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Ko Lanta | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Ko Lanta (เกาะลันตา) is an island off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. Like many other destinations in Krabi Province, it is known for its diving and long white beaches. Contents 1 Understand 1.1 Orientation 1.2 Climate 1.3 Culture 2 Get in 2.1 By air 2.2 By passenger van 2.3 By car 2.4 By boat […]

Wolfgang Holzem



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Ko Lanta (เกาะลันตา) is an island off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. Like many other destinations in Krabi Province, it is known for its diving and long white beaches.


Ko Lanta consists of several islands, the two largest of which are Ko Lanta Noi (เกาะลันตาน้อย, “Small Lanta Island”) and Ko Lanta Yai (เกาะลันตาใหญ่, “Big Lanta Island”). However, Ko Lanta Yai is where all the tourist action is, so this article will refer to it simply as “Ko Lanta”.

Ko Lanta is popular with tourists seeking a holiday away from the parties. It’s popular with a significantly older crowd than nearby Ko Phi Phi: more walking on the beach and watching the sunset than drinking and dancing. However, there are plenty of bars and the longer term stayers are friendly and know how to party. It is also popular with families with young children, and of course, with divers. Ko Lanta can provide a party if you know where to look.

Ko Lanta is a little less well-known than Ko Phi Phi, which has become more commercialised and corporate, but it is hardly undiscovered: the several beaches on the west coast of Ko Lanta Yai are each strung with a line of resorts and bungalows, although the farther down the island you venture, the less this is true. And even when the island is at it fullest, there will be a quiet place for you to relax – the beaches are never full. Ko Lanta is especially popular with Swedish tourists: although the “tourist language” is English as it is in most places in Thailand, and you will find menus and so on are translated into English, expect the poolside language to be Swedish much of the time. However, there are still many English and Irish bars and restaurants.

Ko Lanta was hit by the tsunami in December 2004, which killed 20 people, but virtually all businesses are now operating normally again.

Visit our Resort Partners on Ko Lanta

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.


The main island is 6 km wide and over 30 km long, and approximately 70 km from Krabi Town. The island has 9 attractive white sandy beaches and splendid scenery. Off the coast are more than 70 small islands and plenty with forest, coral reefs and sea life. The geography of the island is typically mangroves, coral rimmed beaches and rugged tree-covered hills.

A paved road runs along the beaches from the northern part of the island almost all the way to the southern tip. The last 8 km leading to the headquarters of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park in the south are quite hilly and aren’t yet paved so can become quite tricky to negotiate if it rains. The landscape is dominated by a series of mountains covered with rainforest. To the east is an old settlement.

Ban Saladan (near Saladan pier, approximately 3 km from Klong Dao Beach) — is the tourist centre of Ko Lanta. Facilities include inexpensive and easy to find transport, diving trips, banking and shopping.


Weather in the region is tropical and there are two basic monsoons:

During the months of November – April the island experiences the dry monsoon, northeasterly prevailing winds come overland and bring dry air. Temperatures rise during March/April and it get’s quite arid and dusty on the island after many months of no rain.

May – October is the wet monsoon season, where southwesterly winds bring wetter weather from the indian ocean. Around April the season changes and the increase in rain helps revitalise the island to its tropical lushness, everything regrows and the cool wet spells brings relief from the heat of the dry season.

Temperatures during the year average 25ºC to 32ºC (77ºF to 89.6ºF) and the yearly rainfall averages 2569 mm. Unlike in say Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily and quickly over short periods. The sea stays at a warm 29°C all year round.


Krabi and Ko Lanta are a melange of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas is Muslim. Most of the people speak with a thick southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand.

With this kind of mixture, Krabi is always celebrating something be it part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic tradition.

The unique lifestyle of the Chao-Le (sea-gypsy) in Ko Lanta particularly is well-worth seeing, a life-style that has been almost completely unaffected by the booming tourism on the island.

Get in

By air

The nearest airports are Krabi, Trang and Phuket. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Ko Lanta, and are the best options if you’re only visiting Ko Lanta. Flying into Phuket is a better option if you’re intending to spend time in Phuket and nearby islands, or, since Phuket has many more international flights, if you don’t want to have to organize a domestic flight to Krabi or Trang from Bangkok. As an alternative to Bangkok, there are daily flights to Krabi directly to and from Singapore, as well as Kuala Lumpur.

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There is scheduled van service from Krabi Airport taking roughly 2.5 hours, 250 Thai Baht if prearranged and 400-500 Thai Baht if arranging it at the airport (2016). When going back to the airport from the island, van can be booked via any tourist office for 250-300 Thai Baht, departs every round hour in the morning.

Private vans and taxis can be chartered to Ko Lanta for about 2,000 Thai Baht per vehicle (2,500 Thai Baht if you are going to the south end of Ko Lanta).

Air Asia and Nok Air have a special “Island Transfer” offering that includes a flight from Bangkok to Krabi, surface transport to the port, and a ferry to Ko Lanta. It can all be booked at their websites for additional price: Air Asia 470 Thai Baht, Nok Air 900 Thai Baht (2016).

Alternative to passenger van is an express transfer – the quickest albeit much more expensive way to get from Krabi Airport (2,045 Thai Baht per person) and Phuket Airport (3,350 Baht per person) to Ko Lanta. It is a combination of minivan and speedboat travel. If you arrive early you will not have to wait for the ferry and if you arrive late at these airports you can still arrive on Ko Lanta the same day. From Krabi airport a 45 minute air conditioned minivan to the first car ferry port. You then go on board the speedboat which then takes you on a stunning boat ride across the water along the coastline of Ko Lanta. The journey takes around 15 minutes depending on weather and conditions. You will arrive directly in Saladan (alternately written as Sala Dan) on Ko Lanta, where you are then transferred to your hotel by car. That means the total journey time should be 1.5 to 2 hours. This eliminates the waiting time at the car ferry and also if you are going from Ko Lanta to one of these airports allows you more time to enjoy your visit.

By passenger van

There is a minivan service that runs between Krabi Town and Ko Lanta, However it must be booked in advance through your hotel or someone local, the cost is 400 Thai Baht per person. Book early as it fills up quickly. It will pickup and drop off at the airport. You should factor in 3-4 hours to get from Ko Lanta to the airport, since the minivan will pickup and drop off other people along the way.

Vans going to Ao Nang cost 450 Thai Baht (2016), 3 hours, number of vans greatly varies during a year.

By car

The distance from Bangkok to Krabi is approx 950 km or about 12 hr by car.

  • Route 1: Phetburi-Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon-Phang Nga-Krabi = 946 km.
  • Route 2: Phetburi-Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon (Hwy 41) to Chaiya (Surat Thani)-Krabi (Viangsra) – Hwy 4035 – Krabi (Ao Luk) and along Hwy 4 again = 814 km.

Ko Lanta does not have roads connecting it directly to the mainland, but is served by car ferries. Take Rte 4206 off Hwy 4 about 20 km southeast of Krabi airport. Drive to the end of the road, where there is a car ferry from Baan Hua Hin to Ko Lanta Noi. From the pier here, turn right and follow the “ferry” signs to the second car ferry to Ko Lanta Yai. Ferries operate 07:00-22:00.

There are plenty of car taxi and minivan taxi services from Krabi and the nearby airport. A seat in a ten-person minivan from the airport to Ko Lanta costs about 300 Thai Baht. These minivans usually don’t have much room for luggage (although they can usually find room for one or two large suitcases together with backpacks for the rest of the passengers) so if you’re not travelling light you might need to get a private taxi. This is what the dive masters do. A private minivan taxi will usually be quoted as 2,500 Thai Baht. It’s possible to bargain a few hundred Thai Baht off this price but not much more or the tolls will consume too much of the price. Car taxis cost about the same.

When travelling to/from Ko Lanta in the afternoon by road, allow 2–3 hours for the journey as the queues for the vehicle ferries can be lengthy. The passenger ferry which leaves Ko Lanta pier (high season) at 08:00 and arrives at Krabi pier at 10:00 is quicker.

By boat

Private companies on Ko Lanta operate boat services to many destinations.

  • Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi: 08:00 and 13:00, 350 Thai Baht
  • Ko Lanta –Krabi: 08:00 and 13:00, 300 Thai Baht (apparently, in high season, at least 400 Thai Baht)
  • Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Phuket: 13:00 and 14:30, 700 Thai Baht
  • Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Krabi: 09:00 and 13:30, 700 Thai Baht

All ferries can be booked on-line or at any tourist agent.

Ferry services run from Krabi Town, Ao Nang, and from Phuket via Ko Phi Phi to Ko Lanta Yai’s 7.648599.04161 Saladan pier.  During high season, there are sometimes direct ferries as well. Ferry services are subject to weather and to demand: many ferries have limited room for luggage.

  • A ferry departs from Krabi pier every day at 11:30, taking 2 hours to reach Ko Lanta (400 Thai Baht including pickup from Krabi hotels), making two stops on the open water where passengers transfer from and to longtail boats that connect the smaller islands on the route. Alternatively, for 300 bath a package is available from Krabi where the majority of your trip is spent in a minivan traveling further south, with only a short part on a vehicle-ferry.
  • Services from Ao Nang are run by Ao Nang Travel and Tour (+66 75 637730) and depart at 10:30 (280 Thai Baht).
  • Ferries depart from Ko Phi Phi at 11:30 and 14:00, and take 1 hour. If travelling from Phuket in a single day, you will need to leave Phuket on the 08:00 ferry to transfer to the 11:30 ferry. Tickets to Ko Lanta are 200 Thai Baht from Ko Phi Phi and 450 Thai Baht from Phuket.

All above routes operate only during high season, while during low season only 1-2 daily ferries to Ko Phi Phi remain.

Travel by train to Ko Lanta

The nearest train station to Ko Lanta is in Trang province just south of Krabi. From there, there are trains to and from Bangkok.

Get around

The main roads on the island are well paved. However the road just north of Mu Ko National Park is still unpaved dirt. That road ends at the park and so it isn’t possible to drive from that point up the eastern side of the island.

It’s worth knowing the names of the resorts near yours: both the pickup trucks and motorcycle taxis will often want to pick you up or drop you at a nearby resort with a better road.

Resorts and some of the major tourist services (like the dive shops) own large pickup trucks and transport tourists around in the tray. Very occasionally, they own minibuses instead. If you come in by ferry your resort will almost certainly meet you at pier with their truck; if you’re travelling with very small children who you don’t want to cling to while you bump along sitting on the side of the truck you might want to warn them in advance that you’ll want to ride in the cab: it’s generally assumed to be the private domain of the driver.

You will find the locals almost exclusively ride motorbikes; you can hire these all over the island for around 200 Thai Baht a day (2016). Almost every rental agency will ask for a deposit of your original passport. If you don’t feel comfortable handing over your passport to an unnamed shop at the side of a road then give them your driver’s licence card instead. Some of the shops will happily accept it thinking it’s your passport/ID card. Petrol is available on every street corner for 40 Thai Baht/litre.

You can also hire motorcycle taxis with sidecars. These will happily take you on the unpaved roads but the ride can be as slow as walking.

Otherwise, plenty of tuktuks and songthaews are available on the main road. A typical fare for a ride from Saladan to Klong Dao Beach is 40 Thai Baht.

Jeeps can be hired for 1,200 Thai Baht per day. Be sure to check insurance, contract terms and the condition of the vehicle. The “roads” of Ko Lanta combined with the driver operation characteristics of some renters are a serious challenge for any car.


  • Khao Mai Kaew Caves (ถ้ำเขาไม้แก้ว) (Just off the lower of two cross-island roads, down a narrow 1.5 km dirt path through the rubber plantations). Getting away from the beach for the day, tourists can visit the stunning Khao Mai Kaew Caves which are in the centre of the island, offering a wonder of rocks and caverns and housing spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, some of the caves are just huge and one of them contains a pool. For getting around inside the caves you will need a guide, but one is cheap, around 300 Thai Baht per person for a two-hour tour. You can also take an elephant ride for around 600 Thai Baht per person. Take some good shoes, as the caves are slippery. (updated May 2014)
  • Ko Lanta Noi (Small Lanta Island). Island just north of the main Ko Lanta, with no tourist facilities as such but is well-worth a visit. Hire a motorbike and catch the ferry or longtail from Saladan Pier. There are a few circular roads, all paved, that will take you around the island to see the local way of life. There are a few local restaurants along the way so you can stop for some fried rice. Pick up a map before you go from one of the tourist offices on Lanta Noi, and drive carefully! (updated May 2016)
  • Lanta Old Town. A small village on Ko Lanta’s east side. It’s one of the region’s most culturally diverse, with Chinese merchants, original Thai fishing families, and an ancient sea gypsy community. Many years ago, Ko Lanta’s Old Town acted as the port and commercial centre for the island and provided a safe harbour for Arabic and Chinese trading vessels sailing between the larger ports of Phuket, Penang, and Singapore. Today, Old Town is the district capital. It has a post office, Buddhist temple, Chinese temple and the island’s hospital as well as a long pier. It’s a charming place to visit and boasts many good restaurants and interesting shopping like handmade hammocks and an original batik and art gallery. It’s also a great jumping off point to other islands like Ko Bubu and Ko Talenbeng. (updated May 2016)
  • Lanta Orchid Nursery and Butterfly Garden, Long Beach (Pra Ae Beach). 9:00 – 17:00. This farm is recommended to all orchid lovers. It’s easily accessible by bike or motorbike. 30 Thai Baht. (updated May 2016)
  • Sea Gypsy Village. Known to Thais as “chao-le”, sea gypsies have occupied the area for hundreds of years, settling along the coast in stilted houses erected between the water level of high and low tide. They are unique in that they mix very little with the general population, speak their own language, and have their very own supernatural and traditional beliefs and rituals. An example of the latter is the “loi ruea” (floating boat) ceremony where the village men build a symbolic boat and place wooden statues of themselves in it along with nail pairings, hair and popped rice. By performing this ritual, they ask for forgiveness from the sea gods and for any wrongs that may have done to the sea. It is believed that all evil is carried away in the symbolic boat. (updated May 2016)
  • Ko Lanta National Park. It has 2 km trail leading to the small beach and abandoned lighthouse. 200 Thai Baht entrance fee + 20 Thai Baht per vehicle. (updated May 2016)
  • Klong Jaak Waterfall (Khlong Chak Waterfall) (a poorly marked trail up from Klong Jaak/Khlong Chak Beach). A nice spot to cool down in fresh water Free.


  • Klong Dao (just 2 km from Saladan Pier). Over the years, Klong Dao has developed into the most popular beach on the island with a spectacular 3 km long beach of fine white sand and shallow clear water. Yet, because of its length, it is never really that busy. The beach has an abundance of accommodation ranging in cost from just a couple of hundred to a few thousand. It is more than ideal for those who like a quiet beach, but prefer to have all the usual tourist amenities such as international food, music and bars, etc. (updated May 2016)
  • Klong Khong. For most of the length of Klong Khong Beach there is a klong (small canal) running opposite the beach and an old coconut plantation. Towards the south end is an area where the local fishermen tie up their boats to the shore. A rocky reef runs along the length of the shore making it difficult for swimming, but great for admiring the sunset. (updated May 2016)
  • Klong Nin. This beach is separated by a klong that runs down to the beach at the northern third of the beach dividing it in two. The beach is covered with coconut and pine trees and the back end is tropical rain forest. Like almost all beaches on Ko Lanta, Klong Nin offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere and its sand is white and fine. The northern stretch is the best for swimming as it has far fewer rocky paths than the southern part of the beach. (updated May 2016)
  • Kor Kwang. This beach, with its attractively curved shape, has lovely sand and clear aquamarine water. (updated May 2016)
  • Kantiang Bay. A kilometre long beach on a gently curving shoreline, Kantiang Bay is home to a limited Lanta/ number of hotels and resorts, leaving the pristine beach with an uncrowded feeling even during the busy holidays. There are excellent corals for snorkeling as well. Lying 18 kilometres south of Baan Saladan, Kantiang beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and was voted one of the “Top Ten Tropical Beaches in The World” by the Sunday Times of London. (updated May 2016)
  • Pra Ae (Long Beach). This beach, in the north of the island, is a stunning crescent of sand about 4 km long. There is a lot of accommodation there, but since it is spread out, visitors get the feeling that place is peacefully quiet. (updated May 2016)

Island’s far south

There are a few beaches in the south of Ko Lanta. All are small, just a few hundred metres long. The beaches are very quiet with little in the way of accommodation, ideal for those who want to get away from it all. They are:

  • Ao Nui (Nui Bay). (updated May 2016)
  • There are two beaches in the Ko Lanta National Park.


  • Beach hand tennis. A game with a tennis ball and a net played in front of Hans Restaurant every day from 16:30. It’s great fun.


There are no scuba diving sites on the island itself, all require a boat trip. However Lanta is the closest island to the famous Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, and Ko Haa sites, so it is very popular with divers.

Hin Daeng and Hin Muang near Ko Lanta are perhaps the best dive sites in Thailand (frequently ranking in the world’s top ten) with more than 200 hard corals and 108 reef fish catalogued in a study underway, but thousands more organisms abound. Hin Daeng has the steepest and deepest in the whole of the country with fantastic marine life. Hin Muang next door is completely underwater and it is covered with delicate violet coral. The sites also have one of the world’s highest incidences of whale shark sightings.

For details refer to Diving in Ko Lanta.


Wannabe fishers can catch the likes of marlin, sailfish, barracuda, red snapper and tuna. Three different kinds of fishing trip are offered by private long tail boat: half-day, full day and night fishing.


  • The east side of Ko Lanta with its rich mangrove forests and caves is a great option for off-the-beaten-path kayaking. Kayaking can also be done on Ko Talabaeng, the limestone cliff near Ko Lanta.
  • Rapu Sea Kayaking, 10/5 Moo 2, Ko Lanta Yai +66 92 871749 (contact Chutima Junsirikamon) – guided sea kayak tours of the mangrove areas.

Longtail boating

  • Lanta Longtail / Sun Island Tours, 9/1 Moo 1 (Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai) , ✉ Private charters, island tours, beach camping and fishing trips.


  • Lanta Massage, Moo 3, Saladan (Long Beach (Phra Ae Beach). Walking towards the water, it’s on your left, near where the road meets the beach). Open late. A wonderful, humble little studio with a wall fully adorned with photos of happy customers. Very relaxing, good massage, with care and attention. You may have some difficulty finding this place.
  • Serenity Massage and Spa, 147 Moo 1, Saladan (Travel into Saladan and turn right at the water’s edge). 10:00-22:00. Open all year. Built entirely on the sea on wooden stilts and enjoys a private pier where you can relax before and after your treatments.


