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Ko Lanta

Getting there and away

Air

The closest airport is Krabi International, located about an hour's drive from the Lanta car ferry. It's serviced from Bangkok by Thai Airways, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways and Air Asia.

Minibus transfers direct to Ko Lanta can be booked at booths found in either of the arrivals terminals at Krabi Airport. They leave every hour from early morning until 22:00 and cost 400 baht. Private taxis are also available, and many Lanta resorts offer pick-up service at the airport.

Both the Trang and Phuket airports also put you within relatively easy reach of Ko Lanta.

    Bus

    Ko Lanta is accessed from the mainland either by speedboats that run only during high season or a pair of car ferries that are open year round. A bridge is slowly being constructed and will eventually connect Lanta Yai to Lanta Noi, assuming the project is completed. The closest inter-provincial bus station is in Krabi town, followed closely by Trang.

    Year-round minibuses run hourly between Krabi town and Ko Lanta from early morning until 22:00. The cost is 300 baht if buying a ticket in person at Krabi bus station, or 400 baht if booking through a travel agent, which will include pick up at your guesthouse in either Krabi or Lanta. The trip takes around 1.5 hours, including waiting time at the two car ferries. Be prepared to be stuffed into the van along with lots of luggage and a dozen other people for the duration of that time.

    Year-round minibuses also run hourly between Phuket bus terminal and the transport office located just south of Mermaid Boutique House on the main road in southern Haad Khlong Dao on Ko Lanta. In either direction, they run every hour from 8:30 to 15:30, cost around 600 baht and take 4 hours. Note that there is no hotel pick-up service available for these minibuses, so you'll have to find your own way to the transport office. The minibuses will stop half-way in Krabi town.

    On Ko Lanta, combined boat/bus tickets can be purchased for several destinations and are offered specifically to tourists. These often make a stop in Krabi or Trang and may require you to change vehicles. Sample fares include:

    Bangkok (Khao San Road): Departs Lanta at 12:00, costs 1,200 baht and takes around 14 hours for the whole trip. A minibus will take you to Krabi, where you will be transferred to a regular bus. This bus also services Hua Hin.

    Trang: Departs at 8:00, 11:30 and 13:30, costs 400 baht and takes around 3 hours. The minibuses can take you to either Trang bus station or the guesthouse area around Trang train station.

    Surat Thani: Departs at 8:00, costs 650 baht and takes around 4 hours. The cost is 750 baht to Surat Thani train station.

    Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao: Departs at 8:00 and will include ferry transfer to any of these islands. The cost is 1,100 baht to Samui; 1,200 to Pha Ngan; 1,400 to Tao.

    Khao Lak: Departs at 8:00, costs 700 baht and takes around 3 hours. This minibus also services Khao Sok National Park for the same price.

    If wanting to reach Phang Nga, take a minibus to Krabi town and transfer to one of the frequent buses that depart from there. If wanting to reach Hat Yai or Satun, head first to Trang and transfer there (you could also transit through Krabi town but it would be more out of the way).

      Boat

      Krabi town: During high season from Nov. 1 to April 1, a high-speed ferry departs for Ko Lanta's Saladan pier from Khlong Jilat pier in Krabi town at 11:30, costs 400 baht and takes around 1.5 hours. On Lanta, the boat returns to Krabi at 8:00. Tickets can be booked from any travel agent and will include pick up from your hotel.

      Ao Nang / Railay: A high season ferry departs Ao Nang at 10:30, costs 550 baht and takes 2 hours. On Lanta, the boat returns to Ao Nang at 13:30. This boat also stops at Railay Beach, picking up Lanta-bound passengers at 11:00.

      Ko Phi Phi: A year-round speedboat runs from Phi Phi to Lanta at 11:30, costs 400 baht and takes 1 hour. It returns to Phi Phi at 8:00. In high season, an additional speedboat runs from Phi Phi to Lanta at 15:30, returning at 13:30.
      During high season only, the Tigerline ferry runs from Phi Phi to Lanta at 9:00 for 600 baht. It returns to Phi Phi at 15:00.

