Are you looking for a list of the best things to do in Koh Lanta? I’ve handpicked my favorite sights and activities on this beautiful Thai island.
Plan your trip to Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is one of those places I always recommend people to visit.
It’s different from other Thai islands in more than one way. For instance, the majority of the island’s population is Muslim so local women wear headscarves and you’ll be woken up by the mosque’s loud speakers call to prayer.
Another difference is that Koh Lanta is more low-key and relaxing than many of its neighboring islands (I’m looking at you, Phi Phi islands).
Koh Lanta is the place to chill out, read a good book and have a Thai massage.
Although it’s a Muslim island, you can buy alcohol, but it’s not over-developed or over-crowded. That’s what I like the most about Koh Lanta.
Ready to find out what to do in Ko Lanta? Let’s dig in!
Where is Koh Lanta?
Koh Lanta is located in southern Thailand, in the Andaman Sea.
It’s just off the southwestern coast of the Krabi Province, close to Phi Phi Islands.
How to get around Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is only 27 km long, so it’s easy to explore if you have a scooter, but you can also rent a bicycle or a local tuk tuk.
We always rent a scooter when we’re in Thailand as it’s an easy and cheap way to get around.
Most hostels and travel agents rent out scooters without asking for a driver’s license or insurance.
They do, however, often require to keep your passport as deposit, but a copy of your passport will be fine, too. Never leave your passport as deposit anywhere!
Best things to do in Koh Lanta
1. Relax at Long Beach
Long Beach on Koh Lanta is the longest and most popular beach on the island.
It has 5 kilometers of golden sand and tall pine trees. What’s great is that you have plenty of space and privacy, as the resorts and restaurants are set back among the trees, not crowding the beach.
And, you’ll find the best sunsets here– they’re a must-see!
Read next: 12 best beaches in Koh Lanta
2. Go snorkeling at Koh Rok
Ko Rok Yai and Ko Rok Noi are just 30 kilometers away, which makes them perfect for a day of snorkeling from Ko Lanta.
They’re protected as a National Park and the snorkeling is amazing! On this snorkeling tour, you’ll swim with colorful reef fish near Ko Rok Noi’s southeast coast.
While you’ll be provided with snorkeling gear on the tour, I always recommend bringing your own.
Book your tour: Sea Tour to Koh Rok and Koh Haa from Koh Lanta (⭐ 4/5)
3. Visit Koh Lanta Old Town
Koh Lanta’s Old Town used to be the main trading port. Now, it’s a charming spot that feels like a step back in time.
You’ll see shops, restaurants, and houses on stilts above the sea, providing stunning views of other islands and the mainland.
4. Join the popular 4-island tour
In Koh Lanta, don’t miss the 4 Island Tour.
This guided tour hits Koh Chuak, Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, and Koh Ngai, with plenty of snorkeling and swimming in shallow waters.
The highlight? The Emerald Cave on Koh Mook.
You’ll swim through an 80m-long dark tunnel guided by a flashlight and your guide. On the other side? A hidden lagoon framed by towering limestone cliffs. It’s an adventure you won’t forget!
Book your tour – 4 islands tour and Emerald cave (⭐ 4.5/5)
5. Kayak in the Mangrove Forests
Explore a hidden side of Koh Lanta with a kayaking tour of Thungyeepeng Mangrove Forest, a gem often missed by first-time visitors.
You’ll paddle quietly in non-motorized kayaks, which increases your chances of spotting local wildlife like monkeys!
Book here – Half day Mangrove by Kayaking or Longtail boat (⭐ 4/5)
6. Take a Thai cooking class
One of my favorite activities in Thailand is taking a Thai cooking class. You can read about my experience with Thai cooking classes here. It’s so much fun, and you’ll learn to cook delicious dishes from the Thai cuisine.
On this cooking class in Koh Lanta, you’ll meet a local chef in a charming teak wood house nestled in an organic garden for a hands-on culinary experience.
You’ll prepare four dishes from a menu of 10, and if you prefer, they can make them milder or vegetarian.
Book your trip – Lanta Thai Cookery School (⭐ 5/5)
7. Relax at Kantiang Bay
Kantiang Bay is all about kicking back and relaxing.
If you’re up for it, get a Thai massage under those cool palm trees or maybe join a yoga class at the Orchid Nursery.
Unlike the busy scene at Long Beach, Kantiang Bay is quieter but still has your back with ATMs, shops, eateries, and beach bars.
8. Go island-hopping
Want to discover some of the nearby islands?
