Zooming around on two wheels. The warmth of the sun kissing my skin and my arms wrapped around my hunky man in front. Spending our days hunting down the BEST beaches on Koh Lanta are some of my favourite memories of Thailand.

The beaches on Koh Lanta are some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever laid eyes on. There is a little something for everyone – whether you want peace and quiet, or lively nightlife, there is a lot to offer on this small island. 

Unlike Koh Lanta’s neighbours *cough* Koh Phi Phi *cough*, the beaches on the island are not overrun and you don’t have to fight for a spot on the sand. If you’re lucky, you may even be the only person on some of them. Yes, these places like this still exist in Thailand. 

There’s no competition for me on the best island in Thailand. For me, it’s Koh Lanta every time.

But to tell you the truth, I am completely biased. I’ve spent most of the last 12 months living on the island and it has become my home away from home. I have visited every beach on the island (multiple times).

So, with me as your semi-local guide, let’s dive into the BEST beaches on Koh Lanta and what makes them special.

dani about to go snorkelling in thailand
Let’s dive straight into the best beaches on Koh Lanta
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

When to Go to Beaches on Koh Lanta

As you’ll notice when backpacking Thailand, the country operates on some pretty set seasons, and Koh Lanta is no different. The high season is from January to May and is the best time to visit Koh Lanta’s dazzling beaches. The island has an undeniable buzz to it during these months as it shakes off its low-season blues and welcomes us travellers in with open arms.

The vibes are high and the beaches are drop-dead gorgeous in high season. When Lanta shines, it shines bright.

The east coast of Koh Lanta is armed with some of the most incredible beaches EVER. You know when you google image search Thailand beaches? That’s the level I’m talking about. White sand, turquoise waters, swaying palm trees… the whole shebang.

I wish I could say there is never a bad time to visit Koh Lanta’s BEAUTIFUL beaches, but there definitely is. Koh Lanta’s monsoon season hits from around June to December. The wind changes, the water turns choppy and the colour of the sea becomes less inviting.

view down long beach, koh lanta, thailand
A rare sighting of a quiet Long Beach.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
  • Who It’s For: Those who like being in the action, who enjoy paddleboarding and having shade to relax under.
  • Don’t Miss: Watching the sunset from one of the beach bars with a beer in hand.

One of the things I love about beaches on Koh Lanta is that they often are what the name says. And Long Beach is well… long! Meaning that, although it’s the most popular beach on Koh Lanta, there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy it. 

Long Beach will not only bless you with its endless stretches of white sand and clear blue seas but it is also lined with restaurants, bars and resorts. It’s not as intense as it sounds – most of the restaurants and bars are not too built up and the resorts are no more than two storeys high.

Another reason it’s so popular is that it’s not as impacted by the tides as other beaches, you can pretty much swim here all day long.

harvey in a hammock between the trees, on a beach in thailand
How’s it hangin’, Harv?
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

In fact, it’s actually pretty cool. There are loads of places to enjoy a drink at sunset, enjoy a fire show, play volleyball, take out a paddle board or just jump in for a dip. There are a few spots around where you can set up your travel hammock and chill in the trees.

When deciding where to stay in Koh Lanta, staying near Long Beach is a good idea if you want to be close to all the action.

Best Places to Stay Near Long Beach/Phra Ae:

Best Luxury Place to Stay
Long Beach Chalet SHA Extra Plus
Best Luxury Place to Stay

Long Beach Chalet – SHA Extra Plus

I’m a big fan of this spot. I have spent A LOT of time at their on-site cafe called Escape Cafe. The property is seriously amazing; right on the beach, with a pool, bar, restaurant and cafe on your doorstep.

Best Budget Place to Stay
Blanco Hostel Lanta
Best Budget Place to Stay

Blanco Hostel Lanta

This hostel provides every time. Most of my friends who came to visit stayed here and absolutely raved about it. It’s super social, has clean rooms and even has a pool! Not to mention, you’re mere steps from the beach.

Most Beautiful Beach on Koh Lanta | Bamboo Beach

harvey at the beach in thailand
One mango shake, please.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
  • Who It’s For: Those who want to travel off-the-beaten path and to more secluded beaches.
  • Don’t Miss: A mango shake and a swing on the swingset. Then heading down to the National Park (next door) for more exploring.

Guys, this one was tough. I tossed up between Bamboo and Nui Bay for the most beautiful beach on Koh Lanta. But I’ve gone for the BEAUTIFUL Bamboo Beach.

