Very very very different islands -- depends what you're after. Sleepy beaches, little nightlife, Ko Lanta. Lots of shopping, entertainment, activities and still some great beaches, then Phuket. Phuket is quite a bit pricier too.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,764
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Phuket has some stunning beaches & is world class for diving! It just doesn't feel very much like you're in Thailand. Lanta is a lot quietier and more rough around the edges. I didn't think the beaches were that nice, but that was probably because I had just come from Phi Phi which was stunning. Lanta ok just to have a quiet few days. What I liked about it was a lot the restaurants had tables on the beach, it was quite romantic having a meal, while hearing the sound of waves & looking up at the stars.
If you have 5 weeks you could easily do both as they are quite close together.