Ko Haa – this is the best site in Thailand for mixed groups of snorkellers and divers. For divers only, it offers amazing swim-throughs. In recent years Ko Haa has seen a large increase in the number of fish present at the reefs, due to committed conservation policies.

Ko Rok – some of Thailand’s finest snorkelling spots are located off Lanta’s coast. Ko Rok, 47 km south of Lanta, is considered by most to be the pick of the bunch, though other people say they rate Ko Haa’s snorkelling even more highly. Ko Rok consists of two islands, Ko Rok Nai and Ko Rok Nok, both graced with powdery white sand beaches and with an extensive bed of coral in between. This sheltered and shallow channel is an ideal habitat for reef fish, and the place swarms with innumerable shoals of them. Visibility is very good, and many interesting species of reef fish can be found in these waters. Many snorkellers are most amazed by the sheer numbers of fish here, which swirl and swarm around the swimmers.

4 Island Trip – Ko Mook’s amazing Emerald Cave is the highlight of this trip. The cave is a window into a lagoon through which safety-vest-clad swimmers are towed by local guides. The swim into the lagoon is fully eighty metres in length and a real adventure.


Elephant rides can be arranged to take visitors to the top of the hill in Ko Lanta National Park. However, travellers should be aware that treatment of elephants is usually poor, and elephant riding is discouraged as very unethical.



  • Time for Lime, 72/2 Moo 3 (Klong Dao Beach) , ✉ Professional and fun evening Thai & fusion cooking classes right on the beach. It’s run with a passion, usually only 1 class per day. What is most unique is that all the profit goes to Lanta Animal Welfare, founded by the owner, to help the sad situation of the animals on the Island. Classes start at 16:00 (introduction, making curry paste, 4 dishes, mostly seafood. 2,000 Thai Baht.

Muay Thai

  • Lanta Muay Thai Gym, 245 Moo 2, Saladan (Near Phrae Ae Beach opposite Relax Bay Resort Road, a dirt road off main road to the gym). 08:00-18:00. A professional, exciting place to train in muay Thai. They welcome any ability from beginners and children. They have a range of trainers, some ex- and current-champion fighters from all over Thailand. The skills and techniques are taught in a personal, approachable style. They also have fights every Sunday at Williams Stadium, and a lot of foreigners who stay in the area and train may have the option of fighting. 500 Thai Baht per lesson.


  • Drunken Tailors, Kantiang Bay (behind the Drunken Sailors Coffee shop). 10:00-21:00. A colourfully funky collection of men’s and women’s clothing and jewellery with an emphasis on unique, hand-made items. Great location to shop for vibrant lady’s evening wear as well as one-of-a-kind gifts.
  • Hammock House, 35 Moo 2, Lanta Old Town, Ko Lanta Yai , ✉ Unique hammocks. Handwoven in Thailand by the Mlabri tribe. Largest selection of quality hammocks on the island.
  • A Little Handmade Shop, 2 Moo 5, BaKantiang Village, Ko Lanta Yai (100 m past 7-Eleven) , ✉ All about handmade inspiration, creating original items for you and your home. Goods such as clothing, toys, ceramics, jewellery and art.


Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom jeen) and chicken birayani.

The wing shell (หอยชักตีน) is Krabi’s famous cuisine. It is eaten with a spicy dip. In addition, stir fried spotted babylon (หอยหวาน), which is found in mangrove forests, with chilies and basil is also famous. This cuisine is common in Ko Lanta’s restaurants. The Ko Lanta beach areas have several restaurants with the “catch of the day” displayed on ice outside. One can find all kinds of fish: juicy crabs and langoustines; shellfish, including giant oysters; as well as squid and lobsters.

  • Abdul’s Pancakes. A crêpe stall run from a motorcycle sidecar. You can most often find him in Moo 1, Saladan, opposite Lanta Diver when the dive boats come back (around 15:00). His chocolate and banana crêpe and his chicken crêpe are especially tasty.
  • Baan Laanta Bay View Restaurant (Kantiang Bay). Serves great fresh seafood BBQ. Enormous tiger prawns, fresh squid, snappers galore. All fish & seafood is caught fresh, locally each day, and cooked in any style you like, served with baked potatoes and a free salad bar (with the best dressings you can imagine). The regular menu is also good, with stir frys and curries at 100 Thai Baht, only a little more than the 70-80 Thai Baht you’d pay on the road. The juices are small, though. The view out over Kantiang Bay is beautiful and you can request a table on the beach. Aqua Bar, the in-house cocktail bar, serves what may be the freshest and most adventurous cocktails on the island, including mango daiquiris and fresh lime margaritas.
  • Cook Kai (Just across the street from Klong Nin Beach). Wholly built of wood and beautifully decorated, it offers a spacious open dining area and bar. The restaurant, run by the cook, his brothers and sisters, serves bland Thai food at 140 Thai Baht for curries and soups.
  • Drunken Sailors Coffee Shop, 116 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai (On the main road 100m N of 7-Eleven). 8:30-21:00. Aspires to be nothing more than a laid-back café. Serves Western dishes such as pasta and burgers as well as Thai dishes and fusion creations.
  • Kampong, 80 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai (On the main road 100m uphill from 7-Eleven and opposite Drunken Sailors). 09:00-21:00. Southern Thai restaurant with the best “juices” in town, for size, taste and price. “Juices” are always blended, but Kampong gives you a good amount of fruit. 40 Thai Baht for most juices, 60 Thai Baht for the Kampong juice (nice combo). Breakfast. Also has a travel agent and some simple rooms (300 Thai Baht in off season).
  • Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant, Moo 1 Saladan (Near 7-Eleven in Saladan). Fun place to start the evening. Good food and a lively place in the evening.
  • Rio’s Kitchen (Kantaiang Bay) , ✉ Seres burritos and quesadillas made with homemade tortillas. Has great daily specials as well as delicious grilled and fresh wholewheat sandwiches using imported cheeses. Vegan and vegetarian friendly, everything is made fresh from scratch. Rio’s Kitchen only delivers. Free delivery to Kantiang Bay, delivery available to other locations for a fee.
  • River Restaurant (On the beach just S of Narima Resort). A friendly, family operation. They have a delicious menu: lots of Thai dishes and a few Western ones as well. The pad Thai is excellent. It is very popular with families and the owner’s children often play with tourist children.
  • Spices and Herbs, Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai (On the main road a few metres uphill from 7-Eleven (almost opposite)). 09:00-21:00. Excellent food at a modest price (80 Thai Baht for a standard dish). Includes Western options like hamburgers, pizza and pasta. Also offers cooking classes, or 100 Thai Baht extra to help cook your meal.
  • Sunset Restaurant (Klong Dao Beach close to D.R. Lanta Resort beside Mook’s Bar). A very small restaurant. The Thai food is arguably the best on Klong Dao Beach and is cheap. Real Thai-style eating with the tables directly on the sand and no decorations at all, but a nice view and cool breeze from the sea.
  • Thai Cuisine (Phra Ae just S of the Opium nightclub). A long-established favourite. The menu features a wide selection of wonderful Thai dishes and Chinese as well. The “special” spring roll is excellent. There is bar service and a small artisan boutique.
  • Time for Lime Restaurant, Bar, Bungalows, ✉ open all year. Well-known professional Thai and fusion cooking school, it also has a beach and tree-top restaurant where you can relish the sunset and breeze while peeking at what the cooking “students” are creating down below. More and more people are checking out the great food, atmosphere and mojitos. They offer a filling 6-course tasting menu for 495 Thai Baht, year-round. Personal and friendly place with 8 cosy fan-cooled bungalows. Free Wi-Fi. You will love the food and you must love dogs also, as the Norwegian owner is the organiser of Lanta Animal Welfare. Bungalows from 750 Thai Baht.


There’s not much in the way of party nightlife, which, for many, is part of Ko Lanta’s appeal. But there is always something going on if you ask around. There are a few restaurant/bars at the harbour, beaches and most hotels. Since it is a small island free of crime and drunkards, the local police are lenient about allowing bars to stay open until the last customer goes home.

  • Charlee Barleys (Centre of Klong Nin Beach). A friendly bar/restaurant/bungalow. This is a great place to meet other travellers from every demographic. Relaxed sunset happy hours every night. Sometimes live music from international guests. (updated Dec 2017)
  • Irie Bar (N Phrae Ae Beach, on the main road, beach side as you enter Phrae Ae from Klong Dao, next to Mr. Green Restaurant and Chill House). Local guy named Arms plays here with his band “Lantana”.
  • Korner Bar (S end of Long Beach, before Relax Bay). Bar on the beach/rocks that often has cheap drink offers on and sometimes guest DJs. Nice atmosphere and open late. Axe pillow seating outside and covered seating inside.
  • Layana Resort & Spa-Tides Restaurant, 272 Moo 3 Saladan. 11:30 to 18::00, Dinner-19:00-22:30. This is an upmarket resort in Ko Lanta. The restaurant setting is beach front and beautiful. The staff are friendly and attentive but not intrusive. Delicious menu and good wine list. Is more expensive than other restaurants in the area.
  • Mook’s Bar (Klong Dao Beach between Sun Fun & Sea Bungalows and Han’s Beach Restaurant). A good spot to relaxing with a drink on the beach, listen to some reggae and maybe watch sports on TV. Mook himself is a person worth meeting.
  • Ting Tong Bar (Klong Khong Bay Bungalows), 24 Moo 2, Klong Khong Beach (S end of Klong Khong Beach. Coming from the main road, turn right after the gasoline station after 7-Eleven).

Where to stay in Ko Lanta

Ko Lanta has three tourist seasons:

  • Peak season: late Dec, early Jan and for some resorts also around Songkran in Apr; expect premiums of 25–50% or more over the high season price and on Christmas and New Year’s Eve many resorts have a compulsory banquet costing about as much as an extra night’s accommodation.
  • High season from Nov-Feb, excluding peak season
  • Low season: Apr/May-Oct. Many resorts will be as much as 50% cheaper than the high season price. Many places used to close entirely but increasingly they’re open year round.

Hotels Lanta Island: Popularity

Hotel Stars Discount Price before and discount Select dates
Seagull Villa ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Long Beach Chalet - SHA Certified ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lanta@home ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
SER-EN-DIP-I-TY ★★★ -33% 135 90 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Pimalai Resort & Spa - SHA Plus ★★★★★ -30% 969 681 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Pinky Bungalows Resort ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Naraya Resort ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Escape Cabins View Isaan Hotel Deals
KeereeLay ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lom La Lanta ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Twin Lotus Resort & Spa by The Unique Collection Adults only ★★★★★ -32% 447 306 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Riviera Boutique House ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lanta Mermaid Boutique House ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Andalay Boutique Resort ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Sriraya Guesthouse ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lanta Memory Resort ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Moonlight Exotic Bay Resort ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Raven Blue ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Coco Lanta Resort - SHA Certified ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Diamond Sand Palace ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Layana Resort & Spa - SHA Plus ★★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lanta Pearl Beach Resort ★★★ -22% 130 101 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Baan Thai Lanta Resort ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lanta Intanin Resort ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Houben - SHA Plus ★★★★ -11% 624 555 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Alanta Villa - SHA Plus ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Baan Kantiang See Villa Resort ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lanta Smile Resort @Longbeach ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Baan Por Jai ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lemonade Boutique Inn ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals

You won’t have much trouble finding accommodation as late as your arrival. During peak season some places may be fully booked and prices higher. Prices vary widely even in the same class of rooms and at a similar distance from the beach. Shopping around the area where you want to stay may get you great deals.

As of 2015 peak season, it seems that beach front accommodation starts at about 1000 Thai Baht per night but going a bit behind (which is also a better choice if you don’t want the sound of waves to disturb your sleep) could get you as low as 400 Thai Baht for a basic bungalow. Again, prices vary widely and shopping around, especially when not during peak season may yield very good deals.

As many things are cheaper near Saladan pier, you can hire motorbikes for 150-250 Thai Baht a day and ride towards the location where you’d like to sleep and later use the motorbike to explore the island.

Accommodation is arranged by beach, north (most convenient to Saladan) to south (least convenient). Prices quoted here are for the high season unless otherwise specified.

  • Lanta All Seasons Beach Resort, 303 Moo 1, Saladan. All equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, and phone. Restaurant, swimming pool and massage. 1,000+ Thai Baht.
  • Sincere Guest House & Restaurant, 150 Moo 1, Saladan (Near the Saladan passenger pier). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. This little cute wooden house near the sea is in the middle of Saladan community. It is designed in chic Chinese-style and is divided into 3 zones. The first zone is the guesthouse room. The 2nd zone is the front coffee bar area that has a tall table and dark brown chairs which look comfortable and relaxing. And if you want an atmosphere of the seaside, behind the coffee shop, you will find a seaside restaurant. There is a wooden terrace which makes it look wide and spacious and it is decorated with oil paintings, adding to the atmosphere of ease and relaxation. 500-1,400 Thai Baht.

Klong Dao Beach

  • Ancient Realm Resort & Spa, 364 Moo 3, Saladan (Next to Time 4 Lime, S end of Klong Dao Beach) , ✉ Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Well-managed beach front resort offering 14 beautifully themed air conditioned bungalows. One of the few resorts with all services open all year round. Nice, polite staff, good beach restaurant on the sand, and beach bar with low prices. Free and fast Wi-Fi available in the entire resort area, right down to the sea, and in all villas and suites. Free beach front pool table, tropical day spa and beach massage. Tours and activities office, motorbike and car rental, plunge pool and Jacuzzis. 588-2,180 Thai Baht.
  • ChaDa Beach Resort & Spa, 278 Moo 1, Saladan , fax: +66 75 668123. On 8 acres of white sandy beach front. From 5,600 Thai Baht, Emerald Suite Room.
  • DR Lanta Resort, 206 Moo 3 , fax: +66 75 684383. Restaurant, bar, and swimming pool. Rooms 1,800 Thai Baht, air-con bungalows from 2,000 Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Mermaid Boutique House, 333 Moo 3, Klong Dao Beach, Saladan (Across from Mermaid Beach Front Resort) , ✉ Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:30. Amazing hotel that is not on the beach, but extremely clean, very comfortable beds, very helpful staff, well-managed. The rooms look like the ones posted on their site, unlike some other hotels. A five min walk to Klong Dao Beach, just cross the street. Prices are excellent, especially in low season. The staff will arrange for a motorbike for you and have it brought to the hotel. Open all year round and close to many good restaurants. 1,000-2,100 Thai Baht, includes breakfast.
  • Lanta Sand Resort & Spa, 279 Moo 3 , fax: +66 75 684636, ✉ 48 bungalows. Villas from 7,000 Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Summer House, 208 Moo 3 , ✉ Typical beach-side bungalow resort with three-bed air-con bungalows. The restaurant is in the lower price range but the offerings, while extensive, are very watered down (they don’t do spicy). Nice and friendly staff. 1,300+ Thai Baht.
  • Maya Lanta Resort, ✉ Hotel-style building on the beach. They have a fancy (by Lanta standards) restaurant. 4,400+ Thai Baht.
  • Royal Lanta. Luxury villa with beautiful bungalows in the Thai architectural style, pool, and laundry service. 3,700+ Thai Baht.

Long Beach (Ao Phra Ae)

  • Chaw Ka Cher Tropicana Lanta Resort, 352 Moo 2 , fax: +66 75 637404, ✉ Secluded resort with tropical garden. 2,000+ Thai Baht.
  • Escape Cabins, 438 Moo 3 Saladan, Long Beach. The amount saved by staying in the jungle compared to staying on the beach in Ko Lanta is pretty ridiculous. This is one of the only off-beach options on the island. The rooms are large, very comfortable, and stylish. Wi-Fi, TV, DVD player, air-con, private bathroom, free water, swimming pool, friendly staff, mini fridge, patio and all around good value. Large four person guesthouse also available. Double or twin rooms from 450-1,000 Thai Baht depending on season.
  • Good Days Lanta Chalet and Resort, 183 Moo 2 , fax: +66 75 684187, ✉ Fan bungalows from 900 Thai Baht, air-con from 1,400 Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Castaway Beach Resort, 299 Moo 2 , fax: +66 75 684790, ✉ Small resort with simple fan bungalows and more luxurious air-con bungalows. The restaurant offers Thai, Western and Tex-Mex dishes. On-site PADI dive centre called Dive & Relax. Fan bungalows from 500 Thai Baht, air-con from 3,900 Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Casuarina. On Phra Ae Beach which stretches for 2 km along the Andaman sea front. 2,650+ Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Pura Beach Resort, 405 Moo 1, Saladan. Equipped with air conditioning, cable TV and Wi-Fi. Poolside bar, restaurant and swimming pool with Jacuzzi. 1,190+ Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Sunny House, 42 Moo 2. Standard fan, large fan, standard air-con and deluxe triple rooms with balcony, private toilet, and shower and breakfast. Terrace, restaurant, massage service and travel agency.
  • Layana Resort & Spa, 272 Moo 3 Saladan , fax: +66 75 607199, ✉ 6,800+ Thai Baht.
  • Long Beach Chalet Boutique Resort, 472 Moo 3 , fax: +66 75 684805, ✉ Thai-style villas set in quiet gardens, 100 m from the beach. All rooms have air-con, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, king size beds, fridge and mini-bar. 1,300+ Thai Baht.
  • Nakara Longbeach Resort, 172 Moo 3, ✉ 141 air-con bungalows (11 by the beach). Pools, bike rental, Wi-Fi, and a restaurant. 1,700+ Thai Baht.
  • Relax Bay Resort, 111 Moo 2. French-Belgian owned resort on a 1 km beach and Thai-French restaurant, Manao, which has a superb view over the beach and rocky promontory. The fresh local king prawns or daily catch at the restaurant are recommended. Fan bungalows from 1,300 Thai Baht, air-con from 1,900 Thai Baht, breakfast included.
  • Sanctuary, 186 Moo 2. Well-designed bamboo bungalows, mosquito nets and good Indian & Thai food from the restaurant. Fan huts up to 800 Thai Baht per night.

