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Best Koh Lanta Beaches: Klong Khong Beach

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Dangling in the Andaman Sea off the southern tip of the Krabi, Thailand province is Koh Lanta (or Lanta Island). Along the western coastline of Koh Lanta there are both craggy cliffs and sandy shores. When we decided to travel to Koh Lanta, we scoured the internet for information about Koh Lanta beaches, because we knew exactly what kind of beach we were looking for: relaxed vibe, a few beach bars, tasty Thai restaurants and affordable accommodations. We found our island perfection on Klong Khong Beach – which we now claim as the “Best Beach Koh Lanta”.


Koh Lanta Beaches: Klong Khong

Life on Koh Lanta Thailand JetSetting Fools

Klong Khong Beach is a 3-kilometer stretch of sand just south of Phra Ae Beach (or Long Beach, Koh Lanta) – and is often referred to as the Koh Lanta Hippie Beach. The shore is lined with beachfront bars, restaurants, beach spas and Koh Lanta bungalows. Workers are never shy about calling out to beach walkers, inviting them in to enjoy a meal, massage or fresh-made cocktail (just a few of the top Koh Lanta activities!). Happy hours are as abundant as the bamboo loungers and are an ideal accompaniment for blazing sunsets.

While this Koh Lanta beach scene is fascinating and where most travelers’ interests will lie, our curiosity extended to what’s happening on the main road. The stretch of road that runs parallel to Klong Khong Beach is packed with convenience stores, restaurants, tour offices and the Thai Island version of gas stations (re-used glass bottles filled with petrol).

Most Klong Khong establishments are family run. In fact, the only chain in town is 7-11, which still hasn’t cornered the market as several family run convenience stores offer more variety and better prices. The Koh Lanta resorts take up the space between the road and the beach, but most don’t offer beachfront rooms. Instead, the associated resort restaurant and semi-attached bar face the ocean.

One notable difference from mainland Thailand is that Muslims outnumber Buddhists on this island as Malays long ago settled on Koh Lanta, bringing their religion with them. Instead of seeing monks in orange robes, we see women with head coverings. Instead of hearing Buddhist chanting, we hear the Muslim call to prayer. We learned, and noted, that people living in Koh Lanta co-exist in harmony with respect, rather than dividing over different religions.


Klong Khong Beach, Koh Lanta Things To Do

Klong Khong Beach on Koh Lanta Island in Thailand

We weren’t looking for a long list of things to do in Koh Lanta – and we comfortably eased into our little slice of beach heaven on Klong Khong Beach just fine. Our rhythm of quiet mornings, afternoon swims and beach sunsets was as soothing as the ocean itself. During our stay, we were never short on simple entertainment and complete relaxation.


Swimming At Klong Khong Beach

If you are wondering what to do in Koh Lanta, swimming in the sea should be at the top of your list! It just wouldn’t be right to go to a beach in Thailand and not wade into the waves. We let the cool water erase the heavy humidity and often marinated in the buoyant ocean until our fingers started to wrinkle. We spent countless hours bobbing in the salty sea and enjoying the sunshine on our faces.

Top Tip: Although most of the beach is sandy at Klong Khong Beach, beneath the water is a rocky bottom (like most of the beaches in Koh Lanta). We didn’t think it was necessary to wear water shoes, but some travelers might prefer them and definitely watch your step in any case. 


Tracking The Koh Lanta Tides

Daily entertainment is provided by the occurrence of the tide rolling in and out – watching the tide is mesmerizing! There’s a drastic 8-foot swing from high to low tide. During our visit to Koh Lanta, the water started receding in the early afternoon, completely exposing the shoreline reef in a matter of a few hours. At low tide, local kids and tourists go out to explore the uncovered rocks. The width of Klong Khong beach doubles in size and leaves behind pieces of coral and colorful shells. As we walked along the Koh Lanta shoreline, speedy ghost crabs scatter and hermit crabs quickly hide in their shells. Watching the tide may sound like the island equivalent of watching grass grow, but what can we say? We are easily entertained.

