Old Town is a small village located on the southeast coast of Koh Lanta Yai. Old Town was originally called "Sri Raya" and was once a major port of the region, playing a strategic role providing a safe harbor for Chinese and Arabic trading ships. Later on, while Ban Saladan located in the north of Koh Lanta Yai became the most developed town on the island, Sri Raya soon became less frequented and is nowadays know as Lanta Old Town. The chinese heritage of Old Town is still visible notably with its remaining temple. Old Town is a very pleasant village to visit, with its quality restaurants and various shops selling handmade products such as jewelries, hammocks or batik paintings.
Located in the very north part of Koh Lanta Yai, Ban Saladan quickly expanded with the increase of tourism. Saladan being the first town to cross in the north of the island, many accommodations and restaurants have been developed to welcome tourists after their arrival at Saladan pier. Today, Saladan is the most developed town of Koh Lanta where you can find many shops, groceries and various food options, a post office, medical center, money exchange places, and the police station. Ban Saladan provides a great view on Koh Lanta Noi, the less touristy northern island of Koh Lanta. Ban Saladan is vary famous for its many seafood restaurants, and it is also the departure points of many snorkeling and diving centers.
Geology, Fauna and Flora
Lanta Caves and Waterfall
Lanta's biggest caves are Khao Mai Kaew caves, located in the center of the island and show magnificent rocks and impressive stalactites and stalagmites. It is a challenge to get to the caves as you have to cross the jungle on a difficult trail before getting to the entrance. Getting a local guide to visit these caves would cost you around 300 THB per person and it is recommended as they are much bigger and more remote than other caves on the island. Klong Chak waterfall (also spelt Klong Jark) is located in the southern part of Koh Lanta Yai in the middle of the junggle. It is free to access the waterfall but the parking costs 20 THB per motorbike. You would need to walk for at least 30 minutes on the path before getting to the waterfall, which might be almost water-less if you get there during the hottest months of high season. Best season is definitely the rainy season to visit the waterfall !
Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) is a cat and dogs shelter on the island. It is a charity organization run by friendly and passionate volunteers who take care of Lanta's animals and relieve their pain and suffering. While the entrance is free, the Animal Welfare accepts donation and their small souvenirs and food and drinks shop provides financial support to the Welfare. Located south of Long Beach on the opposite side of the main road, you can get there to help take care of animals or simply enjoy their company. The Welfare is open every day and welcomes visitors from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Stay in touch with the Animal Welfare on Facebook or on their website.
Orchid Nursury Farm
In Lanta Orchid Nursery Farm you can visit both the orchid farm and the exhibition explaining the growing process of orchids. You will discover many native Orchids of Thailand from various Orchid families, yet not all orchids have flowers depending on the time of the year. Lanta Orchid Nursery Farm is located opposite Elephant Trekking in the mountains above Long Beach. It is usually open daily from 09:00 to 17:00 and entrance fee is 50 Baht per person. You can contact the Orchid Nursery Farm on Facebook.
Mu Ko Lanta National Park
Mu Ko Lanta National Park is headquartered at the south end of Koh Lanta. It is possible to access the beaches, jungle and lighthouse of the very south part of Koh Lanta by driving all the way south and paying entrance fees: 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. Mu Ko National Park is actually made of several islands covering 134 km². It was established in 1990 as a marine park, and the biggest islands of the national park are Ko Lanta Yai and Ko Lanta Noi. "Mu Ko" means group of islands and other islands are part of the park, like Ngu islands or Mai Ngam islands covered with the mangrove forest. The caves and waterfall are actually part of the national park.