Klong Khong Beach

  • Blue Andaman Lanta Resort, 251 Moo 2 Saladan. 50 rooms and bungalows, all equipped with comfortable bedding and safe. Facilities and services are garden, outdoor swimming pool and barbecue facilities. 600+ Thai Baht.
  • Klong Khong Bay Bungalows, 24 Moo 2, Klong Khong Beach , ✉ 12 bungalows and bar at Klong Khong Beach, a 3 km stretch of golden sand and shady palms. The bungalows are clean, cheap and simple. Have a drink in Ting Tong Bar, an authentic Thai style beach bar and famous for its live music. Enjoy your cocktail while watching the stunning sunset. A relaxed and laid back atmosphere and a place that’s hard to leave. Bungalows with fan and air-con from 500-800 Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Emerald Bungalow, 154, Moo 2, Saladan. A great bar, restaurant, swimming pool and motorbike rental available. 600 Thai Baht for a fan bungalow to 1,800 Thai Baht, sea view air-con bungalow.
  • Lanta Full Moon Bay View Resort, 261 Moo 2, Saladan , fax: +66 75 667143. Wonderful place, great staff, and low price. Food and drinks are great. Free Internet in lounge, laundry service available and pool, So many shady places to relax and read. Quiet beach, but close to the action. The staff can help you with anything you need. Wonderful house cats lounging around. Fan bungalows from 550-800 Thai Baht, air-con from 1,000 Thai Baht.
  • Lanta Pavilion Resort, 120 Moo 2, Saladan (N of 7-Eleven on Khlong Khong Beach Road) , ✉ On the beach. Single, double, and family bungalows with air-con, hot shower, cable TV, minibar, free Wi-Fi in restaurant. Best garden with trees and flowers and the pool is nice with a sea view. Also includes Lanta Pavilion Sunset Restaurant, which offers standard Thai dishes, a selection of European favourites, and a few Indian, Mexican and Japanese dishes. There is also daily seafood BBQ on the beach with a great variety of the fresh seafood done in many styles. They serve pizza, burger and steaks, exotic cocktails, fruit shakes and deserts. Fan bungalows from 800 Thai Baht, air-con bungalows from 1,200 Thai Baht.
  • Where Else Resort, 149 Moo 2 , fax: +66 75 667024. Funky, chilled out bamboo eco-tourism village surrounded by old coconut palm trees. Each bungalow is unique. Restaurant serves Indian & Thai food, in a clean, friendly, quiet and, above all, relaxed atmosphere. Feeling Bar is on the premises. Fan bungalows from 500 Thai Baht.

Klong Toab Beach

  • Lanta River Sand Resort , ✉ Thai-style bungalows, no air-con. 900 Thai Baht.
  • Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, ✉ On 35 rai of land, in the foothills of the Ko Lanta Yai and overlooking Klong Tob Bay, this resort offers a choice of rooms, each with its own distinct style and ambience, numerous sports activities, dining options and private swimming pools.

Klong Nin Beach

  • Lanta Nature Beach Resort. Beautiful resort with full amenities for only 1,200 Thai Baht a night, all bungalows. Air-con in all rooms, incredibly sweet staff, and restaurant + bar with some good music and some performances now and then. Can rent motorbikes, schedule side trips, do laundry, etc., all in the resort for the same price as anywhere else on the island. On the beach, with no rocks, 24 hour swimming. 1,200-1,800 Thai Baht.

Kantiang Bay

  • Baan Kantiang See Panorama Villa Resort, 263 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, ✉ Fully equipped villas that sleep up to 6-8 people. 2,250-11,000 Thai Baht.
  • Baan Laanta Resort & Spa, 72 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay , ✉ Thai-chic luxury bungalows 3 steps from the beach. Air-con, large balcony (with sun loungers), hot shower, fridge & TV as standard, swimming pool with view out over the bay. Open all year with exceptional discounts during the low season. 7-Eleven on the main street, good souvenir and clothes/jewellery shopping at nearby Indigo Gekko Bay View Restaurant and “Aqua Bar” directly on the beach. 3,500-5,500 Thai Baht.
  • Kantiang Bay View Resort, 9 Moo 5. Open year-round with some great rates in low season. Restaurant and “Why Not?” Bar on the beach. Wooden bungalows. Good atmosphere and spills out right onto the sand. Not to be confused with the nearby Marine Park View Resort, which is on the hill. Free pickup from Ban Sala Dan to Ao Kantiang, but return to Ban Sala Dan is 500 Thai Baht. 600+ Thai Baht for fan bungalows, 1,500+ Thai Baht air-con.
  • Lanta Marine Park View Resort, 58 Moo 5 Ko Lanta Yai. Direct beach access, free transfer to/from Saladan pier, restaurant, bar, motorbike & Jeep rental services, Internet, laundry, scuba diving and island tour, national park camping trips, elephant trekking, waterfall trekking. 1,250-1,750 Thai Baht.
  • Pimalai Resort & Spa, 99 Moo 5 , ✉ A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. PADI diving centre and cooking classes. Also includes The Seven Seas wine bar and restaurant, which serves fusion cuisine and has an extensive wine list and nice sea views.

Klong Jaak Beach

Mai Pai/Bamboo Bay

  • Baan Phu Lae (Far from other resorts as it’s the last beach of Ko Lanta). Bungalow resort with budget price ranges for fan or air-conditioned bungalows. 650-1,800 Thai Baht.
  • Bamboo Bay Resort (Ao Mai Pai) , ✉ Fan bungalows from 500 Thai Baht, air-con from 1,300 Thai Baht.
  • La Laanta Hideaway Resort (Mai Pai/Bamboo Bay) , fax: +66 75 665123, ✉ Twenty spacious bungalows on Mai Pai/Bamboo Bay, the southernmost beach. Two beachfront swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, a beach bar, a Thai/Western restaurant, and a beach front dining area. All bungalows include air-conditioning, satellite TV, a mini-fridge, free Wi-Fi, and covered front porches. Most have ocean views. Open year-round with some great rates in low season.

Lanta Old Town

  • Lanta Buri Resort (Next to the hospital in Old Town). There are 9 separate rooms available, each with a shower/WC, TV/cable, and fan or air conditioner. The rooms surround a lovely garden with small pond. The kitchen is available for use by guests as well as the outdoor dining area with ample tables and chairs.
  • Mango House Seafront Villa. All units are built directly over-the-sea in what many describe as Thailand’s most charming and culturally diverse fishing village. Rooms are renovated to feature the original teak structures that served as Chinese shop houses over 50 years ago.



The major medical facility providers are:

  1. Ban Saladan Clinic. Saladan.
  2. Ko Lanta Hospital. South of Lanta Old Town in the southeast of the island.
  3. Dr Salarin Clinic, the island’s main English-speaking private doctor. Phra Ae village.
  4. Siam International Clinic. Phra Ae village (open only Nov – Apr).
  5. Andaman International Clinic. Next to post office, Phra Ae.

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Former founder of and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.

Southern Thailand

Phi Phi Island | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Ko Phi Phi (หมู่เกาะพีพี) is a small archipelago in Krabi Province, Southern Thailand. Understand Aerial photo of Ko Phi Phi Don The named islands are: Ko Phi Phi Don. The largest and only populated island.  Ko Phi Phi Leh. A smaller island to the south, popularised when parts of the movie The Beach were filmed […]

Wolfgang Holzem




Ko Phi Phi (หมู่เกาะพีพี) is a small archipelago in Krabi Province, Southern Thailand.


The named islands are:

  • Ko Phi Phi Don. The largest and only populated island.
  • Ko Phi Phi Leh. A smaller island to the south, popularised when parts of the movie The Beach were filmed there. Uninhabited apart from birds nest harvesters and a few Maya Bay wardens. Expect plenty of tourists during daylight hours, especially in Maya Bay, also known as “the beach”.
  • Bida Nok and Bida Nai. Two small adjacent limestone karst formations to the south of Phi Phi Leh, with near-vertical cliff walls rising from the sea.
  • Ko Mai Phai (Bamboo Island). A small low-lying islet to the north of Phi Phi Don with several good beaches.
  • Ko Yung (north of Ko Phi Phi Don). The island has a stone beach in the east and small sandy beaches at the foot of the hills. It is teeming with colourful coral reefs.

Most of the development of Phi Phi Don is in or around Ton Sai Village, which is on the low, sandy isthmus that joins the two hilly spurs that comprise the rest of the island. There are also other, quieter resorts on Long Beach, Laem (Cape) Thong, and at other less accessible areas of the island.

Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when the island’s entire infrastructure was nearly wiped out. Redevelopment was, however, swift, and building regulations in place to limit the height of new buildings to preserve the island’s stunning views.

While very laid back, many of the local islanders are Muslim. You will lose considerable respect if you walk around town in your skimpies (this applies to Buddhist areas of Thailand too!). While many thoughtless tourists do parade down Main Street in their Speedos or thong bikinis, to avoid offending your hosts, it’s best just to throw on a pair of shorts or a sarong. Similarly, going topless on the beach, while grudgingly tolerated by most locals, is also best avoided.

Stay with our Hotel Partners on Ko Phi Phi

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Climate & Weather

Weather in the region is tropical. There are only two seasons: the hot season from Jan-Apr, and the rainy season from May-Dec. Temperatures during the year average 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 89.6°F) and the yearly rainfall averages 2569 mm. Unlike in, say, Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily over short periods.


From archaeological evidence, it is believed that the area was one of the oldest communities in Thailand, dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this province may have taken its name after the meaning of “Krabi”, which means “sword”. This may have arisen from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.

The name Phi Phi (pronounced “pee pee”) originates from Malay, the original name for the islands were “Pulao Pi ah Pi”. The name refers to the mangrove wood found here.


Ko Phi Phi is considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the world (in fact, there are six islands in Phi Phi). They lie 50 km southeast of Phuket and are part of Had Nopparattara-Ko Phi Phi National Park which is home to an abundance of corals and amazing marine life. There are limestone mountains with cliffs, caves and long white sandy beaches. The national park covers a total area of 242,437 rai (about 39,000 hectares; 97,000 acres).

Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le are the largest and most well-known islands. The islands are surrounded by the Andaman Sea.

There are two villages on Ko Phi Phi under the administration of Ao Nang sub-district, Muang district, Krabi Province.

Get in

Note: Tourism to Ko Yoong in the Phi Phi island chain and Ko Tachai in the Similan Islands National Park was shut down permanently in 2016. Maya Bay (on Phi Phi Leh island in the Andaman Sea) is closed indefinitely (as of October 2018) to repair environmental damage caused by an glut of visitors.

By plane

Krabi International Airport , Tel. +66 75 636541-2, is about 10 km from the city limits, 15 km from the city centre, 40 km from Ao Nang, and 23 km from Had Yao.

Thai Airways operates daily direct flights from Bangkok, likewise Air Asia from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Bangkok Airways flies direct from Krabi and Ko Samui nearly every day of the week. Nok Air operates daily flights to Krabi from Bangkok (Don Mueang).

Air Asia has a special “Island Transfer” offering that includes a flight from Bangkok to Phuket, surface transport, and a ferry to Ko Phi Phi. It can be booked at their website.

  • Air Asia, Tel. +66 2 5159999.
  • Bangkok Airways, Tel. +66 2 6555555, +66 2 2655678.
  • Nok Air, Tel. +66 2 6272000 or 1318.
  • Thai Airways, Tel. 1566, +66 2 2800060, +66 2 6282000, +66 2 3561111, +66 75 701591–93.

The international departure tax extra charge is 700 Thai Baht but is included in most ticket prices. Domestic departure tax is included in the price of the flight.

National Car Rental and Budget Car Rental have branches at the airport. Motorcycle taxis are available outside the terminal.

Krabi Limousine (Tel. +66 75 692073) has a desk inside the terminal and provides “limousine taxi” (using large air-conditioned sedans) transport to Krabi for 500 Thai Baht, Phuket for 2,500 Thai Baht.

Air-conditioned airport bus service is 90 Thai Baht to Krabi. The bus service meets all incoming flights and serves most outgoing flights. A songthaew to Krabi town is 40 Thai Baht from the road near the airport. Going to the airport they will drop you right at the departure terminal.

By boat

Travelling to Ko Phi Phi by boat is how almost everyone arrives. Ferries leave from Phuket and Mainland Krabi daily (from Krabi, two ferries a day, 09:00, and 14:30, and from Phuket at 09:00, 11:00, and 14:30 (11:00 during high season only). Sailing time from Phuket or Krabi is 1.5-2 hours. Tickets can be purchased on the dock, from tourist offices, most local guesthouses and hotels or online at Phi Phi Ferry or Phuket Ferry (Online seems to be more expensive). There is a 20 Thai Baht per person fee required on the pier for “keeping Ko Phi Phi clean”. Unfortunately, there is still plenty of rubbish on the beaches.

Ticket prices:

  • From Ko Lanta: 350 Thai Baht.
  • From Krabi Town: 300 Thai Baht from PP Family, office right by the pier in town. Includes songthaew to the pier outside town. The normal passenger ferry does not leave from the centre of town any more, but from a new passenger port (Klong Jilard Pier Tel. +66 75 620052) about 3 km outside Krabi Town. Free taxi transfer to the pier should be included in the price of your ticket. Many times they’ll take you to a travel agent near the Chao Fah Pier and sell you additional accommodations or services. Only ever buy the ticket you need. Additional ferries are added during peak season.
  • From Ao Nang: 400 Thai Baht one way (including transfer from hotel to Noppharat Peir) 0930 and 1530.
  • From Phuket Airport: To Rassada Pier (Phuket) by meter taxi for around 500 Thai Baht. It’s about a 30 km drive and takes 45 minutes depending on traffic and climate.
  • From Phuket Pier (Rassada): 600 Thai Baht one-way/1,000 Thai Baht round trip when bought at the pier. It’s possible to get 300-350 Thai Baht one-way tickets as part of a deal with a guesthouse stay.

Ferries are all not of equal quality. Despite reports to the contrary, Andaman Wave Master will no longer take you for free to north Ko Phi Phi after the stop at Ton Sai pier (expect another 200 Thai Baht per person). Andaman Wave Master has also suffered a pretty big hit in customer service. Watch out for their Krabi representatives, who will offer to sell round-trip tickets at a discount with the option of changing the return destination to Phuket if you decide to take a different way back to the mainland. Representatives at both Ko Phi Phi and Phuket will refuse to refund or alter the tickets.

The Sea Angel ferries are quite nice with big flat screen TVs and refreshments. These are sold online as first class ferries.

The ferries run by Chao Koh group, particularly the smallest “Pichamon IV” are often overcrowded and appear to be very poorly maintained, which does not inspire confidence. The ferries run by PP Family are larger and seem more suited to the task.

The ferries run by Phi Phi Cruiser may take a little longer but they include a movie, complimentary breakfast (if taking the morning crossing) and complimentary beverage service. For an additional fee, you can purchase a “VIP ticket” which also includes snorkelling and a buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don.

Other tour vessels visit the island from several Phuket-based resorts, usually on day trips. The price for a speedboat from Rawai Beach was quoted at 15,000 Thai Baht return (or one way) for up to 6 people. There are many speedboats operating directly from the beach but it may be best to book the day before as most seem to be away on trips during the day. Speedboats can also be chartered from other nearby locations, but at a very high price.

By all-inclusive tours from Phi Phi Island

There are many speedboat tours of Phi Phi island for people staying on Phi Phi Island. Speedboats are generally small for groups of 4 -12 people. They can be more flexible with the time you wish to depart and also the length of time you can take. Organised tours usually cover mask, snorkel, fins, life jacket, tour guide, Coke, water, lunch, fruit. Small speedboats from 1,600 Thai Baht per person.

Private companies providing small group tours are few:

  • 7.738667798.77031571 Arida Speedboats (Arida Speedboats) (Next to Phi Phi Island Hospital.). Daily 08:00-21:00. Small group trips depart from the meeting point at Siam UK Travel & Tours. 1,600 Thai Baht. (updated Jan 2016)

By all-inclusive tour from Phuket

Agencies selling all-inclusive day trips from Phuket are all over Patong town, and most everywhere else on Phuket Island. Typical is a lengthier “half-day” hour tour via speedboat negotiated to 1,400 Thai Baht/person (down from the pamphlet’s printed price of 3,000 Thai Baht). The tour includes 6 stops, a buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don, snorkel usage, and minibus transport to and from the Patong Beach hotel. This offering seems incredibly common, and one should be able to find similar deals sold anywhere on Phuket that tourists frequent.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The lower end priced speedboat tours (what most people book, including the above description) take approximately 30-35 passengers per 2 engine speedboat and 50-60 passengers on 3 engine speedboats.
  • The higher-end tours take up to 18 passengers on 2 engine speedboats.
  • Tour desks will tell you anything to get your money. It would be best to contact the tour company directly to check prices/services, though 99.9% of tourists go through agencies.

Private companies providing small group tours are few:

  • Aloha Ocean Adventures. Small group tours departing from Chalong Pier, close to the Kata, Karon, and Patong areas.
  • Simba Sea Trips. Small group trips departing from Royal Phuket Marina.
  • La Moet Phuket. Small group trips and private charter tours departing from Chalong Pier.

By bus

As Ko Phi Phi is an island, the bus will get you close but you’ll still need to cross by boat or plane at the end. Buses from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Tel. +66 2 4351199) to Krabi take about 12 hours and depart as follows:

  • VIP bus: 07:20 (1,055 Thai Baht)
  • First class bus: 19:00 (680 Thai Baht)
  • Second class bus: 07:30, 19:00, 19:30, 21:00 (378 Thai Baht)

Shuttle buses run between Krabi airport and Phuket airport several times a day. There are also regular buses that make the 2 hour run.

There are buses to Krabi from every provincial town in the south.

By car

From Bangkok:

  • Take Hwy 4, passing Phetchaburi–Prachuap Khiri Khan–Chumphon–Ranong–Phang Nga-Krabi. The total distance is 946 km.
  • Travel Hwy 4 to Hwy 41 at Chumphon via Lang Suan-Chaiya-Surat Thani. Proceed towards Wiang Sa, change to Hwy 4035 for Baan Ao Luek, and switch back to Hwy 4 again to Krabi. This route is 814 km.
  • From Phuket: Take Hwy 402 and Hwy 4. The total distance is 176 km.

By train

The nearest train station to Krabi is in Trang Province which is 1.5-2 hours drive south of Krabi. If you are going south from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, et al. you will use the station at Surat Thani.

Get around

Phi Phi is supposed to have no motorised transport, though there are a few motorcycles with sidecars, usually used for goods and construction material transport. Transport on land is by foot or bicycle, but in the populated areas of Ton Sai, nowhere is more than about a ten minutes walk from anywhere else. Longtail boats sail between all beaches. On Phi Phi Don, you can also walk to any beach. From Ton Sai to Long Beach, expect to pay 40 Thai Baht/person in the afternoon, at least 80 Thai Baht at night. To have a complete boat to yourself, expect to pay at least 100 Thai Baht.

Wheelbarrows are used to transport goods, including your luggage if you like. Expect free transport from the pier to your room, but not necessarily in the opposite direction.

The most common ways to get around on Ko Phi Phi are by foot and by longtail. As with most everything in an area like this, the price for longtail boats is a negotiation. Take some foam earplugs for the longtail boat rides. It’s a fun ride but the engines are loud and after 45 minutes it can get to you. Negotiating for longtail boats is usually done according to where you want to go and how many hours you want the trip to last. As an example, 1,200 Thai Baht for a 6-hour outing to Ko Phi Phi Leh and Ton Sai Bay from the Holiday Inn Resort.


