Koh in Thai means ‘island’. Lanta is a beautiful island in the Krabi Province. I would recommend both Krabi and Koh Lanta highly for a vacation. The beaches are divine and the crowd is not that thick! I also feel not many Indians go there, which is a pity! Let me take you through my seven favorite things to do in Koh Lanta!
The Beautiful Beaches
Koh Lanta is blessed with many beaches that are truly beautiful. I spent most of my time at Kantiang Bay Beach as it was next to the Pimalai Resort where I was staying. Not too crowded at any point of time, sunsets were special!
Mu Koh Lanta National Park
Mu Koh Lanta would work for you if you are looking for peace. I almost had the entire beach that you see in the picture to myself. I went walking along the length of it and saw just one couple! There is a path leading to a lighthouse, which gives the fabulous view of the park!
You can go kayaking along the mangrove channels. I didn’t had the time to do it, but I can imagine what fun it would be. If you are fond of eating fish I was told that the fishermen cook the fresh catch in the local restaurants that dot the walkway of the mangrove area.
There is a quaint fisherman’s village in Koh Lanta which is worth exploring. You immediately get a feeling of stepping back in time. The inhabitants are said to be sea gypsies and they hardly interact with tourists. But one is free to roam around and walk through the village.
Lanta Old Town
The old part of Lanta town has fascinating architecture. You can walk across the main street end to end easily. The wooden houses are a feast to the eye. There is a pier to walk through as well. It is a place to sit down at the restaurants and take it slow.
After five trips to Thailand i would say the whole of Thailand offers great shopping. The conventional wisdom says the shopping is great in Bangkok. Initially I would also leave stuff that I liked, thinking I would pick it up in Bangkok. But then I would never find the same stuff in Bangkok, or I would not have time! My new shopping mantra is that if the price is reasonable, and if I like it, I would not wait for Bangkok. I buy it then and there. I picked up my favorite t-shirt in this shopping complex at Koh Lanta.
Good Food at the Local Restaurants
I had food at my upmarket resort and I had food at local restaurants. Both were good, but the local restaurants are so much fun. And they always had something for the vegetarian me! I had pizza at the Swedish Pub and Restaurant and veg noodles at Same Same but Different (it was the name of the restaurant) and both were smashing.
So what are you waiting for? If you are thinking Thailand, think Koh Lanta and Krabi. They are great places for a family vacation.
PS. I visited Koh Lanta on invitation of Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi.
When I first heard of it, I was perplexed. Sunset for me is really early in the evening. Nine at night is more like real evening to me. I usually eat food around nine. When I visited Krabi, the sunset was at 6.30 pm. It is tea time for me. On working days I usually reach home a little before six. On non-working days I am usually found scratching my head at this hour, wondering where did the day fly and why is the weekend moving so fast!
So, when my guide suggested to have a sunset dinner in Thailand (at Koh Lanta, Krabi), I was quite mystified.
Same Same But Different
Same Same but Different was the name of the local restaurant we went to. It was close to my hotel and by the beach. Being a vegetarian, I am usually scared that I will hardly find anything on the menu. But such was not the case. I sat down for one of the earliest dinners of my life and I ordered vegetable noodles with tender coconut water for drink.
While I was waiting for food to arrive, I went to take a stroll on the beach, so as to click a few pictures. It was another evening of a muted sunset. While I was busy clicking pictures, my food arrived. I was quite torn between eating and clicking more pictures but in the end, food won. It was also because of the stern eye the waiter gave, as if saying, “dare you ignore our food!”
With great reluctance I tore myself away from the beach. It helped that the evening was muted or else I would surely have ignored the food.
The food was really good, the tender coconut was the sweetest I ever had. Somehow the tender coconuts in Thailand are really good, I hardly ever find such sweet and fresh ones back home. The noodles were also tasty and fresh. It was unpretentious food, the portion was big, and I had a great time.
The best part was that my day had ended at 7.30 pm and I had so much time to relax. I could read a book, watch television or simply laze around. I read a book in the end. To begin with I was quite reluctant to have dinner so early, but it turned out to be one of the most relaxed evenings in my entire vacation.