Top Tip: Check the tide charts for your trip! 


Klong Khong, Koh Lanta Bars For Happy Hour

Sunset happy hour drinks at beach bar on Klong Khong Beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Some of the best bars in Koh Lanta are on Klong Khong Beach! All along the long strip of sand are open-air structures made of wood and bamboo; even newer places look worn from the ocean winds and tropical rains. Tables, beach chairs and bamboo mats offer oceanfront seating – often extending from the establishment onto the sand. Chalkboards announce happy hour Koh Lanta specials and music wafts from the bars in Koh Lanta all day long (Bob Marley is often on repeat).


Klong Khong Sunsets

Sailboat at sunset on Klong Khong Beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Sunsets in Klong Khong, Koh Lanta are some of the best we have seen around the world! As the sky turned from blue to pink, we would watch lonesome fishing boats pass by. The few small, rocky Thai islands in the distance were the only other thing that broke up the endless views to the horizon. In the two weeks we spent on the west coast of Koh Lanta, we watched the sun set over the sea every single day. Sometimes we reclined in beach loungers to sip on happy hour cocktails made with fresh juice, other times we would grab a few beers from the corner market and plop down in the sand. It doesn’t matter where we watched the sunset on Koh Lanta, the marvelous display of colors – enhanced by the clouds brought in by the tropical winds – was a spectacular sight.


Klong Khong Restaurants

One thing we were most excited about staying on Klong Khong was eating Koh Lanta food – as there are numerous places to eat right on the beach. For lunch, we gorged on plates of Pad Thai and cashew chicken fried rice while watching the ocean waves. However, we found some of the best restaurants in Koh Lanta on the road that runs parallel to Klong Khong Beach. Just like on the beach, the restaurants on the street are open-air. The friendly owners were always on hand, often the one taking our order, and their pride and dedication was evident. They served incredible authentic Thai food and, although it was sometimes a little too spicy for me, it was some of the most flavorful food we ate on our Thailand trip.

Note: Although we would like to recommend some of the best places to eat in Koh Lanta, our two favorite restaurants are no longer open. We advise asking fellow travelers or hotel staff for current recommendations.


Koh Lanta Nightlife

Party sign in Klong Khong Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand

After the Koh Lanta sunset, the colorful lanterns dangling from bamboo rods in front of bars come to life, hoping to attract the crowds. And, if that doesn’t do the trick, the fire show just might. It seems every place has at least one employee who can spin and dance with flaming fire balls, which can be seen from anywhere on the beach. The Koh Lanta bar scene is quite a bit more relaxed than some of the Thai Islands (especially when compared to the Full Moon Parties on Ko Pha-ngan). As our visit was in the Koh Lanta low season, there wasn’t much of a club scene. However, we did note that there was a daily schedule announcing which bar would be hosting the nightly ‘party.’ Travelers looking to party in Koh Lanta and dance the night away should be able to find at least one bar on Klong Khong Beach that will stay open late into the night with thumping music provided by a DJ.


Best Bars Koh Lanta, Klong Khong Beach

Although we never stayed out late enough for the nightly party, these were our favorite Klong Khong bars for happy hours and after-dinner drinks in Koh Lanta: Freedom Bar, Smile Bar, Monkey Bar Koh Lanta and Mushroom Bar Koh Lanta.

Top Tip: The laid-back island vibe is evident in the bar signage that is graced with graphics of iconic herbs. In addition to the happy hours, most bars offer “happy shakes” called Bang Lassi for a hash-infused high. We passed on that experience, sticking to beer and the occasional cocktail instead.

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Koh Lanta Map Of Beaches

Click for a Google Maps Koh Lanta, Thailand Map.


Tips For Your Trip To Koh Lanta, Thailand

Tuk tuk driver in Klong Khong Beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

While it’s easy to let days – and even weeks – slip away while enjoying the relaxed vibe on Klong Khong Beach, there are a few Koh Lanta activities that will break up the beach day routine. 


