Koh Lanta is located in Krabi province and is part of the Mu Koh Lanta National Park consisting of more than 50 protected islands in an archipelago covering 134km2. The two largest islands are Lanta Noi (small) and Lanta Yai (big) that are connected by a bridge that was opened in 2016.
Lanta Yai, the largest island, is roughly 26km long by 6km wide with a laid-back atmosphere, coral rimmed sandy beaches all along the entire west coast, tropical jungle forest that spikes down its middle, and dramatic mangroves and rockery on the east coast.
Visiting Old Town
Tonmai Suites is located on the main road (aka the ‘walking street’) in Lanta Old Town, on the Eastern side of Lanta Yai. All the storefronts, bars, and restaurants start less than a minute walk away. You will be in the heart of this unique, charming village filled with clusters of teak houses on stilts overlooking the sea. These ancestral homes, dating back hundreds of years, have been converted into restaurants, cafes, shops, along with commercial space, and yet they have withstood the test of time retaining their original structure and design. Lanta Old Town is full of history and reveals both the Thai and Chinese cultures and influence that has been well preserved here.
The local shops here in Old Town sell impressive handicrafts that you won’t come across anywhere else on the island. You will find handmade soaps, lotions and other beauty products made from natural ingredients, unique souvenirs made of distinctive natural local materials, and even different kinds of herbs and spices for making traditional Thai dishes if you want to bring a taste of Thailand home with you. If you’re really a cooking enthusiast and would like to learn more about the local cuisine, there are several cooking classes offered here locally that you can enjoy.
Boat excursions and tours focused on scuba diving, mangrove exploration and island hopping are just a stone’s throw away. The Lanta Old Town Pier is located within a few minutes’ walk from Tonmai Suites. The pier has recently been renovated and a site to see – don’t miss the lobster! (Seriously, go take a look).
There are many festivals in Lanta Old Town each year, but the biggest and most well-known is the Laanta Lanta Festival, which last for three days on the weekend of the first full moon in March. It highlights resort chefs and local cooks throughout the community preparing the top local dishes. Aside from satisfying your palate and stomach with authentic food, the festival also features traditional live music on a set stage by the pier, and in front of many local restaurants and bars.
Old Town also has walking street market on Sunday mornings and Saturday evenings. On Saturday the traffic isn’t allowed down the Main Street and vendors come out to sell local made items and street food, ranging from fresh grilled fish to the sweeter side of Thai pancakes. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can always try some of the tasty array of insects. You will also find live music along the walking street.