Phi Phi Don

This island is the largest of the 6 Phi Phi islands and consists of two main sections. It is on Ton Sai where the original inhabitants settled and is now the site of most accommodations. Phi Phi Don is quite stunning and has earned the title of one of the most fantastic islands in the world. Nowadays though, with development, the beaches have paid the price, so they’re not quite as spectacular as they were in the past.

  • Fire Show. There are several highly skilled and entertaining fire shows held nightly at several venues on the island, including at Carlito’s, Apache Bar, Hippies, Carpe Diem, and The Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar on Loh Dalum.
  • Hin Khao Beach. This beach is extremely quiet and can only be reached on foot.
  • Laem Thong. At the very north of the island. A lovely, quiet beach with exhilarating scenery. Accommodation at Laem Thong is pricey.
  • Lanti Beach. Next door to Yao Beach, Lanti Beach is very similar in many regards with its great scenery and coral reefs. You can get there on foot.
  • Monkey Beach. Accessible by foot or by renting a canoe, or be lazy and charter a longtail. Be careful as the monkeys can sometimes be aggressive. Some tourists report attacks and local hospitals caution about rabies. (You should not feed wildlife).
  • Ton Sai Bay. Ao Ton Sai is where most of the action is, be it restaurants, bars, hotels, or guesthouses. Most tourists stay at Ton Sai Bay because of the convenience. Even though it isn’t the most beautiful place on Phi Phi, it is still impressive.
  • Tsunami Memorial Garden (By the Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar). A beautiful place for quiet contemplation and paying one’s respects to the victims of the tragedy.
  • Viewpoint. Walk up to the viewpoint, 186 m above sea level (a very steep walk of between 10–25 min, depending on your fitness), to get a breathtaking view of the entire island, particularly at dawn or sunset (bring a torch). You will be surprised at how narrow the sand strip is between the two main parts of the island.
  • Yao Beach. Yao Beach, just south of Ton Sai, offers visitors some fantastic views, scenery, and coral reefs for snorkelling and scuba diving. This small place is packed out, however, with places to stay and so some people complain that it has been overdeveloped. You can get there either by walking from Ton Sai or taking a longtail boat.

Phi Phi Leh

The second largest of the Phi Phi Islands is extremely beautiful, and near-pristine, but is uninhabited because it is a national park.

  • Loh Samah Bay. A bay on the west coast of the island. It is U-shaped with a large rock in the middle. There is a very small beach and small caves at the end of a very narrow gorge. There is also a hole in the rock, accessible from the water only, that leads to the gorge behind Maya Bay Beach. It is a very short stroll to go from Loh Samah Bay to Maya Bay this way, but be careful depending on the tide and waves. Going through the hole can be a bit challenging depending on your level of fitness and there are rocks beneath the surface.
  • Maya Bay. Maya Bay has arguably Phi Phi’s most fantastic beach and was the location for the movie The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) in 1998. The bay also has hard coral and colourful reef fish which makes it a favourite spot for snorkellers and first-time divers. There is also a jump spot (~20 m) in one of the creeks behind the beach, and some climbing is possible on the cliff just next to it. You can take a longtail boat to Maya Beach for about 1,500 Thai Baht for half a day. It is recommended that you arrive at Maya Bay before 08:00, when the place can still be enjoyed in solitude. From 09:00 on, hoards of speedboats with tourists on package tours arrive from Phuket. Another thing to think about when coming to Maya Bay is the time of year. During the high-season (Oct-May) you will feel like you are at Disneyland, but during the off-season it could be slightly better. Park rangers enforce a national park entry fee of 200 Thai Baht/person. If you are travelling with a tour group, it will be included in the price of your trip. The park police will only attempt to charge you the park entrance fee if you turn up on a longtail boat. A mid-afternoon departure (15:00) is best. You get to catch the sunset as you leave Maya Beach (you can’t see the sunset on the beach).
  • Phaya Naak Cave. Cave with prehistoric paintings and edible-nest swiftlets.
  • Pi Ley. Pi Ley is a large inlet on Koh Phi Phi Ley in-between Phaya Naak Cave and Loh Samah. The whole inlet is surrounded by vertical cliffs. The sea is shallow near the mouth and the depths of the inlet are reached by going over the coral reef at its entrance. At the back of the inlet is a large 100m wide pool that is about 5-8 m deep. (updated Dec 2015)

Other islands

  • Ko Pai (Bamboo Island). Not far from Ko Yung is Ko Pai. On the north and east sides of the island are sandy beaches. At low tide the coral is very close to the surface which makes it quite difficult for snorkelling.
  • Ko Yung. This island just north of Ko Phi Phi Don has a rocky beach and some coral.


  • Bird Watching. The best time of the year for bird watching is from Jan-Apr. Many rare birds are to be seen there: gurneys, finfoots, big-winged brown kingfishers, egrets, bitterns, and herons.
  • Camping, ✉ Camping in Maya Bay.
  • Cliff Jumping. Cliff jumping is fairly new to Ton Sai Bay. There are cliffs from 6-16 m that are ideal for cliff jumping due to the depth of water below. Organized tours can be found at Ton Sai, but be careful. Jumping can result in ruptured ears and back injuries.


There are many dive shops on Ton Sai Bay within walking distance of each other. They can organize all diving and accommodations. Expect to pay the same everywhere. A PADI open water course is 13,800 Thai Baht, with SSI being 900 Thai Baht less. There are a few different trips offered by Phi Phi dive operators, the typical trip is a two-tank local dive in the Phi Phi Marine Park which will run about 2,500 Thai Baht, or 2,000 Thai Baht if you bring your own gear. They also do 2-3 tank trips to the King Cruiser wreck with your follow-up dives at both Shark Point and Anemone Reef. This trip usually runs between 3,200-3,900 Thai Baht depending on the number of dives you do. Further away, Hin Daeng has some of the steepest drops in Thailand (over 60 m) as well as being the place you are most likely to see manta rays and whale sharks, and can be a great dive trip, but it only runs if sea conditions are good.

  • Dive Thailand (on Long Beach).
  • Long Beach Divers (on Long Beach). UK-run.
  • Sea Bees Diving (Sea Bees Diving), Laemtong Beach, Phi Phi Island, Krabi, 100/435 Moo 5, Chalermprakiet Rama 9, Rassada, Muang Phuket , ✉ 8am – 6pm. The Sea Bees dive centre on Koh Phi Phi is at the Holiday Inn Resort, on the northern part of the island called Laem Tong Beach. This beautiful white sandy beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach on Koh Phi Phi Islandand is part of the Had Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park where you will find an oasis of tranquillity, and is close from Phuket and Krabi. (updated Mar 2015)

Dive sites

  • Anemone Reef Between Ko Phi Phi and Phuket, a massive limestone pinnacle which soars 30 m from the seabed to just 4 m beneath the surface. The site is well known for the abundance of anemones that cling to every surface while attracting enormous schools of fish. Different types of fish to be seen include: tropicals, snappers, groupers and colorful clown fish, along with larger game-fish like tuna and barracuda as well as the occasional leopard shark.
  • Garang Heng Garang Heng is a small submerged reef just east of Phi Phi Leh. A healthy reef with anemones, soft corals, and an abundance of leopard sharks.
  • Hin Daeng and Hin Muang From Ko Phi Phi, it is possible to dive Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, world-class dive sites, for around 5,500 Thai Baht. See Diving in Thailand.
  • Hin Dot These submerged pinnacles, often called Chimney Rock, are just to the south of Phi Phi Don. The formation drops to a depth of 30 m and has several coral shelves for exploration upon your gradual ascent. Nurse sharks can occasionally be found here.
  • Hin Pae This is a relatively shallow dive site, 10–15 m deep. Its shallow depth offers excellent snorkelling. Its soft and hard coral provide shelter for a rich variety of coral fish. Crabs, lobsters, angelfish, groupers, snappers, and surgeon fish are also residents of this area.
  • King Cruiser Wreck A popular site off Ko Phi Phi and Phuket is King Cruiser, remnants of a passenger ship which sunk in 1997 after it hit the Anemone Reef.
  • Ko Bida Nai Just up from Bida Nok is Bida Nai. Like its sister island, it is a good place for diving with good chance of black tip reef sharks sighting.
  • Ko Bida Nok Besides an abundance of pretty coral, this island is home to plentiful marine life including: leopard sharks, turtles and moray eels. This island is popular with divers.
  • Shark Point (Hin Bida) Shark Point is a marine sanctuary with a reef that made up of three pinnacles, the largest of which actually breaks the surface, appearing as a barren rock outcropping. The reef is home to a delightful abundance of tropical, colourful soft corals and vibrant sea fans that decorate the limestone pinnacles.
  • Shark Point Phuket Another submerged reef very close to Anemone Reef and often dived together with Anemone Reef and King Cruiser Wreck as part of a 3 dive package from Ko Phi Phi.
  • Wang Long This site is well known for its underwater cave systems and is only recommended for experienced divers. The caves tunnel into the rock face in two places and open out into a larger cave where surfacing is possible.
  • Loh Samah Bay The bay is popular for night-time divers. It has a sandy bottom with oysters and clams and patches of brain coral for nocturnal reef critters to hide amongst. There is a spectacular 15 m deep canyon just wide enough for single file swimming on the east side.

Sailing and cruising

Krabi has plenty of anchorages, usually deserted and all so beautiful. There are many charter sailing boats available and some even offer “join-in” day trips for two or more people. Phi Phi offers a variety of ways for sailing and cruising. Longtails can be hired for sunset tours and island excursions. They can be found on any beach.

  • DragonHeart (at the Deaf Gecko on Nice Beach), ✉ Daily sunset and snorkel tours. Tour Phi Phi Leh and cruise into the sunset. Climbing, slacklining, weddings.


There are two rocks within swimming distance of Long Beach known as “Shark Point” where harmless blacktip reef sharks can be seen. Many dive schools take snorkellers on their dive boats, but expect to see only a hint of the underwater marvels visible to scuba divers. The snorkelling off Bamboo and Mosquito Islands is quite good although the reefs are a long way below you at high tide. If you arrive on Bamboo Island in a longtail boat you will be asked to pay 200 Thai Baht/person to stay on the beach, or 400 Thai Baht/person to stay on the beach and further afield. Always ask for the ticket. With it, you do not have to pay 400 Thai Baht/person, just the 200 Thai Baht/person.

  • The Adventure Club. Runs “Shark Watch” snorkelling trips to Shark Point that guarantee a sighting of sharks.
  • Paradise Diving (at Paradise Resort in the middle of Long Beach). Will point you in the right direction to the black tip reef shark’s habitat metres from the sandy shore.


Most stuff is brought in by boat, so most things are less original and more expensive than on the mainland. However, there are a few shops that manufacture their goods on the island. Prices for commodities vary widely between shops.

Most of the items sold here are either made by local fishermen or they are brought to the island from Phuket town. Rising commercialization and inflow of tourists throughout the year seems to be a big bonus for these locals. Prices asked may exceed the value of the item, but if you are a good talker, you can bargain for a good price.

  • D’s Books. Two locations on Ko Phi Phi and many others throughout southern Thailand, a well respected book store.


  • Rock Climbing. Krabi region with its karst landscape is ideal for learning rock climbing. There are lots of different courses for beginners to advanced. The courses available range from a half-day to three days in length. All instructors are properly qualified and well-experienced. There are at least ten rock climbing schools in Rai Leh and Ton Sai, and several more on Ko Phi Phi.
  • Yoga. Keira offers classes on the rooftop at Carlito’s Bar and in Banyan Villa Gym for people of all levels and experience.


In general, Southern Thai food is known for its spiciness. Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom jeen) and chicken with yellow rice.

  • Calamero Resto. A wide selection of breakfasts, fresh pasta, pizza, Thai food, sandwiches and more is complemented by fruit shakes, liqueurs and evening cocktails. And the best “fried ice-cream”. All food is clean, good and cheap.
  • Cosmic. Italian restaurant with two outlets on the island. Serves pizza. The Thai food is disappointing. All pizzas cost 150 Thai Baht, all Thai dishes with rice cost 80 Thai Baht.
  • Little Britain. Serves good traditional English breakfast with eggs, Heinz baked beans, sausage, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms and black pudding. English tea comes with your breakfast.
  • Mr. Tee’s (when you come off the ferry, veer slightly left and you find yourself on an alley covered by tarps, with small Thai restaurants; you’ll notice a lot of locals eating in this alley; he second booth on your left is Mr. Tee’s — there’s a signboard). The food is good, cheap and spicy. There’s a shop just opposite “Mr. Tee’s”, their food is just as good. They have the best fruit shake on the island.
  • Pad Thai Restaurant (easily accessible from PP Island Village Resort: exit the rear of the hotel, turn right and walk 50 m to Pad Thai on the left; the restaurant and PP Island Village are also accessible by walking 25 minutes from Laem Thong). Friendly and fun, serves great tourist-friendly Thai food. Many hotel guests eat better food here each night for one-third the price of their hotel. Handmade spring rolls are excellent as are the garlic pepper fish and fried squid, bought fresh daily from local fishers. Ask the staff for a free motorcycle ride back after dark, an especially good idea if you have imbibed several PP Scuba Divers, a blue-coloured rum-based concoction served by the excellent bartenders. You can also book diving and snorkelling trips here. Quite busy between 19:00-21:00.
  • Papaya (small green shop restaurant opposite Reggae Bar, next to Tiger Bar). 17:00-. One of the first restaurants rebuilt after the tsunami. Run by the enthusiastic and friendly Mr Nod. Don’t let the unprepossessing looks of the restaurant put you off as the food is good and a very good value. Serves authentic Thai food, hot and spicy as it should be, but the staff allow you to express the spiciness as percentage, with 100% being “Thai spicy”. Among local expats living on the island, this place may be known as the place to get good cheap Thai food, but it’s no longer the cheapest. If you are looking for a personal-sized portion with rice at a cheaper price ask for your food to be “on rice”, otherwise portions are huge. Help yourself to the drinks in the fridge, which will be included on the bill, and check out the cat which lives in there. Papaya opens around 17:00 and, in high season, is packed by 18:00 or 19:00. Go early if you’re not prepared to wait.
  • The Pirate’s House. Great Indian and Western food, but the Thai food at this place is not the greatest. A bit pricey, but nice and clean. Be careful when you take a seat, it’s very easy to hurt your knees on their heavy and impractical wooden tables.
  • Tuk’s BBQ (next to Reggae Bar). Basically a street vendor, but it has the best BBQ on the island, with most items costing 30 Thai Baht.


Ton Sai Bay has a variety of nightlife, something for everyone’s taste. Jazz, blues, and classics can be found at the leading hotels. Or, if it’s romance you’re after, you and your loved one can relax in one of the outside hotel bars and sip a cocktail under the stars. The police usually allow, if there is no trouble, bars to stay open until about 01:00 in the town and 04:00 on the beach.

  • Beach Bar (in the tsunami wastelands). Good choice for those looking to have a quiet drink.
  • Breakers. American/Aussie-style pub with huge LCD wide-screens. Great food, big portions and an extensive selection of spirits as well as draught beer and cider.
  • Carlitos Bar. Relaxed drinks on the beach served by amiable waitresses. During the winter months this place is full of Scandinavian party-goers. Most of the service staff this time of year is over on extended holiday from Sweden so expect a lot of beautiful tanned blonds to be walking around.
  • Carpe Diem. Nice, relaxing beach chill out bar. Staff used to be notoriously bad, but these have recently been replaced with better staff.
  • Deaf Gecko. 17:00-01:00. Chilled beach bar on Nice Beach. Great music, fantastic staff and quiet beach. Fresh fruit shakes, daiquiris and loads of Leo beer.
  • Deco Bar (above Phi Phi Scuba Dive Center on the main road from pier). 19:00-01:00. Excellent bar with chill music. Nightly specials & happy hours with 100 Thai Baht mixed drinks, 50 Thai Baht beers, and shisha/water pipe available.
  • Hippies Bar (on the Ton Sai Bay side). The original Hippies has returned. The same staff, great music, cocktails and nightly fire shows!
  • Ibiza Bar. One of the best beach dance bars. A live music band, playing classic rock and roll hits, is a great feature as well. Hosts fire shows every night with dancing and fun games.
  • Mojito Bar (at Viewpoint Resort). Great cocktail bar with fantastic views and the friendliest staff.
  • Reggae Bar. Popular place that organizes mock muay Thai fights most nights. If you are there at the right time you can even join in. They invite tourists, usually drunk, to get into the ring geared up to pound each other for a few rounds in exchange for a couple of free buckets.
  • Rolling Stoned Bar. Great live rock music. They also have four pool tables in one of the more popular bars on the island.
  • Sports Bar (สปอร์ตซบาร์). Small English-style bar with a pool table and good pub food including English meat pies.
  • Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar (on Loh Dalum Bay). Nautically-themed beach bar with “ark” and longtail bar, pool table and laid-back beach seating. A great place to watch the often spectacular sunsets.
  • Woody’s Bar (close to Apache). Just a liquor store, but they have a few tables out front. The staff are funny, and Beatles music is often playing. Nice place to get a 180 Thai Baht bucket to walk around on the beach with.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under 1,000 Thai Baht
Mid-range 1,000 Thai Baht to 2,500 Thai Baht
Splurge Over 2,500 Thai Baht

Hotels Phi Phi Island: Popularity

HotelStarsDiscountPrice before and discountSelect dates
SAii Phi Phi Island Village-SHA Plus★★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Holiday Resort★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Banyan VillaView Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi The Beach Resort- SHA Certified★★★-45%508 280 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Mama Beach Residence★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi View Point Resort★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
P.P. Blue Sky Resort★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
PP Nice Beach Resort★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Villa Resort-SHA Plus★★★-28%326 235 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Zeavola Resort-SHA Plus★★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
PP Insula★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Bayview Resort★★★-26%172 128 View Isaan Hotel Deals
P.P. Erawan Palms Resort★★★-19%429 349 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Inn★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
PP Princess Resort- SHA Plus★★★★-20%536 427 View Isaan Hotel Deals
P.P. Casita Hotel-Adult Only★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phi Phi Cliff Beach Resort-SHA Plus★★★★-29%466 329 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Paradise Resort Phi Phi-SHA Plus★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
JJ Residence★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals

Accommodation is very expensive. Doubles range from 400 Thai Baht up into the 1,000s the closer you get to the beach front. If you are on a budget expect to work hard to find a decent price. If you get really desperate, a couple of places rent out tents for about 200–300 Thai Baht. Prices double during the high season of Oct/Nov-May. Other times of the year you can find relatively cheap accommodation for around 200-300 Thai Baht.

