In the South of Thailand, Koh Lanta is one of the most-visited Thai holiday islands that remains relatively uncommercial.
This immense destination spans two main islands – Lanta Yai and Lanta Noi. Do you want to discover Koh Lanta? We recommend you take a kayak trip like we once did to explore the earth-shattering natural beauty of this tropical paradise.
Come with us to discover the natural beauty of Koh Lanta and other stunning islands.
A day out with a difference starts and ends in a mangrove swamp! The word ‘swamp’ seems a little harsh for one of nature’s natural defense systems protecting coastlines from storm surges (especially during typhoons), soil erosion, and tsunamis. Sometimes the term mangrove forest is used, but this does not point to the fact that they grow in saltwater, and a correct name may be ‘mangrove biome.’
Nevertheless, our kayaking trip to discover Koh Lanta starts with one of nature’s wonders. After the pick-up at your hotel in the morning, you will be taken to the east coast of Koh Lanta. You will be dropped off near the waterway that divides the two halves of Lanta, mostly mangrove. The journey starts along walkways through the trees and above the soil, where crabs form mounds of the earth until you arrive at your long-tail boat.
The Southern Thai version of the long tail has a characteristic prow of outsized proportions. The stem post rises sharply upwards for nearly a meter with no purpose other than to look beautiful. Indeed, it is pretty and usually wrapped around with a colorful cloth. Or even a Thai flag was undoubtedly the traditional style long before the boat grew its motorized tail. The ‘tail’ is a long shaft with a propeller driven by a naked truck engine and resembles a giant’s egg whisk. Mercifully, this boat’s engine has a silencer. There is also a good width of the craft of the day. So ten travelers and two crew can set out in relative comfort destined for Koh Ta La Beng. It is a good half-hour trip and the perfect time to slap on the suntan cream.
Koh Lanta is a large Island, 6 km wide and 30 km long, with 9 beaches. Most of the island is covered in mangroves and hills. Its coastline is dotted with 70 small islands.
Picking the way through the mangrove creeks, we are now on open water between the eye-catching islands east of Koh Lanta. Tropical islands do not always sport palm trees. But all are densely wooded and generally complemented by sandy beaches. Our destination island has other attractive features, including the sheer cliffs where plant life still lives. As with many Thai islands, this one is split into two, and everyone reaches for the camera on approach to capture the magnificence of the divide with its vertical cliffs rising out of the Andaman Sea.
There is a small hidden cove in complete shade on the smaller island where the boat beaches and a support long-tail bring other kayaks for the day's focus—the circumnavigation of Ta La Beng. In stark contrast to the mothership, the two-man kayaks are modern, with molded plastic seats and footrests to suit most human forms. Stalactites and drooping creepers festoon the cliffs as you navigate around the island. Take your time to sail into caves with their equally impressive beauty. The trip takes nearly an hour before arriving back at the cove with its welcome shade and a Coke.
Koh Lanta has white sandy beaches and stunning greenery offering spectacular views to its visitors. There are resorts and bungalows to stay in and enjoy the tranquility of this natural beauty.
Now it is time for the next destination, Bubu Island, where lunch awaits. Finding places such as Babu Island is why you are here to discover Koh Lanta in the first place. This private island has a few bungalows, a restaurant, and an excellent beach. Lunch is freshly prepared Thai food consisting of Thai green curry, cashew nut chicken, fried vegetables, and plenty of rice, with watermelon and pineapple to follow, all served at tables in the shade of tall trees.
There is a choice of bottled water or Coke and other options to buy from the restaurant bar. Tropical crickets chirp noisily overhead, then fall silent as the peace of this island retreat begins to settle. A snooze in a hammock between the trees or a lie on the sand might be the order of the day before diving into the sea for welcome relief from the heat on your Thailand holiday. After a couple of hours of relaxing, it is time to head back to the mangroves and some closer eco-inspection.
There are inhabitants further up the animal scale than the crabs. There may be iguanas, definitely no crocodiles, but this creature is not generally associated with the sea. They are monkeys. Macaques, to be precise, but the description monkey will do. Moreover, they are foraging around the sediments of the biome floor rather than swinging from the trees. Stopping the boat for a while, it is time to feed them the fruit skins from lunch and wonders at their feeding habits.
They are most particular about washing their food before eating, and there are squabbles in the hierarchy. They also display the answer to the question, “Do monkeys swim?” Yes, they do indeed and are pretty good at it. Some keep their heads firmly above water while others dive and emerge on the other side of the creek. There is also no apparent lower age limit for these aquanauts, for the smallest primates seem equally adept.
A last meander up the creeks to the attractive setting of the jetty ends a thoroughly enjoyable day out before being taken back to your hotel on four wheels.
When you want to discover Koh Lanta and find some exciting and unique things to see and do, a memorable Kayaking trip around the island is something you will remember for the rest of your life. If one of your goals is to take advantage of this trip, it costs around 1500 Thai Baht per person, which is a huge deal. You can contact us directly for more details if you want to learn and understand more about a Koh Lanta Kayaking trip.
Remember to bring: swimwear, suntan lotion, sunhats, and cameras.
The 2004 Tsunami hit Koh Lanta, and 20 people lost their lives.
Koh Lanta is a large beautiful island district in Krabi Province on Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast. It boasts stunning scenery with nearly a dozen beaches from North to South along the sunset coast, each with its beauty, charm, and atmosphere.
Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand 81150
Hi, we are The Bear Travelers. We enjoy traveling around Thailand. Come and join us on our spectacular journey as we dive together into the mystic of Asia.
A fast-growing Thailand Travel Blog written by Expats and Thais since 2017. We will share our experiences and ideas from an insider point of view for you to create your own unique Thailand experience.
For the latest news and events about The Bear Travel, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube.
For any issues, concerns, or queries, don’t hesitate to CONTACT us.
Get your free Thailand Insight eBook. Our complete Thailand Guide to get more out of your trip - Experience like a local.