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Koh Lanta’s Old Town has a relaxed atmosphere and consists of (partly) authentic houses with beautiful details. Some of these buildings are more than a hundred years old and date back to the time when Old Town was still a Chinese trading gate and therefore the most important place of Koh Lanta. In Old Town you can see this, among other things, like the small colorful Chinese Temple, which serves as a tribute to the community. The inhabitants of Old Town are a cosy mix of Thai-Chinese, Thai-Muslims and sea gypsies.
Old Town, what to do
Old Town in Koh Lanta is actually nothing more than a street that runs along part of the coastline. By scooter you can drive through it in a few minutes. The street it’s all about is less than a kilometer long.
Still we think it is a place of Koh Lanta that you must have seen. Despite that quite a few tourists visiting Old Town, it still has an authentic cozy atmosphere managed to maintain. Especially for those who have an eye for details has much to see in Old Town Koh Lanta.
To experience the charm of Old Town we advise you to take a walk here and have a drink and/or food at one of the nice bars and restaurants by the sea. Don’t expect this part of Koh Lanta to have a beach for sunbathing and swimming, for that you have to be on the west coast of Koh Lanta.
Most shops, restaurants and hotels are located on the right side of the pier when you face the sea. Almost all restaurants are built on stilts above the sea, from where you have a view of the sea and surrounding islands. There are also very romantic spots between them, especially when the lights come on in the evening.
Many restaurants and bars also have swings on the terrace, so you can enjoy the view while swinging and just like everyone else take a picture of it.
Good eats in Koh Lanta Old Town
Koh Lanta Old Town may be small but there is no lack of restaurants with nice spots! It is still hard to choose! We really liked the Rareview Coffee & Restaurant. It has a terrace (with swings) above the water with delicious drinks and really good coffee (fresh beans)! But also Pinto Restaurant has nice spots by the water with good food.
Pizza fans have also been thought of in Old Town, Di Farina Pizza Bar serves pizzas from the stone oven on the terrace! For tasty shakes in every flavor you can think of (also with alcohol) you have to be with the sweet couple of Mama & Papa Fruit Shake. You would almost want them to adopt you!
Also read our article with the best restaurants on Koh Lanta.
Do you have to take into account a limited budget? Buy a snack and drink at the 7-Eleven in the village and find a spot on the 400 meter long pier for an equally nice view of restaurants on stilts! Then you’ll immediately see the mega big statue of the lobster, the mascot of Old Town!
Old Town Museum
In the village is a small picturesque museum that is easily overlooked. The Old Town Museum has old photographs and utensils that give you information about the history and inhabitants of Koh Lanta. This gives you an impression of how the islanders used to live and gives your visit to Old Town more depth.
If you want you can get a guided tour, probably also offered by the friendly owner. Admission is free but a donation is appreciated. The Old Town museum is a short walk from the pier. Location: Google Maps.
Shopping and souvenirs
The standard souvenirs like magnets can also be bought in Lanta Old Town. Also clothing, sunglasses, flip-flops, it’s all here. Nice is that there are also nice little shops selling handmade products. So we discovered a shop that only sells colourful handmade hammocks!
The prices on this side of Koh Lanta are a bit lower than on the west coast but don’t forget to compare and negotiate prices!
Spending the night in Old Town
Do you want to see the sun rise in Old Town? Then staying the night is a good idea, because on this side of the island you don’t see the sun setting but rising!
The atmosphere in the village is very relaxed and you sit in the middle of the locals and get acquainted with a piece of authentic Thailand, without having to sacrifice comfort and nice (western) restaurants.
Old Town has many nice budget options. Sweet Life Community Guesthouse is one of them! For 10 euros per night you already have a double room and for 17 euros you have a family room for four people. The owners are a friendly couple whose wife is half Dutch. You can also take cooking lessons here.
A beautiful middle class hotel is the Verona Lanta Resort with a lovely pool. At the moment there are only six bungalows, so it is quiet by the pool. Reservation in advance is recommended. The very neat rooms are detached bungalows with a spacious private terrace. The resort is a short walk from Old Town.
Deep House Sea View is 2 minutes from Old Town and is a special and romantic accommodation. Here you sleep in a small cabin above the water between the mangrove. The cabins with air conditioning and fan also have a nice private terrace! The owners are very friendly. A super nice place if you are looking for the authentic atmosphere of Thailand!
Fun activities on Koh Lanta
Besides visiting the authentic Old Town, there are other fun activities and places to discover on Koh Lanta! We have picked out some nice places and restaurants on Koh Lanta for you. Please check the InfoBox below for more tips and information!
More on Koh Lanta
Sleeping on Koh Lanta
On Koh Lanta you can make sleeping as cheap or expensive as you want. The range of accommodations is very diverse. From delicious luxury to back to basic in a nice small bungalow, the choice is yours! In general, the price-quality ratio on Koh Lanta is better than on the surrounding islands.
This is our selection of the best places to sleep on Koh Lanta:
- The best luxury resorts on Koh Lanta
- The beste middle class hotels on Koh Lanta
- The best cheap places to sleep on Koh Lanta
Also read our reviews of:
Good dining on Koh Lanta
- Yang Garden UPDATE 2021: Yang Garden is closed – We hope they will reopen one day!
