Sunset Beach and more? Koh Lanta!
You know how much I am in love with a lovely Sunset Beach… if you are even half as romantic as I am, well, you should definitely check this beautiful island out!
Koh Lanta Yai (not YAY! LOL) is the biggest island belonging to the Koh Lanta district, part of the Krabi province, off the Andaman coast of Thailand, south of Phuket and Krabi. Being the biggest island of the archipelago, 25 km-long, Koh Lanta Yai is also commonly known as just Koh Lanta.
There are several ways to get to Koh Lanta: as it is not very far from Krabi, you can get a minivan from there, and then take a small ferry that bring you straight to the island. As I was travelling in very high season (the first days of January 2016) I had the opportunity to get to the island via speed boat directly from Koh Lipe, the beautiful Malay island you have already discovered with me.
Actually, coming from the tiny Paradise – like island of Koh Lipe, arriving in the huge island of Koh Lanta was kind of a shock! The island is increasingly very touristic, especially in high season, so that the place is rivaling some of the better known Thai resorts, such as Phuket and Koh Samui!
Koh Lanta has some of the whitest long sandy beaches I have seen around Thailand, and there is plenty of activities to do around the island! The geography of the island is typically mangroves, coral rimmed beaches, tree-covered hills: a delight for the eyes!
The island is in a very high demand, attracting more and more backpackers, who tend to stay in accommodations and bungalows along Long Beach (Ao Phra-Ae in Thai): the area is very popular with youngsters, and there are a few big beach parties organized throughout the year. The long beach features plenty of bars where to enjoy a drink or two during the day, and especially in the late afternoon: the sun goes down directly in the sea: that is why I choose it as the best Sunset Beach in Thailand!
Sunset Beach: Koh Lanta
Instead of stopping by where most of the accommodations are, I preferred to head further south, at the end of Long Beach. I was looking for a quieter, although still cheap, place where to relax. The beautiful Long Beach is exactly what it says on the tin: Long To be precise, it is 2 kilometers long: it is an easy walk along the beach to get from a tip to the other, so even the crazy night parties are still easy to reach from any point.
So, I discovered the amazing Sanctuary Resort: a beautiful small resort with nice and well equipped bungalows, just meters from the beach! The highlight of the room? An amazing open-air en suite bathroom where to enjoy pleasant and refreshing shower under the sky! The Resort features also a cute bar hut where to enjoy lazy afternoons, reading a book between dips in the sea!
Although, if you are looking for a bit of more luxury, you can choose the Lanta Castaway Beach Resort, just a few hundred meters before the Sanctuary, on the same Long Beach. The place looks amazing: some fellow travelers met on Grindr were staying there. We also organized an impromptu hanging out in the evening with fellow gays visiting the island: for one night we turned the Mad Bull, the beach bar of the resort, queer
The island is pretty big and there are some very nice beaches on both sides of the island: the best option is to rent a motorbike or even a car, along with some fellow travelers, and to get out of Long Beach (or Sunset Beach). You can easily drive around the island in 1 full day to discover on your own the island. You will find out there are many amazing, sometimes secluded, bays where to enjoy a luxury dip in the ocean. My favorite bay of them all is Kantiang Bay: if you are a diver, this is definitely one of top dive sites in Thailand. Being far from the crazy nightlife parties, the bay is also perfect if you are looking for a more romantic place where to base yourself, with some luxury lifestlyle added. If you want to impress your other half, then you must choose the Pimalai resort, a 5-star Luxury Beach resort with great views on the bay.
Another option is to join organized tours from Long Beach. Whatever way you choose to explore the island, my recommendation is to discover the beautiful National Park on the most Southerner tip of the island: there are some nice trekking paths that will let you explore the beauty of the area. One warning: around the entrance of the park you will be welcome by a lot of cheeky monkeys. Be extra careful with them: they will try and steal anything hanging on you! So, your backpacks will not be safe! This said, the area is definitely worthy to explore!
Conveniently, I had based myself on Long Beach (or, as I like to call it, Sunset Beach): this is usual the starting point of any exploration around the island, thanks also to its plenty of offer of accommodation.
What do you think about Koh Lanta? Have you enjoyed reading about it? Do you want to discover more? I will be more than happy to be your personal tour guide! Feel free to add any comments below, and get in touch!
Date of Last Visit: January 2016