“You can’t visit Thailand Islands with your kid without going to Lanta!”. That’s what we’ve heard from our friends that spent the last few winters over there. “Just go for one day and visit The Indian Bar in Klong Dao in the evening. If you don’t like it, you can go back to Phuket the next morning, as Lanta is not for you. But I think you’ll love it and will return on this island again and again!”
Challenge accepted! We took the ferry, checked in at the hotel and, late afternoon, took a scooter to explore the area. As the sun was about to fade in the sea, we reached the tiny beach bar with reggae music. Lots of kids were playing in the area, this was the first bar I’ve seen to have beach toys! An old guy was doing magic with large soap balloons, through the delight of the little ones. There’s no better feeling than having a cocktail sitting on the sand, with your kid having fun nearby. Add an island sunset in all shades of orange, pink and purple and life can’t get better than this! So we had a few mojitos and mango daiquiris at The Indian! After it was getting dark, it was time for a fire show, which was amazing for us too, not just for the little ones. Some of the older kids were trying some fire tricks too, so I understood they are regular “customers” over here. The place has such a good vibe that is impossible not to return.
The perfect family destination
During the following next days we realised Koh Lanta is specially designed to cater for families. All the restaurants, bars or massage saloons on the beach had toys or some kind of entertainment for the young guests, so that the parents could peacefully enjoy their time. Plus that Thai people are very nice and friendly with the little ones. The island has that particular mood that we haven’t experienced ever since we left Bonaire. No wonder people say “there is continental time and there is island time”. Everywhere you go on Koh Lanta you find the same relaxed, laid back atmosphere.
No wonder there are lots of Europeans that chose Lanta to spend the winter season! This is actually the best time to be here. December to February are the best months to travel to Lanta, with November and March as shoulder season. Beginning of April was already quite hot, but the locals explained there worst is yet to come in terms of heat. Then it follows the rainy season, June to October, when many touristic places are closed and even the ferry runs on a reduced schedule.
The popularity among tourists developed Lanta lot during the last years. Apart from local Thai restaurants, you find chic coffee shops, authentic pizza places or Greek taverns like on a Mediterranean island, mostly ran by foreigners that chose Lanta as their second home. But, unlike Phuket, this didn’t spoil the island’s authentic charm. At least not yet!
The beaches on the northern side are a bit more popular and developed. But the more you go south, you will see less and less tourists. You’ll find here even more peace and tranquility, on wild, empty beaches. Just beware of the monkeys! Lanta is their home so they might assault your stuff left on the beach.
We took an island tour on the scooter one morning and enjoyed a lot the scenic road. It tales you parallel to the coast and then through the green lush jungle. We briefly visited the Old Town too, a tiny village from a different time. Just a few souvenir shops remind you there are also tourists over here!
Where to stay in Koh Lanta with kids
You can find any type of accommodation in Koh Lanta. The most popular option is a beach bamboo bungalow, right on the sand, very friendly with your budget. But you can also find nice hotels, with all the amenities you might need. I was pleasantly to find here awesome family-friendly properties, but also adult-only ones, so you can find you perfect spot no matter your preference.
As we were traveling for the last few months, staying maximum 3 nights in one place, we wanted a nice place in Lanta, where Eric could play and have everything he needs. So we spent a few nights at Lanta Sand Resort & Spa, which is among the best family hotels over here. Located in Long Beach, on a large property, it is the perfect resort if you visit Lanta with kids.
We had a spacious beach villa, just steps away from the sea. Recently renovated, it was modern and nicely decorated in bright colours. It also feature a terrace with direct access to the swimming pool. We had a very comfortable stay here, as the villa is very well insulated from the outside, and the setup offers enough privacy.
There are several other room options available at Lanta Sand, to accommodate for various budgets and family sizes. We also loved the idea that some of the family rooms have the balcony turned into a small pool, perfect to quickly refresh from the heat. For the guest staying in the main building, there is another large pool nearby, with sun lounges, surrounded by lush gardens.
Honestly, if it was just about myself, I could just stay the whole day on the terrace of our villa. Actually I spend enough time over there; watching the sea to clear my mind of all the worries is the perfect way to get inspired to write or plan for the future. But Eric needs to be entertained and gets bored easily. Luckily, Lanta Sand Resort & Spa offers enough attractions for kids.
We spent a few hours each morning on the beach, playing with sand, building castles or swimming. Long Beach features fine sand and the sea is calm and shallow, which makes it the perfect spot for young kids. Later in the morning, as it was getting quite hot, we moved our activities in the indoor play area. Located in the middle of the property, it features lots of toys to keep the kids busy far from the scorching sun. The playground is close to the gym and includes a small swimming pool, where inflatable toys are available. After lunch on the beach terrace and a well deserved nap, we continued our routine with a refreshing swim in the pool, followed by another play session on the beach. I loved to spend the evening here, just to watch the sunset and enjoy the moment. I guess there is something magical with sunsets on a island, they are different each evening, but perfect every time!
Pin for later
Disclosure: We were hosted by Lanta Sand Resort & Spa, in exchange for an honest review. As always, all the opinions expressed here are our own.