The exact meaning behind the island’s name is unknown. However, its older name, ‘Pulao Satak’ translates into long beach island. Perhaps, due to the four marvelous stretches of white sand and more secluded beaches all combined to form what is known as Koh Lanta to the rest of the world. Discovered in the 80s by backpackers, it was not until the early 2000s that this island became common among tourists. It was especially so after the other commonly visited places in the region had become too crowded.
Today, however, Koh Lanta prides in being one of the greatest destination for tourists highly interested in diving and Snorkeling. Other than the vast beaches, and the exquisite yoga scene, it also homes to a mountainous background. In the mountains, you will find untouched flora such as the mangrove forest protected by the state. If you are daring enough, you might go atop the white rock cliff where there is a lighthouse, which affords you a breathtaking view of the ground beneath. If you are tired of the typical tourist stuff or want a break from the diving and snorkeling, head east. There you will quench your eye’s thirst with the old fishing villages and shrimp farms that give you a taste of the people’s culture.
Once you take a ferry to Koh Lanta, you will undoubtedly land at Baan Saladan, the most Northern point. Previously a fishing village, the place is now a beehive of activities thanks to numerous tourist activities. There are lots of banks, restaurants, cyber cafes as well massage and parlors all after tourist satisfaction. Here you can get cheap seafood and accommodation in the many guest houses available. South of Saladan lies various attractive destinations. One such destination is Haad Khlong Dao, which is the pioneer touring destination. It mainly targets midrange family tours, and western food is easily available here.
Down south, Haad Phra Ae, also known as the long beach invites you to its vast shoreline. It is home to dozens of midrange accommodation solutions, clubs, sports bars, as well as luxury resorts. Further south, Haad Khlong Khong houses beach parties and is a favorite for the youth and backpackers. If visiting in the company of your family, you might want to avoid this destination as loud music gets played late into the night. A stroll further to the southern side takes you to the more upscale and ‘old town’ section of Koh Lanta. Destinations here include Haad Khlong Nin and Ao Mai Pai (coconut bay).
All of the above destinations are accessible through three paved roads, which narrow down to the south. Motorbike transport is the primary means here, and you will get from one destination to the other in time to enjoy the next fascinating activity on your schedule. You can also take some time off and stroll into the woods for an enhanced feel of the untouched beauty of nature in Koh Lanta.