What To Do On Koh Lanta

We were never at a loss of what to do in Koh Lanta, as we were content to idle the days away on Klong Khong Beach. However, there were a few Koh Lanta attractions we didn’t want to miss – like Koh Lanta day trips for snorkeling and visiting other Koh Lanta beaches.


Koh Lanta Snorkeling Tour

Of course, Koh Lanta snorkeling on the beach at Klong Khong is possible – but it’s not the best snorkeling in Koh Lanta. Small islands near Koh Lanta are a much better option – and there are several Koh Lanta trips to choose from.

{Read about our incredible experience Snorkeling Koh Lanta}

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Phra Ae Beach, Koh Lanta

Long Beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand JetSetting Fools

After being in Koh Lanta for more than a week and only leaving Klong Khong Beach to go on our snorkeling tour, we wanted to see another stretch of sand (even though we think Klong Khong is the best beach to stay in Koh Lanta). With so many nearby Koh Lanta beaches, all we had to do was hop on a tuk-tuk. We got a ride north to Phra Ae, Koh Lanta (Long Beach), which is touted by many travelers as one of the best Koh Lanta beaches. The lengthy beach has white, powder-soft sand and is capped by rocky hills at each end. Most of the Long Beach Koh Lanta restaurants and shops are clustered at the ends, with sprawling resorts and Koh Lanta beach hotels occupying much of the middle section.

As one of the top places to visit in Koh Lanta, we planned to spend an entire afternoon at Phra Ae Beach. We walked the entire beach from north to south – and waded into the turquoise blue sea to float on the waves and drift with the current when we got too hot . We noticed that evergreen trees, rather than palm trees, grow in the forests at the top of the sand and large birds (similar to the bald eagle with a white head and tail and an enormous wing span) soared along the tree tops. When we looked for where to eat in Koh Lanta Long Beach, we didn’t find as many inviting beachfront restaurants as in Klong Khong Beach. In comparison, Phra Ae was noticeably different from Klong Khong; perhaps more high-end than the chilled out beach vibe of Klong Khong Beach – but we are glad we spent a day checking it out. 


More Day Trips From Koh Lanta

If you have the time and budget in your Koh Lanta itinerary, here are a few more things to do in Koh Lanta, Thailand.


Koh Lanta Boat Trips

Trips from Koh Lanta are most often boat trips to nearby islands for a day of fun at sea. We absolutely loved our Four Island Tour – and if you can only take one tour, we recommend it be that one! – but here are some other ideas, too. 


Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi – Explore the Phi Phi Archipelago by speedboat from Koh Lanta. Find out more!


Haa and Koh Rok Island – Koh Rok is a hot destination and can be visited from Koh Lanta on a speedboat tour from Koh Lanta Old Town. More information here! 


Koh Lanta Diving – There are opportunities for scuba diving Koh Lanta; check with local tour agencies or your accommodations for the best tour options. 


Klong Khong, Koh Lanta Accommodations

When choosing where to stay in Koh Lanta, Thailand there are many factors to consider, like budget and amenities. Through our thorough research, we determined that for us Klong Khong was the best area to stay in Koh Lanta – it reportedly (and truly!) had the vibe we were looking for in a Thailand beach. We opted to stay in a Koh Lanta bungalow that was a short walk from the Khlong Khong beach. Obviously, for many travelers, the best place to stay in Koh Lanta would be right on the beach – but it simply wasn’t in our budget.

Our Koh Lanta low season visit meant we had a choice of accommodations at the lowest Koh Lanta prices – and we found a deal at Phutara Lanta Resort for $40 USD a night. Located on the northern edge of Klong Khong Beach, the stand-alone bungalows sit on a hill across the street from the beach, which allowed us just a glimpse of the ocean from our front porch. The location gave us space and privacy that is non-existent on the beachfront properties. The bathroom has a rainfall shower and separate tub, the bed was actually soft and the kitchenette enabled us to have lazy mornings with coffee and toast before we ventured across the street for a swim in the teal blue ocean.

