Photo: Just awful.

Introduction

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If you thought that all of Thailand’s finest islands had been ruined by mismanaged development, Ko Lao Liang will prove you wrong. A little-known remedy for travellers seeking breathtaking Andaman Sea scenery without the crowds, the isolated pair of islands don’t even register among Trang province’s more popular destinations. And we hope it stays that way.


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Part of Mu Ko Phetra National Park, Ko Lao Liang’s two islands stand side-by-side some 40 kilometres west of the mainland. All facilities are set up on the southern island, Ko Lao Liang Nong, or “Little Brother Island.” Sporting sunrise views to Ko Sukorn, an almost-white-sand beach touches clear teal water that blends into deep emerald and azure blue as you reach the hard coral. Though worth an hour with a snorkel, we’ve seen better underwater scenery.

Ko Lao Liang: Shhhh Photo taken in or around Ko Lao Liang, Thailand by David Luekens.

Ko Lao Liang: Shhhh Photo: David Luekens

Vertical limestone cliffs tower over Lao Liang Nong’s beach on three sides, displaying colours ranging from brick red to bright white and ice blue. They closely resemble the cliffs found on the vastly more popular Ko Phi Phi and Railay peninsula, which is famous for its rock climbing. You won’t find nearly as many bolted routes here, but several of Lao Liang’s cliffs are set up for safe climbing and gear is available. Many visitors come specifically to climb.

Arriving at Lao Liang Phi, with Ko Phetra in the background. Photo taken in or around Ko Lao Liang, Thailand by David Luekens.

Arriving at Lao Liang Phi, with Ko Phetra in the background. Photo: David Luekens

A number of crags dot the cliffs, often with massive finger-like stalactites reaching down to the sea. Though Lao Liang Nong’s beach is relatively small, its marvelous aesthetics rank it up there with the best in Thailand, at least in our book. Its bigger companion island’s beach is arguably even better.

It takes less than an hour to encircle Lao Liang Nong in a kayak. Photo taken in or around Ko Lao Liang, Thailand by David Luekens.

It takes less than an hour to encircle Lao Liang Nong in a kayak. Photo: David Luekens

North of a channel that takes around 20 minutes to cross by kayak, Ko Lao Liang Phi (“Big Brother Island”) has an even taller cliff rising dramatically over its own dazzling beach. The park doesn’t pay much attention to this slightly larger northern island, allowing a considerable buildup of tidal garbage in some spots. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,100 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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What next?

 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Lao Liang? Please read this.
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