Koh Lanta: Mangroves and Smiles Galore

From Phuket we mooched on down to Koh Lanta on another Death Minibus with a price from heaven. Around 500 baht for two people (around £10):  a 5-hour minibus and two ferries to get from Phuket bus terminal to Koh Lanta. In town we had been quoted 700Bpp at the cheapest – see what happens when you wing it with only a guidebook and some friendly Thai advice? 

Glorious Koh Lanta. You were so perfect. How had we not heard of you before Phuket? How had I skimmed over your introduction in my trusty Rough Guide? A haven for people like us with a budget, backpack, and a passion for paradise.

A two-pronged island, Koh Lanta is technically a province within the Krabi province. Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai (one bigger one smaller, as we saw in Koh Phangan) are two islands connected by a ferry.

Backpackers Feet Memories - a tower of old flip flops left by backpackers

We found out hotel on our favourite ever website, Agoda. After wallowing in a pit of our own misery (Phuket) we decided to book something nice for the first 2 nights and go somewhere cheaper after that. We stayed 13.

Nice and expensive equalled roughly £11 a night. (This was high-season remember) So £5.50 each. Hardly pushing the boat out, but we felt tremendous budgeters guilt come night 10. Resulting in a couple of picnics and a few less lunches. It wasn’t anything flash, but to have somewhere with a comfortable bed, real blanket, fridge for beer and a flushing toilet: damn happy.

The Lanta Queen Resort was a small family run complex across the road just behind the beach. We were nestled at the southern end of Ao Phra Ae Beach, otherwise known as Long Beach. It was about a 10 minute walk through side alleys to find out way to what must have been one of the most beautiful beaches I have, or will ever, be on in my whole life (I’ve seen some stunners, believe me).

Koh Lanta is a very quiet little island. The food is more expensive than in other Thai destinations but predictable, and therefore acceptable, for an island. There are wild nights should you go looking for them – on Phra Ae there was Monkey Bar with live music every night, and up in the main town of Saladan a night market thrives off tourists with bars and clubs hidden down little back alleys. Another place we came across was the mind-altering Mong Bar – little wooden plaques were plastered all around the island: ‘Take you to the moooon’ they promised. We preferred to stay on earth.

We did however hire a motorbike (scooter thing) to explore the island for the day, stopping off to admire the views across cliffs, have lunch in a hilltop shack overlooking the ocean, and tease our thrill sensors with the steep unstable roads. It was incredible. Even with a near-death experience (The Boy accidentally speeding across the road as we climbed onto the bike, head first into traffic) we survived. Just about. While we were reassessing out heart rates the Salesman on the other side of the road was chuckling. Funny man.

I wanted to do it again.

Sadly some of our photos were lost somewhere – my favourites as well! I have no idea where, but they don’t appear to be on my laptop! I shall keep on searching and update when I can! 


  1. This looks like paradise! And it's on my bucketlist!
    You lucky lady!

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