We have been in Koh Lanta for a week during the Christmas holidays, which is high season. We chose to be in Koh Lanta as our last stop of Thailand because it was nice to be able to spend Christmas by the beach since we were far away from both our families at least we got to do something different than back home. Let's go to the top attractions with a comprehensive guide to Koh Lanta.
Where to stay?
We stayed at Coco Lanta Eco Resort and it was great for Christmas. It's a hotel in front of the beach for 40€ the night, with small rooms but with an infinity pool and beautiful sunset views. For Christmas it's one of the best hotels because they had a really cool party with fireworks, fire-show, barbecue and some fun games where you could get some Christmas presents if you won.
A comprehensive guide to Koh Lanta's must-see sights
1.Go to a diving / snorkeling excursion
One of the highlights of Koh Lanta is to go for dive excursions since underwater it's full of life and also the islands in which you dive have beautiful rock formations. One of the famous places to dive is Koh Bida, which is also very close to Koh Phi Phi and the other famous place is Koh Haa. In both places you have the chance to see whale sharks every now and then. They saw one 1 month before we were there for example ^^
We've created a video of what we saw during our Christmas dive at Koh Lanta, with huge schools of yellow snappers, cuttlefish mating, blue-spotted rays and even a fight between a tropical fish and a Moray Eel.
Moreover, in the way there you can enjoy the beautiful rock formations close to Koh Phi Phi.
2.Explore the Koh Lanta Island by Scooter
Koh Lanta is a relatively small island but big enough for you to need a scooter or a car to explore it. Exploring it by scooter is great since it has not so many people driving on it, even in high season, which means that you can take this chance to explore the island even if you're not very experienced with the motorbike.
We rented a motorbike for 2 days to explore the southern national park, the southern beaches, the old town, the long beach and the mangroves and it was great! You can rent a motorbike for 250 bhat per 24h.
The petrol is also quite cheap (about 1€ per liter) and you can refill it almost everywhere with petrol bottles. For all the places we visited within the two days we spent just half of the motorbike tank (about 3 liters), luckily our motorbike was already with half the tank when we took it ^^.
3. Visit the national park of Koh Lanta
Explore the Koh Lanta National Park for 200 Bhat per person to discover local animals such as long-tailed macaques, which are easy to spot, as well as the Dusky leaf monkey, which has a funny face as if he would be wearing some glasses. This one is a bit trickier to spot but we were lucky to spot "Dominique" hanging up at the trees.
Apart from the monkeys, you can also do a hike of 1h that is a nice walk through the shadows to escape from the baking heat of the midday sun. And you can finish the walk by the beach where you can snorkel or go up the lighthouse.
4. Relax and snorkel at the southern beaches of Koh Lanta
The beaches at the south west of Koh Lanta are beautiful and you can relax there. Maybe the blue water is not as spectacular as in Koh Kood, which happens to have also less tourists ;), but it's still beautiful to relax and have a swim. We would recommend the secret beach, Nui beach, Bamboo beach as well as the long beach. The latest is not as beautiful but it's great for a walk by the beach.
We did that and we wanted to take a beautiful drone video of the beaches. Unfortunately, we got a signal interruption and the drone started going crazy and I had to perform an emergency landing!
A guy flew the drone after me and I went rapidly to tell him that it was dangerous because mine got crazy and his did the same but he couldn't bring it back fast enough and landed in the middle of the sea :/
So, if you're flying a drone in Koh Lanta, be careful and we would recommend not to fly it at Nui Beach!
5. Visit the old town of Koh Lanta
The old town is really small and it's basically one street by the sea but you get to have great views of the islands in front of the old town and it's a nice opportunity for tasting some local food and buying some souvenirs as well.
If you visit the old town of Koh Lanta, we would really recommend stopping by Grandma's house and getting a mango crumble. It was really tasty and it comes with an ice cream of your choice 😋
6. Visit the mangrove forest
You can visit the mangrove forest by foot (costing 40 bhat per person) or by boat, which costs about 300 bhat per person. You can also rent a Kayak for 200 bhat and go by yourself but there are some monkeys living at the mangrove forest and they can swim (we saw it), so be careful if you have food because sometimes they climb on the boats ^^
You also get to see the fish that have evolved to be able to hunt insects from the water by spitting at astronomical speeds. We saw that directly by feeding them with a piece of chicken and it was impressive the speed at which these fish hunt.
7. Visit the animal welfare or do a cooking class
Some other popular activities at the island are assisting to a cooking class or visiting the animal welfare of Koh Lanta. This is the first thing to do according to tripadvisor and I think it might be cool to do the tour but they only offer the possibility to do tours... We wanted to just check out the place and meet the cats and dogs but we couldn't do it that day. The same company, which is run by a Canadian person, offers a cooking class. But we had done an amazing cooking class at Chiang Mai already, so we let it be this time ;)
We would recommend staying at Koh Lanta if you like diving, snorkeling and exploring a small island by motorbike with not so many tourists as other popular destinations in Thailand. If you like a place with even less tourists we would go for Koh Kood, which is also very nice underwater.
We hope you enjoyed this post about this beautiful island and wish you merry Christmas!
We celebrated the Catalan tradition of "Caga tió (Shitting log)", which is a log that literally shits presents. For more info, you can check Wikipedia.
The next post will be about the summary of our feelings in Thailand and that will be the last one before heading to the Philippines, where we'll celebrate New Year's Eve.