Life is Better in Koh Lanta - This American Girl
Archives

Life is Better in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta

 

I awaken to the image of the sun flooded golden shore on Koh Lanta.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I walk the dusty path past bungalows and bars where my neighbors stay swaddled in slumber.

 

Koh Lanta

 

Quiet blankets the beach and shade spills across the sand;

 

Koh Lanta

 

blessed protection from the intense summer sun.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I move one foot, then the other, increasing my speed until I pass the other early risers.

 

Koh Lanta

 

Sweat beads and drips from my hairline

 

Koh Lanta

 

I plunge into the crystalline ocean.

 

Koh Lanta

 

When I return to my bungalow the world has awakened

 

Koh Lanta

 

greeting me for toast and chatter at my beachfront breakfast joint.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I watch couples and families float on water and build sandcastles.

 

Koh Lanta

 

Afternoon approaches and I hop on my scooter in search of adventure

 

Koh Lanta

 

on this gloriously undiscovered island.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I breeze beyond the traffic, beyond the hotels and tourist cafés

 

Koh Lanta

 

until all that surrounds me is jungle

 

Koh Lanta

 

and a few small restaurants run by Thai Muslim families.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I reach the end of the island with a pink-pebbled beach

 

Koh Lanta

 

and a quirky resort

 

Koh Lanta

 

something Wes Andersen might have dreamed.

 

Koh Lanta

 

With no one around me I swim in the cool water

 

Koh Lanta

 

connecting with nature and the magic it still contains.

 

Koh Lanta

 

On the other side of the island development wanes

 

Koh Lanta

 

I look down at the jungle-backed beaches from the hilltops

 

Koh Lanta

 

deciding which to call my own for the rest of the day.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I climb out to the lighthouse at the National Park

 

Koh Lanta

 

the wind blows against me

 

Koh Lanta

 

the views they amaze me.

 

Koh Lanta

 

The sun begins to lower, time to head home

 

Koh Lanta

 

I pass locals shopping in open markets

 

Koh Lanta

 

and hauling in their fishing boats.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I return to the beach for sunset

 

Koh Lanta

 

my favorite time of the day

 

Koh Lanta

 

vacationers sit with their cocktails

 

Koh Lanta

 

I walk for miles along the sand instead.

 

Koh Lanta

 

I meet friends for dinner at a simple, local place

 

Koh Lanta

 

then dance to live reggae and watch fire dancers on the beach.

 

Koh Lanta

 

This is my life on Koh Lanta

 

Koh Lanta

 

sleeping in a simple hut, working in the mornings, taking long runs on the beach

 

Koh Lanta

 

where I feel healthy, productive, and alive

 

Koh Lanta

 

where everything feels easy

 

Koh Lanta

 

where again I feel like me.

 

 

Where to Sleep in Koh Lanta

 

Koh Lanta has a wide range of accommodation from extremely simple dorms and bungalows to luxurious resorts. Long Beach, Klong Khong, and Klong Nin each have a unique vibe and make good bases for exploring. It’s easy to just walk around and find an inexpensive room or bungalow, most range from 350 to 600 baht. I stayed on Long Beach because it had the greatest concentration of backpacker digs and nightlife, but the street was extremely noisy at night with live music until 3am. For those looking for a smaller community I highly recommend staying in Klong Nin or in one of the more remote places on the way to the National Park.

 

Clayzy’s House

200 baht dorm bed, 400 baht bungalow

I spent my first few nights here in the dorm where I was immediately welcomed by some of the friendliest travelers on the planet. The long term work traders make sure everyone feels like family and I truly appreciated that. There’s always something to do or someone to connect with at Clayzy’s and they even host an open mic night where everyone is encouraged to share their talents.

 

Chill Out House

200 baht dorm bed, 400 baht bungalow

Just down the street from Clayzy’s, Chill Out has similar open air dorm rooms and bungalows. They also have a solid crew of work traders and a slightly more laid back less party atmosphere than Clayzy’s. The small bar and restaurant is a great place to meet other travelers.

 

Non La Mer Hostel

400-600 baht dorm bed

This hostel is much pricier than the other options, a dorm bed is the same price as a bungalow at other places, but it has modern facilities for those wanting hot showers, A/C, a clean environment, and the ability to meet other travelers. It’s a clean, comfortable place for those on a budget.

 

Bamboo Bay Resort

400 – 2500 baht for bungalows depending on the season and room

Stay at one of the most gorgeous undeveloped wilderness beaches at Bamboo Bay Resort. These bungalows are on the Southwest side of the island near the national park.

 

Sri Lanta Hotel

$150 per night for a private cabin

If it fits the budget, the Sri Lanta Hotel has gorgeous cabins up on the hill with ocean views and an incredible infinity pool directly in front of the Klong Nin beach. I was lucky enough to swim in the pool while visiting blogger Amanda of A Dangerous Business. It’s the perfect place to recharge or enjoy a romantic getaway.

 

 

Where to Eat in Koh Lanta

 

Small local Thai restaurants are scattered around the island and make great stopping points on motorbike excursions, however here are some of my favorite Thai and Western restaurants with official names and convenient locations close to Long Beach.

