Andrew and I spent almost 2 weeks in Koh Lanta, Thailand this November, and despite there being one million+ destinations in Southeast Asia to visit and explore, we decided we had to make a return trip before heading back to the US. Koh Lanta has probably been our favorite place we’ve traveled to over the past six months – here’s a few reasons why we fell in love:
Not so Touristy: Koh Lanta is not nearly as busy as its better known sister island Koh Phi Phi, but still has easy access to many other islands in the region. We signed up for the “four island’ excursion, which took us to several smaller and uninhibited islands near Koh Lanta for snorkeling and kayaking.
The Nicest People: There are a definitely a lot of “fake” smiles in the Thai region, especially when locals are trying to make a sale, but in Koh Lanta we found the people to be genuinely nice, open, and interested to talk to us. The owner of our favorite coffee shop runs his business with his entire family in tow – from the grandmother to his new baby, and he loved sharing information about his life in Thailand.
Beautiful Beaches: All the beaches in Koh Lanta are white sand with minimal waves and luckily, minimal sea creatures (jellyfish are abundant in this region). Even the most crowded beaches have laid back vibes, with thatched hut bars dotting the sand and the sounds of island music lazily mixing with the gentle breeze.
Great Local Restaurants: Our favorite spot is pad thai rock n roll, owned and run by a Thai couple. Plates of the most delicious streaming pad Thai go for $2.5 accompanied by a laundry list of fresh fruit smoothies.
Koh Lanta has yet to be fully affected by the an overgrowth of tourism, and still maintains a true laid-back, Thai island vibe. It’s rustic for sure (i.e. gas stations are simply stands with whiskey bottles full of gas on the side of the road- workers pour the gas into your moped through a funnel) but still has enough amenities to be comfortable for a longer stay. We love having the opportunity to see the world, but it’s also nice to have a place like Koh Lanta that we enjoy so much we can’t help but return to.