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Koh Lanta and Or Koh Lipe

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Hi there - has anyone stayed at Costa Lanta on Klong Dao Beach? What is the beach like and is it close enough to dip into some bars etc - we don't want to be marooned on a resort, and as long as we can take a bike and dip in and out of some action. Just trying to get a feel for the Island as a whole - we have also heard that Koh Lipe is a great Island - it all gets a bit confusing as to which one to stay/head for?

    #1 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 03:23

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  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2007
    Location Australia
    Posts: 329
    Total reviews: 6

    Hi Justine, I haven't stayed on Koh Lipe but while I was in Trang earlier this year heard some very good reports from fellow travellers. In regards to Koh lanta Klong dao Beach is the most popular and there are plenty of bars set on the beach etc.While we were there we stayed on Long beach which is the next one down.I believe this is actually a better beach but is a lot quieter.Although we found it's quiet easy to have a meal at night on Long beach then catch a songthaew if we wanted to see a couple of bars.The bars are well set out plenty of comfy cushions under the stars,really good choice of music as well.One suggestions is to fly cheaply to Trang via Nok Air then head to Koh Lipe, you can then catch a minivan from opposite Trang railway station to Koh Lanta 250thb about 2 hrs if you wanted to see both islands.Any questions ask away
    Swag

    #2 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 06:20

  • marianwarren

    Joined Travelfish
    12th March, 2006
    Posts: 270
    Total reviews: 13

    Hi Justine

    I've stayed on Lipe, it's very small and walkable, but has a funky feel to it, plenty of bars on the beachs. In the evening some of the restaurants set up their tables and chairs on the beach and have BBQ's. The fishermen bring their catch in just before sunset and you get to choose from the freshest fish and seafood I've ever eaten very cheaply - it's fantastic. Bus and high-speed ferry from Trang costs 850B each and takes 4 1/2 hours to Lipe.

    Regards

    Marian

    #3 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 06:52

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Thanks Swag and Marian - really nice to get in touch and get your scoop - what a wonderful tool this is! We are flying in from South Africa, so I am checking best rates - agents often seem to get better - I am going to check with Thai air and Nok myself, just to compare prices - I think we need to fly into Krabi, and then get to Trang by ferry? Our initial plan is to do Koh Lipe or Lanta for 10 days, and then a luxury villa on Surin beach in Phuket for another 10 days - where we will hook up with some friends and share that cost - (I have half a mind to dump dear old Phuket completely from my list - but am clinging to what I know! And the villa is divine - unaffordable on our own - and easy for said mates to get to...)

    Can you suggest any bungalows on either? Lipe, or Lanta - with aircon and bath on/near beach? I kind of like the look of Sri lanta, Twin Bay and Causarina, resorts, if you happen to have seen these by any chance? They seem to have lots of laid back spots that are still within our budget - kind of getting the comforts without the zen prices of some establishments. Thanks again for your quick and really helpful replies...

    #4 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 15:11

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    I keep forgetting to add, that we are going 2nd week in Jan - into Feb! Best we can do to miss the madness of Xmas and NY!!!

    #5 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 15:25

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    Justine, as swag says, Klong Dao is the busiest beach on Lanta - no way you will be isolated. Not only lots of bars/restaurants along the beach but the main township for the north of the island, Ban Sala Dan is close by with lots more options.

    Some people say if anything Klong Dao compared to other Lanta beaches is a bit overdeveloped - but it is very pretty, has great sunsets - and if you look at TRAVELFISH'S great Lanta map http://www.maps-thailand.com/map-koh-lanta.php you can see that Costa Lanta is at the northern end which is less developed - I reckon this is the nicest end and close to the narrow neck where you can walk across to a northern beach and check good views up towards Ko Jum and Lanta.
    Klong Dao beach is quiet nice, good sand, swimming good at higher tide levels, but this is one of Lanta's beaches which gets real shallow in the few hours around low tide. Not sure abt the north facing beach - I've not swum there.

    I'm also a fan of Lipe. Compared to Lanta it is way smaller with a more intimate feeling, has less choice of accommodation - particularly midrange and better, has much better snorkelling off the beach, better diving close to the island, is more time consuming to reach, has good daytrips to surrounding islands but nowhere near as good as Lanta's Trang Island daytrips which combine good snorkelling with nice beaches on some loveley islands plus a visit to the wonderful Emerald Cave on Ko Muk (I have some Emerald Cave pix on my Muk page in the link below plus a fair bit of info on Lipe and Lanta).
    From various posts on the travel forums, Lipe is kinda flavour of the noughties and has been very crowded in recent Januaries/Februaries. It is the second most hit (in high season) of all my pages after Phi Phi.
    Some people have complained of a rubbish problem on Lipe, but I must admit this is one that has missed me.

    I think Lanta has much more variety - caves, I think some jungle walks and elephant rides if that's your thing, hire a bike or car+driver and check out laid back Lanta town on the east coast and the highland viewpoint restaurants on the road across to the east coast. And the last couple of beaches in the south are so different from the others - your real tropical semi-deserted beaches.

