Koh Lanta Information
Travel and Local Information Guide
Koh Lanta Yai's unique cultural ambiance derives from the resident ethnic groups - a mosaic of Muslim, Chinese and Sea Gypsies (Chao Ley) who retain their traditional customs but still live in harmony side by side. While some locals earn their living from the tourism industry, the livelihood of many is still based on shrimp farming, fishing or working on rubber plantations.
This unpretentious tropical island is steadily developing, which means that you don't have to survive without ATM machines, banks, mini-marts and quality international restaurants – these can all be found in the main resort areas and there is now a post office in Baan Saladan as well as in Lanta Old Town. Because it isn't yet a frenzied tourist hub, Lanta is very family-friendly – a great destination for people who want to share quality time with loved ones – of any age!Read More
Getting There & Around
Koh Lanta is easily accessible throughout the year, by land and sea, depending on your starting point. Vehicles can access the island through the two car ferries. The first crosses to Koh Lanta Noi where after a short drive you pick up the smaller and quicker ferry onto Koh Lanta Yai (the main island). The ferries run continuously throughout the day from 06:00 to 22:00 (Green Season 07:00 to 20:30) with the first taking 20-30 minutes and the second about 10 minutes.
Once on Lanta there is a small network of roads covering the majority of the island. Two main roads run the length of the east and west coasts and are interconnected by four smaller roads. Motorbikes are easy and cheap to hire on the island, whilst a smaller number of jeeps are rented out.
Taxis are plentiful on the island, with small tuk tuks (motorbikes with a sidecar) being cheap and ideal for short journeys. Larger white open minibuses are more suitable for longer journeys (to the Old Town, Klong Nin and beyond). Taxi prices are displayed at taxi points so check the price you are quoted.
A passenger ferry from Krabi’s Klong Jirat pier located approximately three km (10 minutes) from Krabi Town, runs twice daily and has links to Railay Bay and Koh Jum via a long-tail boat connection. It takes about two hours, costs about 500 baht and arrives in the main town of Baan Saladan in Koh Lanta. If you buy your ticket from your hotel or a tour operator it will usually include a transfer to the pier.
Throughout the year, there is an hourly minibus service from Krabi Bus Station to Koh Lanta. These buses are air conditioned but usually busy, cheap (about 200 baht) and take between two-three hours. You can book this minibus service at Krabi Airport, but insist that they take you directly to Koh Lanta instead of into Krabi Town and wasting about one-two hours, plus it’s in the wrong direction! Private Transfers and taxis can also be organised to the island but expect to pay about 2,500 baht.
Regular minibuses depart for Koh Lanta from a small shop opposite the train station in Trang Town every day. The journey takes about 2.5 hours in an air-conditioned minibus. During high season there are additional buses and you can book a seat either at the stop itself, your local tour agency or your hotel.
From Phuket & Phi Phi:
Passenger ferries run from Phuket’s Ratsada Pier from October through to the end of June (depending on the weather) and take about 3½ hours. The ferry stops at Koh Phi Phi where you either cross directly onto the boat to Koh Lanta or there is a short wait on Phi Phi for about 30 minutes. The ferry runs twice a day and costs 800 baht (400 baht from Phi Phi) and docks into the main town of Baan Saladan. Most hotels and tour operators will organise a transfer to the pier in Phuket for a small additional fee.
By road Pink Buses (they are actually white with pink writing) run from Phuket Town to Koh Lanta throughout the day and take about four-five hours. All the buses are air conditioned and very cheap (about 400 baht) and can be booked at any tour operator.