Koh Lanta, Thailand

Koh Lanta was the perfect stop after three nights in Ko Phi Phi. We didn’t know what to expect here after Phi Phi both surprised us and exceeded our expectations. We started with just two nights here but quickly extended it to three and honestly could have stayed for much longer.  Koh Lanta is absolutely beautiful. It is probably three or four times the size of a Phi Phi but nowhere close to as large as Phuket. We stayed on Klong Nin Beach and could’ve been happier with the location.  It’s about halfway down island and offers everything you could be looking for…soft white sand beaches, beachfront massages, bbq’s on the sand and so much more.

The beach itself is pretty quiet in comparison to Phi Phi but still offers a wide array of beachside bars and restaurants that offer a more low-key experience. Most of the restaurants have beach chairs to lay out on and are not strict about how much you order or how long you stay, my kind of spots! There are actual waves to ride too, no where else in Thailand have we seen waves yet!
Waves on Klong Nin Beach
Waves on Klong Nin Beach
We spent most of our time here relaxing, sipping on fruit smoothies (some with rum, some without), and enjoying the beautiful beach. After two days in the hot sun I turned a bit red and we had to spend our third day covered up in the shade.  So we decided to hop on a scooter and go exploring. We saw over half the island and ended up off a beaten path with signs directing us to a waterfall hike and elephant trek. We couldn’t resist!
Elephant Trekking
Elephant Trekking

Riding the elephant through the jungle was surreal, and something I have always dreamed of doing. BUT, after the experience I felt horrible and could visibly see how overworked the animals are and would not feel right doing this again. After looking into it more these working elephants are very mistreated and it is a huge problem in Thailand.  There are a couple of elephant sanctuaries that rehab former working animals and offer them a safe environment.  I would love to visit one of these.  Overall it was a really good day of exploring, seeing the local culture, eating lunch at the highest point on the island and seeing some scenery.

View Point Restaurant, where we had lunch
View Point Restaurant, where we had lunch

Our first night here we stumbled upon a bar which is the picture of a perfect beach bar…two stories of sand floored restaurant, cheap drinks, drift wood walls and the best grilled seafood around.  The grilled BBQ was different each night depending on the fresh catch of the day but included barracuda, grouper, large prawn, tuna and so much more. They even had ribs (imported meat), baked potatoes, and corn on the cob. It was so good we ate here every night!!  If you find yourself in Koh Lanta make a stop…or three, like we did…at Richey Bar on Klong Nin Beach!!

Richey Bar
Richey Bar
Barracuda...amazing!
Barracuda…amazing!

Overall I absolutely loved Koh Lanta and cannot wait to spend more time here.  If you are on your way to Thailand and are trying to decided where to visit definitely stop here and Phi Phi.  If your time is limited I would rule out Phuket, it’s very large and doesn’t have the feel of an island like these do.

Me on the beach
Me on the beach
Elephant Trek
Elephant Trek
A 1000 year old tree we saw on our hike to the waterfall
A 1,000 year old tree we saw on our hike to the waterfall
RG under the "waterfall"
RG under the “waterfall”

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