Koh Lanta

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Koh Lanta
07°34.600'N, 099°02.800'E Chart icon.png
lat=7.57667 | lon=99.04667 | zoom=11 | Y

Ko Lanta Yai is 6km wide and over 30km long, located approximately 70km from Krabi Town. The island has 9 attractive white sandy beaches, with splendid scenery all around the island. The eastern coastline has many small islands with beaches, caves and most are heavily forested. Coral reefs and underwater life can be found on the Islands to the W and SE of Ko Lanta Yai. The island is divided by a mountain range that runs from North to South with the beaches and tourist resorts lying to the west of this range. The East side of the island remains largely unchanged by tourism, with communities of Sea Gypsies, Muslims, Thai Chinese and Thai Buddhist all living in harmony, as they have for many generations. The area between Ko Lanta Yai and Ko Lanta Nio is given over to a mangrove forest with many channels that are navigable by dinghy or Kayak.

A paved road runs along the West coast beaches all the way from the northern part of the island (Ban Saladan) to Kantiang Bay in the South, with partially paved roads from there to the headquarters of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park in the far south. Paved roads also run from Ban Saladan down the East coast through local villages and communities to [Lanta 'Old Town'] and on to the Sea Gypsy village of Sang Ga U. These roads form a 'ring' road of the island with the only break being the National Park area. There are 2 further paved roads that cross the island making access to all parts of the island easy and safe on hired scooters or cars.


See Thailand.


Weather in the region is tropical - there are only two seasons: the dry season from December to March, and the rainy season from April to November (although May, June and July are often dry). Temperatures during the year average 25ºC to 32ºC (77ºF to 89.6ºF) and the yearly rainfall averages 2568.5mm. Unlike in say Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily and quickly over short periods. The first rains usually arrive in April and are indicative of the onset of the SW monsoon, the second (heavier) rains usually arrive in September/October.

Ko Lanta is an all year destination for visiting yachts as the island is big enough to offer good protection from both monsoons. The West coast becomes untenable during the stronger SW monsoon (April - November) whilst the East coast is protected throughout the year, particularly in the SW monsoon. The sea stays at a warm 29 degrees Celsius all year round.

Transition period; The transition period from one monsoon to the other usually spans around 4-6 weeks. During this time it is possible to get wind, sometimes strong wind, from virtually any direction! It is therefore advisable to make sure that any overnight anchorages have nearby alternates. (Unless you particularly like heading off for a 6 hour passage, in a howling wet gale, in the middle of the night!)

Sources for Weather forecasts:


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


Islands to the North

  • Ko Pu (Jum)

Islands to the West

  • Ko Ha

This group of 5 islands is a very popular dive & snorkeling spot and presents an ideal lunch stop on a day sail from Ko Lanta, or en route from ko Phi Phi to Ko Rok Nok. The islands are small and offer no real protection in either monsoon so overnight anchorage is not recommended. If you are not able to use one of the moorings, please take special care when anchoring to ensure you are not damaging the coral reef.

  • Ko Rok Nok & Ko Rok Nai

These two islands lie to the south-west of ko Lanta and offer very good snorkeling over a large area of coral reef. Passage between the 2 islands is possible keeping close in to Ko Rok Nok and a sharp lookout for the highly visible reef in clear water.

There are moorings between the two islands which can be used with caution. Some of the moorings are tied directly to the reef and are too shallow (even for a catamaran) at low water. Other moorings are available on the South of Rok Nai and East of Rok Nok. All are close to the reef but generally in deep water. Always snorkel or dive on the mooring and swing area, especially if you are planing to stay overnight.

You can visit these islands in either season but it can quickly become uncomfortable if the wind picks up from virtually any direction. If you are forced to leave, you have a 20 mile run to the nearest cover.

There is a National Park HQ on the southern side of Ko Rok Nai and they are consistent in collecting the park fee. This can be expensive if you have some friends, or a large family on board, especially if you only plan to stay for a few hours. If you arrive after about 4pm and leave before about 10am, you may get away without paying a fee on the basis that you are just anchoring for the night. If you want to get value for money, provision up and stay for a few days. (Tip: if you have some 'gifts' available for park employees, it often helps with the fees!)

Islands to the East

Ko Por is only a few hundred metres from the anchorage in Old Town and offers good protection if the wind gets strong from the NE. Anchor on the west side of the island near the pier (either side). Ko Por has a registered population of around 450 but many people have migrated to Lanta or elsewhere to seek employment, leaving around 250 full time residents. There are roads and tracks that can take you across and around the island and there are lots of deserted beaches to relax on or have a BBQ. There is a colony of ‘flying foxes’ that frequent the island and the friendly locals will be happy to show you the way, or take you on a tour of the island. Ko Por is a Muslim island so please ensure that you are appropriately dressed when visiting the island and be ready to ‘cover up’ if you’re on the beach and someone comes. Alcohol is not allowed on the island.