This is one of the most southern beaches on the island. So far south, it is often pretty quiet. Some days we were the only ones there!

Bamboo beach is fairly long so you can walk down and perch up wherever tickles your fancy. There’s only one resort that lines this beach and one wooden hut that sells a range of smoothies, ice-creams and other foods. 

Although it feels like an off-the-beaten-track beach, it’s also one of the best in terms of facilities. You’ll find shade areas have been built, there’s a swing set AND an outdoor shower. It’s an easy spot to spend the day that’s for sure. 

dani on a swing set by the beach in thailand
My view was even better than this!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

Take a good book with you and just spend a day relaxing. Soak in the beautiful views and feel that escapism away from all the touristy spots.

If you continue to drive about five minutes past the entrance to Bamboo Beach, you’ll come to the Koh Lanta National Park which is also a great day out. There’s a nice walk through the jungle where you’ll find monkeys, lizards and more (if you’re lucky).

As it’s nearly at the bottom of the island and away from a lot of the tourist hot spots, there are limited places to stay. However, I’ve noted the best (and only) place to stay below.

Best Place to Stay Near Bamboo Beach:

Best Place to Stay
LaLaanta Hideaway Resort
Best Place to Stay

LaLaanta Hideaway Resort

If you want a remote stay near the beach, this is it. Nestled into Bamboo Beach, this hotel offers artistic seclusion with a private beach, two pools and beachfront dining – a tranquil paradise.

Small Pack Problems? 😉

Wanna know how to pack like a pro? Well for a start you need the right gear….

These are packing cubes for the globetrotters and compression sacks for the real adventurers – these babies are a traveller’s best kept secret. They organise yo’ packing and minimise volume too so you can pack MORE.

Or, y’know… you can stick to just chucking it all in your backpack…

Get Yours Here Read Our Review

Best Beach on Koh Lanta for Swimming | Beautiful Beach

dani at beautiful beach in koh lanta, thailand
Yep, the water is THAT blue.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
  • Who It’s For: Those who want to snorkel, grab a beer or just relax at a beautiful beach.
  • Don’t Miss: Walk across to the sunset rock point just south of the beach.

Beautiful Beach is one of my favourite beaches on the island. It’s a smaller beach, with just a couple of huts offering beers, coconuts, food and massages. It’s away from the hustle and bustle and really makes you feel like you’re on a tranquil, secluded island.

The sand is LUSH, the palm streets line the sand (perfect for a portable hammock set up) and the water is crystal. There is some pretty cool life under the sea here that you won’t want to miss out on! So be sure to BYO snorkel as you won’t find a rental place for them when you arrive.

This beach can get pretty busy at sunset because it is a seriously nice spot for it. Grab an ice-cold Chang (or my fav, a Singha) and say goodbye to the burning ball of fire in the sky as it drops over the horizon. 

Beautiful Beach also hosts local festivals from time to time. From music to food – so keep an eye out for those, they can be a lot of fun.

As it’s fairly secluded from the main road, there is nowhere to stay that is directly on the beach. However, I’ve noted my favourite places nearby below.

Best Places to Stay Near Beautiful Beach:

Best Luxury Place to Stay
Arthaya Villas
Best Luxury Place to Stay

Arthaya Villas

If you’re after a peaceful escape in pure luxury, Arthaya is the perfect place for you. You’ll be a 10-15 minute walk from Beautiful Beach and when you’re not lounging on the sand, you can relax by the pool or indulge in the on-site cafe.

Best Budget Place to Stay
Lanta Beautiful Beach House
Best Budget Place to Stay

Lanta Beautiful Beach House

Offering simple but comfy rooms with a semi-equipped kitchen and a small terrace, Lanta Beautiful Beach House is the perfect budget place to stay if you’re keen to be close to the beach.

Best Beach on Koh Lanta to Experience Local Culture | Klong Dao

Klong Dao beach on koh lanta, thailand
She’s a stunner.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
  • Who It’s For: Families and travellers who enjoy relaxing at resorts and beachfront restaurants.
  • Don’t Miss: The nightly fire shows at the restaurants or snorkelling at the north end of the beach.

Klong Dao is ideal for long walks, dinners on the beach and experiencing local culture. The white sand is so fine on this beach that it feels like you’re walking on powder.

Like Long Beach, you’ll find this beach lined with food, drinks and places to stay. Loads of restaurants organise fire shows in the evening for guests to marvel at.

From my experience, this beach was also super popular with the locals, especially at the top of the beach. There are a few food stalls and areas where fishermen are sorting through their catch of the day.

