Koh Lanta is Koh Phi Phi’s not so famous, more sleepy neighbour. Koh Lanta remains a beautiful island with uncrowded, pristine beaches, amazing sunsets, a laidback pace of life and options to suit all budgets. For scuba diving, Koh Lanta has daily access by dive boat and speedboat to the three best dive sites in Southern Thailand – Hin Daeng / Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Koh Bida. It’s the ideal place to combine great diving and a peaceful beach holiday.
Long Beach, Koh Lanta
What Are My Diving Options For Koh Lanta?
There is only one liveaboard based on Koh Lanta, the MV Flying Seahorse. This boat runs a variety of itineraries exploring the Southern Thailand sites and also combining Southern Thailand with the Similan Islands. See the complete schedule and pricing for the MV Flying Seahorse.
The alternative is to do daytrips to Hin Daeng / Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Koh Bida – a pleasant cruise on usually flat-calm waters, this takes around 2 hours each way on regular dive boats (3 hours to Hin Daeng/Hin Muang) but only 40 minutes on the Flying Manta speedboat (70 to Hin Daeng).
Best Time To Go To Koh Lanta
November to April is the best time to go to Koh Lanta, when Thailand temperatures are at their coolest and the Andaman sea at its calmest. December and January are extremely busy and prices go up dramatically over the Christmas and New Year period. From February to April the island is pleasantly quiet and the diving is spectacular. May is the beginning of low season and the island becomes very quiet, although more and more businesses are remaining open all year. May also usually has great diving but some days the sea can be rough. Diving continues through June, July and August, usually at Koh Haa, as the weather can be unpredictable. September and October is when the monsoon season really hits home and there can be a lot of rain – best not to come then if you want to dive.
View Thailand’s Best Diving Locations – Diving-Thailand.com in a larger map
How To Get To Koh Lanta
There is no airport on Koh Lanta. The nearest airport is Krabi Airport.
From there, minibus taxis run to the island – it takes 2 – 3 hours as there are two car ferry crossings onto Koh Lanta and there can be long queues.
The quicker way to get to Koh Lanta is the fast speedboat transfer. This is a one hour drive direct from Krabi Airport to the speedboat pier, and then a 15 minute speedboat ride direct into Koh Lanta. Customers are then transferred by pickup to their hotel.
From Phuket – the Koh Phi Phi ferry departing from Rassada Pier in Phuket continues onto Koh Lanta after stopping at Phi Phi, The ferry leaves early morning and early afternoon.
From Phi Phi – the ferry departs from Koh Phi Phi to Lanta around 10.30 am
From Krabi – the ferry departs early morning and early afternoon from Krabi pier to Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta Hotels, Villas And Guesthouses
There’s a wide selection of hotels for all budgets on Koh Lanta and several villas for rent as well which are a great choice for families and groups of friends. Dive operators will collect guests direct from their hotels, although if you stay further south than Kantiang Bay they may charge extra.
Do I Need To Book In Advance?
Koh Lanta gets extremely busy in December and January and it’s important to book accommodation and dive trips in advance during that period. For the rest of high season, booking ahead is wise to get the best deals
Non Diving Things You Can Do On Koh Lanta
Besides relaxing on the beach and at the various ocean-view restaurants and bars, Koh Lanta is relatively flat and has little traffic so it’s great to explore on motorbike or cycle. Thai cooking classes at the famous Time For Lime restaurant on the beach are a must-do if you’re interested in Thai food, and there’s also a gold driving range near Klong Dao beach. Saladan village offers some shopping opportunities. Daytrips to see Koh Phi Phi and snorkel at Koh Rok are also available.