The Ko Lanta archipelago consists of 15 islands located off the southwestern shore of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. The largest of these is Ko Lanta Yai, commonly called Ko Lanta. The entire archipelago is part of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, and the park’s offices are located at the southern tip of the Ko Lanta Yai where the island’s primary paved road turns into a dirt road.
Ko Lanta is the most popular island in the archipelago, prized for the nine white sandy beaches that encircle its shores. The most popular beaches are located on the west side of the island. Klong Dao boasts a two-mile-long stretch of soft white sand and clear shallow water. Visitors can find accommodations in every price range along the beaches on the island’s northern shores. It’s popular with a significantly older crowd than nearby Ko Phi Phi and its attract mostly tourists seeking a holiday away from the parties although there are plenty of bars on the island. The southern part of the island is less developed, but there are pretty coves and beach to discover in the south as well.
The geography of the archipelago is marked by soaring limestone rocks and karsts. Although Ko Lanta is flatter than its neighbors, the dozens of rocky islands and islets offshore offer shelter for sea life, making them ideal location for scuba diving adventures. Mangrove forests cover much of the island. In the center of Ko Lanta are the Khao Mai Kaew Caves, a series of limestone caves featuring large stalactites and stalagmites. For visitors who find the trek to the caves a bit daunting, elephant rides offer an option that will make the journey as memorable as the destination.