To have the best choice for accommodation, arrive on Phi Phi just before the full moon party, when most people will be on Ko Pha-ngan. Since a lot of people move from Ko Pha Ngan to Ko Phi Phi after the party, accommodation may be very hard to find on Phi Phi around this time. It is not uncommon to see people arrive on the morning ferry only to leave in the afternoon because they have been unsuccessful in finding accommodation.

Backpackers need only to look further east on the main street for relatively cheap accommodation. Certain guesthouses have dorms, and some have reputations for being good sources of camaraderie and parties. Compare. All the dorms are different.


  • 7.74067598.7767641 Coco’s, 224 M .7 (30 meters from the viewpoint stairs, 12 minutes walk from the pier) , fax: +66 75 401600, ✉ 08:00-20:00. Check-in: 14:00-20:00, check-out: 08:00-11:00. Rooms at the quiet edge of the village underneath viewpoint hill, 4 minutes walk to Loh Dalum Beach and the village; see map. Budget, standard and superior fan and air conditioned rooms with WiFi. 500-3,000 Thai Baht.
  • Oasis Guesthouse. Nice fan rooms with clean shared baths. Close to bars/restaurants but the noise doesn’t make it to the rooms. Prices are simple, no negotiating but good prices on rooms, tour packages and travel to mainland. 500 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Hill Resort (Long Beach (Had Yao)), ✉ Great budget bungalows. Expect plenty of stairs to and from the beach (though there is a pulley system for your luggage). Sunrise bungalows 700-750 Thai Baht (fan) and Sunset bungalows 1,200-2,000 Thai Baht (fan or air-con, with breakfast). 700-2,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Rimlay. Very nice air conditioned rooms near the beach. From 800 Thai Baht.
  • The Rock Backpacker , ✉ Clean, friendly place, excellent for meeting other tourists. 200 Thai Baht dorm beds, 300 Thai Baht tiny singles and a few 500 Thai Baht doubles (prices double during high season).
  • View Garden Resort. Rooms with bath, double bed, and shared balcony. 300 Thai Baht.


  • Chao Koh Phi Phi Lodge Resort (On Ton Sai Bay just ten min walk to the pier). Nice resort with fan and air-conditioned rooms near the beach. 1,200-3,500 Thai Baht.
  • Holiday Inn Resort. A great place to get away for couples and families. It is expensive by Thai standards. There are no clubs or bars in this area, and to get to any clubs or bars is by a 45 minute longtail ride. There are 4 resorts clustered on one beach. Food at the resort is expensive, but there are two independent restaurants nearby. On the longtail boat journey back from visiting Ko Phi Phi Leh, it’s recommended to stop at Ton Sai Bay for provisions as it’s one-third the price there. 1,800-4,200 Thai Baht.
  • Kinnaree House (Centre of Ko Phi Phi). Rooms with private bathroom, twin or double bed. 1,000-2,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Andaman Legacy (on Ton Sai Bay; after getting off the boat, about 7-10 min walk straight on the beach side). 2,000-5,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Banyan Villa (on Ton Sai Beach, 200 m from the main pier). 2,000-5,200 Thai Baht, including breakfast.
  • Phi Phi Casita (in Loh Dalum, 5 min walk to the beach and 10 min from Ton Sai). 1,500-4,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Charlie Beach Resort (on Loh Dalum Bay, Phi Phi Don). 100 m from the market, the Ton Sai pier, banks and food shops. 1,500-2,500 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Lagoon Resort (15 min by longtail from Ton Sai Bay to Loh Bagao or Loh Lana Bay) , ✉ Remoteness incarnate. This is one of the best get-away family bungalow complexes on the island. It is not even easy to get there as you have to take a taxi boat after you arrive at the main pier. In a coconut orchard, the resort offers comfortable, but simple accommodation. No discos or loud music at night. Air conditioned bungalows. Daily fishing trips and BBQ parties with the owner of the resort is a special touch. Nearest hotel to the beautiful secluded beach at Nui Bay. 2,500 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Viewpoint. Wide variety of rooms from bungalows with fans to air-con with minibar, all with awesome views of the bay. Pool, full service dining, two bars, kayak rentals, diving lessons and a private trail to the viewpoint. Poor food quality, the bill might be higher than listed on menu. 1,800-5,900 Thai Baht.
  • Pong Pan House (Near Loh Dalum Beach, centre of Ko Phi Phi). A cheap guesthouse. 1,000-1,500 Thai Baht.


  • Phi Phi Erawan Palms Resort (on Leamtong Beach (Cape of God), the northernmost beach on Ko Phi Phi Don). A luxury beach resort with Thai-style accommodation. A tempting outdoor swimming pool lies looking over the white sand beach and emerald coloured ocean. 3,000-9,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Island Cabana. Luxury hotel in Ton Sai Bay. Prime location closest to the main pier with large swimming pool. 2,800-20,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Island Resort. A good place for honeymooners. Expensive. Some staff don’t speak English. From 4,700 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Natural Resort (In Laem Tong, north Phi Phi). Public ferries from Krabi or Phuket to the resort are available. Accommodation is amid lush surroundings and the beach is just a short stroll from your cottage. 2,500-8,500 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi Palm Tree. Luxury, modern hotel with pool access. 4,000-8,500 Thai Baht, including breakfast.
  • Viking Natures Resort, Viking Beach (15 min walk from town or take a longtail between Maprao and Long Beach) , ✉ On the beach amid gardens. Private and shared bungalows with good attention to detail. Safe, clean and environmentally friendly with spectacular views. 1,500-12,000 Thai Baht.
  • Phi Phi The Beach Resort, Long Beach (take a long tail from the pier or walk for 35 min over rocky and sandy terrain) , ✉ Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. This resort has all individual cottage rooms at different levels of the lush green hills. It has a private pool and the only beach bar with a fire show in long beach. It is also said to have the best views of Phi Phi Ley. (updated Apr 2015)

Stay healthy due to COVID-19 in Ko Phi Phi

Ko Phi Phi has a couple of pharmacies and a hospital. For serious illnesses, go back to Krabi or even better, Phuket.

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Southern Thailand

Khao Lak | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a 20 km long strip of coastal resorts in Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea beaches of Southern Thailand, about 100 km north of Phuket Town. When the disastrous tsunami of 2004 struck South Asia, the Khao Lak region was the hardest-hit area in Thailand with over 4,000 fatalities, more […]

Wolfgang Holzem




Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a 20 km long strip of coastal resorts in Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea beaches of Southern Thailand, about 100 km north of Phuket Town. When the disastrous tsunami of 2004 struck South Asia, the Khao Lak region was the hardest-hit area in Thailand with over 4,000 fatalities, more than 3,000 more who were never accounted for, and thousands who were injured. It has since made an impressive recovery and is once again a popular tourism destination. Unlike Phuket, the many resorts in the Khao Lak area cater mainly to families and those looking for peace, quiet, and nature.


Khao Lak is a ~20 km stretch of lovely beaches along the Andaman Sea coastline set against a backdrop of jungle-covered mountains. The region is dotted with numerous resorts and tourist facilities.

The name “Khao Lak” translates as “Lak Mountain”. The mountain is the centerpiece of Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park.The headland formed as the mountain plunges into the sea near the southern end of the Khao Lak roughly marks the southern boundary of the Khao Lak region.

The attractions of Khao Lak are impressive and many, but they are not flashy. The expanses of lovely uncrowded parks, mountains, roads, and beaches, relatively unspoiled nature, easy access to great off-shore diving, accommodations ranging from luxury to basic, and an infrastructure that supports tourism, but not at the expense of local customs or the Thai way of life, appeal to an increasing number of visitors.

Stay with our Hotel Partners in Khao Lak

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Compared with a place like Patong, Khao Lak can seem boring, especially during low season (Apr-Nov). If jet skis (forbidden in Khao Lak) or exotic nightlife and its associated attractions are the reason you’ve come to Thailand, Khao Lak is probably not the place for you. On the other hand, it’s an excellent vacation spot for people seeking to get off the treadmill, for family getaways, and for nature-lovers.


Released in early-2013, The Impossible, a Spanish production (Spanish title: Lo Imposible), recounts the events of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Filmed on location in Khao Lak at the Orchid Beach Resort, it is the story of a family caught up in the events of 26 Dec 2004 and its aftermath. Starring Naomi Watts and Ewan MacGregor, the film incorporates stunning special effects recreating the tragic events of that day and the weeks following. Many Khao Lak residents participated in the filming as consultants or as extras.

Orientation, addresses, and navigation

The entire Khao Lak region straddles Phetkasem Road (ถนนเพชรเกษม, also Petchkasem Road or Thailand Route 4 (ทางหลวงแผ่นดินหมายเลข4), one of the four major highways in Thailand. At 1,274 km, it is the longest highway in Thailand, stretching from Bangkok to the Malaysian border.

The centre of the Khao Lak area is 37 km north of the Sarasin Bridge, gateway to Ko Phuket, 76 km north of Phuket International Airport, and 106 km north of Phuket City.

Driving north from Phuket, at km803 you will see a sign for Ban Khao Lak, a small village of little interest. Then, after climbing over Lak Mountain on a curvy road, you will descend into Bang La On, de facto heart of the Khao Lak region.

Khao Lak is laid out like a long strip mall. Early settlement patterns resulted in three population centres spaced out along the beaches. Since the 2004 tsunami, development in low-lying areas has tended to gravitate away from the beach, nearer to the highway.

The region hosts many resorts, scattered chiefly among three main urban areas, all containing businesses identifying themselves as “Khao Lak”. This can be confusing to visitors and it is useful to distinguish between the settlements.

From south to north the population centres are:

  • Bang La On
  • Bang Niang
  • Khuk Khak

Bang La On

Bang La On is the most tourist-oriented of the three main Khao Lak towns.

Stretching from km795 to km797, Bang La On is mistakenly called Khao Lak by most visitors. It has many shops, bars, restaurants and banks. Any given group of store fronts seems to consist of a souvenir shop, a tailor shop, a dive shop, a massage parlour, an eyewear shop, and a restaurant. Strolling along the short main town centre in the evening can be quite pleasant as there are pavements.

If you are travelling by bus and tell the conductor you are going to “Khao Lak”, Bang La On is where you will be let off the bus, near the Nang Thong Supermarket. This may be far from your intended destination, so try to be more specific if you are not staying near there.

Just south of the supermarket, Nang Thong Road leads to the town’s beach, Nang Thong.

Webcam: Just north of the Nang Thong Supermarket are the offices of Khao Lak Land Discovery, a local tour organiser. Their webcam is mounted on the roof of their building. It shows you a segment of Rte 4, roughly in the centre of Bang La On. Camera’s angle of view is to the southeast.

Bang Niang

A couple of kilometres north of Bang La On is Bang Niang. Bang Niang is more “Thai” and less “tourist” than Bang La On. The 7-Eleven at km793.3 roughly marks the town centre.

Bang Niang is not much to look at, but is home to the intermittent outdoor market (“talat nat” ตลาดนัด) that takes place in the centre of the town just south of the 7-Eleven on M-W-Sa, from roughly 13:00 until dark. You will find the market area dusty on dry days and muddy on wet days, so dress down for a visit.

Bang Niang is, increasingly, a centre of Khao Lak’s nightlife as it is home to a significant number of the area’s most popular bars, discos, and cabarets.

Bang Niang Beach can be accessed by turning towards the sea at the 7-Eleven shop in town centre.

Khuk Khak

Heading north again from Bang Niang, a couple of kilometres will bring you to Khuk Khak. It is even more Thai and less farang than Bang Niang and is the regional centre for things like hardware, paint, kitchen equipment, etc., i.e., all the infrastructural ingredients that keep the resorts running.

It has the daily “fresh market” (“talat sot” ตลาดสด) and the area’s only real, albeit tiny, bus station.

Khuk Khak Beach can be reached by turning at the signpost just south of km790 or, better, turning at the JW Marriott Hotel sign (km789.1) and following the signs to the hotel, then proceeding past it to the beach.

North of Khuk Khak are Pakarang Beach and Pakarang Cape (km787), Pakweep Beach (km784), and Bang Sak Beach (km780). The latter beach is just ~18 km south of Takua Pa.

Pakarang Beach is a beautiful and quiet beach overlooking Cape Pakarang and Andaman Sea beyond. During the high season (November to February), as well as parts of the low season, meals can be bought from nearby food outlets and consumed in the series of huts that have been constructed close to the shore. The setting provides a perfect meditative antidote all year round to the bustle of the Khao Lak area in general.

Navigating Khao Lak can be confusing to visitors because many businesses use their mailing addresses in ads and a mailing address can be very misleading. Almost the entire Khao Lak region (except Ban Khao Lak itself) is located in the Khuk Khak Sub-district of the Takua Pa District of Phang Nga Province. Mailing addresses in the area include both the district and sub-district. Thus a typical address will read: “Moo 3/15, Khuk Khak, Takua Pa, Phang Nga”. This would lead visitors to think that the business is in Khuk Khak. In reality, the business could be located in Bang La On or Bang Niang or Khuk Khak or anywhere else in the Khuk Khak Sub-district. The mailing address is of absolutely no help in finding the business. Be careful when reading tourist brochures as many businesses do not go to the trouble of telling you their physical location.

Climate & Weather

The climate of the Khao Lak region is under the influence of two monsoon winds of a seasonal nature: a southwest monsoon and a northeast monsoon. The southwest monsoon starts in April when a stream of warm moist air from the Indian Ocean moves inland resulting in significant rain. It peaks in October, Khao Lak’s wettest month. Subsequent months, under the influence of prevailing northeast winds, are much drier.

Khao Lak Days with Rain, per Month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 4 7 15 24 23 21 23 24 22 16 6

In simple terms, Khao Lak effectively has two seasons:

  • A rainy or southwest monsoon season (April to October). The southwest monsoon prevails over the region and abundant rain occurs. This is the year’s wettest period.
  • A dry or northeast monsoon season (November to March). Dry air moves into the region from China. This is the driest period of the year, with March being the hottest month.

From a tourist’s perspective, the dry season is the ideal time to visit Khao Lak, although rainfall numbers can be misleading. Rainfall in Khao Lak tends to occur in late afternoon/early evening, and is often of short duration. Rainy day statistics count any rainfall during a 24-hour period as a rainy day. Further confusing the issue, rainfall in Khao Lak is often highly localized, i.e., brief showers occurring at one location in the area, while everywhere else remains dry.

Get in

By plane

The easiest way to get to Khao Lak is to fly into either Phuket (the closest alternative) or Krabi and go to Khao Lak from there. Both airports serve international as well as domestic destinations.

A taxi from Phuket airport to Khao Lak costs 1,100-1,600 Thai Baht. The later you arrive, the more expensive the ride. Woe betide you if you have a 03:00 arrival time. If you think this is too much and prefer to take a bus (only possible during daytime), you will have to get to the main road, Highway 4, about 5 km from the airport. (This may not be easy, as the airport taxi “mafia” discourages motorbike taxi trips to the main highway or short hops to cheaper means of travel). If you manage to get to the highway, take a bus headed towards Takua Pa, Ranong or Surat Thani; they all stop on request in Khao Lak or wherever along the road you indicate. It’s about 80 km from Phuket airport to Khao Lak. Bus fares vary from 80-100 Thai Baht; some are air-conditioned, others not.

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By train

The nearest train station is at Surat Thani on the east coast, making this a less convenient option than just hopping on bus. But the romance of trains is irresistible to many, so if you want to take the train leaving Khao Lak, jump on a bus to Surat Thani for the 4 hr ride. The bus’s first stop in Surat will be at the train station, some 13 km before reaching town centre.

Getting to Khao Lak from Bangkok is the reverse. Take a train to Surat Thani, then a bus to Khao Lak. Incidentally, if you are on a very tight budget, the train is by far the cheapest way to get to Khao Lak. A 3rd-class ticket from Bangkok to Surat is ~483 Thai Baht, a bus from Surat to Khao Lak, ~150 Thai Baht. Keep in mind that 3rd-class train travel is not comfortable. You will have a straight-backed, lightly padded bench-type seat, facing your neighbour, both of you competing for available foot room, while adjacent to another neighbour, jostling for elbow room. No air-conditioning, fans and open windows only. Don’t worry about food as you will be besieged by food and drink hawkers at every station stop. Be prepared for a ~12-hour journey!

For more info, you can try to tease it out of the sometimes infuriating state railway website [formerly dead link].

By bus

No buses have Khao Lak as their starting or ending point, but the region is well-served by buses originating in Bangkok, Chumphon, Phuket, Ranong, Surat Thani, and Takua Pa. All travel through Khao Lak on Rt 4. Most will stop at your command; express buses will not. Do not be dismayed if you try to flag down a bus and it does not stop. It is an express bus. Just wait for a local. It will be smaller, not a double-decker, and less posh.

BKS buses stop at the BKS Bus Terminal in Khuk Khak only. BKS (บขส, say the Thai initials as Baw Kaw Saw) is the government bus company. Its small terminal is located near the fresh market in central Khuk Khak a couple of blocks behind the 7-Eleven shop there.

Buses depart Bangkok to Phuket via Khao Lak from the southern bus terminal Sai Tai Mai. The 10 hour trip runs overnight and costs less than 500 Thai Baht. Bus tickets provided by Bangkok travel agents may route your trip via Surat Thani where you have to switch to a different bus.

Buses departing from Chumphon to Phuket take around 5 hours to arrive in Khao Lak and will stop opposite the Nang Thong Supermarket unless you tell the bus conductor otherwise. Cost from Chumphon is 270 Thai Baht.

“Local” buses, e.g., the ones travelling from Takua Pa to Phuket, pass through Khao Lak roughly every hour or so until about 18:00. You can flag them down anywhere along Rte 4 and they will stop for you. There is a small bus stop in central Bang La On, roughly opposite the Nang Thong Supermarket, in front of Kinnaree Bakery. This side of the road is for southbound (direction Phuket) buses. Across the street from this in front of Khao Lak Tourism and Tour is what passes for a bus stop for northbound (direction Takua Pa, Surat Thani, Bangkok) buses.

To travel to Khao Lak from the bus station in Phuket, take a bus towards Takua Pa, Ranong or Surat Thani. Tickets cost 90 Thai Baht and the journey takes around 2 hours. Departures at 06:30, 09:00, 11:40, 13:00, 15:40, 16:20, 17:00, 17:50. This service travels onward to Takua Pa with the full trip costing 90 Thai Baht.

From Takua Pa to Khao Lak, possibly departing on the hour, this service travels onward to Phuket with the trip from Takua Pa to Phuket costing 90 Thai Baht.

