Ko Laoliang Resort is on a small lump of granite rising precipitously from the Andaman sea roughly midway between Lanta and Lipe.
The resort pays rent to the owners, the Ko Phetra birds’nesting group, which gives them the sole right to have tourist accommodation, climbing and diving in the area. So the place is pretty exclusive as far as access is concerned. You won’t be sharing your dives and climbs with other groups. A few daytrippers from the mainland do visit, but mainly the neighbouring Lao Liang Yai island which has some rustic daytrip facilities.
The climbing sites range from beginners’ to quite challenging routes and the diving likewise is suited to learning and more advanced diving. I had my first climb here and enjoyed it tremendously.
Fishing, kayaking and snorkelling (some pretty good stuff right off the beach) are also catered for.
So the place is very suited to ADVENTURE TOURISTS.
It’s also very good FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LAZE AWAY on a really nice beach which is uncrowded and off the beaten track. There are no roads, tracks or other settlements on the island.
ECO-TRAVELLERS should also appreciate this place. New management has recently taken over and are in the process of rebuilding and refurbishing key areas. The rebuilt bathroom block is sparkling and they opened a newly built beachside bar with adjacent sitting-cabanas while I was there.
They have plans for water recycling and perhaps desalination, the latter powered by battery banks which collect excess power from the generator and perhaps solar panels.
Rubbish, the bane of so many Thai resorts, is shipped out, there is a no-plastic bottles policy and the beach is swept for the usual junk which drifts in from fishing boats and the mainland. The grounds are also assiduously manicured - this is one spot which passed the tezza no-ring-pulls, no-cigarette-butts test with ease.
The owners’ long term aim is to create a model sustainable resort in the Andaman region. They would like to use Laoliang as a educational resource centre for other resorts and Parks.
All meals are buffet-style with seemingly unlimited quantities and a large variety. Traditional Thai breakfasts or eggs any style, cereals, fruit, unlimited toast and jam, tea coffee etc is a great way to start the day. The BBQ fish and prawns every second or so night don’t go down too badly either, particulary as they are bought fresh that day from the sea gypsy village on neighbouring Lao Liang Yai.
Accommmodation is in luxury tents ranged between the beach and cliff. I found they were well fitted out and very comfy.
Cost is not bottom-budget at 1600 a day for high season - but pick a location with similar activities and landscape (the Railay area or Phi Phi), stay in a not too flash bungalow, eat to the same standard and quantity with unlimited tea, coffee, water - and hire snorkelling gear and kayaks. I reckon you could easily burn 1600 a day. And those places aint exactly uncrowded and exclusive locations.
For people who are interested I have a bunch of photographs, links and more info on accommodation, costs, access etc in the link below.