It is definitely no secret that beach bumming is one of my favourite ways to spend my days and the beaches of South Lanta were some of the best places I came across in Thailand!
Especially when you visit these 4 beautiful beaches in South Lanta.
Imagine stepping back in time to an undeveloped Thailand, where the beaches are lined with palm trees and wild jungle not beach bars and hotels.
South Lanta truly is a snapshot for us in todays world of what Thailand would of looked like once upon a time and these 4 beaches capture the beauty of it so wonderfully.
They are Ba Kan Tieng Beach, Nui Beach, Klong Jark Beach and Bamboo Beach (Had Mai Phai). Each has something different to offer and is unique in their own way.
How to get there
Koh Lanta is quite a large island and even though it is popular with tourists it’s not as developed as some of its neighbouring islands. Because of this the infrastructure in place is not the best and the roads can be quite bumpy in places.
Getting from one end to the other can take time but there are 3 main ways of transport:
Scooter — this is my recommended way of transport if you are comfortable riding one, there is tons to explore on the island and the quickest/cheapest way to get around is by scooter. Scooters can be rented from many shops along the main road on the island as well as from your hotel and they range from 150 baht (£3.50) per day to 500 (£11.50) baht per day depending on which make and model you choose.
Tricycle — if you have been in Thailand already you may be familiar with these already but they are essentially a scooter with a metal frame attached with benches for seating. Because they aren’t the most comfortable and quickest means of transport they are often well priced and can be good for those on a budget! Bear in mind though that they are quite small so can only fit 3/4 people in at a time. To book just speak to your accommodation or flag one down on the road.
Pickup truck Tuktuks — these are exactly as they sound, they are pick up trucks that have been converted into tuktuks, they often have a frame over the back part to enable passengers to sit down and have no worries of falling out the sides. These are quicker and a more comfortable way to get around so are often the most expensive. Again speak to your accommodation about booking or flag one down on the main road.
To get to the beaches in South Lanta I would recommend going by scooter, however, the roads can be a little dodgy in certain parts so if you are not confident I would negotiate a full day tour with a tuktuk allowing you to visit the beaches and have some time to relax.
We went via scooter and from our accommodation Chomview Resort the drive took us about half an hour to reach Ba Kan Tieng, the first of the 4 beaches.
Best time to visit
Koh Lanta’s typical high season is between November – December, however, October tends to be the worst month to visit due to monsoon season and some of this weather can be expected to overflow into November.
Personally I think the best time to visit Koh Lanta is between January and April if you are looking for calm waters and sunny conditions.
November/December – April is seen as the dry season. Whilst May to October is viewed as the monsoon season but there are still plenty of sunny days and not many downpours that last days until you get to around August. Because of this if you don’t mind an odd day of rain here and there you can get some great cheap accommodation from May – July and the island will feel almost empty!
What to expect
The drive down along the west coast of Koh Lanta is stunning, you drive past jungles, beach front villages and long stretches of sand. Luckily for me I was on the back of the scooter so I got to enjoy this view fully from start to finish!
As you get closer to South Lanta you can feel the modernised way of living that tourism has brought to the island slowly disappearing. There are a few beach front restaurants and bars but not a lot so I recommend stopping off at a 7eleven on your way down to stock up on water and snacks — make sure to keep these out of sight though as the monkeys around the island know a 7eleven bag when they see one!
We didn’t stop at Ba Kan Tieng Beach, but as you go up the hill there is a viewpoint were you get a completely uninterrupted view of the beach and it is breathtaking so make sure you stop and take it all in.
Carrying on we head to Nui Beach as we are both keen snorkelers and I’d heard this was the best spot on the island. I wouldn’t say the snorkelling was amazing here compared to some other places in Thailand but there was still an abundance of fish and plenty to see.
You’ll know you’ve arrived at Nui Bay as there is a lay-by on the side of the road to park, park up and head across the road and down the path through the jungle to the beach. There is one small beach bar here selling food and drinks but other than that it is just you and the jungle.
There are a few trees providing shade but most of this is gone by mid afternoon due to the position of the sun so make sure to come prepared with an umbrella if you need it.
We spent a few hours here lazing around on the sand and swimming in the ocean, it was also quite entertaining watching the tree line and seeing the monkeys spotting people eating and making a run for their food!
Bamboo Beach is the most well known of all the beaches for its size and amazing palm tree entrance so we headed here next stopping off to admire Klong Jark Beach on our way.
As you enter Bamboo Beach you drive through a field full of palm trees, it really is something else especially with the blue water twinkling in the background.
Bamboo Beach is huge compared to its neighbour Nui Beach and there are plenty of trees to keep you sheltered from the afternoon sun.
There is a also beach front bar here serving food and drinks and the swimming conditions are excellent.
This beach is the perfect place to spend the rest of your afternoon relaxing and a peaceful spot to catch the beautiful Koh Lanta sunsets.
Where to stay
Luxury: Long Beach Chalet
If you are looking for a luxurious stay on Koh Lanta, this is your place. Offering Thai style bungalows and chalets on stilts you can choose from rooms overlooking the ocean in the beach zone or overlooking the gardens in the garden zone. They all boast incredible views with some of the most exclusive bungalows hosting jacuzzi baths on the terrace overlooking Koh Lanta’s most poplar beach. Long Beach Chalet has a large pool, private seating on the beach for its guests, an onsite restaurant and for additional charge you can arrange all day trips here, as well as massages, laundry and transport.
Mid range: Chomview Resort
This is where we stayed for 10 nights while on Koh Lanta, it was everything we wanted and more. There is a large variety of rooms but they are all very large, we stayed in the Superior Double Room with Balcony and I highly recommend. The rooms come equipped with air-conditioning, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, private bathroom, fresh drinking water, large balcony or terrace as well as some having views of the mountains or pool. Chomview Resort also has a waterpark meaning it is the perfect place for families, there are many giant animal and cartoon figurines around the resort, it is definitely aimed at families. However, do not let this put you off if you are a couple looking for something quieter. Because of families heading out to use the waterpark the hotel pool and accommodation is so peaceful during the day!
Budget: Hub of Joys Hostel
Located near to Long Beach Hub of Joys hostel is popular amongst backpackers, the hostel offers free bikes to get around the island, free parking, a shared lounge to meet others and a restaurant serving up an exceptional daily breakfast included in your room rate. There is free wifi throughout the hostel as well as air-conditioning in the rooms and a shared bathroom. Hub of Joys Hostel is happy to help you arrange any tours and excursions and there is free popcorn and other snacks available for all guests!
I highly recommend heading down to South Lanta to visit the beaches here, the ones on the north side of the island are beautiful but these are truly stunning.
They all offer something a little different and can be a lot quieter than those in the north.
Have you visited Koh Lanta and did you visit these beaches in the south? If so which was your favourite? Mine has to be Nui Beach… let me know yours in the comments below 👇🏼
With love, Izzy ✨💛
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