THIS PAGE HAS 5 TRIP REPORTS:
- BEACHBLOGGER'S MULTI-LOCATION VISIT NOV-DEC 2014
- JULIE'S STAY AT LONG BEACH AND KANTIANG BAY DEC 2012 starting 50% down page
- GIANNA'S KLONG NIN TRIP FEB 2011 starting 70% down page
- CROCODRILO'S KLONG DAO VISIT DEC 2009 starting 80% down page
- RACHAEL'S STAY AT KLONG KONG DEC 2009 starting 90% down page
Beachblogger's Ko Lanta Trip Report - visited November/December 2014
The main reason for visiting Lanta this trip was to act as a jumping off point for several nearby islands I hadn't been to like Ko Rok, Ko Bu Bu and Ko Por/Po. I've traveled to Lanta several times over the years so tried to locate myself on beaches I hadn't stayed at before.
This is the travelers' beach about one-third of the way down the east coast. I picked me a resort smack in the middle of the busy mid section of the beach.
LANTA FAMILY RESORT
My standard fan bungalow was a tarted up backpacker place - rattan walls, thatch roof, concrete and tile cold water bathroom, just big enough for 2 and their gear, dim lights, no clothes storage, good insect screens but no mozzie net. A bit overpriced for shoulder season, particularly as the place had no pool unlike most competitors. The more modern aircon rooms looked nice but I notice on booking sites that they are over 3X the price of my fan room. Staff was friendly and efficient. Some noise from neighboring beach bar parties a few nights. Nice selection of shops and other services 5 minutes walk on the main road.**Thai business people have a novel approach to low demand - RAISE prices. Typical Thailand. They don't seem to realize that part of the reason November 2014 crowds were down markedly on the same month in previous years was that Thailand is becoming expensive. So they make it even MORE expensive. While that may work to a limited extent on visitors already in the country, it causes many of them to forget about any revisits and to tell others not to come.
I find such rocky areas are often attractive to fish when covered with water but when I took my face-mask to check things were pretty barren.
EMERALD RESORT - KLONG KONG
After my stay at Lanta Family I had 2 nights booked via Agoda out on Ko Por, a small island betweeen Lanta and the mainland. But after accepting my reservation, the one resort there decided to close for refurbishment without telling me or Agoda. Typical Thailand. So I had 2 spare nights to fill.
No worries - a tout working on the ferry from Phi Phi had given me a brochure for beachfront Emerald Resort showing a real nice pool and a variety of attractively priced bungalows. The 400baht fan joints particularly caught my cheapskate eyes. So I grabbed my bags, walked 500m north along the beach and got me a room.
The resort's restaurant is adjacent in the same beachfront structure - food pretty good with prices seemingly all over the shop - some very reasonable, some over 50% up on what I consider average for island bungalow resorts.
KLONG JARK (WATERFALL BAY)
On return from the aborted Ko Por visit I'd planned 3 nights at Klong Jark, one of Lanta's more laid back beaches.
I rock hopped 2 headlands and across Nui beach to Kantian Bay in the north - about 30 minutes. The Thai navy gunboat and patrol boat are there because the king's grand-daughter was staying at the Pimalae on Kantiang.
I also hiked around the southern headland to Bamboo Bay - Ban Phu Lae on the rocks just before the sand has a nice restaurant/bar. A sign said "RED WINE - 120B" - same price as a large Chang beer. Having had no wine since Australia I went for it. I've found Thai bar-keeps don't tend to give you the splash in the bottom of the balloon glass their western counterparts do. As a disciple of elcheapo Chateau Cardboard rough red I'm no wine connoisseur, but it tasted fine to me. A big storm set in forcing me to delay my departure 30 minutes - what a blow: time in hand and cheap wine.
KLONG JARK WATERFALL
At one point the path leads uphill away from the water. Any intersections you meet - when in doubt, turn back to the creek.
Following Waterfall Bay I went out to Ko Bu Bu between Lanta and the mainland for a coupe of days. On return I headed for Klong Dao, a place I had not stayed at since the late 80s.
My cheapest fan room was in the building right background. The nice pool is behind Koala's left side cabanas and there are some pretty sweet looking aircon bungalows adjacent the pool.
I sent the following report to my booking site:
I left Ocean View for 2 days on Ko Rok. Didn't work out - the camping tents were completely taken with guys refurbishing the national park bungalows. So my 2 day visit turned into a day trip which meant I had nowhere to stay the night of my return. Super efficient Apple of Apple Travel about half way along the Klong Dao main road strip (inland side) went next door to Sweet Mansion and got me a quiet (up the back away from the road) aircon big modern room for 600, considerably less than a similar (except FAN and with inclusive breakfast) noisy room at my previous beachside joint Ocean View (my room there was in a similar small hotel-like block 200m from the beach, adjacent the main road).
Once unpacked, I walked across the road and 300m down a lane to the beach, where I watched the local Swedish cohort doing the post school beach activity thing....
....the sunset in company with an elcheapo bottle of Thai Rum I'd bought from a 7/11 for the island stay.
