Located near Krabi is a wonderful idyllic island called Koh Lanta.
Unlike its neighboring islands, which are popular amongst tourists, Koh Lanta is a place where you can relax and fall asleep in the many picture perfect hammock spots as you gaze out to a long stretch of white sand beaches. Although Koh Lanta is slowly becoming more and more developed, there are still loads of amazing secluded beaches which you can find.
So, apart from lying down and staring at the crystal clear waters, what else is there to do in this island? Here are our top picks for adventurous activities and things to in Koh Lanta.
- 1 Explore the Underwater World and Go Diving in Koh Lanta
- 2 Become One with Nature and Go Trekking in Koh Lanta
- 3 Discover the Khao Mai Kaew Caves in Koh Lanta
- 4 Try Your Luck at Big Game Fishing in Koh Lanta
- 5 Have Group War Games at Lanta Paintball
- 6 Go Snorkeling and Boating in Koh Lanta
- 7 Hit the Water and Explore by Kayak
- 8 Live Like a Castaway As You Go Camping in Koh Lanta
- 9 Hang Out in the Thung Yee Pheng Mangrove Forest
- 10 Where to Stay in Koh Lanta
Explore the Underwater World and Go Diving in Koh Lanta
What better way to fully see and experience an island than by exploring its rich marine life?
If you love being underwater, you’re in luck as Koh Lanta has a lot of hidden gem dive sites waiting to be explored. One of the most beautiful areas to dive is Koh Haa Marine Park, which is renowned in Koh Lanta and Phi Phi.
Located within this marine park are five beautiful rock formations which hold a variety of different dive sites. The dives vary in difficulty, with easy scenic dives in the lagoon all the way to stunning cave dives out by Koh Haa 5.
Other interesting points of interest is the wreck dive King Cruiser which allows you to explore the car ferry which sank around 10 miles of Phi Phi Island. Apart from that, you can also reach the tsunami memorial which was laid down by Tonsai Bay to remember those that were affected by the devastating tsunami that swept the shores of Thailand.
Become One with Nature and Go Trekking in Koh Lanta
Due to its geographical location, there are many hidden treks and paths which you can take around the island of Koh Lanta.
One of the most frequented is within the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, located in the southern tip of the island. The entrance fee for the National Park costs 200 Baht per person. Some paths will take you anywhere from an hour to two, depending on the pace that you choose. Don’t forget to make it to the lighthouse for some scenic shots!
With the entrance fee, you can access two beaches by the Tanod Cape as well as trek through the lush forest. From there, you can also head to the waterfalls at Klong Jak but based from what we hear, it really isn’t much water in the falls unless its rainy season.
Discover the Khao Mai Kaew Caves in Koh Lanta
If you head towards Klong Nin Village, there is a series of caves all connected to each other right on the center of the island called Mai Kaew caves.
If you rent a motorbike around the island, you will see the caves clearly marked on the map that they hand out. Note that you will need to hire a guide to take you inside the caves as it is so easy to get lost inside these series of caverns. The family that lives near the entrance would be more than happy to take you through the cave for a fee (It was around 300 Baht, the last we heard).
Armed with nothing but a headlamp, you enter this cave and squeeze through tiny nooks and crannies, navigate your way through slippery rocks and climb rickety ladders and broken bamboo bridges. Sounds exciting enough for you?
Please be warned that this is not for the faint of heart and the claustrophobic as the caves can be quite narrow. You will even have to crawl your way out at some point.
Our advice? Bring a small backpack and have a bottle of water with you as well as a change of shoes, in case yours decides to break (spoken from experience).
Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to check out our guide on What to Pack for Thailand!
Try Your Luck at Big Game Fishing in Koh Lanta
Now, I know you’re thinking fishing doesn’t exactly qualify as an adventurous activity. However, if you’re fishing for large fish (I’m talking monster-sized beasts), I would say that would be pretty adventurous.
From Koh Lanta, you can head to Koh Ha or Koh Rok to try your luck in catching large tunas, barracudas, trevallies, or even sailfish.
If you want to take it a step further, you can also arrange for a night fishing tour around the islands. (Although there are multiple companies offering fishing tours, we’ve recently heard from friend’s that this is illegal to do in some areas. Best to inquire about this with the tour operators!)
Have Group War Games at Lanta Paintball
During our recent trip to Koh Lanta, one of the best things that we did was paint balling — it was such good fun!
Located along the main road, the Lanta Paintball is a well-run establishment where you can easily spend an afternoon hanging out. You can do target practice, engage in group war games, and even use their bouldering wall (indoor rock climbing) within the premises. Although the court is small, the obstacles and bunkers that they have laid out is pretty fun once the game gets going.
The activity is perfect for groups of friends or families. The owners, Sarah and Andre, are super awesome and if you book it ahead of time, you can even rent out the whole place (Andre makes a mean bbq dinner).
During high season, they often have competitions and promos running so be sure to drop by to see what’s going on.
Go Snorkeling and Boating in Koh Lanta
For those of you who love the underwater marine life but aren’t avid divers, don’t fret as Koh Lanta has loads of snorkeling possibilities for you to see the marine life.
