Photo: The beach goes on and on.

Ko Lanta is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Lanta as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Lanta’s different areas.

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Lanta's longest beach also offers the widest range of accommodation. Dirt-cheap bungalows and a hippie-backpacker vibe are found up on the northern stretch, while older budget travellers, flashpackers and families might prefer the southern stretch or nearby Haad Baan Phruklom. The central portion of Haad Phra Ae leans more towards the upper end of the price spectrum.

Central Haad Phra Ae

The centre of the beach is more sparsely developed than the north or south, with only a small number of midrange to luxury resorts along the beach and out by the main road. A large beachfront park and Lanta's most exclusive resort help to keep the atmosphere quiet. Expect a solid walk to the main-road restaurants if staying here.

Layana Resort & Spa
Luxury - over 8,000B
272 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 607 100

Owned by the MBK group of Bangkok shopping mall fame, Layana is arguably the best of an elite club of five-store resorts on Ko Lanta. The grounds are small enough that you won't get lost, and the attention to detail in all aspects is impressive. Though not as massive as the pool at Cha-Da Resort on Haad Khlong Dao, the infinity pool is perfectly formed and surrounded by shaded sunbathing areas on... Read our full review of Layana Resort & Spa.

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Long Beach Chalet
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
472 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (086) 267 4744

With their fun, functional design, we nominate the stilt bungalows at Long Beach Chalet just off Long Beach as among the coolest on Ko Lanta. Throw in a swimming pool and free WiFi, and it’s also a favourite resort on a flashpacker-sized budget. The only disadvantage is the lack of direct sea views. Diving from your bungalow into the pool is not recommended. Set on spacious grounds filled... Read our full review of Long Beach Chalet.

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Papillon Bungalows
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
195 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 429

This small resort has 11 bungalows spaced well apart amid plenty of foliage, well away from the main road. It's a shaded two-minute walk to a very quiet stretch of Long Beach and the excellent Lym's Rice Bowl, though it's a hike to anything else. Papillon itself has a good on-site restaurant and bar serving well-done Thai and Western fare in a stylish lounge with lots of dark woods, soft... Read our full review of Papillon Bungalows.

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Northern Haad Phra Ae

While a couple of flashpacker to midrange spots are thrown in, the northern stretch of beach is best known for its tightly packed backpacker village. You'll find over a dozen cheap bungalow joints that are stacked one on top of the next. The atmosphere livens up at night, meaning that going to bed before 2:00 in the morning can be difficult.

Blue Sky Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (081) 249 0172

Blue Sky is one among many small budget bungalow joints in this area, but it stands out thanks to the owner who actually stands up and greets potential guests, as opposed to the usual grumpy and/or lazy approach. While simple, the rooms are also a small step up in cleanliness and comfort. Stilted fan bungalows have high ceilings, woven bamboo walls, sturdy hardwood floors, screened windows,... Read our full review of Blue Sky Bungalows.

Lanta Sand Resort & Spa
Toprange - 4,000B to 8,000B
279 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 633-4

This high-standard beach resort pulls off a stylish take on contemporary Thai architecture that isn't often done well. A two-tier waterfall greets you at reception, and water features prominently throughout the resort. Shaded by lush tropical foliage, several wooden decks are placed beside goldfish ponds and fountains. The beautiful beachside main swimming pool is supplemented by a smaller pool... Read our full review of Lanta Sand Resort & Spa.

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Dreamy Casa
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
305/18 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 584 619

One of several small guesthouses that occupy the newish concrete townhouses along the main road, Dreamy Casa is a fine choice for those who care more about a quiet and comfortable night's sleep than being steps from the beach. Rooms are plainly decorated but clean and very comfy, with soft beds, air-con fridges, TVs, desks, safes, free WiFi and modern hot-water bathrooms and balconies. The the... Read our full review of Dreamy Casa.

Lanta Clayzy House
Backpacker - Under 600B
237 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (082) 538 1931

The words lazy and crazy were combined to create the most fitting name possible for this hippie hangout in a corner of Haad Phra Ae's northern backpacker enclave. Billed as a farm and jungle community, this is a place to meet creative types while staying in some of the cheapest digs on the island. The mixed dorm is set in a rudimentary, partially open-air longhouse that has a collection of... Read our full review of Lanta Clayzy House.

Non La Mer Hostel
Backpacker - Under 600B
Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 500

By far Lanta's most luxurious hostel, Non La Mer has made the most of its featureless townhouse on the main drag. With lots of polished concrete and hardwood, downtempo beats playing over the soundsystem and a common area with floor cushions and fast WiFi, the hostel wouldn't be out of place in Bangkok or Singapore. The spacious, bright and immaculate air-con dorm rooms are found upstairs, each... Read our full review of Non La Mer Hostel.

O-Zone Beach Hut
Backpacker - Under 600B
Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (089) 033 4945

Set just back from the beach in the middle of northern Long Beach's backpacker village, O-Zone is quite a bit friendlier than most. The stilted woven bamboo bungalows are set in two rows that face one another, making it easy to chat with neighbours from the comfort of your porch hammock. All rooms are reasonably well kept and come with the basics: fan, double mattress on raised platform, mosquito... Read our full review of O-Zone Beach Hut.

Sayang Beach Bungalows
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
72 Moo 3, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 156

As the northernmost resort on Long Beach, Sayang enjoys a somewhat isolated location that's far enough from the beach bars to stay quiet at night but close enough to join the party when the mood strikes you. The small resort is run by a local family who make up for the somewhat questionable value with excellent service. The cheapest bungalows have a lot more character than most, with dark timber... Read our full review of Sayang Beach Bungalows.

