Holidays In Koh Lanta Island Bagkok Thailand i wanted a holiday that allowed me to indulge in relaxing days, great food, the odd rejuvenating massage and also to experience some local culture. After much deliberation I chose to explore the lesserknown island of Koh Lanta in southern Thailand. With my wishlist set, I have chosen to holiday at Koh Lanta on the south-west coast of the island. My journey begins in mid-afternoon, with a 12-hour direct fl ight to Bangkok from Auckland. First duty once on board is to set my clock to Thai time. This helps to make the six-hour time difference easier to absorb.
With my wishlist set, I have chosen to holiday at Koh Lanta on the south-west coast of the island. My journey begins in mid-afternoon, with a 12-hour direct fl ight to Bangkok from Auckland. First duty once on board is to set my clock to Thai time. This helps to make the six-hour time difference easier to absorb. It’s late when I arrive in Bangkok, so I am glad my overnight hotel is just 15 minutes from the airport. I wake early, as my body clock is still adjusting. It’s down to the pool for a quick swim followed by breakfast before leaving for the airport to begin my island getaway.
Ideally situated in the province of Krabi, Koh Lanta Island has converted from an 80’s backpacker haunt into one of the new hot spots in South-East Asia. Lanta has gone upmarket in the past few years with new four- and fi ve-star resorts dotting its picturesque 40 kilometre Andaman coastline. The island’s proximity to Phuket, Krabi and even Bangkok makes it a great alternative to other well-known and more commercialised tropical island destinations.
Koh Lanta is made up of two islands;
Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai (Noi is Thai for small and Yai is large). Koh Lanta Noi doesn’t have tourist facilities so visitors travelling by road from the mainland pass through the smaller island on the way to resorts on Koh Lanta Island.
Historically Koh Lanta Island played a major role as a safe-haven port for traders from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Originally, Si Raya (known today as Lanta Old Town) on the east coast acted as the port and commercial centre for the island and provided safe harbour for trading vessels plying between the larger ports of Phuket, Penang and Singapore. Today Old Town is a sleepy tiny village with 100-year-old shacks, shops and houses built on stilts over the water. Nowadays, Ban Saladan on the northern tip of the island is the business and commercial centre where the car ferry docks.
Koh Lanta Island is about 32 kilometres long by six kilometres wide. It has a diverse cultural mix with Thai-Muslim, Thai-Chinese and the original sea gypsies all having lived on the island in harmony for a hundred years. The island is long and thin, the west coast, facing the Andaman Sea, beaded with a string of great white-sand beaches, providing unforgettable sunsets. The east coast is less developed and offers glimpses of life before tourism. It has a coastline largely consisting of mangrove and spectacular limestone rock formations.
Koh Lanta Island a traditional Thai welcome of a fl ower garland, refreshing cool towel and drink is offered as I am ushered to the reception pavilion. I am stunned by the panoramic views across the 100 acres of gently
sloping grounds that lead to the 900 metre stretch of white sandy beach.