Travel: Koh Lanta – Thailand’s hidden treasure

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KohLantaThailand is well-worn territory for international travelers. From the bustling hive of Bangkok to the crystal beaches of Phuket, it’s all been done before. But one place has remained off the beaten track. This is Koh Lanta, in the southern region of Krabi.

Koh Lanta has long been a favorite of backpackers and other low-budget travelers, but in the last few years it has started to go up-market, adding a handful of four and five star hotels. It is, however, still among the most well-preserved parts of Thailand today, with pristine beaches and authentic local culture, as of yet unspoiled by mass tourism.

Koh Lanta consists of two islands that form a peninsula: Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai. Lanta Noi is the smaller island and has no tourist facilities. Lanta Yai is more populated but is still remote. The beaches on these islands are so untouched that you can walk down them for miles without seeing other tourists. The coastal waters provide some of the best diving and snorkeling in the region, with colonies of tropical fish teeming in vast unpolluted stretches of shoreline.

The western coast of Lanta Yai is particularly inviting for tourists. The water there is clear and warm and there are several beachfront resorts where visitors can enjoy the sunset. Most of these resorts are small, family-operated affairs that are far enough away from each other to provide a high degree of privacy and solitude. These beach bungalows are typically constructed of natural materials like hard woods, bamboo, and stones, and nestled in the shade of palm trees. Some of them even offer air-conditioning, internet access, television, hot tubs, and showers, but most of them do not.

thailand-koh-lantaDespite the relative lack of modern comforts, there is still plenty to do at night on the western coast of Lanta Yai. Most of the resorts have bars with wild local cocktails and feature a musical or performance act in the evenings. But even the ones that do not are close enough to villages with colorful nightlife that you are never isolated, unless you want to be.

Koh Lanta is no longer just a haven for rugged travelers, though you can still find that there. Generally speaking, the northern end of Koh Lanta, near and in Saladan Town, is for holiday pleasure seekers. Saladan Town features numerous tour agents, places to rent boats, diving services, restaurants, ritzy hotels, and plenty of souvenir shops.

The southern end is where you find the authentic experience. There are no high-end hotels or fancy restaurants, and you might want to either learn a little Thai or hire a guide. But there are not many better places to catch a true glimpse of the country.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand is well-worn territory for international travelers. From the bustling hive of Bangkok to the crystal beaches of Phuket, it’s all been done before. But one place has remained off the beaten track. This is Koh Lanta, in the southern region of Krabi.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

KohLantaThailand is well-worn territory for international travelers. From the bustling hive of Bangkok to the crystal beaches of Phuket, it’s all been done before. But one place has remained off the beaten track. This is Koh Lanta, in the southern region of Krabi.

Koh Lanta has long been a favorite of backpackers and other low-budget travelers, but in the last few years it has started to go up-market, adding a handful of four and five star hotels. It is, however, still among the most well-preserved parts of Thailand today, with pristine beaches and authentic local culture, as of yet unspoiled by mass tourism.

Koh Lanta consists of two islands that form a peninsula: Lanta Noi and Lanta Yai. Lanta Noi is the smaller island and has no tourist facilities. Lanta Yai is more populated but is still remote. The beaches on these islands are so untouched that you can walk down them for miles without seeing other tourists. The coastal waters provide some of the best diving and snorkeling in the region, with colonies of tropical fish teeming in vast unpolluted stretches of shoreline.

The western coast of Lanta Yai is particularly inviting for tourists. The water there is clear and warm and there are several beachfront resorts where visitors can enjoy the sunset. Most of these resorts are small, family-operated affairs that are far enough away from each other to provide a high degree of privacy and solitude. These beach bungalows are typically constructed of natural materials like hard woods, bamboo, and stones, and nestled in the shade of palm trees. Some of them even offer air-conditioning, internet access, television, hot tubs, and showers, but most of them do not.

thailand-koh-lantaDespite the relative lack of modern comforts, there is still plenty to do at night on the western coast of Lanta Yai. Most of the resorts have bars with wild local cocktails and feature a musical or performance act in the evenings. But even the ones that do not are close enough to villages with colorful nightlife that you are never isolated, unless you want to be.

Koh Lanta is no longer just a haven for rugged travelers, though you can still find that there. Generally speaking, the northern end of Koh Lanta, near and in Saladan Town, is for holiday pleasure seekers. Saladan Town features numerous tour agents, places to rent boats, diving services, restaurants, ritzy hotels, and plenty of souvenir shops.

The southern end is where you find the authentic experience. There are no high-end hotels or fancy restaurants, and you might want to either learn a little Thai or hire a guide. But there are not many better places to catch a true glimpse of the country.

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