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Where to Stay on Koh Lanta & Koh Lanta's Best Beaches 2024/25

Updated: Jun 20


In this travel guide for Koh Lanta, we will go over the best areas to stay on the island, as well as all of Koh Lanta's best beaches! This knowledge is based on my experience of spending 6 weeks in Koh Lanta in 2023, and again in 2024.



CONTENTS




 


About Koh Lanta


Koh Lanta is in the Malacca Strait on the West coast of Thailand, between the Phi Phi Islands and the mainland – and it is technically in Krabi province. The fact that Lanta is a little further and a bit out-of-the-way has shielded it from the mass tourism that saturates Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, and Koh Samui.


I LOVE Koh Lanta, it is my favourite Thai island and discovering its charm has completely reinstated my love for Thailand. With its chilled-out vibe and mix of age groups in tourists, you won't find the full moon/stag party types, but you will get to enjoy an eclectic nightlife scene with live music (normally reggae) most nights.


On top of all of that, you also have the fantastic work of Lanta Animal Welfare – which means all of the animals on the island are happy too!


Check out my full travel guide for Koh Lanta and the Trang Islands here – and make sure to check out my previous article for all the best things to do in Koh Lanta!


For this guide to where to stay on Koh Lanta, I am specifically talking about Koh Lanta Yai (South) which is where all of Lanta's tourism is based, as opposed to the less-developed, mangrove-tangled Koh Lanta Noi (North).



I Dream of Mangoes on the rope swing of Koh Ngai
The rope swing of Koh Ngai

 


Getting Around Koh Lanta


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through this website, at no extra cost to you. I only link to products and services that I use and love.

Most of the best areas to stay in Koh Lanta are on the West side of the island - with the majority of the action clustered in the northern half, a space which is collectively known as Sala Dan (not to be confused with Sala Dan Village).


Koh Lanta is quite a big island, and it would take you about 1 hour to drive from the northern tip to the southern point, which is where you'll find Mu Ko Lanta National Park. Due to the presence of the National Park, you can not circumnavigate the island completely - but rather you would need to zig-zag using the very limited cross-island roads.


If you are not willing to drive a moped, you're probably going to want to stay in the Sala Dan area, so you can walk to the beach and a variety of restaurants, or have access to ample tuk-tuks. There is no public transport on Koh Lanta, and tuk-tuks charge per person, and they're not very cheap either.


If you are willing to drive a moped you will have a much easier time, and depending on your negotiation skills the price will be 150-200 baht per day (£4-6).


You will see loads of little stalls selling petrol for 40 baht per bottle, but I implore you to head to a proper petrol station up in Klong Dao, where the fuel is less than half the price and isn't watered down.


The roads are crappy on Koh Lanta so it is best to wear a helmet, although most people don't. Accidents happen every day, almost every single person we met in our 3 months on Koh Lanta had been in a motorbike accident at some point or another, and while most of them only suffered minor scrapes you really don't want to be the unlucky one whose entire face is scraped off by the hot gravel (as happened to someone recently in Phi Phi).



Joe on our rented scooter in Koh Lanta
Joe on our cute rented scooter

 


Where to Stay on Koh Lanta



Klong Nin –

Best for couples, beach bums + people who like a chilled vibe.


The area around Klong Nin Beach is, in my opinion, the best area to stay in on Koh Lanta. The beach is stunning, the water is clear and rock-free and the vibe is oh-so-chill. There are no wild party nights here, just laid-back beach bars, a few restaurants, a food market and some cute boutiques. If you only had a week or two on Koh Lanta, you could easily spend it in Klong Nin and have everything you need.


If you are staying on the island for longer and still want to base yourself in the area of Klong Nin, you're looking at a 20-minute drive by moped or tuk-tuk to the 'main hub', which is just far enough away from the rabble for those seeking an 'untouched paradise' experience.



 


Klong Dao –

Best for families.


If you have kids and/or are looking for something with a more resorty feel, then the area around Klong Dao Beach is perfect for you. This is where you'll find the big supermarket with international supplies (and decent bread!), the yoga shala, a huge array of beach-side restaurants, and being near the international school most expats with kids live in this area too – so there are lots of child-centric activities. The beach is massive and pretty nice too.



Britani at Coco Loco Bar on Klong Dao
Britani at Coco Loco Bar on Klong Dao

 


Phra Ae (Long Beach) –

Best for solo travellers, backpackers and pedestrians.


Phra Ae, or Long Beach, could be considered the main strip of Koh Lanta – and its central location is ideal for those who do not want to rent a scooter. It gets pretty busy here in the peak of the high season, and the 7/11 here is akin to a nightclub most nights with all the party-goers stopping in for their 3am cheese toasties!


