Ko Lanta is a beautiful island in southern Thailand, near Ko Phi Phi and Phuket, but much quieter and more laid back. How do you get to Ko Lanta?
There are many ways you can get to Ko Lanta, depending on factors such as:
- where you’re coming from
- what your budget is
- how much time you’ve got
- your sense of adventure
In this post, I’m going to focus on flying to Ko Lanta from Bangkok – and touch on a few others.
Getting to Ko Lanta by flying from Bangkok
Ko Lanta does not have its own airport, which is good and bad. It means getting here can take a bit of effort, however it also helps to keep the island more quiet and relaxed than, say Phuket.
The closest airport for getting to Ko Lanta is Krabi Airport. There are many flights each day between Bangkok and Krabi – I decided to go with Thai Airways flight 251, which leaves Bangkok at 13:15, landing in Krabi at 14:35. I wouldn’t recommend landing much later than this, as the last minibus that goes to Ko Lanta leaves at 4pm. If you miss this then you’ll either need to pay for an expensive private transfer to the island, or stay the night in Krabi.
I chose the Thai Airways flight, over the budget airlines for a few reasons:
- It wasn’t actually any more expensive – at $60 AUD
- Checked baggage is included (although I’m travelling with a carry on sized bag, it’s currently overweight & has liquid toiletries in it)
- Included a small meal and drink
- Flies from Bangkok’s main airport – Suvarnabhumi – which I already knew how to get to
When you land at Krabi Airport
After you collect your luggage, and walk out of the terminal, you’ll see the concourse with several shops, seats etc. One of the first shop fronts that will probably grab your attention is the one selling bus tickets to Krabi Town for about 90 baht. There is often a queue of people here – this is great if you’re going Krabi Town, or Ao Nang – BUT NOT IF YOU’RE GOING TO KO LANTA!
They may try to tell you they can sell you transfers to the island, however it’s not the cheapest or quickest option.
Instead, look to the left of them – to the left of the doors out to the road. You’ll see two shop fronts selling tours etc. and also transfers to Ko Lanta. I used the one on the very left, I’m not sure if the other one sells tickets for the same minibus or other options.
For 400 Baht (about $15 AUD), you’ll get a shared minibus from the airport direct to your hotel on Ko Lanta. The woman was very helpful and friendly – took the details of the hotel I was staying at, filled in some paperwork and gave me my ticket in an envelope. My minibus was due to leave at 3pm, so I had about a 20 minute wait. She said to meet back at her shop at 3pm and they’d take me to the minibus.
Great service! 🙂
The Minibus Ride from Krabi Airport to Ko Lanta
While I was waiting in the airport for my transfer, it started raining. I don’t mean a bit of drizzle – I mean POURING – proper tropical rain. I mean, you’d drown trying to cross the road.
When I went back to the shop I’d bought my ticket from, a guy met me there. He said that the minibus was going to collect me from the terminal rather than at the main entry where it normally does – so I don’t need to walk in the crazy storm. I was very appreciative of this!
The bus was going to stop at a different terminal – about a 5 minute walk away – and this lovely guy led me there. He then waited with me until the minibus showed up, and ensured I got on the right bus. Once I was on board, we just sat there for about another half hour, apparently waiting for some people who’d booked but were running late. Once they were aboard, we left.
The advantage of this delay, was the storm had mostly passed by the time we were driving!
The drive was quite interesting. You go along a variety of different roads, and then a car ferry to the first Ko Lanta island (it’s actually several islands, with 2 big main ones). There used to be another ferry to the next island, however they’ve recently built a bridge. This is great, as it reduces delays along the way.
About 2 hours after we left the airport, I arrived at my hotel.
Other ways to get to Ko Lanta
- Fly to Krabi from somewhere other than Bangkok – it’s an international airport, so you have several options. Check out Google Flights for routes, airlines, times & prices
- Fly to Phuket Airport – Phuket has a larger airport with flights from a larger variety of places. You can then get to Ko Lanta by minibus and boat, however it takes longer and costs more than from Krabi
- Night bus from Bangkok to Ko Lanta
- Night train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, bus to Krabi, minibus to Ko Lanta
- Boat from nearby islands – if you’re already in southern Thailand, you’ll be able to get a ferry or minibus (or combination) to Ko Lanta. Check with your hotel or a travel shop nearby
Have you travelled to Ko Lanta? Which route did you take? Would you recommend it to others?
Let us know in the comments section below! 🙂