The true locals of this beach are pretty friendly, they roam around on four legs and are extremely cute. However, they are quite territorial. These pups love to bark at each other and make a bit of a scene sometimes.

dog take over of my towel and things on a beach
Making themselves right at home.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

I loved coming to Klong Dao for my morning and evening walks. The sand is pretty firm and you’ll find it’s a popular place to take a stroll. The mornings are like a highway of travellers getting in their dose of exercise.

There are a few boats that come and go from this beach as it’s a popular pickup spot for those doing the popular four-island snorkelling tour. This tour is great but if you LOVE snorkelling, I preferred the Koh Rok and Koh Haa tour – we saw loads of coral and fish that we didn’t see on the four islands tour.

Best Places to Stay Near Klong Dao:

Best Luxury Place to Stay
Twin Lotus Resort and Spa – Adult Only Hotel
Best Luxury Place to Stay

Twin Lotus Resort and Spa – Adult Only Hotel

This adult-only paradise has everything you could ever want on-site, it’s literally a luxury village on the beach. Home to a pool (on the beach), a restaurant, a spa, and an exercise room, plus they put on a load of activities to get involved in.

Best Budget Place to Stay
Little Beach Garden
Best Budget Place to Stay

Little Beach Garden

There is just something about this place that feels warming and magical. With dorm beds and private rooms available in beach huts, this place is paradise.

Quietest Beach on Koh Lanta | Secret Beach

  • Who It’s For: Those wanting some privacy away from the crowds.
  • Don’t Miss: Snorkelling around the rocks and relaxing under the trees. It’s a cool point to set up your travel hammock if you have one. My favourite is the Klymit Traverse Double Hammock.

Mmm, I’m not going to lie… I was debating whether to let you in on this secret or whether I wanted to keep it all to myself. But it’s too amazing not to tell you. 

Secret Beach cannot be accessed directly, you can either walk from Beautiful Beach or from Relax Bay (another nice beach with a few bars). It is nestled snugly between the two. Now it’s over to you to discover the tracks from either end of those beaches to get there – don’t worry it’s not too hard to find.

Most mornings that we arrived at Secret Beach, it was just us there. This beach has no shops selling anything, so be sure to bring everything you want… or you could stroll the beach to Beautiful/ Relax. 

Secret Beach is a small coved area, the sand is lush and the sea is beautiful. The surrounding area is jungle and palm trees. It’s likely you’ll come across cows on your wander to the beach, these guys sometimes like to hang out on the beach too which is pretty fun. 

Take your snorkel if you’re heading to Secret Beach, it’s not the best snorkelling in the world but I’ve seen some pretty cool sea life and coral here. Especially around the rocky areas on either side.

Speaking of rocky areas, when the tide is out, the beach is not ideal for swimming. It can be done! But it can be pretty rocky and shallow to try to get out in. 

Best Places to Stay Near Secret Beach:

Best Luxury Place to Stay
Lanta Casa Blanca
Best Luxury Place to Stay

Lanta Casa Blanca

If you want to stay on the beach, in your own luxury paradise – Lanta Case Blanca ticks ALL the boxes you could imagine. The resort backs onto Relax Bay, so you can spend your days swimming out the front or walking 5 minutes along to cut through to Secret Beach.

Best Budget Place to Stay
Queen Lanta Resort
Best Budget Place to Stay

Queen Lanta Resort

Queen Lanta Resort holds a special place in my heart. I stayed here for nearly five months! The beautiful family who run the place offer cosy rooms, the best service and they have a BANGIN cafe on-site. If you stay here, say hi from me!

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

Best Beach for Watersports on Koh Lanta | Nui Bay

nui bay in koh lanta, thailand
Worth the mini-trek down.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
  • Who It’s For: Snorkellers, kayakers and those just wanting to relax on a quiet beach.
  • Don’t Miss: A massage and a coconut at the two small shacks on the beach.

Nui Bay is seriously special… not to be confused with Nui Beach which is further north. Nui Bay is a hidden gem toward the south, just past Kantiang Bay.

When you arrive, it’s hard to notice the entrance. There is a small hill to get down to the beach, and then you will be treated to the view across this perfect little cove-shaped bay. 

Again, two simple shacks line the beach one selling food and drinks and another offering massage and kayak rentals. The sea is usually glassy and flat here, perfect for paddling around and exploring what’s nearby.

