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The 10 Best Things To Do in Koh Lanta

Updated: Jun 20


In this travel guide, I will share with you the 10 best things to do in Koh Lanta, my favourite Thai Island. I spent 6 weeks in Koh Lanta in 2023 and then again in 2024 - and there is so much to do on the island!


If you still haven't decided which area on Koh Lanta to base yourself in, take a look at my article: Where to Stay on Koh Lanta & Lanta's Best Beaches.



 


The 10 Best Things to Do in Koh Lanta



1. Volunteer or take a tour at Lanta Animal Welfare


The best (and most wholesome) thing to do in Koh Lanta is to visit Lanta Animal Welfare.


Lanta Animal Welfare has been helping dogs and cats on the island for more than 20 years. They currently have almost 60 dogs and 12 cats yet to be adopted and are always looking for help with dog walking. I spent five weeks with them and I loved every moment, it did not feel like enough time!


The dogs can be nervous and take a while to trust you, which is why they ask for a minimum commitment of one month. If you don't have this much time to spare, consider joining them for a tour and leaving them a much-appreciated donation.


You may even end up going home with a new member of the family, as they are always looking for adopters! Make sure you book your tour beforehand as they can get extremely busy.



I Dream of Mangoes and Bill the dog
Me and Bill the dog from Lanta Animal Welfare

 


2. Learn to cook Thai food


Another amazing thing to do in Koh Lanta is to go to a cooking class! I have been to many a cooking class on my travels through Asia - and my experience at Time For Lime was by far the best.


They include free return transfers to and from your hotel, a cocktail-making class, and four Thai dishes to prepare, cook, and then eat. The experience is roughly five hours long with plenty of time to play with the dogs or jump in the pool, and the menu changes daily.


Not only that, but the ingredients are top-notch, the Chef, Noi, is super-informative and charismatic, and all of the profits go to Lanta Animal Welfare. Well worth every cent of the 2000 baht ticket price.



I Dream of Mangoes at Time for Lime cooking class
Our cooking class at Time for Lime

 

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3. Go to a Reggae gig


Reggae and all things Rasta is a recurring theme on Koh Lanta, going to see live music was one of my favourite things to do on the island. You can normally find a reggae gig somewhere every night in high season.


We went to some fantastic gigs during our time here, at Irie, Why Not Bar, and Boogie Bay Bar. Live music is often posted on the Facebook group for Koh Lanta - which I suggest joining to keep up to date with all the goings on during your stay. Most gigs are free entry but there may be a small cover charge if the band is well known. You can expect this to be 100-300 baht.



Britani and Joe at Rasta Chill
There are many Reggae themed bars on Koh Lanta


 


4. Lanta Open Air Cinema

*Lanta Open Air Cinema did not open for the 24/24 season. This post will be updated when they make their announcements for the 24/25 season.


Another of my favourite things to do in Koh Lanta was to visit the Lanta open-air cinema. Operating in the high season from December to April, you only need to pay 100 baht for a season ticket and you can go to the flicks as many times as you like!


They have two showings each evening apart from Sundays, with comfy loungers, a cute bar serving beer and food, and a set up for the occasional live music gig. The space is impressive and the showings change daily. You can find their weekly fixtures on their Facebook page here.



 


5. Scuba Diving


There are heaps of dive shops in Koh Lanta, but being a nervous diver I tend to only book with PADI 5* Dive Centres. I chose to go with Dive and Relax - as they emphasised small groups and had great reviews.


We went to a dive site at Koh Haa so that Joe could enjoy a guided snorkel while I was diving, and it was a truly memorable experience. Dive and Relax were super warm and professional, and we saw turtles, lionfish, cuttlefish, beautiful soft coral, and a sea snake! A fabulous experience. One day of diving including equipment and lunch was 3500 baht.



 


6. Following Giants


Following Giants is one of the few no-touch elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, and they are certainly leading by example. It is so great to see the ex-working elephants living their best lives in the forest and doing whatever they damn well please - under the guidance of their ever-watchful mahouts, who make sure they have enough to eat and do not wander into private property.


We did the 2-hour program for 1500THB which included a hotel pick-up, a short introduction and then a walk through the forest to observe the elephants from a safe distance.



Elephant swimming
Natural bath time for the elephants of Following Giants

 

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7. Hit the Beach! (Sunbathe, frolic, volleyball, swim, kayak, & SUP)


While Lanta may not have the powder-white sand of other Thai islands, there isn't really much you can complain about. The west side of the island has nine beautiful stretches of sand to choose from, most of them great for swimming too. (Some are a little rocky).


Our favourites were Beautiful Beach, Long Beach, Klong Nin.


A mesmerising sunset each evening is guaranteed, and there are plenty of places to rent SUPs and kayaks so you can watch the colours from the water. Expect to pay about 200 baht per hour to rent a paddleboard or kayak and volleyball nets can be found on Long Beach.



Sunset on Long Beach Koh Lanta
Sunset on Long Beach

 


8. Bars & Restaurants


There is a huge range of dining and drinking options on Koh Lanta. Some of my favourite bars are: Why Not Bar (Kantiang Bay), Pangea (Long Beach), Sanctuary (Long Beach), Korner Bar (Relax Bay), and Boogie Bay Bar (Klong Dao).


For info on all the best places to eat on the island, head over to my article: The Best Restaurants in Koh Lanta.



Cocktails at Why Not Bar
Cocktails at Why Not Bar

 


9. Yoga


If you would like to stretch it out and drop in to a Vinyasa class, head to Oasis Yoga on Klong Dao. They offer four classes a day in the high season and a variety of styles. One class is 500 baht, or multi-class passes are available.



 


10. 4-Island Tour or Stop-over on the Trang Islands


This is the most popular thing to do on Koh Lanta - and most travel agents offer a version of the very popular 4-island tour - which is a package excursion including two-way hotel transfers, a longtail boat stopping at four Trang islands, snorkelling and gear, a guided swim into the emerald cave of Koh Mook, and a Thai buffet lunch on the beach of Koh Ngai.


The price for this is between 750 and 1400 baht depending on your bartering skills. It's excellent value and a great way to see some of the Trang islands if you have little time to spare. It can feel a little sheep-herdy - especially when you have to 'swim-queue' with a hundred people or so to see the no-longer-secret emerald lagoon.


The small islands of Koh Ngai and Koh Kradan are truly breathtaking, it's well worth arranging another trip to stay overnight. Speedboats cost 900 baht per person each way and accommodation in the Trang Islands can be found on booking.com.



Exploring the Trang Islands by Longtail
Exploring the Trang Islands by Longtail

 


Thank you for reading my post on things to do in Koh Lanta! If you enjoyed the read please consider subscribing to my blog for more posts on Thailand and the rest of the world!

If you're planning to visit Thailand as part of a wider trip, check out my article on planning an adventure around the world.


Happy Travels

xx



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I Dream of Mangoes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. That being said, I only link to products I use and love.

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