Koh Lanta, a tropical paradise in Thailands Andaman sea
Koh Lanta island runs from north to south with the west coast established as the main tourist area. Picture perfect sunsets can be seen from the many beaches.
Koh Lanta Life.
Koh Lanta's HistoryThe island of Koh Lanta, originally known in Malay as Pulau Satak (meaning the long island), actually has over 50 islands in its archipelago. In 1917 Koh Lanta was given its name by the King of Thailand.
As the mountains in the northern and southern tip are covered with virgin rain forest, Koh Lanta plays host to a wide variety of plant and animal life. In 1990 the forestry department declared the south of the island, along with 15 surrounding islands, as the “Mu Koh Lanta National Park”. This became the 62nd national park of Thailand with an area of 134 km sq.
Today’s population is over 20,000 and consists of Thai Muslims, Buddhists(many of whom are from Chinese descent), Chao Lay and ex-pats from around the world. Many of the oldest inhabitants are the “Chao Lay” or sea gypsies, who inhabit a small settlement just south of Saladan and Sang Gau village in the South Eastern tip of Lanta. Traditional industries include fishing, rubber farming, palm tree and cashew nut plantations.
Tourism is now one of Koh Lanta’s largest incomes with holiday makers arriving from all corners of the world. Koh Lanta is extremely popular with the Scandinavian countries and even has several Swedish schools. British, Germans, Spanish, Australians, Americans and Canadians are all regular visitors, but the main charm of the island comes from the locals.
Whatever your background, nationality or beliefs, everyone is welcome on Koh Lanta, which is why so many choose to make it their home away from home.
Most of the beaches and accommodation are found on the west coast, with many small Thai villages making up the eastern shoreline.
Browse our guide to beaches, towns and villages on Koh Lanta for more information.
You could...>>> Swim The sea
>>> Explore the caves
>>> Kayak through the waves or the mangroves
>>> Trek to the waterfall
>>> Nature watch
>>> Snorkel or dive, try Diving Thailand
>>> Go Elephant Trekking
>>> Take an island tour
>>> Enjoy a longtail boat trip
>>> Explore the jungle
>>> Watch Lanta Life TV
>>> Chill in a hammock
>>> Get a bamboo tatoo
>>> Get married
>>> Star in a movie
>>> Have fun!
Passenger ferrys run to Lanta in high season from Krabi, Ao Nang, Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Ngai(Hai).
By plane you can fly to either Krabi or Phuket and choose between ferry or bus to Lanta, or fly to Trang and take a bus. Trang is also on Thailands rail network so train and bus is another option.
If you arrive too late for the ferries to Koh Lanta then check out the Hotels in Krabi.
Information on transport to Koh Lanta and around the island.
The TsunamiDecember 26th 2004 was a terrible day for Thailand and the rest of Asia yet "Lucky Lanta" survived in good shape. The shape of the island and direction of the wave helped protect Lanta and limited the damage mostly to the beachfront. Saladan, the main town and port was completely undamaged as were most places along the road. Many places right on the beach were damaged or even destroyed yet just a few meters back things were often much better. Traditional Thai buidings are normally built raised on stilts and this design feature was great at allowing water to flow underneath without damage.
Yet the wonder of Thailand is the community and everyone still on the island, thai or farang (Foreigner), did their share helping out. Just a few weeks later the majority of places were open again, trying to rebuild the lives and business's that were shattered by the wave.
Unlike many places however, Lanta didnt get its biggest impact from the sea, but from the drop in tourism that supports so many people here.
Now things are back to normal, with Lanta looking better than ever.