The Andaman Sea where Koh Lanta is located boasts of many awesome spots. You can get on a boat and explore the Koh Haa Lagoon (in the National Park), or even Koh Bida and Hin Bida reefs. A lot of the reefs around Koh Lanta are pretty shallow, making it easy for snorkelers to enjoy.
If you prefer having some guidance on the best places to snorkel, a snorkel excursion is your best bet!
If you want to hit two birds with one stone, opt to go boating around the island. Two popular trips being offered by the many tour operators around the island is a four island tour plus a side trip to the Emerald cave on Koh Muk; and a trip to Koh Rok island includes a few hours of snorkeling as you go around.
Hit the Water and Explore by Kayak
For a fun, active day out in the sun, try a full-day kayak tour where you can discover the areas around Koh Lanta.
On this kayak tour, you’ll get to explore Koh Phee (aka Ghost Island) and explore its caves via kayak. Your second stop will be at Koh Talabeng, where you’ll get two hours to kayak, take in some rays on the beach, and have a leisurely lunch (included in the package). Your last kayaking trip of the day will be to Prasart Cave where the long-tail boat will meet you for the journey back to Koh Lanta.
What a perfect way to spend the day!
Live Like a Castaway As You Go Camping in Koh Lanta
Although you aren’t exactly going to be roughing it out, you can enjoy the beauty of Koh Lanta by opting to go camping while you’re on the island.
If you didn’t bring a tent with you, do not fret, a lot of tour companies offer this activity and provide you with full camping equipment, dinner by the beach, and the boat to the beach or cove. Watch the sun go down and watch it rise again the next morning as you start a new day.
For those who have their own camping gear, we heard that you can go and camp by Sunset Beach at the far end of the island, around 3km from Koh Lanta National Park. Make sure that you bring enough supplies for your trip. Also, do your research to find out if you need to pay any camping fees.
Hang Out in the Thung Yee Pheng Mangrove Forest
For those who are tired of the beach scenery, add some variety by hanging out at the Thung Yee Pheng Mangrove Forest located on the northeast coast of the island.
Covered in a serene yet tranquil sea of mangroves, this place is a quiet retreat where you can interact with locals in the homestay or even kayak around the rivers and streams. You can rent a kayak right by the gate for around 500 Baht or opt to rent a long tail boat to cruise you along the river. Although kayaking through the mangroves may not necessarily be adventurous, it is still loads of fun as you find yourself navigating your way through the tree-infested waters.
Located around the area are homestays where you can kick it back with locals and get to know more about their culture and life there. If you are thinking of doing this, go directly to the place rather than booking the experience through an agent. It would be much cheaper and you would be able to negotiate a better deal.
Where to Stay in Koh Lanta
As like most places in Thailand, there are loads of places to choose from when deciding where to stay. Listed below are our personal recommendations, which vary according to travel budget and style. You can also check out our full guide to the best places to stay in Koh Lanta.
Budget: Hey Beach Hostel
This fun hostel is one of the best places to stay in Koh Lanta, if you’re looking for something affordable which is still close to the beach. Their location is fantastic and the vibe in the hostel is very cool.
If you want to meet people, this hostel is very social and perfect for those traveling by themselves. The common areas are also a nice place to hang out. Apart from clean rooms, they also offer large lockers where you can safely keep all your belongings.
Mid-Range: Mook Lanta Eco Resort
The Mook Lanta Eco Resort can be found between a tropical rainforest and the Andaman Sea. With a fan rooms, AC bungalows and family rooms, there’s something for every type of traveler.
While the rooms are basic and are Thai-style, the resort has a fantastic location right by the beach. Please do note that during the summer months, it might be worth to pay a bit more for an AC room.
Splurge: Alama Sea Village Resort
Looking for a peaceful getaway on Koh Lanta? This is your spot. The Alama Sea Village Resort is perfect for those that are looking for a nice, chilled out place to relax in. While this resort ocated in the far end of where most things are, it’s so awesome that you won’t want to venture out anyway!
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with a nature-theme designed. If you can, request for the upper rooms with a view as they are just fantastic! You can spend the day just chilling on the resort, or head down to the beach which is hardly ever full. The beach also has a few bars and restaurants, making it an ideal location.
Luxury: Crown Lanta Resort & Spa
Last but not least, having personally experienced the hospitality of staying at Crown Lanta, we will go as far as saying that this is really one of THE best places to stay on in Koh Lanta.
Nestled on a cliffside property, they have a great pool as well as a private beach where you can watch the sun go down. The resort has two pools, a fitness center, and ocean villas with stunning views of the ocean. Oh, did I mention that they also have a reggae bar situated right by the beach?
The service of the staff and the overall quality of the rooms and facilities make staying at Crown Lanta worth every penny.
Read our full experience staying at Crown Lanta Resort & Spa.
For those of you looking to do less adventurous activities in Koh Lanta, there are also loads of chilled out hammock spots, yoga retreat centers, cafes and beach bars where you can practice the “Art of Doing Nothing” (something I have become very good at through my days of traveling around the region!).
So what are you waiting for? Your hammock awaits!
Looking for other exciting things to do while in Thailand? Check out our other adventure reviews
- Crazy Diving with Bull Sharks in Koh Phangan, Thailand
- Riding the Mae Hong Son Loop Review
- The Crazy Challenge Phangan in Thailand Review
- Trekking in Chiang Mai Thailand