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Haad Khlong Dao

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Long, sweeping Khlong Dao is Ko Lanta's northernmost beach and was the first to establish itself on the tourist trail. The bay stretches for nearly 3km of golden sand and faces tranquil blue waters for most of the year, though as with all of Ko Lanta the best months to visit are from November to April.

The beach is sheltered so the waters are very calm, even by Lanta's standards, making for a particularly safe beach for swimming, with no rocks and only a gentle drop-off. Khlong Dao is a favourite among families because of this.

The beach itself has golden sand and is great for walking. You can, when the tide is low, walk around the headland to Phra Ae (Long Beach), however, when the sea is rougher from June to November this isn't advisable. The beach is one of the liveliest on Lanta and offers plenty to do and see. There are umbrellas to lounge under, volleyball and other beach games, and restaurants open right along the beach. Few hawkers and touts roam compared to other beaches in Thailand, which adds to the relaxed atmosphere.

Given its proximity to Ban Saladan, which is where the ferry lands, it’s unsurprising that Khlong Dao today is easily the most developed beach on the island. A wide variety of accommodation is available including villas, midrange hotels, chalets and bamboo bungalows suitable for all budgets. Just about everywhere worth considering has a swimming pool.

The main road from Saladan runs diagonally in towards the beach and gets very dusty when it is hot and dry. Running off the main road are lots of small sois and driveways heading to the hotels and bungalows. In low season many of these places are closed and the unpaved sois become absolute mud pits that are virtually impassable without a 4WD.

Minimarts, food stalls, restaurants, banking facilities, internet cafes and travel agents abound in the area, along with a bunch of dive shops, so this is the place to head when you have stuff to get done. ATMs and banks are here in force along with currency exchange counters.

There is also an abundance of internet places, both beside the beach and in Saladan. All the resorts on the beach offer internet, free or paid by the minute, and away from the beach is a smattering of internet cafes on the main road.

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Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.

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