  • Ko Bubu. (07° 33.5N 099° 08.5E)

This is a privately owned island with a small and rustic resort and restaurant. There is a lovely beach on the west coast making this an ideal lunch stop while you’re cruising the eastern isles. If you don’t use the resort’s restaurant you may be asked to pay 50baht /head to use the beach. On Bubu you can often find Southern Pied Horn-bills flying around dusk.

  • Ko Kam Yai. (07° 35.4N 099° 08.4E)BBQ Beach

There used to be a resort here some years ago but all that remains are the concrete pads and the swimming pool. Anchor on the west coast at the North end of the island where you can see the beach in 4-5 meters with good holding. There is a large sand spit extending west from the North end of the beach which makes a good basin and offers potential for careening. When you approach to anchor, it is advisable to check the depth within the whole of your swinging circle as the sea bed shoals rapidly to three sides of the basin.

  • Ko Kam Noi. (07° 34.6N 099° 08.3E)

This is another privately owned island and I am told the owners discourage visitors to the beach, however I have visited a few times and nothing has been said. To the northern end of the island you will see a beach that goes across to the other side and nearly divides the island in 2 at HWS. There is good holding here in 3-5m.

Do not attempt passage between Ko Kam Noi and Kam Yai as there are submerged rocks in this channel.

The 2 Talebeng islands offer very good protection in both seasons and anchoring is possible anywhere around the islands. These are truly beautiful limestone islands, similar to those found in Phang Nga bay and are great for dinghy exploration in flat calm waters. The smaller island has a very large cave on the west side and some secluded tidal beaches. The cave can be accessed by dinghy at all states of tide and has a beach in the entrance to leave your dinghy while you explore. The first chamber is enormous and you can climb to the top quite easily as there is a rope to assist you. This stage is possible for most people and you’ll be rewarded with a great view back down to the twin entrance. For the more adventurous, the next climb (also with a rope) is more vertical but with good footholds and takes you to the ‘gallery’ formed by stalactites and stalagmites, giving you a ‘framed’ view of the cavern below. Beyond this you’ll need strong flashlights and better footwear to continue. What lies beyond are more big caverns, with freshwater pools, and another exit cave high on the island, but not for the feint hearted!

Common sense should prevail, don’t attempt to go further than you feel comfortably able and don’t go on your own, this would be a bad place to have an accident!

Next door to the cave is a small beach to relax on or have lunch and, for the adventurous, it is possible to climb high into the interior of the island.

I have not passed in the channel between the 2 islands (other than with the dinghy) but all indications suggest that this should be navigable.

Islands to the South

There are 3 main islands to the South of Lanta, each with resorts and beaches, loosely forming a triangle of 5nm. Within this triangle there are 3 further, small islands which offer great snorkeling and lunchtime stops. The whole area has clear water with many reefs and it is possible to visit and overnight in both seasons (though not always in the same places).

  • Ko Ngai (Hai)

Is a beautiful, heavily forested, triangular island, rising to around 200m in the middle. You can very often see Southern Pied Hornbills flying high in the hills. There are around 8 resorts on the island (no village) all of which are on the East coast. The fine white sand beach is uncrowded, with Turquoise water leading to the fringing reef. Add to this the beautifully scenic backdrop offered by the other islands in the group and you may never want to leave! Approach from N or S standing off 500m until you reach your 'spot' before turning and heading in perpendicular to the beach. The fringing reef is very obvious in good light, and shoals very quickly from 8-10 metres. The tidal current runs parallel to the beach. There are some good moorings here but be aware that some of them are actually over the reef! (In fading light do not assume that a mooring buoy indicates a safe distance off) This is the 'preferred' anchorage in both seasons except in the early part of the NE monsoon when it may be better to anchor off the South or West coast.

This is the largest of the Three main islands and also the only one with a village (NE coast). Ko Muk (Mook) plays host to one the most spectacular coastal attractions in Southern Thailand, the Emerald Cave. This is a hidden lagoon ('Hong' which means 'room' in Thai) which is accessed by an 80 metre swim-through cave. The cave is pitch black in the middle before opening out into the lagoon which is very high sided and covered in lush vegetation giving a 'Jurassic' park feel to the place. There are no words or photos that can adequately describe the place, or the feeling you have the first time you see it! you just have to go and see it for yourself! As you would expect, this is a very popular tourist destination and it gets crowded during the main part of the day. The very best time to visit is around 5pm at neaps, giving no crowds, a half full lagoon and the best lighting as you exit the Emerald Cave. Enjoy!

There are moorings available outside the entrance to the cave which should be used only for the time that you are in there.