Note: We have heard and read that the Phutara Lanta has expanded significantly and perhaps changed ownership more than once since our stay and that is reflected in the recent reviews.


Best Resorts in Koh Lanta on Klong Khong Beach

If you are set on staying at a Koh Lanta beach resort with all the bells and whistles, you may want to look at Long Beach, Koh Lanta accommodation where the beach vibe is a little more ‘refined’ than Klong Khong.

On the other hand, travelers looking for cheap accommodation in Koh Lanta can search for Koh Lanta backpacking hostels – of which there are several choices.

Start your search for the Koh Lanta best places to stay on



Getting Around Koh Lanta Klong Khong Beach

Once we were settled in our Klong Khong Beach bungalow, we mostly used our own two feet to get around. However, some of the things to see in Koh Lanta require a ride! Just like everywhere else in Southeast Asia, motorbikes and tuk-tuks are the most common vehicles on the road. There are many Koh Lanta motorbike rental places (look at shops along the main road or ask at your accommodations), but we didn’t want to complicate our stay with the worry of operating a motorbike.

Tuk-tuks were an ideal option for us when venturing beyond Klong Khong and visiting other Koh Lanta beaches. Had we been so inclined we could have even hired a tuk-tuk driver for the day (and negotiated a deal) to create our own Koh Lanta Island Tour. A few things to note: The tuk-tuks in Koh Lanta have a side-car, not the standard carriage in the back. The road is dusty until the daily rains come and then puddles form on the edges, not always drying out before the next rainfall.

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Getting To Koh Lanta: Krabi To Koh Lanta

Getting from the Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta isn’t necessarily difficult, but maybe just taxing enough to keep throngs of tourists at bay. During our visit in the low season, the Krabi-Koh Lanta trip was a two-hour drive from the Krabi Airport and included two Koh Lanta Ferry crossings. In season, there is a fast boat from Krabi to Koh Lanta.

How to get to Koh Lanta the easy way is to hire a private driver – however, that option comes with a hefty fee. Getting to Koh Lanta from Krabi, however, was a cinch – as we rode in the comfortable air-conditioned car without a single worry. If you will be using a private driver for getting from Krabi to Koh Lanta, we recommend booking it in advance of your trip.

For budget travelers, there is a much cheaper option of how to get from Krabi to Koh Lanta: a shuttle bus. We used this much more economical route when traveling from Koh Lanta to Krabi Airport, but it took much longer. For more information on the Krabi to Koh Lanta bus, use this link.


Koh Lanta Low Season

Even the best beaches in Koh Lanta, Thailand have a low season – but we thought it was a great time to visit! Our visit was actually just prior to the beginning of the high season and the sleepy town was just waking from the off-season slumber. Employees were kept busy prepping for the upcoming tourist season. Additional beach chairs were set up on the sand, new mats for the bamboo loungers were rolled out, a few places were getting a fresh coat of paint and new signage was being hung. The sounds of hammering nails and electric saws mixed with the sound of the ocean. But, even with the rush to get ready, all work is done on ‘island time.’ It was actually a fascinating time to visit Koh Lanta – few crowds and the opportunity to chat more with the locals! 

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Koh Lanta Beaches Essentials

    • Don’t forget to pack a pair of flip flops for your trip. Reef flips are my fav for the beach! (Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Sanuk.)
    • You can buy almost anything you will need in Koh Lanta. But these two items – Sunscreen and Insect Repellent – are essential…and expensive to buy in Thailand!
    • We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos (that can later be beautifully compiled into a travel photo book). We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight).
    • A GoPro (or other less-expensive waterproof action camera) is great for capturing moments spent in the sea! 
    • We think travel insurance is essential when traveling in Southeast Asia! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.


Start planning your trip to Koh Lanta, Thailand! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


Visiting Other Destinations In Thailand? Great! Read our complete Bangkok Itinerary (including the On Nut Neighborhood), Chiang Mai, Phuket Food, Chiang Rai, and more Thai Island exploring on Koh Chang!


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