You’ll also get a buffet lunch with ocean views and round-trip hotel transportation.
Book here – Maya Bay, Monkey Bay and Phi Phi Island Snorkeling Tour (⭐ 5/5)
9. Watch the sunset at Diamond Cliff Restaurant
We always end the day with a cold Singha while watching the sunset from one of the island’s viewpoints.
Aside from the swarm of mosquitos, the Diamond Cliff Restaurant is the perfect place to catch the last rays of sunlight as they lit up the whole sky and ocean in a palette of colors.
Read next: The perfect 3-day Phi Phi island itinerary
10. Go scuba diving
Koh Lanta’s diving scene is amazing!
It’s less crowded than Koh Tao but equally amazing. You’ll find diverse marine life, including whale sharks (from November to April), mantas, and leopard sharks.
The reefs are in great shape too, with lots of fish and healthy corals.
Check availability – Fun Diving Safari Day Trip From Koh Lanta (⭐ 5/5)
11. Visit Lanta Elephant Sanctuary
It’s incredible to see the passion and hard work these folks pour into making life better for elephants on the island.
12. Try Muay Thai
Muay Thai is so much fun!
It’s Thailand’s unique form of kickboxing, blending exercise and self-defense. You can try it at places like Lanta Muay Thai Academy, one of the island’s most popular gyms.
Read next: 23 non-touristy things to do in Bangkok
13. Rent a scooter
Getting around Koh Lanta by scooter is the way to go!
The roads are good, and traffic is relaxed. You can rent a scooter for about 250 baht a day at many hotels or at local spots.
If you’re low on gas, just watch out for the Gasoline signs on the road.
Like most other Thai islands, Koh Lanta is filled with lush forests and palm trees. It makes it impossible to take shortcuts across the island, and the only way to get around it is to follow the outlined paths and road.
14. Visit Sea Gypsy Village
A visit to the sea gypsy village is pretty fun.
The villagers are called Chao Le or Chao Nam in Thai and were once known as pirates. Now, they live in stilt-built houses along the coast, making a living from fishing and collecting bird’s nests.
They’ve got some interesting traditions too, like the “Loy-Rua” ceremony where they build a symbolic boat to seek forgiveness from the sea gods.
Despite living close to other villages, they stick to their own language and ways. It’s a unique experience to see their culture up close.
15. Enjoy Thai Massage
One of the top things to do in Koh Lanta (and Thailand in general) is getting a traditional Thai massage.
It costs about 300 baht for an hour.
Thai massage is a technique that combines acupressure, stretching, and yoga-like positions to relax muscles and improve flexibility. If you’ve never had one before, this is going to be an experience. Trust me.
16. Trek to Khlong Chak Waterfall
Khlong Chak Waterfall on Koh Lanta island is a pretty little spot in the south of the island.
You’ll have to hike through the jungle for about an hour to reach it. It’s not the biggest waterfall around, especially in the dry season, but if you’re up for a jungle adventure, it’s worth checking out.
17. Take a yoga class at Oasis Yoga
You can drop in for a beach yoga session or go all-in on a multi-day retreat.
Oasis Yoga is a top pick with daily classes like Flow, Yin, and Ashtanga, plus sunset stretches and morning meditation sessions. Find their current schedule here.
18. Explore Mu Ko Lanta National Park
Heading down to the very south of Koh Lanta, you’ll find the Mu Koh Lanta National Park, and the journey there is stunning.
The star of the show is the Koh Lanta lighthouse, practically an island landmark.
The beach in the park is a real beauty, with bright sand and crystal-clear water. Watch out for cheeky monkeys eyeing your swimwear!
Entrance fee is 200 Baht, and it’s open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
FAQ – Things to do in Koh Lanta
How many days is enough in Koh Lanta?
2-3 days is usually enough to explore the island of Koh Lanta thoroughly.
Is Koh Lanta too touristy?
Koh Lanta has its touristy areas, but it’s not overrun. You’ll find both bustling spots and quieter parts. It’s not as hectic as some other Thai islands, so you can expect a more laid-back experience overall.
Why is Koh Lanta famous?
Koh Lanta is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, serene atmosphere, and great diving opportunities with coral reefs.
It’s a sought-after destination if you’re looking for a more relaxed Thai experience compared to crowded islands.
Is Koh Lanta or Koh Phi Phi better?
It depends on what you’re looking for.
Koh Lanta is calmer, less, crowded and ideal for relaxation. Koh Phi Phi is livelier with a vibrant nightlife, and beaches are more picturesque.
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