There are good anchorages to the North and South of the cave; to the North anchor in 6-8 metres between two fairly sheer cliffs that stand in front of a small accessible beach, or to the South a few hundred metres from the cave off the main tourist beach in 4-8 metres on a sand/mud/rock bed. Make sure you test your anchor as dragging is possible here and chain 'rumble' is not uncommon because of the small patches of rock.

Ko Muk and the Emerald Cave (Tham Morokot) are only tenable during the NE monsoon and if you visit during the 'transition' period (April & Nov/Dec) be prepared to move at short notice.

The least developed of the three main islands, Ko Kradan has a long white sand beach on the east coast, with good snorkeling here and to the south of the island. There is an alternate anchorage on the west coast making this a year-round stop-off on the way to Langkawi or Phuket.

Anchor on the East coast in 6-10 metres, avoiding the fringing coral reef, the south coast has mooring buoys or a deeper anchorage of 12-15 metres, or the west coast where you see the beach in 10-12 metres.

Cruisers friend: 'Wallie' is an ex liveaboard cruiser from Hawaii with a simple resort and restaurant in the middle of the island, "Paradise" . Here you'll find cold beer, good food and local knowledge. What more can you ask for?

  • Ko Ma

The most Northerly of the small islands offers good snorkeling but is often very busy during the day. There are moorings available.

  • Ko Chuek

The most interesting of the small islands with caves, good snorkeling and even cliff-jumping possibilities. Most of the tour boats pick up the moorings to the North of the island(s) but the 3 moorings to the South are usually quieter.

  • Ko Wean

The biggest and tallest of the smaller islands is fairly steep-to and usually only used by the occasional dive boat.


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


The normal approaches to ko Lanta are from the NW if cruising from Phuket or Phi Phi and from the SW - SE if cruising from langkawi or any of the islands to the South of Lanta. There are no significant dangers on the approaches from either direction.

For West coast destinations; stand off 500 metres until you reach your 'spot' and head in perpendicular to the shoreline and anchor in 3-8 metres. Make sure you set your anchor properly as there can be significant sea breezes at times and wind 'reversals' and 'bullets' are not uncommon, (because of the high ridge in the center of the island) in the strong part of the NE monsoon (Jan-Feb). The sea breeze usually dies with the sun.

For East cost anchorages and islands; head mid channel between Ko Lanta/Ko Kluang to port and Ko Po (Por) to stbd and anchor off the town pier at Old Town, or the pier at Ko Por. See Eastern Islands section for more info.

There are tidal overfalls to the South of the Island, extending for a few hundred metres to the South of the Lighthouse. It is deep water and no danger to yachts but for your comfort, a wider turn maybe better, particularly in the SW monsoon when heading from the North to anchor on the East coast.


By road to Krabi.



No ports.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

As yet there are no marinas on Ko Lanta.



Caution: There are moorings available for use by visiting yachts around many of the islands in the region, however you should consider the following before picking one up;

  • The moorings cannot be considered to be 'maintained' and what you see on the surface may not represent the condition of the entire mooring. - dive it to be sure
  • The moorings are often used by commercial boats during the day and although they have no 'legal' advantage over visiting yachts, it is 'good manners' to either give up the mooring in their favor, or allow them to hang off the back of your boat for the limited time that they are there.
  • Moorings are not always placed in deep enough water for yachts - check the entire swing circle to ensure that you can safely stay during all states of tide.
  • In general, Orange or Yellow buoys are free of charge, any other color may belong to a resort and you may be asked to move, or pay.
  • Moorings can drag or break, any subsequent damage to your boat, or others, will be at your liability.


  • Anchoring is possible all along the West coast during the NE monsoon (Dec - Mar) with the more southerly bays offering the most beautiful and secluded backdrops, whilst the more Northerly beaches offer a greater range of facilities as these are the most populous tourist spots. There are some rocks (shown on the chart) but these are all within a few meters of the beach. If you stand off at least 300m you will be in safe water.
    Holding is generally good on a sand bottom in 3-7m with the exception of Klong Kong beach which has a rocky bottom in places, making it difficult to find comfortable swinging room and more difficult for the dinghy at low water.
  • Anchoring on the East coast is possible all year round with the best area being near to 'Old Town' in 3-5m with a sticky mud bottom. The pier gives all tide access to the town with it's provisions and restaurants etc, making this an excellent anchorage during the SW monsoon. During the early part of the NE monsoon (Jan/Feb) the wind is occasionally strong and, whilst the anchorage remains safe, it is more comfortable in the lee of neighboring Ko Po(Por) a few hundred meters away.
    The area to the North of 'Old Town' is generally too shallow to navigate at anything other than HWS and thus not tenable as an anchorage.
  • The Islands to the east of Lanta offer good protection in both seasons.


