Lanta's Most Popular Tropical Beaches
Long Golden Sandy Beaches
Popular for their long stretch of soft gold sand, these beaches have the best conditions for swimming. All very accessible by the main roads, they are also located in the most developed parts of the island with many facilities and a large choice of restaurants, bars, and shops.
Klong Dao Beach
Klong Dao Beach is the closest long white sandy beach to Saladan in the North of the island. It is greatly appreciated by families who can safely swim with children as the water in Klong Dao beach is pretty shallow with no stones and you can safely enjoy the beach's soft sand, especially during low tide when the beach area becomes very wide. There are only few shade spaces so don't forget your umbrellas and hats ! Although this beach is located in a very developed part of the island with hotels and restaurants built on the edge, the beach itself remains largely free of deckchairs and umbrellas, which makes this 3 km beach a very relaxing one.
Also called Phra Ae Beach, or Had Phra Ae and with almost 5km, Long Beach is the longest one of Koh Lanta. Located south of Klong Dao Beach, Long Beach is very accessible and it takes about 10 minutes to drive there from Saladan. The water is not as shallow as Klong Dao Beach as it goes deep more quickly, which makes Long Beach a perfect place to swim on hot days. Long Beach has a lovely golden soft sand and is fringed with tall pine trees. If it can also get hard to find shade on Long Beach in the middle of the day, you can always stop at a bar or restaurant to chill in a cooler place and enjoy the view. This beach is very popular for watching sunset, you can also take a walk on the beach and easily find a lonely place.
Klong Khong Beach
Klong Khong Beach is located about 2km south of Long Beach. It is another 3 km stretch of beautiful soft sand. Yet the water in Klong Khong Beach is very rocky (you'll especially notice it during low tide) which explains why the beach area is not as developed as the neighboring ones. While there are not that many restaurants on the beach, there are many bars from which you can watch the sunset and fire shows. Klong Khong Beach is well-known for its more laid back atmosphere, cozy family run accommodations, very friendly locals, and had long been appreciated by budget travellers. If you are looking for more peaceful places away from big resorts but not too remote, this area might be a right suit for you.
Klong Nin Beach
Located in the southern half of Koh Lanta and about 15 km south of Saladan, Klong Nin Beach is another stretch of fine golden sand on several kilometers, with beach bars and restaurants creating a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. While Klong Nin village has the highest concentration of backpacker style bungalows and bars, some of the finest villas and apartments to rent are also located in Klong Nin village. This diversity gives a unique vibe to Klong Nin Beach. The sea is great for swimming with a safe depth for children, although there are rocks at either end of the beach. Koh Lanta's famous Umbrella Tree (bai toey) can also be seen all along the beach, with beautiful surrounding mountains and rain forest.
More Remote Southern Beaches
All relatively small compared to the more northern beaches, the southern beaches are surrounded by rain forest and mountains as the road gets more hilly. These beaches are more isolated with less facilities, easily accessible during high season but a 4-wheel drive could be useful during low season.
Easily accessible by the main road within a 45 minute drive from Saladan, Kantiang Bay is often cited as the most beautiful beach of Koh Lanta. This white sandy beach surrounding tropical blue water has long been famous as the location of Koh Lanta's first luxury hotel, Pimalai Resort. Today, you can also find other accommodation options, from budget bungalows to other villas and resorts. There are some beachfront drinking and eating options, and a short walk from the beach up to the main road will lead you to several shops including a 7-Eleven, a few ATMs, and other food and drink options. The steep backdrop of tropical forest into the sea provides an amazing scenery around the bay.
Much less developed than the previous beaches, Nui Bay is a tiny beach with soft sand, located south of Kantiang Bay. The lack of accessibility to this beach has enabled to preserve its natural beauty and prevented development unlike other Koh Lanta's beaches. Nui Bay is surrounded by cliffs and is not directly accessible by road. A steep footpath will lead to the beach. Note: Nui Beach and Nui Bay are two different beaches. While they are both small wild sandy beaches, Nui Beach is located North of Kantiang while Nui Bay is located South of Kantiang.
Another (almost) untouched paradise ! Bamboo Beach is the more southern beach on the west coast of Koh Lanta, only about 15 minute drive to the National Park in the very south of the island. As there are just a couple of accommodation and resort options, get ready for a lack of amenities there. A winding road will lead to you Bamboo Bay, but once there you'll enjoy the pristine water and peaceful vibe of this beach. A bar offers drinks and food as well as some shade that can be hard to find on hot days. Beware of rocks in the water and enjoy a peaceful moment at the beach.
National Park Beach
Mu Ko Lanta National Park headquartered at the south end of Koh Lanta Yai actually consists of several other islands covering over 130 km². If you are looking for a day at the beach while having the possibility to take a small hike and see something different while staying on Koh Lanta Yai, the southern beaches might be the right place for you. The visit of Koh Lanta Yai's south end National Park is open to all during the day with an entrance fee of 200 THB for foreigners (100 THB for children), 40 THB for Thai people (20 THB for children) and an extra 20 THB per motorcycle or 30 THB per car. The park is very well-kept and activities are pretty chill, from relaxing at the beach to go up to the lighthouse or grab a drink at the eateries nearby. Beware of monkeys and keep your bags if you don't want them to get your food !