I'm kicking myself for not taking any shots of Sweet Mansion - not that it had anything to distinguish itself from well over a dozen 3 or 4 storey small hotel block like buildings along the main road from Saladan thru to Klong Nin. Thing is, these seem to offer a good standard of accommodation at a considerable saving over the beach resorts - would make a good Lanta base for the price sensitive traveler. Sweet Mansion has a bunch of good budget restaurants surrounding it, an ATM across the road and various retail outlets nearby. The 24h 7/11 store however was a 5 minute walk south.
BAN SALADAN - SINCERE GUEST HOUSE
After Sweet Mansion I did a quick visit to Ko Jum.
I'd never stayed in Saladan so on return I went the short distance to Sincere Guest House, a place I was looking forward to on account of real good user reviews.
Several guests were using the place as a general base for their Lanta visit - fine if you have a moto (inexpensive to hire) but maybe not so good if you have to use the venal Lanta transport mafia. The nearest nice tourist beach area at Klong Dao is about a 20 minute walk.
Food and drink prices seemed to be at average budget bungalow prices although no food is served after 1700. No problems, Saladan has a host of good value restaurants, not to mention a host of shops, travel agents banks, money changers, ATMs etc.
A 24hour 7/11 is about 150m along the street.
My super clean room was not big but not squeezy either, quiet, had a tv, refrig, quiet fan, soft comfy queen bed with good pillows, good lights, good clothes storage and an okay bathroom with good hot water. The area was quiet. There were no chairs, broom or bottled water.
A further bonus was the efficient friendly owners.
Julie's Trip Report of Ko Lanta - visited December 2012
Beach Blogger hadn't been to Lanta for a few years. Therefore it was definitely on our December 2012 trip itinerary so he could update his stuff. But it also made sense because he felt I would really like Ko Ngai and Ko Kradan to Lanta's south (I am a small island fan) - Ko Lanta is a convenient stop off on the way to these islands if you are coming from Phuket where our Jetstar flight from home landed.
LANTA MARINA RESORT LONG BEACH
On the positive side, Marina had a nice seaside cabana (above) and adjacent restaurant, both excellent places at sunset. Food was tasty and inexpensive and staff friendly and very obliging.
If you click the above photo to expand it you will see some chairs on the rocks. These belong to Korner Bar next door which was a pretty unobtrusive place until Saturday night when they hosted the all island party with very loud music until 3am and noisy departing revelers until 5am.
ANCIENT REALM BOUTIQUE AND SPA RESORT - KANTIANG BAY
The place was very good value - Marina Resort a few days before was only a little less expensive without the inclusive breakfast, room features and nice pool. The breakfast was quite adequate, other food pretty good in quality and value with prices around 10% higher than bottom budget bungalow restaurants. Restaurant service was excellent.
Our room was spacious, comfortable and had all the inclusions you would expect of a midrange place plus some small gifts from the owners. The bed was firm but not overly so but had too bulky-too firm pillows – fortunately two of the many cushions were okay substitutes.
The 3 western hosts and their Thai staff were super friendly, organised and obliging.
Gianna's Ko Lanta Trip Report - visited early February 2011
GETTING THERE AND FINDING A PLACE
Passing Lanta ferry.
Phuket Town by ferry to Lanta - 550b per person including pick up from hotel. Easy to book even the evening before as they don't seem to have a cut off point re numbers! We took the 8.30am ferry but there is another at 1pm. The sea was very flat and it took just over 1 hr and 40 mins to Phi Phi, changed boat, then was about 2 hours to Lanta.
It was difficult to find a place because this time there were no touts on the ferry. A lady told us she had fan rooms on Khlong Nin for 600b so we went with her to Coral Beach Bungalows but it was 5k further on from Khlong Nin. Bog standard bungalows on a dirty, rocky beach. So we dumped our bags, paid for 1 night and hired a bike to go looking for something better.
OMG, it was difficult, everywhere was full unless you wanted to pay 2100B and there were only a couple of those.
Khlong Nin beach at low tide.
Finally, we found a room at a place with no name behind the weather station at Khlong Nin. A/c, fridge, hot water in a brand new bungalow (there are 2) for 700b - 2 minutes to the beach!! Go to Beachside Agency and speak to Abdul. We stayed 3 days and only moved because they had a water problem, which they kept trying to fix.
We moved to Baan Rim Lay right on the beach, 600B fan room, hammock on the verandah and 2 sunloungers on the beach for your use!! It was great and we stayed 6 days. Mr Pong, the owner is there all day....you'll know him coz he goes swimming in his yfronts !
Beach in front of Baan Rim Lay Bungalows.
Khlong Nin was perfect for us - great beach and good swimming even at low tide, about 12 restaurants, a few bars and a mini market. Great food at Oasis Sunset, the woman who owns it is from the north so she has some different things on the menu, but the place was packed every night and she only opened this season. Really the best place we found .
Nice Beach Resort a bit further down Khlong Nin also has a good restaurant and does a fab pizza as well as some good Indian dishes. 120b for a chicken masala roti...yum. It was a bit cheaper too than other places. They also have a great massage outfit there called Moon Massage ......excellent 250B thai/oil/foot combo for a general relaxation type massage but the head lady there does a great back massage for any problems you have.