    One midranger I aim to stay at one day on Lipe is Mountain Resort. On Lanta I'm intending some day to stay at Lanta Marine Park View on Kantiang Bay in the south. This is a much quieter beach than Klong Dao - and I don't know how the resort itself compares with Cost Lanta. I'm just going on position - I'm a sucker for places up high on headlands with views over the beach

    #6 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 17:36

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Hi Tezza - thanks soo much - have had a good look at your wonderful site, and some of your blogs - really enjoyed my time there! Eish! (wow)
    I must say, I am erring to head for Lanta - it looks like a good bet for this time round, and, oh boy, I cannot wait - not huge on elephant rides, but always open to what comes my way - prefer beaches, and thanks for the tip re low tide up north, and your bungalow suggestions - they look wonderful too. (Interestingly enough, its economically efficient to use an agent from these here parts, they get such good discounts on air-fair re IATA status. They are not keen on Nok air -claim is that oil prices driving smaller carriers to shut down thus unreliability, or could be their business connection with Thai air)
    If I had more time, I would definately leave some 'open' time for floating about and getting lost, and just seeing where we land up - but time limitations too precious on this trip.

    I am rather intrigued by the 'noughtynesses', but we have enough of all that nonsense here...:)
    Many happy travels to you!

    #7 Posted: 17/7/2008 - 16:59

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    I don't think you'll regret choosing Lanta - nice place.
    Bit of ambiguity - "..kinda flavour of the naughties.." is supposed to convey that Lipe is popular in this first decade of the century.
    But yeah, the island probably gets its share of baaaad dudes too. Not me, I'm a prince!
    Have a great trip.

    #8 Posted: 18/7/2008 - 05:52

  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2007
    Location Australia
    Posts: 329
    Total reviews: 6

    Justine as I said we had a great relaxing time on Koh lanta.As tezza says the north part of Klong Dao beach is very low.This persuaded us to stay at Long Beach, which was very clean quite deep but safe for swimming.The north part of Long Beach has some lovely casurinas which are perfect for the shade as its pretty hot during the day. We stayed at sayang beach resort. You can read my write up on the place in the Thailand additions page.As the island is 95% muslim you will find the food has a lovely curry influence to it.The price we paid from memory was about $70 aud although this was for deluxe bungalow 20 ft from the beach.Hope this helps

    #9 Posted: 18/7/2008 - 06:14

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Hi Swag and Tezza,

    I have a particular feel for Kan Tiang Beach, and in particular, Baan Lanta? Do you know this resort? There are a few other resorts, such as Phra Nang, Sri Lanta, Lanta Palace, Causarina..some of which look way too 'resorty'..black belt taste doesn't always match the purse - aircon and bath, hot water and I am happy. I actually like the thrown away feel one can get in Thailand, where nobody is really 'in charge'.
    Is it easy to get around from way down south? Am I correct in thinking that it will just be mellow and beautiful there,looks that there are nice enough places to hang out in with a cocktail/singa in paw? I think, that one of my 'lessons' of Thailand, is that it is well nigh impossible to be very remote and cut off from the action.

    Swag, I really like Long Beach, and thanks for the heads up and tip to go there, I am going to look at Sayang immediately - and am really happy that Koh Lanta is my destination. I cannot wait for Emerald Cave, and snorkelling day trips - am happiest in the water, in the sun, or..I nearly said in a bar..but that doesn't really come close!

    Tezza, a pleasure to converse with a real Prince! I met a Zulu one the other day quite by chance..
    Many smiles - you guys have been an awesome help - truly appreciated!

    #10 Posted: 18/7/2008 - 14:08

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  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Swag - leaping lizzards!!!!! Sayang looks WONDERFUL! I just am mad about the setting - it doesn't interfere much. Thanks a mil!

    #11 Posted: 18/7/2008 - 14:31

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    I disagree with Tezza, Lanta has very little to do. The overdevelopment has really spoiled Lanta and the beaches are mostly ordinary. Only the southern beaches are any good but not much in the way of snorkelling. Lanta Town is boring and really apart from day trips in high season your activities are limited.

    #12 Posted: 21/7/2008 - 11:25

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Hi Travelrock - thats a whole nother take...where would you suggest?

    #13 Posted: 21/7/2008 - 16:26

  • JustineB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Just as a matter of interest, and fairness for any other readers, I have had 3 independent sources suggest Koh Lanta - can't be all that bad....

    #14 Posted: 21/7/2008 - 20:29

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    lanta was good a few years ago, but now its getting overdeveloped especially khlong dao and long beach. kantiang bay is good but otherwise the island is disappointing now.

    in low season few resorts bother cleaning the beach in front of them even 5 star resorts. khlong dao was covered in rubbish when we where there. long beach had a fair bit too.

    so your sources are a bit out of date.

    if you do go avoid khlong dao like the plague. it's a dump.

    stay near kantiang bay.

    #15 Posted: 22/7/2008 - 08:42

  • aonangmike

    Joined Travelfish
    10th September, 2008
    Posts: 8

    Here is another suggestion:

    1. Fly to Krabi and stay Lanta for LESS than 4D/3N

    2. Take Tiger Line ferry boat to Laoliang Island for 4D/3N from Saladan pier on Lanta (about 4 hours). This is a private island resort in the Trang province

    3. Then take the Tiger Line boat to Lipe (1 hour 30 minutes)

    4. Mountain Resort is a good choice. Definitely take a trip to Adang or taratao island as lipe can be a bit crowded

    #16 Posted: 16/9/2008 - 18:43

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