Things to Do in Ko Lanta
Emerald Cave (Tham Morakot) takes its name from the water’s vivid green color and is one of the most popular attractions in Thailand’s Trang islands. At first blush the cave looks like only a hole in a limestone cliff—but once you venture inside the dark entrance, a paradisiacal, sunny white beach appears.
A tiny, remote cluster of five uninhabited islands some 10 miles off the coast of Koh Lanta in the Thai Andaman, Koh Haa (also written Koh Ha or Ko Ha) hides an underwater paradise. Here, striated granite pinnacles dotted with gnarly trees tower above some of Thailand’s clearest and bluest waters. Koh Haa's shock of white sand beneath its central, protected cerulean lagoon affords a breathtaking backdrop for some of the best snorkeling and diving in the country.
Comprised of northerly Ko Haa Neung, central Koh Haa Sam and southerly Ko Haa Yai, as well as two tiny unnamed pinnacles guarding sentry at the mouth of the lagoon, the underwater landscape is just as rugged as the rocky islets themselves. Protected swim-through caves hide lobster, morays and schools of shimmering fish, while vibrant coral is littered with psychedelic nudibranchs (sea slugs), and drop-offs provide the occasional glimpse of deeper denizens such as sharks. Sixteen recognized dive sites with names such as Lost Pinnacle, The Cathedral, Lionfish Den and Cliff Jump Cove divulge some of what’s in store.
The Mu Ko Lanta National Park (Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park) protects 15 islands in the Ko Lanta island group, including the southern tip of Koh Lanta Yai, the main island. Perhaps the most beautiful island is Koh Rok Nai, with its cliff-backed crescent bay, gorgeous beach and great reef diving.
There are limestone caves to explore at Koh Talabeng, a popular destination for sea-kayaking tours.
Just south of bustling Ko Lanta is the picturesque Thai island of Koh Kradan (Ko Kradan). Most of Kradan island is a national park—perfect for hikers—and the 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) of sandy beach offer visitors a serene place to relax. Plus Koh Kradan is surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, great for divers and snorkelers.
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