Koh Lanta beaches: most beautiful beaches & best area to stay
Koh Lanta is definitely one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. If you’re looking for a Thai island with chill vibe, wonderful beaches, and great Thai food, you won’t regret going to Koh Lanta.
Picking the right beach to stay isn’t an easy decision. But you should make the choice before you start searching for accommodations.
Koh Lanta isn’t that big and of course you can just head over to a different beach during the day, but it’s always best staying by your favorite beach.
We’ve written this post to help make the decision a little easier for you. We’ll show you the most beautiful beaches on Koh Lanta and recommend suitable accommodations for every price category.
Koh Lanta’s beaches, on a map
Here are the most important beaches on Koh Lanta. We took the photos during the off-season, so the beaches are almost deserted.
And just in case you’re wondering why the island is covered in fog on most of the photos: That’s what the island looked like in October 2015 when the rainforest was burned in Indonesia and the wind pushed the smoke north.
Our post also features a short description of each beach – from north to south.
The beaches in the north of the island
Kawkwang Beach is located in the north of the island and is just a few minutes’ drive from the ferry terminal at Saladan Pier. This long stretch of beach is set in a small cove with white sand and turquoise-colored water.
The water is fairly shallow and you can easily walk 50 meters out into the sea without losing the sand under your feet. The beach’s location in a small cove means the water is generally very calm, making it ideal for families with small children.
Where to stay at Kawkwang Beach
Klong Dao Beach
Klong Dao Beach directly borders Kawkwang to the south, also has white sand and is very shallow, and is great for families with children.
Where to stay in Klong Dao Beach
Long Beach (Prae Ae) borders Klong Dao Beach to the south and is about 3 km long, so it’s great for leisurely seaside strolls. The resorts there are quite pricey, but you should also be able to find a few places to stay right by the beach. The water here is a bit deeper than at Klong Dao and Kawkwang Beach.
But not by much. There are also many great beach bars and restaurants here where you can enjoy life at the beach from the comfort of a hammock.
Where to stay in Long Beach
The beaches in the middle of the island
Klong Khong Beach
This beach probably has some of the cheapest accommodations on the island. The beach here is also relatively expansive and you’ll find lots of nice beach bars and restaurants.
But in our opinion, this beach has nowhere near the same charm as the beaches in the north. And there are a few rocky spots in the water, so you have to be a bit careful when you go swimming. Bathing can be pretty difficult at low tide.
Where to stay at Klong Khong Beach
Klong Nin Beach
The beach is also different from the beaches in the north of the island because the water here is pretty deep by comparison. The tsunami pushed the sand up a notch, so the beach is quite steep. But of course it’s still stunningly beautiful.
You’ll find the largest number of backpacker accommodations right on the seafront here. You’ll also find a supermarket, some cafés, and restaurants along the main road behind the hotels.
The waves on the beach are often relatively high and are great for ‘goofing around’ by the shore. But you shouldn’t swim too far out.
Where to stay at Klong Nin Beach
The beaches in the south of the island
Ba-Kantiang Bay, Klong Jark & Bamboo Bay
The coasts get more rugged toward the south of the island and the beaches here have a completely different charm. They’re much smaller and more crescent-shaped than the ones in the north. There’s jungle and rocks in the background. That gives them a Robinson Crusoe flair, and you may get the feeling you’re not on Koh Lanta anymore.
The south is mostly known for luxury resorts, but there are a few more affordable bungalow residences there too. The tourist infrastructure in this area is rather underdeveloped, so you’ll have to rely on the hotel restaurants for dinner.
The northernmost beach in the south at Kantiang Bay is the most popular and attracts the most people. It also hosts the largest selection of hotels including some cheaper accommodation options. The 5-star Pimalai Resort is also located here.
After Kantiang Beach, the coastal road gets steeper and hillier, and you might have trouble driving up the hillside roads with two people on a scooter.
That’s probably why the beaches at Klong Jark and Bamboo Bay are generally deserted and quiet all year round. Except for monkeys – so watch out, because they’ll be after your stuff.
The beach at Mu Koh Lanta National Park – Tanod Cape is the southernmost beach on the island. It’s actually located within the national park, so you have to pay an admission fee of 200 baht (about 5 euros) per person to get there. But the ticket is valid for a whole year, so you don’t have to pay every time you reenter the park.
The beach there is very pretty, but unfortunately there are quite a few rocks in the water, so you’ll have to be careful where you tread.
You can also stay overnight in the national park.
Where to stay at Ba-Kantiang Bay
Where to stay on Koh Lanta
General tips for your vacation on Koh Lanta
You’ll really find every type of accommodation on the island. From luxury resorts that leave nothing to be desired to simple cabins with no air-conditioning by the beach.
But during peak season from November to April/May it’s actually pretty tricky to find a great place to stay right on the beachfront at short notice. So we recommend starting to look for accommodation as soon as possible.
It’s much easier during the off-season and the prices are up to 50 percent lower than during peak season. However, many hotels close during the off-season, so you’ll have to share fewer accommodations with fewer tourists.
Room rates in Koh Lanta during peak season are a little above average for Thailand, but are still very cheap by western standards. You can expect to pay about 10-20 euros per day for a place right by the beach.
Make sure the accommodation isn’t located directly on the island’s main road leading down the west coast. Unless the noise of passing cars doesn’t bother you that is, because in that case you can really benefit from lower prices. Accommodations on Koh Lanta can be divided into three different zones.
- Right by the beach
- Between the beach and the main road
- Behind the main road
What else you should look out for:
- Do you want air-conditioning or is a fan enough?
- Do you want a pool?
You can apply your preferences in the left column on booking.com and filter the hotels accordingly.
Our favorite beach on Koh Lanta
We were very happy in Long Beach We chose the beach because it has the only coworking space on the island, the KoHub. But we’d go back in a heartbeat even if it weren’t for the coworking space.
The beach isn’t as isolated as the beaches in the south, but even during peak season it’s far from crowded. Long Beach has a perfect mix of laid-back beach life, relaxation, and restaurants.
Our hotels on Koh Lanta
We found the best selection and the best prices for Koh Lanta on booking.com. We spent three weeks in a bungalow at the small but very nice Escape Cabins and can highly recommend it.
The Escape Cabins aren’t right by the beach, in fact they’re behind the main road. But it’s only a five-minute walk to the beach, and you have a pool and really nice bungalows, which would most probably be much more expensive if they were right by the seaside.
For our last two days we tested a genuine luxury hotel. The Crown Lanta Spa & Beach Resort is right by Kawkwang Beach, which is directly adjacent to Klong Dao Beach and not far from Long Beach. It even has rooms with direct pool access. So if you want to spoil yourself, we can highly recommend this hotel.
You generally don’t have to worry about the beaches on Koh Lanta being overrun. As a rule: The further south the beach, the ‘quieter’ it is and the less developed the infrastructure.
At some of the smaller beaches on the island there often isn’t even a restaurant that doesn’t belong to a hotel. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, most of them serve really delicious food at fair prices.
Do you have a favorite beach on Koh Lanta?
Do you have any questions for us or have you already been to Koh Lanta and have fallen in love with the island? Do you have a favorite beach?