I'm going to be in Koh Lanta at the 20 of the month for a few days or more.
are the beaches in Lanta suppose to be clean and good for swimming at this period?
do you know about some other quiet (but not too quiet) places for backpackers in the south which I can combine some hiking and also relaxing on the beach?
#1 backpack has been a member since 8/10/2009. Posts: 2
Look, in October the prevailing wind is from the westerly quadrant which means quite a lot of flotsam can get washed up on Lanta beaches, all of which face west into this wind.
Cleanliness will depend on individual bungalows/hotels - really keen ones will have staff members cleaning the beach each morning. Maybe if you concentrate on one of the more popular beaches which tend to have accommodation places which mainly stay open all year, this cleaning is more likely. Long Beach is a possibility - I reckon it is the best all round beach with nice sand, water deep enough for swimming at low tide except in the southern 10%, plenty of accommodation, restaurants etc without looking overbuilt. Lanta Palm Beach resort is a nice not too expensive and popular place on this beach, but there are plenty of others.
Nearby Ko Jum to the north and Kos Ngai, Muk and Kradan to the south are good places to hit, but all except maybe Muk will be very very quiet in low season. Muk gives you best opportunity for hiking too. With quite a few ferries and daytrip boats not running, access to all 3 will not be all that straightforward.
I reckon your best bet is the Krabi area which is easy to access from Lanta any time of year. Railay at Krabi has fantastic scenery and will not be suffering its biggest problem, overcrowding, in October. Adjacent Ton Sai, the climbers' beach will have a better selection of budget accommodation and a livelier young crowd to socialise with.
Ao Nang will be even more so, although you will need to head to Railay/Phra Nang for nice beaches