I visited Koh Lanta on invitation from TAT New Delhi.
There is something about watching sunsets, it is an activity of leisure, at least for me. In my daily life I am mostly commuting through the most blazing sunsets! When I am at home over the weekends, I still somehow do not end up watching sunsets. Sunset for me mostly means I am traveling! And I did get to see some gorgeous Krabi skies in Thailand with sunsets and without them as well.
I stayed at Pimalai Resort and Spa at Koh Lanta an sialnd in Krabi province. Their public spaces were simply stunning. This was the view from the infinity swimming pool of the Hill Villas. It was threatening to rain that day but the threat never materialized. I got a bright day to explore Koh Lanta in the end. And I still remain suntanned. When I came home, I was sun burnt actually! But how I loved my time in the land of sun, sea and sand!
I do not know what to do when I get to see a place in harsh daylight. I was at the beautiful Old Lanta town about noon. And yet the scene in front of me was so serene that I had to give it a try.
My first evening at Koh Lanta gave me overcast skies. It has been a persistent theme of all my travels since June 2013 so I accepted my fate! I had some time off to myself this evening, so I was out with my tripod. I was also one of the last person to leave the beach!
It is because of my tripod I was able to get this half way decent dusk picture! See how unromantic you become when your sole focus is on taking pictures! Here was soft light, lapping waves and sand beneath my feet and all I can talk about is a tripod! I actually classify my sunsets as with a tripod and without a tripod!
And then there was sheer magic on Klong Muang Beach which is right across the road from Sofitel Krabi, where I was staying. I will start off next week right from where I am leaving today, the sunset at the Klong Muang Beach. As the evening deepened the magic also increased manifold.
PS. I was invited to Thailand by TAT New Delhi and I had an amazing time.
Koh Lanta is a beautiful island in Krabi. To reach the island one has to take a boat or ferry from Krabi. My speed boat, was waiting for us at the private Pimalai Resort and Spa jetty. The jetty was about two hours drive from Krabi International Airport. It is not everyday that I take speed boats from a private jetty!
The speed boat ride was a lot of fun. When the boat starts moving at full speed the wind becomes a hairstylist! It also tries to snatch away your camera, so be careful!
The public spaces of Pimalai Resort and Spa are stunning! I so wanted to sit down on the wooden bench and read a book but it was part of their spa I believe!
One of the major attractions of Koh Lanta is Mu Ko Lanta National Park. You can go on a small hike to the watch tower inside the park. It gives a beautiful vantage point. The beach was truly peaceful and a delight to walk through. There is an entry fee to visit the park.
While walking through the Old Lanta Town I was fascinated by the petrol being sold bottles. You can guess immediately that it is meant for motorbike users. Hiring a motorbike is a popular to explore the island. It reminded me of so much of Goa!
While walking on the pier of the Old Lanta Town I saw this fisherman cast his net. I must have been the only tourist on the pier! He had his catch in the green bucket and he had plentiful!
We went walking around the mangrove forest area too. If you like seafood the rustic restaurants of the area can cook fresh catch for you. I could not sample it as I am a vegetarian.
You can walk around the fisherman village close to the city center. Even though it was right next to the parking lot, it felt so remote from the civilization! No one seemed to be in any hurry in the village!
The tuk tuks at Koh Lanta were a variation of the ones I see in Bangkok. They were as colorful and had many women drivers.
I just loved the colors and the setting of this local restaurant aptly named Swedish Pub and Restaurant! I went there for lunch and a hot sun was blazing on the deck. But I would love to go back and have a dinner there. They did excellent veg pizza too!
Sunset dinners are very popular in Thailand. That meant I had my dinner by 6.30 pm or so. At home this is a real early hour for me to even think about dinner! I was initially reluctant but I did enjoy the idea of the sunset dinner in the end. I went to a local restaurant called ‘Same Same but Different’ which was right by the beach. As dinner was over at an early hour, I was forced to retire early too! And it was a blessing, as if left me refreshed when I got up the next morning!
If you wish to explore a quiet place in Krabi, go to Koh Lanta!
I was invited by TAT New Delhi on this trip and I really had a blast.