Koh Lanta Weather Guide

by Guest

Koh Lanta weather - Introduction

Koh Lanta is one of the Thailand’s largest islands, but is much less visited than the more famous islands of Phuket and Koh Samui. Sitting just of the western Andaman sea coast, Koh Lanta is scenic with miles of white sandy beach backed by coconut groves and lush forest. There is plenty to do , from lying on the beach , swimming in the ocean, snorkeling with underwater marine life, hiking, and volunteering. To reach Koh Lanta , there are several options. Fly down to Krabi Airport from Bangkok or Chiang Mai, and either take the daily passenger ferry from Ao Nang or Krabi, take one of the private or public minivans from the airport to the pier, cross over using the car ferry and continue on to the hotel, or take the luxurious private speedboats. The journey takes between an hour and a half to three hours depending on your method of transportation.

shells-beach-koh-lanta-thailand

Shells against Koh Lanta beach. Photo by dziambel.

Koh Lanta weather Seasons

The weather on Koh Lanta is notoriously fickle. Though there are two main seasons, dry and monsoon, the rains can draw in at any time. The island can have all seasons in one day. Like the rest of Thailand, Koh Lanta has a tropical climate, sitting just above the equator. The high season is between November and March which is characterized by the hot temperature and dry climate. This is when almost all the tourists arrive on the island. If you plan to visit at this time, it is worth remembering that these seasons are fixed in place, and the rains of monsoon season can sometimes stay longer than predicted, as vice versa, the dry season can stretch all the way up to June. The sea temperature hovers somewhere between 28 and 30 degrees all year round.

Dry Season

For the most part, however, the dry season is hot with temperatures reaching almost 40 degrees at some points, though it usually hovers around the low 30s. Though this may sound too hot, the shade provided by the trees a coconut palms along the beaches provide some welcome relief, as to refreshing dips in the Andaman Sea. Doing anything too strenuous around the heatwaves is not recommended and is best spend reading a book in a hammock or swimming in the hotels pool. When the temperature is a little less severe, it’s possible to go hiking around the island, taking snorkelling trips to near sites, learn the art of Muay Thai or day classes or longer courses, take elephant rides from the nearby camp or explore the beautiful Old Lanta town. If you want to guarantee the best climate, be sure to visit between January and February when the skies are clear, the temperature at its most comfortable and the sea warm. Be warned though, this is also the busiest time and the hotels get booked up in advance, and the smaller beaches can get busy in the day. The average temperature in Koh Lanta around the year is roughly 30 degrees, though this can sometimes drop considerably during storms and cool patches. The sea breeze can make it feel cooler during night, particularly if you have been sunbathing all day. Humidity can be a problem. It’s not uncommon to reach 100% throughout the year. If it reaches these levels, stay on the beach and near the water. Hiking through the jungle interior without the sea breeze can be challenging.

Wet Season or Monsoon Season

The low monsoon season between April and October is not the ideal time to visit and much of the island’s tourist facilities including hotels, beach bars and restaurants close down. Though you can get some sunny mornings, the heavy tropical rains can draw in during the afternoon and evening keeping things overcast. You haven’t seen rain until you see the tropical rains of Thailand! The advantage is these keep the island lush and green, and there is something lovely about sitting out on your private beach bungalow terraces while the rains hammer down around you. The waters around the island get rough at this time, so swimming and snorkelling is not advisable. Most of the daily boat trips, excursions, and snorkelling trips close down around this time and it’s hard to find an operator offering any trips. The rough waters mean the daily passenger ferries stop running for the season, so the only way to reach the island is on the short car ferry located 45 minutes from Krabi Town. Travelling at this time does have its advantages. The hotels that do stay open are often very good value and you might have the whole place to yourself. Unsurprisingly, most of the beaches are very quiet, glorious on the sunny mornings. Recently, a photographer said that it’s the best time to visit the islands as the stormy weather and empty beaches make for excellent photography.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you want the driest and sunniest time to visit, do between January and February when you are also guaranteed good weather. This is also the busiest time with hotels getting booked up well in advance and the prices much higher. The rest of the dry season between November and April are generally dry, though sometimes the rainy season overlaps. Throughout the season, there are several ways to reach the island including passenger ferries and a combination of minivans and the car ferry. If you are travelling as a family, or looking to meet other travellers and join a party, this is the season to go. During monsoon season, there is little to do on the island, with swimming and snorkelling not recommended. It’s hot, but the rains keep it temporarily cool everything down. Most of the hotels and tour operations close down and it’s slightly more tricky to reach the island. However, those who do come to Koh Lanta during monsoon are treated to low cost hotels (though it will be a smaller selection) and empty beaches with some excellent photography opportunities. This time is best for those looking for a quiet retreat, don’t mind heavy spells of rain or lack of swimming spots and want a little adventure.

Cover image by dziambel .

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