      Phuket: In high season, speedboats run direct from Phuket to Ko Lanta, departing at 8:30 at 9:00, costing 1,500 baht and taking 1.5 hours. The boats return to Phuket from Lanta at 12:30 and 13:00.
      Also in high season only, the Tigerline ferry departs Phuket's Ratchada pier for Lanta at 8:00 and costs 1,400 baht. It returns at 15:00, with transfers available to various places on Phuket, including the airport.
      Year-round ferries depart from Ratchada pier in Phuket town at 8:30 and 13:30, cost 800 baht and require you to change boats on Ko Phi Phi. These boats depart from Lanta at 8:00 and 13:00.

      Ko Jum: Serviced by the same high-season boat that runs between Krabi town and Lanta, also for 400 baht. The boat picks up Lanta-bound passengers from Ko Jum at 12:00.

      Ko Si Boya: You'll need to first make your way to Ko Jum, then book a private longtail transfer for 1,000 baht or use the local ferries.

      Ko Yao Yai / Ko Yao Noi: First make your way to Phuket or Ao Nang and make a transfer. From Ao Nang, a high-season ferry runs to either Yao Yai or Yao Noi at 11:00.

      High-season island-hopping routes run by a few different speedboat and ferry companies include Lanta as a main stop. Bundhaya and Tigerline are probably the most popular. These boats run only from November to April. Fares include:

      Ko Ngai: Departs at 10:30 and 11:00, costs 650 baht and takes 30 minutes. On Ngai, boats depart for Lanta at 11:30.

      Ko Muk: Departs at 10:30 and 11:00, costs 900 baht and takes 1 hour. On Muk, boats depart for Lanta at 11:00.

      Ko Kradan: Departs at 11:00, costs 1,150 baht and takes 1.5 hours. On Kradan, the boat departs for Lanta at 10:45.

      Ko Bulon Lae: Departs at 10:30 and 11:00, costs 1,600 baht and takes 2 hours. On Bulon, boats depart for Lanta at 10:00.

      Ko Lipe: Departs at 10:30 and 11:00, costs 1,900 baht and takes 2.5 hours. On Lipe, boats depart for Lanta at 9:00.

      Langkawi (Malaysia): Departs at 10:00, costs 2,700 baht and takes 4 hours. On Langkawi, boats depart for Lanta at 9:00.

        Getting Around

        Unless arriving on a private resort boat, all passengers will land at Ko Lanta's Saladan pier at the island's northernmost point. From here, side-car motorbike taxis -- mislabelled as tuk tuks -- can take you to your beach of choice. Be prepared to haggle as the drivers usually request at least double the going rate. If heading to the far southern beaches, you're probably best off arranging for a resort to pick you up.

        From Saladan, taxi fares should be:

        Haad Khlong Dao: 50 baht
        Haad Phra Ae: 70 baht
        Haad Khlong Khong: 100 baht
        Haad Khlong Nin: 150 baht
        Ao Kantiang: 300 baht
        Lanta Old Town: 350 baht
        Haad Khlong Jak: 400 baht
        Ao Mai Pai: 500 baht

        Many visitors opt to rent a motorbike for between 200 and 300 baht depending on the bike's quality. They're readily available all over the island, including in the far south, Old Town and Saladan.

        Cars and many different types of motorbikes can be rented at Lanta Car Rental on the main road in Haad Khlong Dao (T: 075 684 411).

        Bicycles can be rented in the Old Town and at a number of resorts, with quality mountain bikes available from Coco Resort in Khlong Khong and Moonlight Bay Resort just north of Khlong Tob.

        Whether walking, cycling, motorbiking or driving, use extreme caution on Lanta's notoriously dangerous roads. The roads are not well-lit at night, and a lack of footpaths makes walking treacherous after dark. Many of the locals fly around corners at break-neck speeds, while some travellers get over-confident after their third day on a motorbike. Take it extra slow on the steep and winding far southwestern road, as well as the cross-island road from Khlong Nin to the Old Town.


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