 

Kunda Anti Pop Cafe

150 – 250 baht for breakfast, salads, and entrees

With healthy vegetarian food I knew Kunda would be right up my alley, but I underestimated how intensely flavorful the food would be. The restaurant is in Klong Khong, too far to walk from Long Beach where I was staying, so I only had one meal here but it was absolutely delicious. I ordered an enormous salad with grilled eggplant, lots of fresh greens, ripe papaya, a peanutty slaw, and a fresh herb dressing. It was easily the best salad I’ve had in Southeast Asia. The menu had plenty of other enticing dishes and I only wish I could have tasted more.

 

Funky Fish

50 – 150 baht for breakfast and Thai food

I ate here nearly every day because of its convenient location right where I stayed on Long Beach and affordable prices. The staff doesn’t exactly have the best customer service skills but the location is right on the beach and the prices are about as low as you can get on Koh Lanta. I had perfectly poached eggs and whole wheat toast for breakfast most mornings for only 50 baht and the massaman curry is to die for with whole cinnamon sticks and star anise.

 

Mr Green’s

50 – 150 baht for Thai food

This is a popular spot for typical Thai fare in Long Beach and is usually packed and lunch and dinner time. The dishes are excellent but if it’s full you will have to wait quite a while for your food.

 

 

Drunken Sailor’s 

100 – 200 baht for entrees

Somehow I missed out on eating at Drunken Sailor’s during my time on Koh Lanta, but the glowing reviews on other blogs and inspired fusion menu make it a must visit. They have a good selection of Thai and Western food including innovative desserts and Vegetarian dishes like Indian samosas. I will definitely be checking it out my next time on Koh Lanta.

 

Red Snapper

200 baht and up for dishes

This is the place to have a splurge meal. The innovative fusion tapas menu rotates every couple of months and dishes are decadent and delicious.

 

Greek Taverna

150 – 300 baht for entrees

When you need a break from Thai fare, Greek Taverna has generous and delicious greek platters with grilled meat, salad, pita bread, hummus, and all of your other Mediterranean favorites. The portions are huge and you can definitely share.

 

 

What to do in Koh Lanta

 

Take a run in the morning or late afternoon on Long Beach

Explore the remote beaches on the back of a scooter

Take a nature walk at the national park

Visit one of the island’s caves

Have a cocktail at sunset on Klong Klong

Take a snorkel tour out to the Trang Islands

 

For more about Koh Lanta, check out these blog posts:

Neverending Voyage’s Koh Lanta Guide

Frugal Frolicker’s Budget Guide to Koh Lanta

Adventurous Kate’s Guide to Koh Lanta

15 Wonderful Things to Do in Koh Lanta – Nomad is Beautiful 

 

Get FREE tips to travel the world and create your dream life!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Comments

  1. Ahhhh Koh Lanta. I miss it so much already.

  2. Kinda scared to ride scooters as I read about most everyone having an accident of some sort.
    Do these scooters have gears to change or can you get are they like mopeds without gears which seem a bit easier to operate?
    Thanks.

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 9, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Doug, yes it’s true most people do crash their scooters at some point and there were lots of people I met on Koh Lanta who had just crashed. I drive slowly and carefully and I didn’t have any problems on Koh Lanta. The bikes are automatic and easy to drive, though they’re almost like toys and are therefore quite easy to flip. I always ask about the road conditions before I set out and make sure to drive extra slowly around turns and in traffic.

  3. Loved your dream like photography <3

  4. Hi Camille,

    Nice post. Can I ask you something? Why all of your photos are blurred on the top? :)

    All best
    Martin

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 10, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Martin, I use a camera effect that blurs the top and bottom of the photos. I like how it makes things feel a bit surreal 😉

  5. oh …so very very beautiful. Your photos and words are lovely. It seems as if this is the kind of place you so love! I am enjoying your travels from afar. Thanks and keep going!! XO

  6. Love your pictures, makes me to visit this nice place.

  7. Joseph Lewis Says: March 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    So I was reading your blog on little corn which sold me even more on going there. Flights booked for the summer! Then I stumbled upon your Lanta post where I spent 3 weeks last January.

    And even more crazy was that you stayed at the clazy house! I had the absolute pleasure of staying with Neng the crazy stoned monkey ass and even running the place for a few days. Such a beautiful place. It makes me happy that you met him! Keep travelling! 😀

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 21, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Awesome! LOVE Little Corn. Let me know how your trip goes.

      Too funny that you stayed at Clayzy’s as well! Small world! Such a warm, welcoming place on such a warm, welcoming island :)

  8. Camille, love your pictures and comments on being in different places….but I still don’t know how you can afford to do this….no hate here just wow

  9. Tnx you-Kunda.All the best for you….see you soun..

  10. Wow, it looks so blissful!

  11. […] Source: ThisAmericanGirl.com […]

  12. […] Many personal tips, blog posts and positive reviews were leading us to Koh Lanta in Thailand, and after we were unbelievably lucky to find a lovely accommodation in Klong Nin Beach thanks to a friend’s suggestion, we can say now that we have found our digital nomad beach paradise. […]

  13. Amazing! After travelling through Cambodia and Vietnam I’m feeling ready to settle somewhere in Thailand for a bit. Have any suggestions on how to get some work in koh lanta?