From Krabi Town there’s a daily minibus to Khao Lak. All travel agents in Krabi sell tickets.

From Hua Hin: There is a VIP bus departing the Hua Hin bus station south of town centre at 22:30 arrives 07:30, 1,011 Thai Baht (May 2020).

Get around

Given that the Khao Lak region is about 20 km in length, knowing how to get around is important.

Local transport is not a strength of the Khao Lak region. For starters, it is a nightmare for pedestrians as it is sprawling, and the infrastructure for walkers is mostly non-existent. Second, Rte 4 is the area’s major north-south highway. For the most part traffic roars through populated areas at excessive speed, making the roadway highly dangerous. Police make no attempt to control speed limits. Third, there is no clearly marked and regular shuttle bus that moves up and down the length of Khao Lak. This forces visitors to fend for themselves, hiring motorbikes (which many visitors have no experience driving), trekking between towns, or hiring taxis (which is probably why there is no regular shuttle bus service).

The main methods of travel within the Khao Lak region are:

  • Walking
  • Bicycling
  • Motorbike
  • Songthaew
  • Taxi

Walking is practical and pleasant at the south end of Bang La On, but pretty unpleasant for any distance in Bang Niang and Khuk Khak, and downright dangerous between towns. Few sidewalks exist, and when they do they are broken and uneven. Where even crude sidewalks are absent, one is forced to walk at the side of the road, precisely where motorbikes prefer to drive. This can be hazardous, especially at night. If you do find yourself having to walk the highway at night, walk facing on-coming traffic and use a torch or your phone light to warn approaching motorbikes.

Most guesthouses and hotel rent bicycles, or can arrange for you to rent one or more. Bicycles are expensive compared with motorbikes. Daily short-term rentals run 100 Thai Baht per day. Bicycles are not a practical alternative at night as none are equipped with lights.

Motorbikes can be rented from almost any hotel, guest house or bar in the area, no qualifications required. Prices are dependent on the duration of the rental and the type of motorbike. You can expect to pay ~250 Thai Baht a day for a short term rental of a Honda Click (110-125cc, automatic scooter) and as little as 100 Thai Baht per day for a long-term rental of a month or more.

Chances are that the person renting you the bike will want to take possession of your passport for the duration of the rental. This may be non-negotiable, but try to forestall it by offering a photocopy of your passport in lieu of the actual document.

Motorbike rentals do not come with insurance of any kind. If the bike is damaged while in your custody, you will be on the hook for repairs. If you are in an accident that involves a Thai, it is almost certain that you will be named as the one at fault, regardless of the actual circumstances. In that case, you will be liable for damages and medical charges incurred by everyone involved.

When renting a bike it is sensible: a) take photos of the bike when taking possession. This can help in preventing later disputes over damage, and b) ensure that you get a good helmet (or two) when taking possession. Police in the area conduct frequent roadblocks. If you are not wearing a helmet, you will be fined 300-500 Thai Baht.

There is only one petrol station within the boundaries of Khao Lak proper. It is located just north of Khuk Khak centre at km790.5. Hours of operation are 07:00-20:00. Cost of fuel: ~35 Thai Baht per litre. If you find you are running short of fuel, or if it is after-hours, you can buy 1-litre bottles of fuel from roadside stands for 40 Thai Baht each. Just look for a collection of re-purposed whisky bottles containing yellowish fluid. It is advisable to purchase this fuel sparingly as it is impossible to gauge its purity or how long it has been sitting there turning to varnish.

Many locals use songthaews to get around. They are 4-wheeled pick-up trucks of varying colours featuring two rows of seats in the bed at the rear, covered by a sheet metal roof with plastic side curtains. Only rarely do they display the limits of their travels, e.g., Bang La On to Takua Pa and, if they do, it is in Thai only. During daylight hours, songthaews pass up and down Rt. 4 every fifteen minutes or so. Flag one down if it is going in same direction you are and state your destination. The driver will tell you if he does not go there. A short hop from, say, Bang La On to Bang Niang, will cost 20 Thai Baht per person. A trip from one end of Khao Lak to the other end will cost about 50 Thai Baht. When you want to get off, press the buzzer (if there is one), or bang on the roof. Pay on departing.

After dark, songthaews seem to disappear, although the occasional one is spotted.

One caution: the taxi industry, some would say “cartel”, in Khao Lak is quite organised and clever. They would prefer that you took taxis everywhere rather than use the more communal form of transport. In other words, they go to considerable lengths to force you to hire a vehicle outright rather than board a songthaew. Thus, you may find that songthaews are not inclined to stop to pick you up.

There are no Khao Lak-based metered taxis. If you do see one, it has most likely just come from the airport in Phuket. Instead, off-hours songthaews serve as taxis in Khao Lak. You will find collections of them near town centres waiting for fares. They are more expensive than songthaews: a 50 Thai Baht trip in a songthaew might cost you 300 Thai Baht in a taxi.

If you hire a songthaew taxi outright rather than waiting for one by the side of the road, agree on a price beforehand. Be sure you are quoted either the total price for all persons, or a price per person. To go to the market in Khuk Khak approximately 2 km from Bang Niang will cost 100-200 Thai Baht or more.

Many of the resort hotels will offer complimentary transportation at set times during the day. Check with the front desk. Also, some restaurants and other businesses will offer free pickup within a reasonable distance in exchange for your patronage.


To the south

  • Lampi Waterfall (turn off at km820). About 30 minutes south of Khao Lak just off Hwy 4. A very nice waterfall, best viewed in the early morning as the sun rises from behind the mountains and the rays shine through the mist. The falls are only a short walk from the car park, making access easy for all. There is a small shop on-site where you can buy drinks (including tea and coffee), ice cream and souvenirs. There are also toilets on-site. Swimming in the water below the falls is permitted and appears reasonably safe.

Bang La On

  • Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park (km798.5, at the top of the Khao Lak headland, adjacent to police checkpoint). 08:30-16:30. Nice walks and a restaurant. Entrance on the headland between Nang Thong and Khao Lak beaches. Walkable from the resorts in Bang La On. Across the road from park headquarters there is a Buddhist shrine to the Khao Lak (Khao Lak mountain) god. Non-Thai adult: 100 Thai Baht; non-Thai, under 14 years: 50 Thai Baht. Thai adult: 20 Thai Baht; Thai, under 14 years, 10 Thai Baht. All children under 3: no charge.

Bang Niang

  • Ton Chong Fah Waterfall (7 km inland (a quarter of which is unimproved dirt road) off Rte 4, at the northern end of Bang Niang. Turn is marked with a blue signpost.). 08:00-16:30. Great for hot days. Enjoy a short swim. Very scenic and accessible to all. 100 Thai Baht for foreigners/50 Thai Baht for children..

To the north

  • Rainbow Waterfall. Approximately 10 minutes north of Bang Niang by motor-scooter, turn right at road sign, then right again at signpost. Waterfall is particularly vibrant during the rainy season, but swimming in the water-hole is available all year round. Can climb to the top of the waterfall by etching out a path to the right of the fall. Drinks and light food are available at the bottom of the waterfall
  • Cheow Lan Lake and Rachaphrapha Dam. Just 2 hr north of Khao Lak off Hwy 401. Superb views over the lake to the limestone ridges. Boat trips are available to rafts (for overnight accommodation you will need to pre book at Khao Sok National Park HQ or book the trip via a tour agency).
  • Khao Sok National Park (just over an hour north of the Khao Lak area on Rte 4. Turning to Khao Sok at km109). Nature activities including jungle trekking on foot or elephant, visiting waterfalls & river rafting/canoeing. Park HQ incorporates small natural history displays of local flora and fauna. A good day out. Accommodations near park HQ available for extended visits. Adults: 200 Thai Baht; Children: 100 Thai Baht.
  • Saori Foundation Centre, Bang Muang (drive north from Khao Lak and Bang Niang to Ban Muang; go through the built up area and a few hundred metres further on you will see on the left an official-looking entrance. Turn left into it and find the Saori workshop on the left.). A women’s workshop which develops its own textile designs after a Japanese monk showed tsunami survivors how to weave and earn a living. Visitors are welcome Monday – Saturday.
  • Takua Pa Old Town (north on Rte 4). Takua (ตะกั่ว) in Thai means lead, the metal. Which is odd, because the town was a centre for tin–not lead– mining in the 1920s and 1930s. Little remains of that era except for some old photos in the Takua Pa Library.
    In the old quarter of Takua Pa you will find Sino-Portuguese architecture and have the chance to wander around the quaint shops (best in the early morning). About 30 minutes drive north of Khao Lak. Takua Pa market and River Plaza are in the new town, near the bus station. There is a typical local market. The plaza has some good shops and a few riverside restaurants.
    On a macabre note, Takua Pa was the centre for relief efforts following the tsunami. The collection/ identification point for recovered bodies was located here, and there is reputed to be a cemetery holding the remains of unidentified foreign victims of the disaster.
    A great, alternative way to get to Takua Pa is to turn right at km784 following the signs to the Sai Rung waterfall. The next 17 km will take you on one of Thailand’s most lovely roads–no traffic, perfect tarmac, and no hills to speak of (perfect for bicycling). You will come to a T-junction. Turn left to old town Takua Pa, 1 km.



With the Similan Islands and Mu Ko Surin National Park, home to some of the best diving in Asia, just offshore, this is one of the main attractions in the area. There are also several local dive sites to choose from and many competent local companies to guide you. Map of Similan Islands dive sites

  • IQ Diving, 4/42 Moo 7, Bang La On (across Rte 4 from McDonald’s) , ✉ Diving & snorkelling in Khao Lak, visiting the Similan Islands, tin barge wrecks, and local sites. Small or large groups, safety focused and family-friendly.
  • Khao Lak Explorer, 4/81 Moo 7, Bang La On (across Rte 4 from McDonald’s) , ✉ High quality dive centre, providing liveaboards and daytrips to the Similans, Ko Phi Phi and all dive sites in the area.
  • Kon-Tiki Khao Lak Diving & Snorkeling Center, 13/128 Moo 7, Bang La On (turn towards sea at the Nang Thong Supermarket [Nang Thong Road]. ~200 m down on left.) , ✉ Established in 1996, Kon-Tiki is one of the longest running dive centres in Khao Lak offering daily dive trips, PADI dive education and liveaboards to the best dive sites in Thailand.
  • Manta Point Dive Center, 91/6 Moo 7, Bang La On (adjacent to Dr. Chusak, Krungsri Bank, north end of town) , ✉ Khao Lak dive safaris since 1999. Liveaboards and scuba day trips to Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock. Similan Snorkel Safaris and PADI dive courses.
  • Oktavia Dive Center, 70/4 Moo 5, Bang Niang (200 m past Pinocchio Restaurant towards the beach) , ✉ Owners and operators of MV Oktavia, one of the largest vessels cruising the Similan Islands for divers, snorkellers and sun-worshippers.
  • Sea Dragon Dive Center, 5/51 Moo 7, Bang La On (north end of Bang La On, inland side of Rte 4, 50 m south of The Book Tree) , ✉ 5 Star PADI IDC centre specialising in liveaboards and day trips to the Similan Islands, Ko Bon, Richelieu Rock, and local reefs and wrecks. Established in 1993, Khao Lak’s original dive centre now offers 6 different boats and 10 different diving and snorkelling trips. All ages, tastes, styles and budgets catered for. Many languages spoken and small diving groups guaranteed.
  • Sign Scuba, 5/11 Moo 7, Bang La On (on main road, near Viking Steakhouse). Thai/Euro-run dive centre doing liveaboards, day trips, PADI and SSI courses out of Khao Lak. They’ve been operating for 20 or so years on the same dive sites so they know their stuff.
  • Thailand Dive & Sail (Khao Lak Dive Centre), 4/88 Moo 7, Soi Bang La On (on the side street leading to Banana Bungalows near the Viking Restaurant) , ✉ Reliable, independent information and booking services for scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing trips to the Similan Islands.
  • Wicked Diving, Khao Lak, 4/17 Moo 7, Bang La On (on main road, next to Viking Steakhouse in Bang La On) , ✉ Operating liveaboards on 3 and 5 day expeditions to the Similan and Surin Islands. Also offers guided overnight snorkelling tours of the Surin islands in maximum groups of 6 guests.
  • Similan Diving Safaris, Nang Thong Road 13/19 moo 7 (take the road next to the Nang Thong supermarket; on the left of this road, about a 100 m walk) , ✉ 9AM-9PM. Offering 3,4 and 5 day liveaboards to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon , Koh Tachai, Surin Islands and Richelieu Rock. (updated Aug 2018)


  • Mountain View Driving Range (North Khuk Khak. Go to ~km789.3. Turn at Scandinavian Corner onto Bang Ta Tian Road. Proceed 4-5 km until you see the Mountain View sign.). Irregular hours. Opens early, stays open until at least dark or until last customers leave. Beautiful mountain valley setting and modern facility. Its remoteness means it does not see a lot of activity. You may have to struggle to find someone to take your money.
  • Tublamu Navy Golf Course (south on Rte 4 to Lam Kaen. Turn towards the sea at ~km804. Proceed ~1.2 km until you see the entrance/gatehouse on your right. Don’t be put off by the two Royal Thai Marine guards at the gate. Just tell them you want to play golf and they will let you through.) , fax: +66 70 907792. 07:00-21:00. In the 1990s the Royal Thai Navy constructed an 18-hole, par 72, 7,160 yd golf course on their naval base here, hard by the ocean. It is now open to the public. Has a small pro shop, snack bar, and restaurant. Greens fee: 1,600 Thai Baht (half price on Mondays and Thursdays); club rental: 1,000 Thai Baht; Shoes rental: 100 Thai Baht; caddy fee: 220 Thai Baht; golf cart: 400 Thai Baht for 1 person, 600 Thai Baht for 2 persons..


Khao Lak is the most convenient point from which to go snorkelling in the Surin and Similan Islands, which offer some of Thailand’s best coral and fish diversity and numbers. It takes usually 1-2 hours by speedboat to get to the islands. Several companies offer 1/2/3 day tours.

  • Andaman Snorkel Discovery, 5/52 Moo 7, Khuk Khak, fax: +66 76 485326, ✉ Offers a 3 day/3 night snorkelling liveaboard trip to Similan Islands & Ko Bon & Ko Tachai & Surin Islands. This mix is absolutely unique for snorkellers.
  • Fantastic Similan Travel, 40/9 Moo 6, Khuk Khak , ✉ A popular and well-organised company offering snorkelling to the Similan Islands with a fleet of 4 boats. Thai-owned and managed with good reviews on travel forums. Bookable through the website or at tour shops locally. 3,200 (adults)/2,200 Thai Baht (children).
  • Khao Lak Land Discovery, 21/5 Moo 7, Bang La On (just south of the Discovery Cafe, central Bang La On) , fax: +66 76 485412, ✉ Professionally operated and guided snorkelling tours (day trips and overnight) to Similan and Surin Islands with German, Swedish, and English guides.
  • Sea Star, 5/12 Moo 7, Khuk Khak , fax: +66 76 485515, ✉ Specialised in snorkelling in the Tachai Islands.
  • Similan Tour, 1/6 Khao Lak, Lam Kaen (south of Khao Lak in Lam Kaen) , ✉ A very well-organised snorkelling-only liveaboard for 3 days/2 nights, departing Tuesdays and Fridays. Swedish management who also run the Poseidon Bungalows. From 2018 the tour goes to Surin Islands instead. 9900 Thai Baht. (updated Nov 2018)


  • OneTwoSurf, 67/139 Moo 5, Bang Niang Beach (go towards beach on Bang Niang Beach Road to Soi Jerung and turn right). 08:00-22:00. Board rentals and surfing lessons with a certified instructor. Surf Safari packages taking you to the best breaks in the area with lodging and airport pickup available from May to November. 400 Thai Baht.
  • 8.7272398.226812 Pakarang Surf Shop, 28/5 Moo 7, Khuk Khak (turn towards sea at km788.1, near Cape Pakarang, follow signs 3 km). 09:00-17:00. Surf shop in Khao Lak. Board rental and good surf spot. 3 breaks on Cape Pakarang plus good beach breaks around Khao Lak. 300 Thai Baht/hr.

Stay fit

  • Body Balance Gym, 65/5 Moo 3, Khuk Khak (on the inland side of the road at the south end of Khuk Khak, ~km791.7). Daily 07:00-11:00 and 15:00-22:00 except Sa when it is closed in the morning. Thai-run gym featuring most of the equipment one expects. Includes a small cafe serving healthy drinks and coffee. No air-conditioning. No Wi-Fi. Just south of the gym there is a small reservoir with surrounding 1 km hard surface path that is great for walking/jogging. 1 visit, 85 Thai Baht; 1 month, 950 Thai Baht; 1 year, 8,000 Thai Baht.


  • Foundation for Education and Development (FED) (Grassroots HRE), Rte 4, north Khuk Khak (km790, Khuk Khak). 09:00-17:00. FED, a Burmese/Thai NGO, came to Khao Lak to help the many thousands of displaced Burmese migrant workers in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. The organisation has been doing stellar work in the area ever since: educating children, supporting women’s rights, providing medical and legal assistance. If you have at least a month to give, helping this group help others might prove to be the highlight of your stay in Thailand.


