Located at the North End, Saladan is the “center” of Ko Lanta. Here you will find banks, post office, shopping plazas, restaurants, food stands as well as a police box. Avoid being in Saladan during the day as it becomes very hot. Late afternoon or evening is the best time to explore Saladan and have a stroll through the different shops.
Boasting a spectacular three kilometre stretch of white sands and clear, shallow water, Klong Dao was the first beach to be developed on Ko Lanta just over 10 years ago. With its stunning sunsets and impressive landscape, it's easy to see why.
Excellent, safe swimming makes this the most popular family beach on Ko Lanta. Nonetheless it remains spacious even in peak season, and a short walk will find you a patch without neighbors. The beach offers a wide selection of both up-market and small family owned resorts with accommodation for all budgets.
LONG BEACH (Phra Ae)
Just South of Klong Dao is Phra-Ae (also known as Long Beach) with a stunning crescent of sand some 4 kilometres long. The beach is steeper and the sea not as sheltered as at Klong Dao, which makes a fantastic swimming for adults. The resorts here are spread out over a greater distance, mainly clustered at the north and south ends. Most visitors find Phra-Ae ‘deserted’ even in peak season.
A little further south is Klong Khong, another three-kilometer stretch of sand mixed with rocks, with palm trees and a good collection of resorts famous for their sunsets and laid-back locals. Swimming and snorkeling is slightly less exciting here from right off the shore, and at low tide, rocks teeming with aquatic life are visible and accessible. The abundance of sea life makes for nightly beach feasts second to none. Prices for accommodation are substantially lower here than on the northern beaches, and many are small, family-owned businesses offering a friendly, relaxed service.
Turn right off the paved road when you see the signposts, and discover Klong Nin, a few kilometres stretch of white-sand beach with emerald green-waters. Klong Nin has an abundance of tropical trees including pine and coconut, set against the backdrop of lush, green tropical rain forest. Bungalow resorts are scattered spaciously along the beach, ranging from simple, inexpensive family bungalows to more upscale pool and spa resorts.
Excellent swimming conditions and a fabulous stretch of white sand surrounded by the mountains of Ko Lanta’s national park make this small beach very impressive. At just over a kilometre in length and with only a few resorts, Ba Kan Tiang feels very private and secluded. Accommodation ranges from simple family-run places to a five-star resort on Ko Lanta.
Klong Jark (or waterfall beach) is just 3 kilometers from the waterfall in the national park. This is a fairly private beach due to access only by unpaved road. The beach gets its name from the waterfall, which is just a short walk away. The trip, which follows a stream, features elephant trekking and sighting of a variety of birds and wild creatures, including the monkey wild pig.
Last Beach or Bamboo Bay is the last beach on east side before the national park area begins. It is a slightly curved beach around five hundred meters long, with lovely white sands and clear waters. Swimming is suitable here when the tide is not too deep. The northern part of this beach has rock pools where it’s possible to snorkel and watch the fish. It is surrounded by high national park mountains. This beach is extremely private, and feels cast away from the outside world. Bamboo Bay contains a handful of basic resorts, spread along the beach.
Located on the east side, Lanta Old Town used to be the main “city” of Ko Lanta because of the trader ships passing by here at the old pier. There are still many traditional Chinese wooden houses to see. Tourism has not really arrived here yet but it’s really worth to have a stroll down the street and feel like being back some centuries ago. Very special, similar to Saladan, are the long, wooden houses standing on pillars. Some of them reach up to 50 meters into the sea, offering small dishes and drinks with view to the islands. Old Town is as well starting point for many excursion boats (dive boats and longtail boats) to explore the islands arround Ko Lanta Yai.