One restaurant to avoid, surprisingly, is Roi Thai. It looks a bit posh and as it was Valentines Day we decided to go. It does cookery lessons so we thought it would be good..........TERRIBLE !! Seriously bad, tasteless food, rubbish service and the quality of the ingredients was poor. So disappointing.
Khlong Nin is gorgeous, the beach is fab and there is enough choice of food places for a nice stay, but by 11pm everything is closed so it's a chilled, lovely relaxing place, ideal for a real chill out beach holiday.
We did a daytrip to Koh Rok, which was a lovely destination for 1000b each. The speed boat had a capacity of 24 and had 42 people on board, the sea was rough and the engine kept cutting out. We arrived after about 50 mins (me in one of the few lifejackets) and the snorkelling was amazing, better than the Similans. Lion fish, octopus and many many more species of fish and the quantity was huge, fantastic. There are also lots of big monior lizards on the island who will fight over your lunch remains. The restaurant serves basic travellers food and the loos/showers were clean. You can organise to stay in one of the 2 man pop up tents.
Andaman island monitors.
OTHER LANTA LOCATIONS
Ban Saladan is a good place to visit with a few shops and art galleries and a couple of cute places for lunch. Great fruit market for juicy mangos and papayas.
Long Beach looked very busy and quite built up as did Khlong Dao.
We got a bike for 200b for the day and went down to Kantiang Beach which is primarily taken over by the Pimilai Resort built up the hillside but the beach there is again, wonderful. There's a couple of shops and a great bar/restaurant called Same Same but Different which we stopped by for a sundowner.
Lanta has loads to do if you want elephant trekking, canoe trips and the like as well as the snorkelling trips.
Moon Massage at Nice Beach Resort Khlong Nin beach.
Cocodrilo's Ko Lanta Photo Trip Report - visited late December 09
I stayed 3 nights on Klong Dao - a very nice beach, at Lanta Bee garden. Nice place, very laid back vibe (after coming from Khao lak which was too family-oriented for me), right on the beach and lots of restaurants from where you can drink beer and watch the sunset, then have the catch of the day grilled for you. Best restaurant was"Krua Nidnoy", just a few doors down (on the beach) from Lanta Bee. Fabulous seafood. That was also the only place that made a proper caipirina (woo-hoo!).
Part of klong Dao which is the first beach from the northern ferry landing point.
Picasso Bar on Klong Dao
....from where you can drink beer and watch the sunset....
Kantiang Bay in the south of the island.
Lanta Old Town on the untouristy east coast is one of the nicest cleanest townships in the Andaman.
On the way to/from Lanta Town a stop at one of the viewpoints is a must.
Thanks Coco. Coco has a bunch more Lanta and other Andaman destination pix here.
If you want to submit a trip report on Lanta or any other location please send text and any pix to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachael's Ko Lanta Trip Report - visited December 09
From Kradan we took a ferry to Koh Lanta. There are several beaches to choose from but we opted for Khlong Kong and I would recommend it – there was a great choice of bungalows and chilled out beach bars, a 7/11 and most importantly an ATM – Yey! Plus nice sunsets.
The beach wasn’t quite as beautiful as the earlier islands but it was still clean with white-ish sand and pretty clear water.
We stayed at The Roundhouse which is a small beachfront resort consisting of just 3 bamboo bungalows (find it next to Otto’s). It's run by a Swedish couple who had only recently taken it over so there was still some work in progress. For example there’s no bar or restaurant yet but they had an honesty ‘fridge’ which we could help ourselves to beers from and at only 500 baht a night it was perfect!
On our second day on Lanta we hired a jeep and explored the rest of the island which was fairly easy as it’s pretty small. The roads in the south are rocky and unpaved though so I would avoid them unless you have a 4x4!
We had a look round the National Park (it was disappointing) and stopped for lunch at the viewpoint restaurant which - not suprisingly - had fairly awesome views out over the island.
We went to see a thai kick-boxing match. 'Muay Thai' is the national sport of Thailand so it’s taken very seriously by both the boxers and spectator alike who cheer, shout and frantically place bets as the match progresses. The night kicked off with what is known as the ‘mosquito weight’ – basically 7 & 8 yo old Thai boys with skinny little legs and gloves bigger than their heads – and culminated in the night's ‘big fight’ which featured a 19-year old Swede versus a 50-year old Thai man. Needless to say the Swede won!
I don’t particularly like boxing as a sport but Muay Thai is a lot more skillful and at times quite artistic. Prior to the start of the first round, both fighters perform the 'Wai Kru', a spiritual dance to pay respect to their teacher accompanied by traditional Thai music. Being a successful Muay Thai fighter is the equivalent of being a top premiership footballer in the UK so it's hard not to get caught up in the passion and excitement of the sport!
---------------------------------------------Rachael has more on Tao, plus other islands like Lanta, Mook and Bulon Lae on her site A DATE AT THE TATE. She also has a section on Bangkok and some good general info on MONEY, FOOD, COSTS etc.If you want to submit a trip report on Lanta or any other location please send text and any pix to email@example.com
Back to the main Ko Lanta page.