  • 7-Eleven Shops, located throughout the region. 24/7. There are six 7-Elevens in the Khao Lak region. They are very useful as navigational aids as well as convenient places to purchase mobile phone SIM cards, additional airtime for your mobile phone, liquor and beer, and sundry items.
    There are two 7-Elevens in Bang La On, one in Bang Niang (km793.3), two in Khuk Khak (km791.2), and one at the turn for Parkarang Cape (km787). Several things are worth noting: 1) 7-Elevens will sell alcohol only between the hours of 11:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 24:00. This is irregularly enforced. On religious holidays there will be no alcohol sales at any time. Holidays can last for several days. Smaller corner shops will be happy to sell you alcohol anytime they are open. 2) The northern Khuk Khak 7-Eleven, located at the PTT gas station (km790.5), does not sell any alcohol. This is true for all convenience stores adjacent to gas stations in Thailand. 3) All 7-Elevens have ATMs adjacent to their entrance. Doubly convenient, as you will get 1,000 Thai Baht notes from the machine. Use them for purchases in the 7-Eleven, as smaller shops frequently have difficulty making change.
  • Bang Niang Market ((talat nat ตลาดนัด)), Central Bang Niang (just south of the Bang Niang 7-Eleven). M-W-Sa 13:00-dark. Outdoor market held 3 days per week. One section of the market sells fresh fish, meat, vegetables, and fruit. Another section sells prepared foods like barbecued chicken and corn on the cob. The remainder of the market stalls sell clothing, luggage, DVDs, games, kitchen ware, souvenirs, sunglasses, etc. All at knock down prices if you haggle, as is expected. There are at least three bars on the market grounds where you can buy a beer and take in the passing scene.
  • Fresh Market (talat sot ตลาดสด)), Central Khuk Khak (find the 7-Eleven in central Khuk Khak, turn at the road adjacent to it, proceed 2 blocks). Daily 04:30-16:00. This is the market where all the smaller restaurateurs from the area procure their foodstuffs: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and so forth. Some small storefronts around the market specialise in foreign foods such as salami, butter, cheese, frozen foods, olive oil, as well as sell frozen beef steaks, lamb, lobsters, and other exotics. On M-W-Sa, when the Bang Niang Market takes place, this market appears to shut down about 13:00, when the vendors move to the other marketplace. The government bus station, BKS, is located here at the NW corner of the square.
  • Mark One Tailor, 4/146 Moo 7, Khaolak Center, toll-free: +66 86 940 6492, ✉


Bang La On

  • O’Rendez-vous, 5/42 Moo 7, Bang La On (opposite Andaburi Resort, next to Sea Dragon Dive Centre). 16:00 till late. Thai and French cuisine with a big choice of international dishes, nice atmosphere and multilingual service. The place also serves as a bar with a local expatriate crowd, offering a variety of music including soul/jazz/lounge in the early hours. Cocktails, free Wi-Fi and shisha. Closed in low season. Main dishes from 90-420 Thai Baht.

Bang Niang

  • Green Pepper, 67/145 Moo 5, Bang Niang (turn towards sea at 7-Eleven [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road], go c. 300 m. At the sign for the restaurant, turn left). 16:00 until late. Thai seafood and western cuisine. Also cooking classes where you can accompany instructors to the market and select the food that you will cook personally.
  • Hill Tribe Restaurant, 13/22 Moo 6, Bang Niang (next to RT Hotel, 500 m south of the market). Thai food including dishes from north Thailand. Decorated with original items from Chiang Rai.
  • Ingfah, Bang Niang Beach (across from Casa de La Flora) , ✉ 17:00-01:00. Traditional Thai food in an ultra-modern, chic, open-air setting. Glass of beer: 50 Thai Baht; Prix fixe meals at 350, 450, 600 Thai Baht.
  • Khao Niau, Sea side of Rte 4, central Bang Niang (opposite the Tsunami Police Boat, just south of the local market) , ✉ 12:30-22:00. Closed on the 16th of every month. Thai food, including dishes from Isaan. Menu in Thai/German/English. Cooking classes, good food. Wi-Fi. khao pat gai: 90 Thai Baht; pad Thai Gai, 90 Thai Baht; yam talay, 120 Thai Baht; large beer, 90 Thai Baht.
  • Lucky Seafood, 60/18 Moo 5, Bang Niang (find the 7-Eleven on the main road. Restaurant is about 100 m behind it on road to the sea). 14:00-22:00. Very clean restaurant with an extensive Thai/Western menu. Run by a Thai lady along with her Swedish husband and her sisters. Excellent, ample portions. Prices typical for Thai restaurants serving a tourist clientèle. Full bar. No Wi-Fi. Open most of the year.
  • Pinocchio Restaurant, 67/1 Moo 7, Bang Niang (turn towards sea at 7-Eleven [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road], go ~400 m. Restaurant on the right.). Italian restaurant open all year.
  • Rusty Pelican Mexican Café, 67/193, Bang Niang Beach Road [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road] (Turn towards the beach at 7-Eleven in Bang Niang, 300 m down the road on the left.) , ✉ Kitchen open 14:00-22:00. Home-made Mexican cuisine using the freshest ingredients available. Full bar, frozen cocktails, and ice-cold beer. Family friendly with good music and a free pool table.
  • Takieng Restaurant, 26/43 Moo 5, Bang Niang (just north of the Police Boat on the same side of Rte 4). Decorated with many items brought from the owners home town in northern Thailand. Open most of the year.

Khuk Khak

  • Mama’s Greeting, On the beach (JW Marriott Khao Lak beachfront. Turn right and walk about 300 m. Last restaurant of a string of restaurants and massage shops). 09:00-21:00. Cute, clean, and pleasant spot with Thai and Western food and an accommodating staff.
  • Phen Restaurant (formerly Mr. Kon’s Family, Phen’s Place), Khuk Khak Beach (first restaurant to the right (facing sea) of the JW Marriott Hotel beach). 09:00-22:00 daily. Thai and seafood beach restaurant with a wide range of tasty dishes. It has very nice sunset views and an informal and friendly atmosphere. Tour information from the owner, Mrs. Phen. Sunchairs, parasols, shower, traditional Thai massage, and taxi service available.
  • Pizza Pasta & Steak, Khuk Khak (across from Khuk Khak 7-Eleven on the sea side of road). 10:30-22:00, closed W. Small restaurant run by Thai couple, one of whom is a former chef at Le Meridien. Pasta made on the premises. Portions are small by Western standards, but so are the prices: the most expensive thing on the menu is T-bone steak 180 Thai Baht. Pizzas, albeit tiny, (120 Thai Baht) and salads are terrific. No Wi-Fi. Caveat: there is a restaurant of the same name almost directly across the road.


Bang La On

  • Monkey Bar (Inland side of Rte 4 just north of centre of town.). Hours vary.
  • 8.63921798.249751 Walker’s Inn, 26/61 Moo 7, Bang La On (south end of Bang La On, inland side of Rte 4). 07:00-00:00. Hosts Joo and Andy run this commodious bar-restaurant-lodging house that feels more like being in your living room than in south Thailand. Free pool table, Wi-Fi. Motorbikes for rent for 200-250 Thai Baht per day depending on model. Five rooms with air-conditioning are available at 650 Thai Baht. Dorm bunks for 150 Thai Baht. The restaurant employs a great cook. Representative prices: burger/fries, 150 Thai Baht; pizza, 250 Thai Baht; pad Thai, 80 Thai Baht; khao pat, 90 Thai Baht; full English breakfast, 195 Thai Baht. Clientèle includes many knowledgeable expats, so this place is great for making connections, asking questions, learning of new places. Beer 60 Thai Baht.
  • Violet Bar (Bar set back off the main road, beach side of road, just south of centre). Small hostess bar with one pool table. (updated Jul 2015)

Bang Niang

  • Degree (ดีกรี), Rte 4, Bang Niang (sea side of Rte 4, roughly across from Police Boat 813). until 02:00. Thai open-air nightclub featuring live music most nights, if not every night. All will be made to feel welcome. Very casual, come as you are kind of place. No cover charge. Serves beer, drinks, and bottles of whisky. No sign in English, just follow the sound of the music.
  • Gecko Bar (Central Bang Niang. Turn left at the 7-Eleven, proceed for ~100 m to where a dirt road forks off to the left. Bar is located there). Opens ~19:00 in high season, ~21:00 in low. Closes when the party’s over. Great late-night bar, run by a very gracious Thai couple, Black and Lin. Pool table, professional Foosball table, a rarity in Thailand, excellent Wi-Fi. Clientèle is a mix of expats and vacationers. Open year-round. Beer 70 Thai Baht.
  • Jungle Bar and Restaurant, Jerung St, Bang Niang (take the road adjacent to the 7-Eleven towards the beach (Chai Hat Bang Niang Road). Go ~700 m, turn right across from the Mukdara Resort onto a small soi and travel to the end.). 10:00-02:00. Great restaurant for Western and Thai fare at reasonable prices. Serves high quality cocktails. Open year-round. 80-400 Thai Baht.
  • Mars Bar, Central Bang Niang (across the highway from the Tsunami Museum, ~150 m south of the Police Boat). 9:00-24:00. It’s hard to miss the Mars Bar, with its bright orange exterior. And you would not want to miss it. The English proprietor, Mars, runs a great establishment with his Thai partner, Mem. Best coffee in the area and a broad menu that includes home made bread, British staples like bangers & mash, as well as Thai food. Beer & cocktails at very reasonable prices. Great, free Wi-Fi. A favourite feature is the Mars Bar “lending library”, a wide collection of mostly thrillers in English, German, Nordic, and other languages. You won’t find a more welcoming place in Khao Lak. Open year-round. Beer from 70 Thai Baht.
  • Mr. Chay Bar, Bang Niang Market (central Bang Niang on the sea side of highway). 14:00-02:00. Mondays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays, are market days in Bang Niang. Vendors sell everything from clothing to fresh shrimp. There are lots of prepared food stalls to choose from too. On the south side of the market, under a large tamarind tree, you will find this very pleasant and reasonable bar, run by Mr. Chay, who speaks serviceable English and German. A good place to stop to enjoy the passing scene. No Wi-Fi. Open year-round.
  • Moo Moo Cabaret Show, Central Bang Niang (across Rte 4 from Riverside Guest House, sea side of road). Khao Lak’s original (tasteful) cabaret show performed exclusively by lady boys. Cocktails, beer, and soft drinks served. Daily show in high season. No entrance charge. Show time 21:45. Closed low-season.
  • Rusty Pelican Mexican Cafe, 67/139 Moo 5, Bang Niang Beach (turn towards sea at 7-Eleven [Chai Hat Bang Niang Road], then right on Soi Jerung). 12:00-22:00. Nachos, fajitas, frozen margaritas, and ice cold beer. Tacos, burritos and children’s menu. Great music and pool table (competition every Friday night, 20:00). Open for lunch and dinner every day. Free Wi-Fi. 300 Thai Baht.
  • Song’s Bar, Market Fair grounds, Bang Niang (central Bang Niang, behind 7-Eleven on north side of market). Open year-round but hours are variable, opens early evening on market days, M, W, Sa. Funky, open air bar run by Wan. Good music, largely expat clientèle. Very popular, especially on market days (M-W-Sa). Serves bar snacks. Stays open as long as there are customers. No Wi-Fi. Beer: 60 Thai Baht.
  • Star Bar (7-Eleven side of road, just south of the market). Small hostess bar on Rte 4. (updated Jul 2015)
  • Tha Bar (Bang Niang, inland side, near Riverside Guesthouse). 19:00-02:00. Small, fun bar run by a Thai lady named Tha. Very accommodating and friendly. Entertaining bar hostesses. Snooker table. No Wi-Fi. Closed during low season (May-Oct).
  • Zantika Pub, Rte 4, Bang Niang (north end of Bang Niang, sea side of road, well signposted). Gets going around midnight, closes near dawn. The person who came up with the name of this place obviously doesn’t know what a pub is, for this place is a disco for sure. State of the art music system and lighting make this place rock out. Popular with young Thais, but always with a solid contingent of farangs present. No entrance charge. Prices are reasonable. Best fun is to go with a group and buy a bottle instead of individual drinks.

Where to stay in Khao Lak

Hotels Khao Lak: Popularity

HotelStarsDiscountPrice before and discountSelect dates
Moracea by Khao Lak Resort - SHA PLUS★★★★★-14%64 55 View Isaan Hotel Deals
JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa★★★★★-36%111 72 View Isaan Hotel Deals
La Vela Khao Lak - SHA Plus★★★★-17%76 63 View Isaan Hotel Deals
TUI BLUE Khao Lak Resort - SHA Plus★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Ruk Cozy★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Waters Khao Lak by Katathani - SHA Plus★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
X10 Khaolak Resort SHA Plus★★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Nautical Home Khaolak★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Golden PlaceView Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Merlin Resort★★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Briza Beach Resort, Khaolak★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Bhandari Resort & Spa - SHA Plus★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Bay Front Hotel★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Chongfah Beach Resort Khaolak - SHA Plus★★★★-30%86 60 View Isaan Hotel Deals
X2 Khao Lak Anda Mani Resort★★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Wanaburee Resort★★★★-23%67 52 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Laguna Resort - SHA Plus★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Ocean Breeze Resort Khaolak★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
La Flora Khao Lak - SHA Plus★★★★-10%64 58 View Isaan Hotel Deals
Khaolak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa - SHA Plus★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals

A few generalisations

  • Most of the really large, high-end resorts are to be found at the north end of the area. Examples include the Marriott, Sarojin, and Le Meridien. Having said that, excellent resort hotels–albeit on a smaller scale–can be found all along the coastline
  • Generally, room prices are highest in Bang La On, cheaper in Bang Niang, and cheapest in Khuk Khak.
  • Staying south of the headland is probably not a good bet for most visitors. The area is far from the many restaurants and bars to be found in Bang La On and north. While it is relatively inexpensive there, transport costs are likely to eat into any savings.

To the south

  • Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa (turn at vicinity km801). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern, Thai-designed resort on Khao Lak Beach. 1,800-11,000 Thai Baht depending on the room and the season.
  • Poseidon Bungalows, 1/6 Khao Lak, Lam Kaen , ✉, Located 5 or so kilometres south of Bang La On. Adjacent to a small, secluded beach. 2-person bungalow is 900 Thai Baht per night, a 4-person bungalow is 1,400 Thai Baht per night (for 2-persons, 1,200 Thai Baht and for 3-persons, 1,300 Thai Baht). Arranges snorkelling trips to the Similan Islands. MULTIPLE-EMAIL

Bang La On

  • Banana Bungalows, Bang La On (south end of Bang La On, inland side, on Soi Bang La On). Comfortable, unpretentious homey place. Air-conditioning, TV, pool, Wi-Fi, motorbike rental, restaurant on premises. Airport transfer to Phuket: 1,500 Thai Baht (1-6 persons). 600-1,200 Thai Baht depending on room and season.
  • Happy Lagoon Resort, Nang Thong Road, Bang La On (turn towards beach at the Nang Thong Supermarket. ~400 m down on the left). Modern, duplex brick bungalows in a pleasant garden setting with no pool. On-premises bar and restaurant has prices similar to those on the main road. Hot water in the bathrooms. Car parking spaces opposite reception. Is about 200 m to the beach. 700 Thai Baht for a fan room (no TV) in high season and 400 Thai Baht in low season, 1,000 Thai Baht for an air-conditioned room with TV in high season, 600 Thai Baht in low season. Breakfast is not included.
  • Jerung Hotel (central Bang La On, sea side of road). Convenient location in the thick of Bang La On. A modern and friendly place to stay. 1,200-1,500 Thai Baht depending on season.
  • Khao Lak Bhandari Resort, 26/25 Moo 7, Bang La On (turn towards beach at the Nang Thong Supermarket (Nang Thong Road). Turn right at road’s end. Hotel on right, ~75 m). Luxury resort on lovely grounds. Rooms and bungalows finished throughout in rich, exotic wood. Nice pool. Staff great. Off-season rates can be bargained down considerably, don’t be afraid to haggle. Two peculiarities of the place: room numbers in Thai numerals, not Arabic, which can lead to some initial confusion. Poor bathroom lighting means that shaving is essentially done in the dark. Wi-Fi available only in the area of the lobby/restaurant, not in rooms. 2,000-6,000 Thai Baht.
  • 8.63450798.2458952 Seafan Bed & Breakfast, 26/84 Moo 7 Petchkasem Road, Bang La On (Opposite Khaolak Laguna, south end of Bang La On, inland side). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 14 room bed & breakfast. Clean rooms, cosy common area. Free Wi-Fi, complimentary coffee/tea and cookies and great continental breakfast. Delicious European bread: dark and multi-grain. Great mix of Western and touch of Thai with local breakfast dishes and tropical fruit at a very reasonable price. 5 minute walk to Nang Thong Beach and Bang La On’s central shopping and entertainment district. English spoken, staff very helpful. 690-750 Thai Baht.
  • Tiffy’s Cafe & Restaurant, 5/15 Moo 6, Bang La On (north end Bang La On, next to Sea Dragon Dive Center). Free Wi-Fi. Restaurant and bicycle rentals on-site. 180 Thai Baht for a dorm-bed (sleeping 6) to 250 Thai Baht for a dorm bed (sleeping 3) or 400 Thai Baht for a double bed room.

Bang Niang

  • Amsterdam Resort, Bang Niang Soi 3, Bang Niang Beach (at Bang Niang 7-Eleven turn towards sea (Chai Hat Bang Niang Road). Proceed until sea is in view. Turn right on Bang Niang Soi 1. Turn at first right (unnamed street). Turn left at Bang Niang Soi 3. Hotel on left, ~50 m) , ✉ Affordable bungalow resort close to the beach. Different types of bungalows and rooms. Has a restaurant and rents out motorbikes, and there is an computer room, free Wi-Fi and an in-house travel agency. 600-1,100 Thai Baht.
  • Baan Palm Thong Guesthouse, 26/42 Moo 5, Petchkasem Road (central Bang Niang, almost directly across Rte 4 from 7-Eleven). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Open year-round. Big, yellow guesthouse with about 20 air-conditioned rooms with refrigerator, cable TV, hot showers, decent Wi-Fi. Rooms in low-season range from 300-600 Thai Baht, more during high season (Oct-Apr). Clean, great location, easy access to all Khao Lak beaches. Manager’s name is Lek, assistant is Gae. 300-600 low season.
  • Casa de La Flora, 67/213 Moo 5, Bang Niang Beach (left at the Bang Niang 7-Eleven, follow road to end, turn right, hotel on beach front at left). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. One of the Best New Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2012, located directly on the beautiful, palm-fringed Bang Niang beach. Free mini-bar. Studio Pool Villa: 9,951-16,200 Thai Baht; Presidential Suite: 37,315-70,460 Thai Baht depending on season.
  • Chongfah Beach Resort (Chongfah Resort), 54/1 Moo 5, Bang Niang Soi 1 (at Bang Niang 7-Eleven turn towards sea (Chai Hat Bang Niang Road). Proceed until sea is in view. Turn right on Bang Niang Soi 1. Hotel on left, ~50 m). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Deluxe room 3,500 Thai Baht in summer season, 6,300 in high season, 7,800 in peak season.
  • Cousin Resort, Bang Niang. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 13:00. For an air-conditioned bungalow, prices range from 1,000-2,000 Thai Baht depending on the season; an air-con room runs 750-1,500 Thai Baht..
  • La Flora Resort & Spa (turn towards sea at the Bang Niang 7-Eleven onto Chai Hat Bang Niang Road. At ~400 m turn left on Soi Pak Klong Bang Niang (hotel signs posted). At fork in road, ~200 m, bear right. Hotel on right, ~100 m). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 70 rooms and villas. The resort is located on Bang Niang Beach. Deluxe room: 6,345-9,045 Thai Baht; Jacuzzi villa: 25,650-28,350 Thai Baht, depending on season.
  • Motive Cottage, 26/16 Moo 5, Bang Niang (central Bang Niang, across road from 7-Eleven and slightly north ~50 m). Simple resort located in the middle of Bang Niang. 10 minute walk to the beach. Free Wi-Fi. 875-2,300 Thai Baht.
  • Ramada Resort Khao Lak, 59 Moo 5, Bang Niang (turn towards sea at the Bang Niang 7-Eleven onto Chai Hat Bang Niang Road. At ~400 m turn left on Soi Pak Klong Bang Niang (hotel signs posted). At fork in road, ~200 m, bear left. Hotel on right, ~50 m) , ✉, Low season: 3,100-6,900 Thai Baht. MULTIPLE-EMAIL
  • Riverside Guesthouse, Central Bang Niang (Near the stranded Police Boat (same side of road, towards Khao Lak) , ✉ Check-out: 12:00. Clean, reasonably priced guesthouse conveniently located across the highway from the thrice-weekly market (M-W-Sa). Run by the English-speaking Appun (Thai for “Apple”)and her husband. Both are very accommodating and helpful. Motorbike rentals possible also. Rooms range from fan-only to air-conditioning. All rooms with bath en suite. Prices shown are starting prices, longer stays negotiable. Free Wi-Fi. 350-800 Thai Baht.
  • Tony Lodge, 6/27 Moo 5, Bang Niang (~50 m north of the Bang Niang 7-Eleven, inland side of road). All rooms offer air-conditioning, fridge, balcony, safe. Swimming pool. Wi-Fi. 900-1,700 Thai Baht depending on season.

