The most popular way to reach Koh Lanta is by ferry from Krabi, while there are also ferry services to and from Koh Phi Phi during the dry season. Visitors flying into Bangkok can transfer to Krabi by air or bus, with Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport offering direct flights to Krabi Airport. You can also drive down the coast from Krabi and take two short ferry rides to get from the mainland to Koh Lanta Noi and finally Koh Lanta Yai. These are extremely easy as you never have to leave the comfortable seat of your minibus.
Koh Lanta air travel and airports
Krabi Airport is the closest you can get to Koh Lanta by air, after which a bus and ferry ride is necessary to reach the island. The first airport you’re likely to pass through is Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport which receives direct flights from most major international destinations.
The airport is large and modern with excellent travellers’ facilities including money exchange counters, restaurants, car hire desks and banks. More on Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
A transfer from here to Krabi Airport (several flights a day) or the busier Phuket Airport will bring you to the Andaman Coast. From Phuket Airport, you will first need to arrange a bus or taxi transfer to Krabi Town where several ferries leave each day to Koh Lanta. Krabi’s small airport is a more useful hub for getting to Koh Lanta, but doesn’t have the same numbers of budget flights as Phuket Airport.
Buses to Koh Lanta
Government buses leave from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Phuket, Krabi and Trang. From these destinations, it is easy to arrange onward travel to Koh Lanta. Many private tour companies in Bangkok can arrange your transport for you, including transfers and ferry tickets, with someone to meet you at each change over point.
From Phuket, buses depart from the bus station in Phuket Town to Krabi, from where ferries run to Koh Lanta. From Trang, daily mini-buses depart at 12:00 for Koh Lanta and the trip takes approximately two hours, 30 minutes and involves a short vehicle ferry crossing. It is possible to travel from Krabi by minibus directly to Koh Lanta, with services running year-round.
Ferries to Koh Lanta
From Phuket, it is possible to travel by ferry to Koh Lanta in the dry season, but it means going via Koh Phi Phi. From Krabi, daily ferries leave from the main pier in Krabi Town to Koh Lanta from mid-October to April, departing at 10:30 and 13:30. From Koh Phi Phi, two ferries depart daily for Koh Lanta during the dry season from Ton Sai Pier at 11:30 and 14:00. A pontoon ferry also runs back and forth between the mainland and Koh Lanta Noi, with another service crossing the short channel to reach Koh Lanta Yai.
Rail transportation to Koh Lanta
It is not possible to reach Koh Lanta directly by rail; however, trains leave Bangkok’s Hualamphong Station to Trang, from where daily mini-buses depart at around 12:00 for the two-and-a-half-hours journey to Koh Lanta.
Getting around Koh Lanta
Baan Saladan on the north coast of Koh Lanta is the gateway to the rest of the island. Nothing more than a small fishing village, Baan Saladan provides banks, internet cafes and a health centre. All ferries arrive at Baan Saladan, where you will be greeted by representatives of the various bungalows, resorts and hotels.
Once you decide where you are staying, it’s just a matter of getting aboard the appropriate pick-up truck, taxi or van to reach your accommodation. If you have pre-booked accommodation, show the driver the name and address (in Thai if possible) of your hotel.
If you are coming by road from Trang or Krabi, you will also pass through Baan Saladan, and depending on where you are staying you may get taken straight to your accommodation or you may have to change vehicles in Baan Saladan. There is a songthaew (converted pick up) operation, but services aren’t frequent or reliable.
The best option for getting around Koh Lanta is to hire a motorbike or car. Your hotel should be able to arrange this for you or alternatively you can book online in advance. A motorbike should cost about 150 to 500 baht per day, depending on size, with a car costing from 1,000 baht per day.
On Koh Lanta, there is little need for getting around. Your hotel can arrange taxi transportation, or you can hire a bike for a day to go sightseeing. A rough dirt road runs the length of the island, which makes for tough driving.