There was a time when Koh Lanta was a haven for backpackers, but it’s diversifying its base these days. While newer construction is making way for more up-market properties, there is still a bohemian edge to a holiday on Koh Lanta. Hotels at Klong Dao Beach / Pra Ae Beach are favorites on this island.
While backpackers aren't as common here as they once were, this area is still a haven of basic bungalows and cozy rustic beach bars. And while there’s plenty of commercialism around Klong Dao and Pra Ae beaches, visitors don’t have to travel far south to reach the secluded beaches of Koh Lanta Marine National Park.
Klong Dao Beach is three miles long and has the best facilities and services on Koh Lanta. With a variety of upscale hotels on Klong Dao Beach, this is the island’s most popular tourist base, but it’s still lightly developed at most. The beach is close to Saladan, which is the main community on Koh Lanta, so guests are never far from shops, bars and restaurants.
Pra Ae Beach is more secluded. The waters are especially calm here, making this a popular place for a leisurely swim. Resorts and hotels on Pra Ae Beach offer excellent value for money. Bigger developments are moving in, but this is still a good choice for inexpensive quiet lodging.