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The Complete Guide to Koh Lanta


Location, food, beaches, good vibes — Koh Lanta has it all (except for crowds and tourist traps). One of Thailand's most underrated isles, Koh Lanta is in a sweet spot somewhere between on and off the radar. It's quiet enough to enjoy some downtime, but still has plenty to do, eat, see, and explore.

At the northern end of Lanta Yai (the big sister of the Lanta islands), Avani+ Koh Lanta Krabi Resort assumes a rocky and secluded perch. When you're not lazing on its private beach or sipping cocktails by the pool, here are some fun Koh Lanta things to do.

If You Like Artsy Things...

The beach at Koh Lanta.

Koh Lanta has its fair share of local and expat artists and artisans. Head to the Old Town fishing village to browse cute wooden shophouses for handicrafts, jewellery, clothing, and original art. Scooter around to the island's art shops and studios, like Lanta Art Gallery, Art Home Gallery, 789 Gallery, and Silvergypsy.

For Thai trinkets and culture (and street-food snacks), hit the night markets near the pier from October to March. Or if you're game for something more permanent, how about a little body art? Browse the tattoo studios along the main road for all sorts of bamboo and machine designs.

For Feel-Good & Wellness Activities…

The entrance sign for Avani Spa.

Thailand sure knows how to spa, so a massage is a must. Opt for a traditional Thai massage, reflexology, a body scrub, a facial or all of the above at Avani Spa. Or take to the outdoors for some old-fashioned walks along the beach. Long Beach has nearly 3 kilometres of golden sand, and dawn and dusk draw out the beach walkers. Bring some water and a towel for a spontaneous dip in Andaman waters.

If you're missing your furry friends back home, Lanta Animal Welfare's got a feel-good activity that flows both ways. Book a tour of the grounds, pet the puppies, play with the kitties, and get your dose of cuteness for the day (while doing a good deed).

If You Like Nature…

A hornbill resting on a branch. Koh Lanta's stunning natural landscapes are hard to ignore, all those majestic jungle mountains, lush mangroves, and long beaches (including one that is literally called Long Beach). Hike a trail through the national park at the southern tip of the island, and spot macaques and hornbills. Kayak (or long-tail boat) through the mangroves in the east, for mudskippers, monkeys, and monitor lizards. And if you're a diver, enjoy easy access to the Koh Bida limestone islands, a dive spot with a big reef wall and potential whale shark sightings.

For Music and Dancing

The Reggae Bar at Avani+ Koh Lanta.

You won't find any nightclubs in Koh Lanta — that's more of a Phuket and Koh Samui thing. The music scene on the island is more your reggae and beach bar vibe, where you post up in a beanbag or a bamboo pavilion listening to good tunes. If you like sunset, there's Avani+ Koh Lanta's The Reggae Bar on the rocks that has some of the island's best views. Or for something more upbeat, head to Long Beach, where you'll find barefoot bars with daily sunset beats and weekly parties.

For live music, follow the main road and you're sure to find lots of little bars with local bands, DJ sets, and happy people. Or head to Freedom Beach (Klong Khong), and find an enclave of laidback hippie bars.

Places for Foodies

The Cliff at Avani+ Koh Lanta.

Call us biased, but there's no topping The Cliff for a buffet breakfast with a view. Wake up to the sea breeze and Andaman panoramas, with fresh coffee, waffles, eggs, and whatever else your heart desires. If you're up for an overwater lunch, head to the old town, find an overwater restaurant and drink in hazy island views.

For all sorts of international cuisine, the main road takes you on a gastronomic journey. Take your pick of Greek, vegan, brunch food, seafood, Italian, burgers, curries, and more. Or head to the shoreline for an endless array of beach eats and bucket drinks. Hang around after sunset and you're guaranteed the quintessential Thai beach experience: an after-dinner fire show.