There was an authenticity to the type of experience set up for us that made every city we visited special and gave us countless moments we will never forget.
An oblong island measuring 30 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide (18 miles by 4 miles), Koh Lanta is the largest of the 52 islands in the eponymous marine park. Home to the nomadic Moken, or "Sea Gypsies", who roamed across the Andaman Sea and through Thailand and Myanmar, Koh Lanta was once a stopping point for a Chinese, Arab, and Indian traders sailing across southeast Asia.
Today, not only is Koh Lanta much less crowded than its sister island of Koh Phi Phi, it also offers untouched beaches, warm turquoise waters, and a wealth of outdoor activities - without the throngs of tourists so common throughout Thailand's islands.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall has lived in Thailand for many years. He loves relaxing on the amazing beaches and attending rural festivals in the wild north of the country.
Take a long-tail boat trip on a small river through a mangrove forest, then proceed to Talengbeng Island for kayaking and swimming.
Drive to Lanta Noi to experience traditional life on Koh Lanta. Have lunch at a simple, local restaurant belonging to one of the oldest families in the area, and, if they are available, talk to them about their way of life and heritage on the island.
Mai Kaew Cave
Drive to the center of Koh Lanta and hike for a few hours through a beautiful forest to get to Mai Kaew Cave, whose entrance is a small, indistinct clearing through the rocks. This leads you to a series of caverns housing breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites. Explore this geological wonder whose entrances and exits are alternately monolithic in size or extremely narrow.
Snorkeling or Diving
The local marine life here is both diverse and prolific, with over 200 species of fish and 80 species of coral catalogued.
Diving Hin Daeng & Hin Muang
For experienced divers, Hin Daeng, ‘Red Rock’, and Hin Muang, ‘Purple Rock’, are must-dives in Koh Lanta. Unless the waters become extremely plankton-rich, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang have good visibility; however, it is this plankton that attracts the larger marine-life, and there is a high chance of seeing manta rays and passing whale sharks throughout the season. Divers should note that both Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are located in open ocean, and are therefore subject to weather conditions like currents and waves.
Built within the rainforest of Koh Lanta, this boutique beach resort occupies 100 acres of tropical vegetation with direct access to a 3,000-foot stretch of pristine beach. The luxurious Pimalai offers 121 accommodation units – Deluxe, Bayfront, Deluxe, Pavilion Suite, Beach Villa and Pool Villa – all very elegantly appointed. Dining options include four restaurants and five bars, including a popular beach bar, that offer an extensive variety of cuisines. Other amenities include a spa, a small boutique PADI dive center, two infinity-edge pools, a fitness center and Internet access throughout the property an in the rooms. Depending on the season, there are different methods of getting to the Pimalai. From November to April, the high season, it is a relaxing, 60-minute boat ride along the east or west coast of the Lanta Islands to get to the Pimalai. During the Green Season (May to October), guests have the option of taking a 40-minute boat ride to Old Lanta, the old village on the east coast of Koh Lanta Yai, and then transferring to a private car for a 30-minute drive from the east coast to the west coast to reach the resort.