A few weeks ago we finally visited the beautiful Thai islands! We chose Koh Lanta for its beautiful beaches and chill vibe. We didn’t want to visit an island that was known as a “party” island full of tourists and I think we made the perfect choice! Check out the latest video below:
Our friends Naomie and Remon flew in from Amsterdam and spent a few days exploring Chiang Mai before we all headed off to Koh Lanta.
Getting there was a bit of trip itself. The 2 hour flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi was smooth and stress free but then it was about another 2 hours to get down to Koh Lanta by car. Thankfully we pre-booked a driver to pick us up at the airport. Getting down to the island was my first experience being in a car on a ferry!
It was about 5:00 in the evening by the time we reached our AirBnB house so after getting situated we headed out for dinner, made a 7-Eleven run for beer, and relaxed by the pool.
Our first full day was full of adventure! We were picked up in the morning and taken to a beach where we then hopped onto a large triple engine speedboat for the 4 Islands Tour. We spent the day snorkeling and enjoying the views at Koh Kradan, Koh Mook, Koh Chuek, Koh Ngai and ended the tour swimming through the incredible Emerald Cave (Tham Morakot) on Koh Mook. We also ate the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had in my entire life that night at Where Else Restaurant on the beach.
For our next two days in Koh Lanta we rented a scooter to explore the island. We drove just about every inch of Koh Lanta and quickly learned that the most beautiful and breathtaking views were located in the southwest side of the island leading down towards the Lanta National Park. The northern beaches were really nothing special for us as Floridians but still they were decent enough. The eastern side of the island did have too much to offer beach-wise but we drove down there as well to check it out.
For weeks we had planned on visiting Lanta Animal Welfare as I had read in so many blogs about how you “rent” a dog for an hour or two (i.e. give a donation and take a dog for a walk). This is a bit misleading to be honest. We arrived at Lanta Animal Welfare and as it turns out you can only interact with the dogs on a guided tour. This, of course, makes total sense and sounds much safer but as a dog lover I was really looking forward to walking a dog. Oh well… we couldn’t wait for the tour as it wasn’t set to begin until after we needed to meet back up with our friends and to be honest I wasn’t as inclined to stick around for it anymore.
While in Koh Lanta, we also had our first experiences with wild monkeys and oh man are they different than I expected! They are very aggressive and not even a little bit afraid of humans. Carlos and I made the terrible mistake of turning our backs for not even a minute to play with the drone while we were eating breakfast by the pool. All of a sudden I heard some yelling coming inside the house as Naomie attempted to warn us and sure enough, there he was. A large macaque sitting on the table with MY mango in hand! Lessons learned: 1) Macaques like mangos. 2) If you try to scare off a hungry macaque it’ll charge after you and bare its two-inch-long canines at you. RUN! We even witnessed a few cheeky monkeys trying to steal backpacks at the beach, watch my Koh Lanta YouTube video above for some amusing footage of the monkey antics.
When in Koh Lanta, if you’re looking for a short and enjoyable hike (about 30 minutes) through the jungle definitely check out Khlong Chak Waterfall. You’ll even come across a cave on the way as long as you can manage not to get lost. This trail isn’t difficult but there are no signs along the way. There was a group with babies trying to hike this trail, I would definitely NOT recommend this. There are parts where you need to get on your hands and knees to crawl across rocks along a 10-foot ledge. Easy hike but needless to say, not baby friendly. The waterfall was very pretty and not deep at all at the bottom. Perfect conditions for playing in a waterfall!
When in Koh Lanta, definitely take a quick visit over to the Old City but don’t plan out a whole day here. We spent about 30 minutes walking through the shops until we got to Mama & Papa’s Fruit Shakes. They make REALLY good smoothies and even mojito fruit smoothies with Bacardi. For 100baht each we had some delicious rum smoothies here! I would highly recommend giving them a visit! The owners are wonderful!
Last but not least, I definitely have to take some time to talk about our out-of-this-world awesome AirBnB! For about $120/night we had a 2-bedroom / 1-bathroom villa with a full kitchen, a spacious living area, ocean views, and a gorgeous private infinity pool. Honestly, this place was even better than I imagined and I would highly recommend it! We spent hours hanging out and relaxing in the pool.
All in all, Koh Lanta was a wonderful place to visit. Packed with adventure and relaxation there’s a little bit of everything in this island paradise! Now go check it out for yourself!
A few of our favorites:
Favorite Beach: Bamboo Bay and surrounding area
Favorite Restaurant: Where Else
Favorite Bar: well… besides 7-Eleven definitely the smoothie shop that makes the smoothie mojitos in the Old City. Mama & Papa’s Fruit Shake
Scooter Rental: Kevin’s Scooter Rental near Klong Khong beach. We didn’t read reviews we chose them purely due to location and the fairly priced daily rate but we were satisfied!
4 Islands Tour: Opal Speedboat was fantastic from beginning to end
AirBnb: Our beautiful private infinity pool villa overlooking the ocean was probably the best part of the entire trip. Check it out here – Koh Lanta AirBnB
Transport: We got an okay rate. We paid 2,500baht for the four of us from Krabi Airport to our AirBnb. It was just a little cheaper than the rates I was seeing online. We booked this through our AirBnB host. We were transported in a large 12-seater van with plenty of space.