Ko Lanta is one of Thailand’s most wonderful family destinations. The island is both peaceful and large enough that you won’t easily get bored.
Ko Lanta’s Best Beach for Families
The most popular beach among families is Klong Dao, which is great for the little ones since it deepens gently making it a safe place to play by the sea. And since the beach is so popular among families, the kids will have an easy time finding new friends.
Although Klong Dao is the busiest beach on the island, it still has a rather laid-back atmosphere. There are no salesmen on the beach to bother you and no long-tail boats or jet skis buzzing around. The same goes for the whole of Ko Lanta.
Restaurants are right on the beach, so while waiting for the orders to arrive, adults can chill-out and admire the amazing sunsets while children can still play on the sand.
Family-Friendly Hotels on Ko Lanta
Especially good hotels for families are the Cha Da Beach Resort and the Ancient Realm. The former has the most handsome pool on the island and the latter is just right for those who are looking for an affordable and cozy guesthouse.
Mission No. 1 – Check Out the Beaches
Ko Lanta’s long and quiet beaches are perfect for pure relaxation, so for most of your holiday you can just let the time pass and laze around with a good conscience.
But there are also quite a few things to do. Hire a car or a sogthaew-taxi and tour the rest of the island’s many beaches. Each of them has their own flair.
Mission No. 2 – Buy a Hammock
While the beaches are on the west side of the island, take also a ride to the more rustic east side where you will find a picturesque Lanta Old Town. Pay a visit to the town’s cute Hammock House and buy a hammock, which are of very high quality and great fun for the kids.
Mission No. 3 – Meet the Big-Eared Giants (and Some Monkeys, too)
The island has a couple of elephant camps where you can ride with the giants to the nearby waterfalls.
The east side of the island also has a monkey show where domesticated macaques do tricks. Macaques in Thailand are traditionally taught to climb up the coconut trees to collect coconuts.
[pullquote align=”right”]Read more on Ko Lanta’s Sights and Activities.[/pullquote]
Free-living monkeys you can admire in Mu Ko Lanta National Park, on the southern tip of the island. You might already see the first macaques right at the national park’s parking lot.
Mission No. 4 – Go Snorkeling on a Deserted Island
You cannot snorkel right from the beach on Ko Lanta, but you can make some wonderful day trips to small islands, which are surrounded by fine reefs. A great day-trip for families is the remote deserted island Ko Rok with a long, white sand beach and corals that begin right from the shore.
If you want to play Robinson Crusoe with your kids, it is also possible to stay overnight and camp on Ko Rok. One night camping trips are organized by a nice couple, which runs Freedom Adventures travel agent.
With older kids you can also go to Ko Ha, a great snorkeling spot that consists of five spectacular deserted islets. If you dare, you can also dive inside a cave while snorkeling. That’s an adventure your teenagers won’t easily forget!
Mission No. 5 – Spot a Fish that Can Live on Land
You should also try kayaking in a mangrove forest on the eastern side of Ko Lanta. Paddling through the mangrove maze feels a bit like playing a computer game: one wrong move and you will end up to the thicket with your kayak. No danger there though!
If you are lucky, you can see birds, snakes and monkeys amidst the mangroves and even the special creature of mangrove forests, the mudskipper. It is a fish that can survive both in water and on dry land. Your kids’ biology teacher will have a hard time explaining that after the holidays.
A Few Days on a Smaller Island
You can easily combine Ko Lanta with a few days stay on a smaller island. A perfect choice is Ko Kradan, which is part of the Trang Islands. The island’s long and exceptionally beautiful beach is protected by thick trees, which keeps much of the shoreline under the shade allowing kids to splash all day without burning. You can snorkel right off the beach.
The most child-friendly guesthouse on the island is the unpretentious Kradan Island Resort, where you can find fun and affordable two-storey Bamboo Bungalows that can fit the whole family. If you have cash to spend, you can also book yourself at the island’s only luxury guesthouse, Seven Seas, which has stylish rooms and even a small swimming pool.
Ko Kradan is easily accessible from Ko Lanta by daily boats.