Water Drinking water is widely available in bottles. Drinking ice is also widely available in small quantities, with larger quantities being available in the early morning on Old Town pier
Electricity port or marina name/wiki/Koh_Lanta#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3Eport_or_marina_name.3C.2Fspan.3EElectricity icon port or marina name [[Koh Lanta#port or marina name|port or marina name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx
Toilets ?
Showers Shower water can be taken at HW at the end of the pier in Old Town
Laundry Laundry services are widely available on the island
Garbage Garbage can be disposed of in bins provided all around the island
Fuel Fuel is available in small quantities by jerry can from the many fuel stations on the island. The easiest access is from Old Town as the fuel can be taken to the end of the pier for loading into your tender
Bottled gas Give details on cooking gas (Camping Gaz, butane, propane, etc) suppliers. If there are no suppliers in the island just enter "None"
  • Lanta Marine Services Co Ltd. 'Orange House', 15 moorings 2, Sri Raya Rd, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai, Krabi. 81150. Thailand. Tel:- +66 (0) 831043109. Email. Offer secure storage moorings and a range of care packages to keep your boat in tip-top condition while you go travelling or working.
Repairs There are no specific repair services for yachts on Lanta but there are some 'useful' local business' that may be able to help, particularly with engine repairs and 'get-you-going' fixes. Contact Lanta Marine services for assistance. +66 (0) 831043109
Internet Internet and increasing coverage of WiFi is available all over the island. The internet shops usually double as tour shops and charge varying amounts from 1bt/min and up. The WiFi services are usually free for patrons
Mobile connectivity Is there mobile telephone signal such as G4, G3, GPRS on the island? How strong is the signal? Are there any blind spots?
Vehicle rentals Motorbike & Car Rental is available throughout the island both from resorts and specialised outlets


There are basic groceries and general supplies available throughout the island. The best variety is available in Ban Saladan at the north of the island or in Old Town on the east coast.

Fresh Markets

The traveling fresh market is found at Klong Nin village on Friday afternoon/Saturday morning, then Saladan on Saturday afternoon/Sunday morning, and finally Old Town on Sunday afternoon.

Sea Food Market

In Old Town there are two fresh sea-food markets that supply much of the island, and you can often buy fresh squid from the boats tied up at the side of the pier.

Eating out

There are a great many restaurants all over the island, from five-star restaurants within 5 star resorts, to no-star local stalls. Menu options cover all the regions of Thailand and western dishes too and prices are generally reflected by the kind of establishment you choose.


  • Although Ko Lanta is an island it is also possible to drive here via the two car ferries from the mainland. This option is available throughout the year either with your own transport, rented transport, private hire, or government mini-bus (AC). From Ko Lanta to Krabi takes from 2-3 hours depending on ferry queues/timing, and your start point. The ferries run from 6am until 10pm daily.
  • Krabi has a bus station to take you anywhere in Thailand or down to Malaysia, and an international airport which gives access to KL, or BKK for further travel.
  • During the 'high' season (NE monsoon, Dec - April) there are also sea ferries to Krabi, Phuket, and even Langkawi (Malaysia)as well as smaller 'private charter' speedboats or 'longtails' to take you where you want to go.
  • The government buses leave from Old Town every hour from 6am - around 3pm, making it easy to leave your boat here and travel to Krabi for check-in/out formalities.



Give a short history of the island.

Places to Visit

Koh Lanta Beach
  • Ko Lanta is developing quite quickly as a mainstream tourist destination with tourism now providing the mainstay of the islands economy. Marine tourism to the other islands in the archipelago including SCUBA diving, traditional longtail tours and speedboat tours are very popular, whilst on the island itself you can take an elephant trek to one of the waterfalls or caves, see a monkey show, snake show, butterfly sanctuary and Orchid nursery, or you may want to take Thai cooking lessons or learn Thai kick Boxing (Muay Thai). Add to these a host of good eating places and bars and you have enough to keep you occupied from dawn until after dark.
  • The two main towns on the island are Ban Saladan in the North; shopping, banks, restaurants, dive shops and the 'commercial' center of the island and 'Old Town' half way down the east coast, which is the 'cultural' center of the island. Old Town has the islands only Chinese temple and Buddhist Wat, the only museum and a host of interesting shops and restaurants set in amongst the 100 year old teak shop-houses that line the main street and stretch out over the sea on stilts. Most visitors to Ko Lanta will find their way to Old Town at some point, either because of its cultural and historical interest, for the Sunday market or simple because of 'beach boredom'. However you look at it, Old Town is one of Ko Lanta's biggest attractions.


  • Call Graeme at Lanta Marine Services for local knowledge of available resources, island information, cruising information and up-to-date information on the latest official requirements. (Customs etc). Tel:- +66 (0) 831043109. Email.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Thailand.


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