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The Funky Fish
Backpacker - Under 600B
Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta

The man who we presume to be The Funky Fish's owner reminded us of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh -- on his worst day. He was grumpy, lazy and seemed annoyed that we were asking to see a room. But when he offers decent digs for these rates, we suppose he can be as unfriendly as he wants. The rooms are set in detached cinderblock structures a quick hop back from the beach, each with a slanted ceiling... Read our full review of The Funky Fish.

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Southern Haad Phra Ae

Long Beach's southern area boasts a very good selection of budget to midrange places to stay, with at least a dozen small resorts packed in tight between the beach and the main road. Also home to several plush private villas and apartments, the area has plenty of great eating and drinking options.

Freedom Estate
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
157 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (085) 476 1154

The Freedom Estate offers six swish serviced apartments perched over a lush hillside with abundant tropical palms and flower bushes. More functional than stylish, each room is airy, clean and equipped to the supreme with soft king-size bed, air-con, two ceiling fans, satellite TV, safe, modern hot-water bathroom and full kitchen with fridge, sink, range, dishes, toaster oven, coffee maker, hot... Read our full review of Freedom Estate.

Andaman Sunflower Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
174 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (089) 692 610

With minimal online presence and a somewhat hard-to-find location between the beach, the main road and a large private housing development, we stumbled onto the Andaman Sunflower after checking out every other place to stay in the area. It turned out to be a case of discovering one of the best for last. A soft-spoken and very friendly young woman welcomed us after we had already been greeted by... Read our full review of Andaman Sunflower Resort.

Lanta Castaway Beach Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
299 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 851

The fact that Castaway is a very well-run small resort becomes obvious from the moment you first step under the frangipani trees in the impeccably groomed grounds. It's a small and charming spot with comfy tan villas and a few dark wood bungalows stretching back from a beachfront bar and massage area. The restaurant happens to do some of the best Mexican food we've tried anywhere in Southeast... Read our full review of Lanta Castaway Beach Resort.

Mook Lanta Resort
Backpacker - Under 600B
343 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 658

All you can see from the entrance of this British-run resort is the cosy open-air reception area and sports bar where the latest Premier League matches are usually on. A raised concrete footpath then takes you back to where smart wooden villas are lined up in rows, and from there the resort keeps going further to a cluster of budget bungalows. It's here that you'll find the cheapest wooden fan... Read our full review of Mook Lanta Resort.

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Good Days Lanta Beach Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
183 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 186

While most of the resorts in northern Haad Phra Ae are squished into small plots of land stacked one on top of the next, Good Days' long-running status is evidenced by its wide stretch of beachfront set under the shade of beach pines where a narrow canal empties into the sea. The white concrete cottages appear to have been built at different points in the resort's lifetime, resulting in nine... Read our full review of Good Days Lanta Beach Resort.

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Backpacker - Under 600B
186 Moo 2, Haad Phra Ae
T: (081) 891 3055

Sanctuary is a bit of an odd place, with surprisingly stylish bamboo bungalows set amid flower bushes just back from the beach, but also a staff that doesn't seem to have a handle on how to efficiently run a resort. Creative types will appreciate the island-themed paintings on pieces of drift wood that hang over hammocks strung to the porches of high-pointed-roofed bungalows. Inside, the rooms... Read our full review of Sanctuary.

Thai House Beach Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Haad Phra Ae (road entrance behind 7-eleven), Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 289

Run by a sincere woman who has a dedicated following of guests who return every year, this small resort has an array of different rooms to suit most tastes. The namesake Thai houses come with dark hardwood floors and walls, high ceilings, large windows and Thai wood carvings. These and the more straightforward but similarly comfy standard and beachfront rooms are equipped with TVs, fridges,... Read our full review of Thai House Beach Resort.

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Haad Baan Phruklom

Just south of Long Beach proper, the often-overlooked Baan Phruklom beach is a great choice for those seeking a cheap bungalow to go with a relaxed atmosphere that feels like a toned-down Haad Khlong Khong. The beach has a few simple restaurants and bars, and southern Long Beach's much greater selection is about 15 minutes away on foot.

Andaman Bay Bungalow
Backpacker - Under 600B
Haad Baan Phruklom, Ko Lanta
T: (082) 278 6744

This locally-owned bungalow joint at the southern end of the beach has one of the best and most true-to-fact slogans that we've seen anywhere in Thailand: The islanders style simple tranquil seaside. A small collection of well-worn wood and bamboo bungalows with tin roofs are perched on stilts overlooking a lawn and restaurant just off the beach. The front rooms enjoy sea views directly from the... Read our full review of Andaman Bay Bungalow.

Relax Bay Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
111 Moo 2, Haad Baan Phruklom, Ko Lanta
T: (075) 684 194

With attractive dark crimson and ochre bamboo villas nestled into a forested hillside overlooking the beach's quiet northern corner, Relax Bay blends into the natural environment. Spanning the area close to the beach all the way up to the hilltop, villas are spaced far apart and accessed by walkways that meander through trees and flower bushes. The rooms have an Asian-tropical flare, with woven... Read our full review of Relax Bay Resort.

Sea Culture Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Haad Baan Phruklom, Ko Lanta
T: (084) 307 0231

We were warmly welcomed to Sea Culture by a shirtless, long-haired dude who was hanging out at the bar with a guitar. When we asked about rooms, he shouted to a couple of other long-haired, shirtless dudes who promptly showed us around. Set just off the sand, the simple cold-water fan bungalows have thatched roofs, bamboo exteriors and wood floors to go with firm beds, attached cold-water... Read our full review of Sea Culture Bungalows.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Haad Phra Ae? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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