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Haad Khlong Khong

Eat and meet

Haad Khlong Khong

While eating options are slightly more limited on Khlong Khong than the more developed northern beaches, it has the island's best hippie-backpacker nightlife scene.

The main drag through Khlong Khong is particularly uninspiring, but you will find some worthwhile cafes and low-key eateries. A standout is Kunda Cafe, an easy-to-miss and strictly vegetarian spot serving crepes, Middle Eastern food and sandwiches with real cheddar cheese on house-made bread. Breakfasts are also available with an extensive selection of herbal teas, complete with detailed descriptions on exactly how each one benefits the body and mind.

Closer to the action, Bulan Lanta Cafe is a stylish spot with reasonably priced breakfasts, fresh coffee, burgers and Thai food that's a bit Westernised but still tasty. Along with free WiFi and friendly staff, Bulan boasts several wall-size shelves of books that can be purchased or traded for. For something cheaper and more authentically Thai, head to one of the several local-style shops that dish out noodle soup, som tam and grilled chicken along the main road.

Also along the main road, Greek Taverna is Lanta's only Greek restaurant, serving kebabs, mouslaki and tzatziki made by a Greek chef. Accompany your dinner with a glass of Ouzo of Plomari liquor and you'll feel like you're on the Aegean rather than the Andaman.

The beach itself is lined with laid-back restaurants and bars advertising such items as "happy shakes" and "spliffs", with live DJs keeping the late-night parties thumping every night. While getting a bit psychedelic may feel acceptable here, keep in mind that Lanta in general is not exempt from Thailand's strict drug laws.

Cloud 9 is worth seeking out for its quality sandwiches, interesting Indian-inspired selections like aubergine dip with naan and southern Thai specialties like gaeng liang, a soup that features a distinctively sweet green veggie that's indigenous to the Malay peninsula. Unlike at most island restaurants that assume foreigners don't know the first thing about Thai food, all of Cloud 9's Thai selections are transliterated into Roman characters on the menu.

Other Khlong Khong beach standouts include the dilapidated Kwan's Restaurant next to Coco Resort for its fantastic Thai; Travel So Far for its nightly buffet and cheap mojitoes; and the extremely popular Good Feeling Bar at Where Else Bungalows, which does a nightly seafood barbecue that blends into an always-lively night of drinking, smoking, dancing and chilling.

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