The sand and sea are seriously DAZZLING. We usually snorkelled on the right-hand side of the beach, near the rocks. Here you’ll find vibrant coral and fish. 

Its only downfall is that doesn’t have a lot of shade. Koh Lanta’s weather can produce some seriously hot days. If you have an umbrella I’d bring it and make sure you take some good suncream. 

empty beach at nui bay, koh lanta, thailand
All to ourselves.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

It is also prone to a few furry visitors in the evenings who like to start encouraging beach-goers to get off their beach. The monkeys can be pretty cheeky on this beach, so watch out for your things. 

There is accommodation within easy access to Nui as it’ll get you travelling off the beaten path, but I’ve given the best resort and hostel in Koh Lanta that are close to Nui Bay below.

Best Places to Stay Near Nui Bay:

Best Luxury Place to Stay
Anda Lanta Resort
Best Luxury Place to Stay

Anda Lanta Resort

Located right on Klongjark Beach, this beach resort offers cosy rooms, a lush pool and an on-site restaurant and bar. If you can pull yourself away, you’re just a short drive around the corner to Nui Bay.

Best Budget Place to Stay
Aha Lanta Cozy Hostel
Best Budget Place to Stay

Aha Lanta Cozy Hostel

This is my kind of hostel. The hostel has created the perfect space to socialise and meet other travellers without the party vibe. A yummy breakfast is included and you’re not too far (by bike) from Nui Bay.

Best Beach for Families on Koh Lanta | Kantiang Bay

  • Who It’s For: Those after tranquil but lavish vibes. It’s also the perfect spot for families.
  • Don’t Miss: Heading to Phu Pha View Restaurant for dinner with a VIEW.

Kantiang Bay is a beautiful beach hidden away from the masses. Mostly, the regular tourists who hang out on these beaches stay in the boujee resorts along the beach (I’m looking at you Pimalai). This means that the beach is often pretty quiet as these resorts are like mini-retreats that often people never leave!

The beach itself is fairly south, close to Nui Bay meaning that it’s away from a lot of the northern busyness. The vibe of the beach is upmarket, uncrowded and serene.

It is lovely for hanging out, splashing around in the sea and enjoying a drink at one of the small restaurants on the beach. It’s backed by lush forest and hills adding to its picture-perfect views.

view over kantiang bay from restaurant
Lunch with a view.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

There is a delicious restaurant called Phu Pha View Restaurant that looks over Kantiang Bay that I would 100% recommend. Get a front-row seat and enjoy the view while tucking into some delicious Thai food

Best Places to Stay Near Kantiang Bay:

Best Luxury Place to Stay
Pimalai Resort & Spa
Best Luxury Place to Stay

Pimalai Resort & Spa

Guys, this is seriously the creme de la creme. It is the nicest place I’ve ever seen… I can’t even begin to explain it – other than it is PURE luxury and has everything you would ever need on-site. I mean the reviews speak for themselves. If you want luxury, trust me, this is where you want to stay.

Best Budget Place to Stay
Cashewnut Tree Resort
Best Budget Place to Stay

Cashewnut Tree Resort

Set in a gorgeous garden environment, just five minutes from the beach, this place is the best budget accommodation nearby. If you need a break from the sun, you’re close to plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy and full too.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Koh Lanta

Unfortunately, things can go wrong when you least expect it. This is why good travel insurance is essential before you head on your trip to Koh Lanta.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on the Best Beaches on Koh Lanta

Too many travellers miss Koh Lanta off their southern Thailand itinerary. Secretly, I suppose I’m happy as it helps to keep Koh Lanta a hidden secret between those who know of its magic. But I also can’t help but want to encourage everyone to marvel at its beauty, jump in its waters and experience its charm.

The best way to get around Koh Lanta and uncover its beauty is by scooter. It’s a bloody vibe to drive around the coastal roads, looking out for monkeys and feeling the warmth of the sun kiss your skin – but be careful out there. Look out for potholes and wear your helmet.

Whether you’re up for the excitement of a fire show on the beach or down to dive deep to see vibrant corals – there are loads of beaches to explore. Most of the action is up the north of the island and things chill out the further south you get. But if you stick to the East Coast, you’ll find beautiful beaches the whole way along.

Let me know which beach is your favourite in the comments. 

sunset on relax bay on koh lanta, thailand
When the sun sets, you’ll find me here. Singha in hand.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
Looking for more info on travelling to Koh Lanta and Thailand?

Made it this far?
You get 15% OFF to book a place to stay!
Offer valid exclusively for Broke Backpackers 😉