This is without a doubt our favorite restaurant on the island! Everything’s right here! Of course the food is great but also the location and staff get a big 10/10 from us! Do it!
- Drunken Sailors
Near one of the most beautiful beaches of Koh Lanta (Kantiang Bay) lies this gem! You can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner here. Already eaten? The cocktails are also great here, just ask those swaying sailors who walk out the door…
- The Reggae Bar
All the way to the north of Koh Lanta and not far from the village of Saladan you can enjoy great dishes and powerful cocktails in your own private (tree) hut on a rocky beach! This special location belongs to the beautiful Avani+ Koh Lanta Resort.
- Rareview Coffee & Restaurant
Not only the dishes and drinks are here to savour, also the view is very appetizing! The team at this restaurant in Koh Lanta’s Old Town is super friendly and will do everything to make sure you have a great time!
- Global Local – Home of the serious burger
They take the hamburger seriously here, very seriously! Taste it yourself!
- Pad Thai Rock n Roll
Dance for joy as you taste the pad thai or other dishes here! Located just before Kantiang Bay in the south of Koh Lanta.
- Di Farina Pizza
The best pizza of Koh Lanta can be found in Old Town, unfortunately closed in low season but if you are here in the months November to May then you know where to go!
If you want to know more about the above restaurants read our article about the best restaurants on Koh Lanta.
Going out on Koh Lanta
There are a number of not-to-be-missed bars on Koh Lanta where you can socialize and have a drink. Do you only want the best of the best? Then read our article about the best bars on Koh Lanta.
- Majestic Bar Koh Lanta
Amazing sunsets, cool people, great service and delicious beverages – This is such a majestic place on oh Lanta!
- Why Not Bar
A popular bar at perhaps the most beautiful beach in Koh Lanta. In the bay of Kantiang you come to relax and enjoy the fire shows that are held here!
- The Reggae Bar
Not far from Saladan Village and situated on the grounds of a beautiful luxury resort you can drink special cocktails in an equally special setting…
- Rasta Baby Bar
On Klong Nin Beach there is relaxed reggae and jungle playing all evening. The friendly family at this bar will make sure you have a great night, yah man!
- Big Bang Bar
Attention beer lovers! On the beach of Klong Nin you can enjoy countless different craft beers. Let yourself be seduced by names like Coconut Cream and imagine yourself on a tropical island while taking your first sip…wait, you’re already on a tropical island! Cheers!
- Freedom Bar
A beautiful beach, good music, nice people and nice drinks. Feel happy and free because here on Klong Khong Beach it is wonderful to stay!
- Funky Monkey
Singing talent wanted! At the Funky Monkey near Long Beach you can grab prizes if you make the most of your singing talent. Who knows, you might get a record deal and become a famous pop star in Thailand, but of course you can also go for the free drinks!
- Pangea Beach Bar
If the Funky Monkey (tip above) is a place for nightingales, then this bar is the ultimate place for night owls! From Techno to Deep House you’ll find it at Long Beach.
- Cheeky Monkey Bar & Grill
Yummm grilled dishes with a nice beer or cocktails in good company!
Koh Lanta is a lovely island to explore by scooter or car. You bypass the high taxi prices and you can visit nice places at your leisure. We have a very good experience with Lanta Sky Car & Motorbike Rental. You can rent a scooter or car from them that they bring and pick up again when it suits you best. If you want to rent a car you have to leave your passport, that is Koh Lanta everywhere. Renting a scooter without your passport is often possible when you pay a few thousand baht deposit. Are you going to Mu Koh Lanta National Park? Then ask for a powerful scooter, especially if you want to go with two people on a scooter. The roads to the National Park go up a lot and that calls for some extra power.
Discover Koh Lanta
- Saladan & Pier
Almost everyone arrives at the pier in the village of Saladan. The small village has everything a traveler needs.
- Klong Dao Beach
Klong Dao Beach is a fine long and wide beach near the village of Saladan where beautiful resorts such as Twin Lotus are located.
- Long Beach
Long Beach is the most popular beach on Koh Lanta, you have plenty of fun bars and good restaurants to choose from.
- Klong Khong Beach
Klong Khong Beach, aka Relax Bay has a hippie vibe, you’ll find fun bars and budget accommodations on the beach.
- Kantiang Bay
According to many visitors to Koh Lanta, Kantiang Bay is the most beautiful beach on the island.
- Bamboo Beach
Small paradise beach with not much more than a white beach and blue sea.
- Ao Nui Beach
Lovely little beach with a few nice beach bars for a cooling drink.
- Mu Koh Lanta National Park
The Mu Koh Lanta National Park is a beautiful area all the way in the south of Koh Lanta. Just the scooter ride to it is worth it!
- Time for Lime
The best and most fun cooking course can be found at Time for Lime! And the best part is that a large part of the proceeds are donated to Lanta Animal Welfare!
- Lanta Animal Welfare
Street dogs and cats get a better future thanks to Lanta Animal Welfare! A must visit if you are on Koh Lanta.
- Old Town Koh Lanta
Old Town has beautiful authentic houses, souvenir shops and nice restaurants with the famous Instagram swings by the sea.
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