Phuket and Ko Samui may take all the plaudits but for a true essence of Thai beach life, it is little known Ko Lanta that ticks all the right boxes.
hat you get is a wild, untamed beauty from a dense jungle-clad interior, sea gypsies, challenging waves to surf (virtually unique in Thailand) and the requisite palm peppered white sand beaches. Best of all, there’s not a sun-bronzed A-list celeb in sight. This pretty much sums up Lanta life – hype free and happy to remain under the radar.
Ko Lanta is located off Thailand’s Andaman coast in Krabi province. Public ferries and charter boats leave from Krabi and Ko Phi Phi, arriving at Saladan pier on Ko Lanta. Journey time is around two hours in good weather. Daily flights leave Bangkok several times daily to Krabi airport; average flight time 90 minutes.
A Day Castaway
Glide into the pages of a travel brochure at Ko Rok Nok, a secluded outcrop of virgin white beaches without a single footprint in the sand surrounded by glistening waters. The coral reefs here are captivating with abundant reef fish and sea turtles. Simply kick back in the sand or go in search of monkeys and monitor lizards among the banyan trees.
Escape inland and blaze a trail by jumbo in the jungles of Koh Lanta National Park. This is a kiddie-pleasing day riding and cavorting with playful baby elephants while watching the intriguing sight of man and beast in unison working on a traditional rubber plantation. An eye-opening eco adventure.
Sumate Koh Lanta 284 Moo2 Pra-ae, Saladan Tel: +66 75684845
Can you Kick it?
Let off a little steam in the gym and show off some flashy moves. Try out Muay Thai kick boxing, the very essence of popular Thai culture and the perfect blend of kick ass and keep fit!
Lanta Gym 245 M.2 T.Saladan, Tel: +66 897397399
Jazz and Jungle Juice
Chill out to the strains of smooth jazz and crashing waves at this cool Scandinavian style cafe serving up classy Thai fusion. You can kick back on the sand or up in the breezy ‘tree house.’ You can also get a little spicy at the award-winning Thai cooking school onsite.
Time for Lime, 72/2 Mo 3. Klong Dao Beach Saladan, Tel: +66 75684590
By Ray Montgomery