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Introducing Ko Lanta

Long and thin, and covered in bleached-blonde tresses, Ko Lanta is Krabi’s sexy beach babe. The largest of the 50-plus islands in the local archipelago, this relaxing paradise effortlessly caters to all budget types with its west-coast parade of peach sand – each beach better than the next. The northern beaches are busy but fun, and things get more and more mellow the further south you go.

Ko Lanta is relatively flat compared to the karst formations of its neighbours, so the island can be easily explored by motorbike. A quick drive around reveals a colourful crucible of cultures – fried-chicken stalls sit below slender minarets, creaking chow lair villages dangle off the island’s side, and small Thai wát hide within green-brown tangles of curling mangroves.

Ko Lanta is technically called Ko Lanta Yai, the largest of 52 islands in an archipelago protected by the Mu Ko Lanta Marine National Park. Almost all boats pull into Ban Sala Dan, a dusty two-street town at the northern tip of the island.