How to Get to Koh Lanta

by Guest

The slight difficulty of how to get to Koh Lanta compared to some of the other islands in Thailand puts some tourists off. Those who do make the journey are treated to some amazing beaches, great nightlife and activities like hiking, snorkeling and diving. Depending on where you are coming from, there are several ways to get to Koh Lanta which is not currently served by a direct flight at the time of writing.

How to get from Krabi to Koh Lanta

There are several ways to get from the main airport hub of Krabi to Koh Lanta. The quickest, most convenient, but also the most expensive is by private speedboat. To take a private speedboat, you will need to book in advance as tickets cannot be bought on arrival. When you reach Krabi Airport, a minivan will be waiting to take you and the other guests to the boat pier. When you arrive, you will be taken on the 30 minute ride across to Koh Lanta where another transfer will be waiting to take you on to your hotel. Prices vary, but the cost will be around US $60 per adult and US $35 per child, and there may be a minimum number of guests required to make the journey (or pay a larger amount). It’s worth remembering that many of the boats don’t run between May and October as the seas are simply too rough. If you are spending some time in Krabi or Ao Nang, it is possible to pick you up from your hotel .

Another option is to take one of the private or public minivans from the airport or your hotel in Krabi . Both run the same route, but if you are travelling in a group, then a private van may be your best option. The vans can fit up to 8 people. Once departing from the hotel or airport, they will drive down to the pier around 45 minutes away. Here, the van will drive onto the ferry and take a 30 minute crossing to Koh Lanta Noi. The price for the ferry is around US $1 per person and might not be included in the ticket, so check before booking. Once on Koh Lanta Noi, the van will drive over the bridge and onwards to your hotel. The whole journey takes around 3 hours or so depending on way your hotel is located on the island. There are more luxurious vehicles including people carriers available should you wish. The cost of a private minivan is a flat fee of US $80 and a single passenger in a public minivan is around US $20.

If you plan to travel around Koh Lanta, then you may want to consider a rental car. They can be booked inside Krabi Airport terminal from 6 of the major international rental companies like Hertz. You will need to follow the same route, driving down to the pier, across on the ferry and then onwards to your hotel. It is worth bearing in mind that when hiring a car in Thailand, you are required to show your passport or ID, an International Driving License and you may need to pay a hefty deposit. Always check the vehicle before you drive away and make sure any damage is listed on the paperwork. The cost of hiring a car in Thailand is around US $20 per day, though this can vary. It’s also worth noting that Thai driving standards are not the same as the west so caution is advised. Try to avoid driving at night when the conditions become more dangerous.

In the dry season, between November and April, there is a daily ferry service between the Krabi town of Ao Nang and Koh Lanta. The rest of the season, it doesn’t run due to rough seas. The ferry costs around US $20. On the way to Koh Lanta, the ferry service stops in Koh Phi Phi for a couple of hours while they drop off and pick up passengers. This gives guests some time to explore. The boat runs on Thai time, so it’s the most punctual of services, but it is a pleasant way to get between the two if you have a little more time.

Getting from Bangkok to Koh Lanta

To get from Bangkok to Koh Lanta, you will need to take a flight to Krabi Airport and follow one of the many routes above including a rental car, minivan, private speed boat or the ferry service from Ao Nang. There are more than 17 direct flights a day between the capital and Krabi Airport, services by Thai Lion Mentari, Thai Smile, Nok Air, Thai Air Asia, Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways. The cost of flight between the two starts around US $50 one way, and there are some seriously good last-minute and early bird discounts available. The first flight departs at 6.45 a.m. and the last flight leaves at 19.05 p.m. and the flight time is 1 hour 20 minutes. To break up the journey, we always recommend spending a night or two in Krabi or Ao Nang.

Getting from Chiang Mai to Koh Lanta

Similarly, to get from the northern city of Chiang Mai , one must first fly down to Krabi Airport and take a minivan, speed boat or ferry service from Ao Nang. The only airline currently serving direct routes from Chiang Mai to Krabi is Thai Air Asia. They have two daily flights leaving at 6.35 a.m. and 16.35 a.m. and the flight time is 1 hour 55 minutes. If you want to get to Koh Lanta on the same day, take the early flight, otherwise you will be forced to overnight in Krabi or Ao Nang (not the worst thing in the world). The cost of a one-way flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi Airport starts from US $70.

Getting from Phuket to Koh Lanta

Though it is possible to take a taxi or drive a rental car off the island and down to Koh Lanta, the cost makes it prohibitive. The best way to get between the two is the daily ferry service that runs in the high season months between November and March. The ferry departs from Phuket at 8 a.m. and takes 1 hour to reach Koh Phi Phi where it drops off and picks up other passengers for an hour. It then continues on to Koh Lanta, a journey that takes a further 2 hours. When you arrive on Koh Lanta pier, it would be hard to find a taxi to take on to your hotel.

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