Khuk Khak

  • JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, 41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak (north on Rte 4 past Khuk Khak centre. After ~2 km turn towards beach at the huge JW Marriott sign (km789.1), then follow directional signs) , ✉ Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Voted “one of the world’s top new hotels in 2010” by Condé Nast. Known for its beach, high-end facilities, and the longest swimming pool in Southeast Asia. Low season: 4,320-24,800 Thai Baht.
  • Khao Lak Mountain View Bungalows, 38/45 Moo 4, Khuk Khak (in Khuk Khak, turn at Scandinavian Corner Bar. Go ~4 km to golf driving range) , ✉ Quiet, off-the-beaten-track clean, modern bungalows in a park-like setting well off the main road in Khuk Khak. On the site of a golf driving range which is free for the use of bungalow residents. 10 bungalows in two different sizes: 47 m2 and 62 m2. Each includes weekly cleaning & linen service, TV, air-conditioning. microwave, refrigerator. Daily, weekly, monthly rates. Larger units are 1,000 Thai Baht per day or 12,000 Thai Baht per month. Smaller are 800 Thai Baht/day, or 10,000 Thai Baht/month. Discounted if you stay longer. Internet connection is intermittent and mobile phone signal can be poor.

To the north

  • Haadson Resort, 30/1 Moo 7, Bang Muang, Takua Pa (vicinity km780). Modern Thai-style beach retreat. This is perhaps the northernmost “Khao Lak” hotel. 3,000-7,500 Thai Baht depending on room and season.

Stay safe in Khao Lak

The tsunami on 26 Dec 2004 devastated Khao Lak. It was the hardest hit area in Thailand, with nearly 10,000 recorded deaths–some 2,000 of them tourists. Since that time the government has installed sophisticated warning systems which were lacking in 2004. In Apr 2012 the system was tested by an Indonesian earthquake and performed flawlessly. Sirens alerted the populace, who were able to move to higher ground with more than 2 hours notice of the impending landfall. Should you hear sirens blaring during your stay, immediately move inland to higher ground. In low-lying areas such as Bang Niang and south Bang La On, the tsunami reached Rte 4 and beyond to a depth of at least 5 m. As an additional precaution, go to the U.N.-sponsored Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) and sign up for an alert which will be sent via SMS to your mobile phone (Thai or other SIM card) or via email to your computer .

Stay healthy due to COVID-19 in Khao Lak

  • Clinic Dr Amornrut (central Bang Niang, next to Motive Cottage Resort). Monday to Friday 17:00-20:30; Su 15:00-20:30; closed Sa. Super clean and efficient single doctor clinic for minor ailments and injuries. Includes small pharmacy. 500 Thai Baht doctor’s fee + treatment fee typical.

Telecommunications in Khao Lak

  • Thai SIM cards may be purchased at any 7-Eleven shop for 50 Thai Baht. They are given away free at the Phuket International Airport (if you arrive at a decent hour). One popular card with good coverage in Khao Lak and Thailand in general is 1-2-Call from AIS, Inc.
  • Mobile phones in Thailand have 10 digits, including the leading zero. Land-line telephones have 11 digits, including the leading zero. When calling within Thailand, strip off the country code and add a zero before the number. “+66 76 485762” thus becomes “076 485762”.
  • Western language books and magazines are sold in the Nang Thong Supermarket and in the area’s only bookstore, The Book Tree (Hours: 10:00-20:00).
  • International newspapers are distributed in Khao Lak via the NewspaperDirect Network and can be ordered or bought in some local shops and hotels.
  • There is a post office at the north end of Bang Niang (inland side of road). Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30-16:30, Sa 9:00-12:00. Closed Su. There is another in Lam Kaen, a village about 3 km south of the Khao Lak headland, ~km803.6. Hours are 08:30-16:30 Monday to Friday, closed Saturday to Sunday.
  • Internet cafe: Coffee & Internet, a shop located on the inland side of Rt 4 in Bang Niang, a few hundred metres north of the Bang Niang 7-Eleven. Open 09:00-21:00. Serves good coffee. Has 10+ desktops loaded with Skype, etc., and a printer available for use on a charge per page basis. 40 Thai Baht per hour.
  • The government of Thailand actively censors Internet access. 2010 estimates place the number of blocked websites at 110,000 and growing. Roughly 77% are blocked for reasons of lèse majesté, content (content that defames, insults, threatens, or is unflattering to the king, including national security and some political issues), 22% for pornography, which is illegal in Thailand. Some web pages from BBC One, BBC Two, CNN, Yahoo! News, the Post-Intelligencer newspaper (Seattle, USA), and The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia) dealing with Thai political content are blocked, as is Wikileaks.

Go next

  • Chumphon: A bus (direction: north) comes past the Nang Thong Supermarket in Bang La On at 09:40 and goes to the in-town bus terminal in Chumphon without stopping at the suburban terminal. It arrives there at 16:15. Cost is 260 Thai Baht.
  • Krabi: It’s a bit of a hassle getting to Krabi from Khao Lak. There is rumoured to be a daily minibus. Details are hard to come by. All transport companies in Khao Lak will be glad to drive you there for about 3,000 Thai Baht. Cheaper would be to take any bus north to Takua Pa (they all stop at the bus station there), about 50 Thai Baht, then transfer to a Krabi-bound bus. Alternatively, take a bus south in direction of Phuket, get off at Khok Kloy and take a bus to Krabi there; that’s a bit shorter.
  • Pattaya: There is a daily bus that leaves Phuket, travels through Bangkok in the wee hours of the morning, and deposits you in Pattaya in the morning. And vice-versa. This eliminates the hassle of making bus changes, even bus station changes, in Bangkok. There are several complications, however. From Khao Lak, to catch the bus you must either go to Phuket where it originates, or the Kok Kloi junction, about 1 hour south of Khao Lak, where the bus stops about 19:30 each evening. There are also some hassles buying a ticket as well, as you must pay for and pick up your ticket by 15:00 on the day of departure. Cost is 920 Thai Baht for a regular seat (36 of them) or 1,226 Thai Baht for VIP seating (6 available). See the Sawasdee All Thai Co. website for information.
  • Phang Nga: Phang Nga Bay is well known for its limestone karst islands and formations, including one, James Bond Island, that was featured in the film The Man with the Golden Gun. Head for Phang Nga Town, an hour or so southeast of Bang La On. Tours of the bay and boat rentals can be arranged there.
  • Phuket: Stand anywhere on the inland side of Rte 4 between the hours of 06:00 and 18:00 and a bus bound for Phuket will be along at least once an hour. Flag it down. Buy a ticket on the bus for ~120 Thai Baht. The bus will take you to Phuket City, travel time 2 hours. Change there for Patong and all other Ko Phuket destinations.
  • Ranong: The second-rainiest place in Thailand (first is Khlong Yai on the gulf coast and Cambodian border), home of impressive hot springs, and departure point to Ko Chang off the coast.
  • Similan Islands: An archipelago of nine islands, the Similans are a protected Thai national park hugely popular among divers owing to the spectacular underwater scenery. Park is open Dec-May, closed to visitors the rest of the year. Local dive companies can arrange visits.
  • Surat Thani: Gateway to the gulf coast islands: Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao. Buses bound north for Surat Thani pass through Khao Lak at least once an hour. Flag one down from the sea side of Rte 4. Cost will be about 125 Thai Baht and travel time 3-4 hours depending on the number of stops to pick up or deposit passengers.
  • Mu Ko Surin National Park: Five stunningly beautiful islands 100 km north of the Similans, 60 km off the coast. Open to visitors from 16 Nov-15 May. Local dive companies can arrange visits

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Southern Thailand

Ko Phayam | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Ko Phayam is an island in Ranong Province, Thailand. Contents 1 Understand 2 Get in 2.1 Ferries 3 Get around 4 See 5 Do 6 Buy 7 Eat 8 Drink 9 Where to stay in Ko Phayam 10 Go next Understand Ko Phayam is the second largest Andaman Sea island off the coast of Ranong […]

Wolfgang Holzem



Ko Phayam is an island in Ranong Province, Thailand.


Ko Phayam is the second largest Andaman Sea island off the coast of Ranong Province (Ko Chang, about 4 km distant, is the largest). It lies about 33 km from the mouth of the Ranong River. It is inhabited by about 160 families.

For those who want to get away from it all, Ko Phayam is reminiscent of what Ko Samui was like 30 years ago before the airport and hotel developments.

Ao Yai is the largest bay on the west coast, about 3 km long and 300 m wide, with a grey sand beach.

Ko Phayam is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful Thai islands.

Stay with our Hotel Partners on Ko Phayam

The following hotels and resorts have special safety measures in place due to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.

Get in

Flight service from Bangkok (BKK) to Ranong Airport (UNN) and back daily via Happy Air and from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Ranong and back daily via Nok Air.

Ko Phayam is just over 30 km from Ranong, about 2 hours from the mainland’s Phayam Pier by slow boat, 30-40 minutes by speed boat. The slow boat leaves at 09:00 and 14:00 from the mainland and the same on the return journey. Speed boats depart at different and more frequent schedules (not in low season).


From Ranong to Ko Phayam:

  • Slow boat: 09:30, 14:00 (200 Thai Baht)
  • Speed boat: 10:00, 14:30 (350 Thai Baht)

From Ko Phayam to Ranong:

  • Slow boat: 08:30, 14:00 (200 Thai Baht)
  • Speed boat: 09:00, 10:00, 13:30 (350 Thai Baht)

Get around

Ko Phayam has no roads suitable for automobiles, thus motorbikes are the chief means of transport. Tourists hire motorbikes at the pier and ride along the road to the resorts. No cars on this island. Motorbikes and scooters can be rented at Phayam Cottage Internet Shop near the main arrival ferry pier as well as many other places. The price is roughly 150-200 Thai Baht per day unless heavily booked. Petrol costs 40-50 Thai Baht per litre. If you rent a motorbike don’t drive it on the beach. There are rumours that you can get fined 5,000 Thai Baht because of fine print on the rental agreement. It is also environmentally irresponsible..

Motorbike taxi drivers will be waiting as you step off the pier and can be found around the island, differentiated by their blue or red vests. Maps of the island near the pier are colour coded, showing you what the fixed price is to get to certain areas. 70 Thai Baht from the pier to Ao Yai. Ask your guesthouse to call a taxi bike if you are at the quieter end of the island; otherwise, you may wait longer than you would wish.


There two major beaches/bays, Ao Yai and Ao Kao Kwai (Buffalo Bay). There are many other beautiful beaches, some of them long like Ao Yai, the largest. The ferry pier area is vibrant with restaurants, a few Internet and other shops, and places to settle into a lounge chair or hammock and enjoy a cold drink or two.


In the northwest is Ao Kao Kwai, a quieter beach where the sea is a bit clearer and less polluted. The beach has a more intimate feel, unlike the larger beaches which have more people and more activity although these are still relatively tranquil.

Take yoga or batik courses at PP Land Beach Resort or visit the art shop at Heaven Beach Resort & Art.

If you feel like exploring underwater, a few boats offer dive and snorkelling cruises around the infamous Richelieu Rock, Surin islands and Similan islands, and will pick you up at The Smiling Seahorse. Aladdin Dive Safari offers liveaboard diving from Ko Phayam to the Surin- and Similan Islands and to the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar (Burma). You can also join a a round trip starting from Ko Phayam and dive all the whole west coast up to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang in southern Thailand. Check out as well the diving and snorkeling day trips from Aladdin Dive Safari to Richelieu Rock and the Surin Islands, with pickup at Ko Phayam.


Locally grown cashew nuts.


  • Ao Yai Seafood (On the road to Ao Yai (Long Beach)). Some of the best seafood available and all freshly caught from the fishermen on the island. Their yellow curried crab or tamarind prawns are especially worth a try.
  • Blue Sky. Maybe the most beautiful place to eat at the pier.
  • Cha-Chai Home (Down the main road to Ao Yai (Long Beach) on the corner of the road to Buffalo Bay). A large selection of teas, fresh coffees and shakes. They have an extensive and original vegetarian and vegan menu with Thai, Western. and fusion dishes, including homemade bread, cakes, soya milk, muesli and pizzas, plus curries and other Thai dishes. They offer mock meat alternatives, burgers, sausage sandwiches, ginger chicken or tamarind fish, for vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians. If you have a sweet tooth, they have Thai pancakes, Western crepes or a cake of the day. Additionally, they have a library with books in many languages for rent, exchange or sale; and a gift shop with original art, postcards, teas. Free Wi-Fi with one of the fastest connections on the island. There is a selection of table games, as well as a children’s corner for families. Bicycles and motorbikes for rent. Leave plenty of time for your meal as sometimes you wait for the fresh, homemade food.
  • Home Me (In the village on the road leading away from the pier up to the hospital). Has some great cakes and bread homemade by the owner. Pi Fen, who has more than 20 years baking experience. The menu includes Thai and Western dishes and is a nice small restaurant for breakfast or lunch, especially if you are making a trip to or from Ranong.
  • Paceluce (Snack bar Italiano), Ao Kao Kwai North (Next to Chomjam Resort). closes 17:00. Small Italian family restaurant serving pasta, salads, bruschetti, sandwiches, real coffee, shakes and crepes, all made with fresh ingredients.
  • Phayam Cabana (At the far end of Buffalo Bay). Great Thai food and is well-worth the trip. They have a large restaurant on the seafront with a beautiful view of the ocean and mangroves. Jimmy’s cooking is among the best on the island, especially tom yum gung and chicken massaman curry.


There are many bars and restaurants on the island with quite a few German-speaking guests. Now Scandinavians are starting to discover Ko Phayam.

The island’s official drink is Thai Sangsom rum with fresh Ko Phayam coconut milk.

Some places refill water bottles (roughly 5 Thai Baht per litre). A smart thing to do instead of buying new plastic bottles.

The local village is generally a quiet area, but has a couple of late-night bars.

Where to stay in Ko Phayam

Hotels Koh Phayam: Popularity

HotelStarsDiscountPrice before and discountSelect dates
Rabbit Bungalow★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Sun Resort and Restaurant★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Himmapan Resort★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Nitiporn Resort★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phayam Garden Bungalow★★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phayam Coconut Beach Resort★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
T and T houseView Isaan Hotel Deals
Banana Resort★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phuree Hut★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Sabai Sabai Beach Bungalows★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Sorry No Rice Today and EcoView Isaan Hotel Deals
Chomjan Beach Resort★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lamai Koh Phayam Resort★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phayam HostelView Isaan Hotel Deals
Phayamas Private Beach Resort★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Frog Beach House★★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Lazy Hut★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Phayam Garden View★★View Isaan Hotel Deals
Baan Suan Kayoo Cottage 2View Isaan Hotel Deals
The Best Hostel Koh PayamView Isaan Hotel Deals
  • Chomjan Resort (On Ao Khao Kwai on the west side of Ko Phayam). A good place for relaxing and enjoying the environment. The rooms are private and comfortable, and each bungalow comes with fan. Excellent facilities, including a Thai restaurant with great Thai cuisine.
  • Coconut Beach Resort (Coconut Bungalows), 14 Moo 1, Ao Yai (Down Ao Yai Beach, past South Star Bar, before Ao Yai Bungalows. Around 500 m down from the taxi stop.). Check-in: All day, check-out: 12:00. The bungalows are well-fitted out, if a little rustic, and the food at the bar is fantastic. The family that run the resort provide a warm welcome and excellent service. A beautiful location directly on the beach. 300-1,000 Thai Baht.
  • Contact Bungalows. Has unsecure bungalows for 200 Thai Baht (double bed, mosquito net, sit-down toilet, shower) and 300 Thai Baht. Near a rocky beach. Serves food (60+ Thai Baht). 200-300 Thai Baht.
  • Heaven Beach Resort & Art (In the middle of Buffalo Bay). A small luxury resort on Ao Kai Kwai Beach. 50 m2 bungalows with hot/cold open air showers, spacious porches and a cosy restaurant on the beach. The same owners as PP Land Beach Resort, so customers of Heaven Beach are allowed to use all the PP Land facilities. Excellent cocktails and a good Western/Thai menu. It has a great laid back feel and is perfect for watching the sunset or enjoying a delicious lunch on the beach while children play with the toys provided.
  • PP Land Beach Beach Resort. A small resort run by Paul from Belgium and Pearl from Thailand. All bungalows are built to Western standards in an old cashew garden, next to a 300 m private beach. There is free Wi-Fi and a swimming pool and they organise boat tours for customers. The restaurant is open all day and on the rooftop terrace they have a pool table.
  • Sabai Sabai Bungalows. A charming place with an informal, friendly atmosphere. Has 8 simple, but stylish, themed (e.g., India, Africa, Cuba) beachfront bungalows. Also a restaurant serving sociable family-style meals, a cool lounge area showing movies and sports, an abundance of hammocks in which to relax, and a small sailing boat and a kayak for its customers. The Coconut Bar and the comfy hammock-filled Shisha Lounge are also both on-premises, and the establishment hosts beach parties fortnightly. 200-500 Thai Baht.

Go next

  • Boats go from Ko Phayam to Ko Chang some weekdays at 16:00. Boats do not sail on Saturday to Sunday.
  • Buses from Ranong bus station to Chumphon, Khao Lak, and Phuket, seven times a day. (Phuket Town: ~6 hours, 240 Thai Baht)

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