Photo: On the way to the national park.

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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Eat and meet

Food and drink options are more limited in the remote far south, but Ao Kantiang has just enough to satisfy most tastes. Most of the resorts also do a good job on the food front, with The Houben and Ancient Realm each deserving mention for interesting menus and classy atmospheres.

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Ao Kantiang’s go-to spot for a tasty meal and perhaps a bit of socialising is The Drunken Sailor, where you’ll find everything from excellent espresso to well-done burgers and creatively presented Thai. The octagon-shaped open-air cafe has loads of hammocks and beanbag chairs to go with free WiFi, making it a great spot to laze on a rainy day.

Also along the main road through Ao Kantiang village, Alama Restaurant has a more refined atmosphere -- even if the Emo music is a bit much. Pizza and sandwiches are available, but we recommend the Thai stir fries and curries that include roast duck chu chee and red curry with crab meat and rice noodles. Prices are reasonable for what you get, and the Thai food is delicious despite being somewhat Westernised.

For great views to go with quality Thai food and a few Western options, head to either of the restaurants perched on the hill as you depart Ao Kantiang to the south. Ploy Pai is the cheaper and more ramshackle of the pair, while Noon has what appears to be a sturdier terrace to go with higher prices and a much more extensive menu. For 700 baht per person, Noon offers an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet on Sundays.

Back down on Kantiang beach itself, Same Same But Different does decent (if overpriced) grilled sandwiches and Thai standards in a relaxing beach-side setting. Also offering cocktails and smoothies served straight to your lounger, it’s the only establishment on the Pimalai-dominated southern half of the beach. To the north of Ao Kantiang, Why Not Bar has live music in the evenings and is the area’s go-to spot for nightlife.

Down in Ao Khlong Jak, Sunset Bar at the beach’s far southern point is a charming beach shack that serves ice-cold beer, very good smoothies and home-cooked Thai dishes that start at under 100 baht. It’s the kind of spot you go to sit back and let the day while away; just don’t be surprised if it takes some effort to track down one of the family members who runs the place. Apart from that, the only options are the resort restaurants and a couple of simple roadside Thai restaurants. The bar at Khlong Jak Bungalows has the liveliest scene, while Last Beach is a great chill-out spot to sip on a sundowner.

Ao Mai Pai is Lanta’s most remote beach with accommodation, so don’t expect a world of dining choices. Thankfully, the chefs at Baan Phu Lae dish out phenomenal Thai dishes along with bruschetta, sirloin steak and pizza. The panang curry that we tried was excellent, and the well-put-together menu features some unexpected selections like pla kuung (spicy lemongrass salad with shrimp) and yum sam-o (pomelo salad). The dark-shades-donning bartender also happens to make some of Lanta’s most creative cocktails and smoothies. Prices are high, but that’s to be expected in such a remote spot.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Far Southern Ko Lanta? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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