One of the bigger islands on the west coast of Thailand and sandwiched between Koh Phi Phi and the mainland, Koh Lanta was one of my favourite islands we visited during our time in SE Asia.
We travelled to Koh Lanta from Koh Phi Phi by boat; costing 200 baht per person, we bought our tickets from one of the street-side travel agents in Phi Phi - be prepared to haggle for a good price! The journey only took an hour, and once we were off the boat we hopped in a taxi to our hotel.
Most people we met here were just staying for a few days, but with time on our side and the desire to completely chill, we decided to stay on the island for a full week. Our time was split between three hotels; firstly Lanta Fevrier Resort, where we stayed for four nights. We paid £30 a night here in high season, and it was worth every penny. It had just been newly renovated, with clean, fresh rooms and a great pool. We then stayed in Lanta Sand Resort (after being recommended it by a friend) for a couple of nights of luxury. This cost a little more at £40 a night, but with a gorgeous room with an outside shower, two hotel pools and direct beach access it was a dream! We spent our last night on Koh Lanta at Lanta Just Come; a bargain at £12 a night. It was clean, had a comfortable bed, television and a decent bathroom; a very good cheaper option.
Relax bay became our favourite beach spot on Koh Lanta. It wasn't a swimming beach as it was pretty rocky in places, but it was so beautiful and a great spot to relax with a drink or two. There are some really great beach bars here which offer a great sunset spot, as well as some late night drinking spots like Fusion Bar. We ate a lovely lunch at Relax Bay Resort; a bit on the pricey side (for a traveller budget!) but delicious and amazing views. Moloko is a beautiful sunbathing spot; drinks and food in the most blissful location.
Kantiang bay, on the southwest of the island, makes a great scooter trip destination! A little hub of restaurants and bars, with some nice sunbathing spots. We spent a couple of hours chilling on Bakantiang Beach, dipping in the sea (beware of the rocks!) and having a cheeky beer at one of the bars overlooking the fishing boats. Be sure to eat at Phad Thai Rock n Roll if you come down here! I also heard good things about Drunken Sailors, unfortunately it was shut whilst we were on the island.
Lanta Old Town - be sure to visit the Old Town on the east coast, and stop off at the View Point Restaurant on your way (its on the road through the centre of the island, the 4245) for great views of the island and further. Once you get to the Old Town, park up at the top of the main street and work your way down, stopping to look at all the lovely souvenir shops on your way. It's a great place to eat fresh fish; order a whole fish with a side of morning glory and steamed rice to make a delicious meal for two. We ate at The Royal Cuisine which has a lovely decked area out on to the water.
Koh Lanta National Park. I'll put my hands up here and admit that we were chased away from here my monkeys. Yes, monkeys. We met people who hiked here, saw amazing wildlife and beautiful rain forest. Unfortunately we were confronted by about twelve macaques and flight won over fight. We'd heard about monkeys attacking tourists and staff looking on in amusement, so rather than be the next bit of entertainment we made a speedy u-turn and sped away! If you go, do tell me what we missed!
Where we ate...
Phad Thai Rock n Roll - For the best phad thai I ate in Thailand! And super affordable.
Greek Taverna - Who'd have thought it? Great Greek food in a beautiful beach setting. Beware, big portions!
Shanti Shanti - There are two of these on the island (not linked), the one we ate at was right near Lanta Fevrier Resort where we stayed, on Klong Nin beach. Amazing French food, wine and burgers.
Yang Garden - Rated #1 on TripAdvisor for a reason! What an amazing meal; scallops, tuna steak, duck breast... make sure you try the feta and pumpkin as a side dish. Oh and the brown butter ice-cream is the stuff of dreams! Be sure to book a table and bring a bit more cash than you would normally for a meal in Thailand, but I promise it will be worth it.
Peak Cafe - The place to go for delicious breakfasts (think french toast with banana and caramel) and sandwiches on Koh Lanta. Oh and the coffee is good.