Option in Koh Lanta, Thailand
Koh Lanta is located along the Andaman Coast, just south of Krabi province. The most common way to travel to Koh Lanta is by car or mini-bus from Krabi or by boat from Krabi Town, Railey Beach, Koh Phi Phi or Phuket. Driving from Krabi, one must take two short car ferries from the mainland to Koh Lanta Noi and then across to Koh Lanta Yai. Boats to Krabi run more frequently in the high season and certain routes are stopped during the stormier monsoon season months. It is also possible to travel north from Trang to the south of Koh Lanta.
Once on Koh Lanta, transportation is somewhat limited, and a rental car or motorbike is the primary method for getting around the island, though there are long-tail boats available for beach and island hopping and some tuk-tuks and songtaews for getting around Saladan and the northern beaches.
One can take a bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to both Krabi and Trang, the two closest locations for arranging transfer to Koh Lanta.
From Krabi there are a number of private tour companies that can arrange for mini-bus or boat travel to Koh Lanta that include fees for ferries and other transfers to your hotel on Koh Lanta. The journey takes between 1 and 2 hours.
From Trang, daily mini-buses depart at noon for Koh Lanta, a trip that takes approximately 2 ½ hours including a short vehicle ferry crossing.
From Phuket one must first take a bus from Phuket Town to Krabi Town, where mini-bus or boat transfer can either be pre-arranged or booked upon arrival.
There is no airport in Koh Lanta, so those wishing to fly to Koh Lanta must fly to Krabi Airport and then take a car or mini-bus 70 km south to the island, including travel upon two short car ferries. There are numerous flights to Krabi from Bankok and various other airports around Thailand. Ground transport from Krabi airport to Koh Lanta is well established and timed to leave following air arrivals.
Getting around Koh Lanta is relatively simple as there are few roads on the island. A paved road runs north-south along the west coast of the island, connecting all the major beaches. Beyond that, road conditions vary greatly and one should exercise caution if self driving a motorbike or automobile on roads other than the western coastal road.
By tuk tuk and songtaew:
Around the northern beaches and towns, including Saladan, Klong Dao, and Long Beach (Phra Ae) there are some songtaews and tuk-tuks that provide limited public transportation. However, they do not run regularly nor do they provide regular service after dark.
By Rental Motorbike or Car:
The best way to get around the island is with a hired car or motorbike.
Motorbikes can be rented for between 150-300 baht per day. Visitors are generally required to leave their passports as collateral and must wear helmets as required by law. Closed toed shoes should be worn as motorbike accidents are common.
Rental “jeeps”, typically Suzuki Samurai, are ideal for larger groups, particularly those who intend to explore the entire island. Jeeps can be hired for around 1200 baht per day. Be aware that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars (as opposed to limited personal or third party only insurance). Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road.
Long-tail boats can be hired by the day or half day for beach hopping and exploring nearby islands. Rates are negotiable and boats can be arranged through your guesthouse or hotel or through direct negotiation with boat drivers hanging out on the beach.