If you are backpacking, staying near Long Beach gives you the most opportunity to meet people, and most of the parties are based around this area (or Relax Bay/Klong Kong – which are both nearby).


There are 7 bars that own each 'party night' – Fusion on Fridays, Korner on Saturdays, Ozone on Sundays, Pangea on Tuesdays – you get the idea – and they are almost all near the Long Beach area.



 



Kantiang Bay –

Best for nature lovers who prefer to be off the beaten path.


Kantiang Bay is a 40-minute drive from Sala Dan, towards the southern tip of Koh Lanta near the National Park. If you want that off-the-beaten-path, rugged jungle-meets-beach feel – then Kantiang Bay is for you.


There are a handful of luxury resorts as well as modest beach bungalows, a few eateries, and for the occasional night out, the brilliant 'Why Not' Bar. Kantiang Bay will take you away from the crowds and offer you a little Thai paradise more or less all to yourself.



Following Giants Elephant Sanctuary Koh Lanta
Following Giants Elephant Sanctuary is near Kantiang Bay

 


Not sure what to pack for your trip to Thailand? Check out the I Dream of Mangoes article:



 


Two of my Thailand Essentials:
Zinc Sunblock – This one is reef-safe, sweat-free, and it lasts forever!
Water Shoes – Perfect for hot sand, rocky shores, and extra grip when paddle-boarding!


 


Koh Lanta's Best Beaches


Koh Lanta's western coast is lined with 9 beaches, whereas the eastern coast is full of mangroves and small villages. Some of Koh Lanta's beaches are better than others, and after 3 months over two trips to the island, these are our favourites:



Klong Nin –

Best for swimming and sunbathing (and it's the most beautiful!)


I have been to all 9 beaches along Koh Lanta's western coast and Klong Nin is my favourite. It is kept impeccably clean but the smattering of humble beach bars, the water is perfect for swimming as there are hardly any rocks, and for some reason, there seem to be fewer jellyfish there (I have no idea why). The warm water is crystal clear and on a calm day, you can bob around for hours.



Relax Bay –

Best for paddle-boarding and a few beers.


Relax Bay or Relax Beach may not look like much, it is one of the smaller beaches and the sea is quite rocky, however for some reason the evening vibes here are just always on point. It is where we spent most nights when we just wanted a few beers – either at Korner Bar or 'Up to You' Bar. This is also where all the Lanta Animal Welfare dogs get their morning walks which is a really cute thing to watch!


Lay-lae Bar on Relax Bay also has some really decent paddle-boards to rent for 250 baht per hour, where you can SUP along to nearby Secret Beach!



I Dream of Mangoes SUP at Relax Beach Koh Lanta
SUP at Relax Beach


Beautiful Beach –

Best for watching the sunset.


'Oh So Beautiful' Beach is the best beach in Koh Lanta for watching the sunset. It is completely undeveloped, with just one little hut selling beers and a small massage area up on the grass behind. It is rocky in some places but still a really nice beach to swim at, where you can then dry off and watch one of Lanta's stunning sunsets.


This is a popular sunset spot so there is always a beautiful atmosphere, and the grass lawns behind Beautiful Beach sometimes serve as a ground for festivals and concerts - so do keep an eye on posters dotted around town for upcoming events!



Beautiful Beach at sunset Koh Lanta
Beautiful Beach at sunset


Phra Ae (Long Beach) –

Best for beach walks.


Phra Ae Beach, also known as Long Beach, is a 5km long stretch of sand right in the main hub of Koh Lanta. Even though this is a busier stretch of the island, the beach is so lengthy it doesn't ever feel crowded. It is perfect for a morning jog or a long beach stroll, with volleyball nets about halfway up for those who are into beach sports.



Klong Dao –

Best for families


Klong Dao is actually a really nice beach it is just a little over-developed and resorty for my taste, but ideal for those looking for more comfort, activities for children, and more diverse evening entertainment e.g. the local Elvis impersonator!



*Do not get Nui Beach and Nui Bay confused, they are in totally different areas. Nui Bay is way South towards the National Park and is much nicer, Nui Beach is an unmaintained 'once beautiful' cove that is now sadly full of trash.



 

FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE for Koh Lanta I suggest browsing on Travel Supermarket for so many GREAT DEALS and choosing a cheap policy with a high Defaqto rating. I have never paid more than £400 for 2 people for a 12 month policy covering the whole world!


 


For more Koh Lanta info check out my articles:


&



 


Thank you for reading this travel guide to the best places to stay in Koh Lanta and all about Koh Lanta's best beaches!


If you enjoyed the read, please consider subscribing to my blog where I post articles once per week filled with travel tips, inspiration, and stories from my adventures around the world.


Happy Travels

xx



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Disclosure:
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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