Lanta is a 90-minute ferry ride from Krabi, Ao Nang, or Koh Phi Phi. Also, since Koh Lanta is an island, I was surprised to learn that you can also take a minibus from Koh Lanta to Krabi. We took this option on the way back since I get motion sickness on boats, but thanks to the completely insane driving of our minibus guy- I still got just as sick 🙂 A good option for most people though!