A long-time favourite with backpackers, Koh Lanta is an enchanting place that has something for all ages and budgets. The twin islands of Koh Lanta Yai (big) and Koh Lanta Noi (small) are connected by a short road bridge. Both feature a number of superb resorts and hotels, with the former the more popular thanks to its glorious white sand beaches. Relaxation is almost compulsory here, taking you far away from the everyday and offering much-needed time out. There are no motorised watersports or even long-tail boats allowed on the beaches and only the resort’s excursion boats are permitted, making it refreshingly peaceful.
Take a trip to Ban Saladan in the north – an old fishing village with a good night market and a selection of restaurants and bars; ideal for both honeymooners and families. The southern area of the island is a national park that’s home to an abundance of easily-spotted wildlife including monkeys, lizards, geckos and various species of bird. The island can be very quiet from May to October, and some local restaurants and bars do close during this time.
GMT +7 hours
· Although the islands are very accustomed to tourists, try to respect the local culture by dressing modestly away from beaches and resorts and refraining from excessive displays of public affection.
· Avoid drinking the tap water – bottled or purified water is a safer bet.
· It's customary to porters and hotel staff who have provided good service. Similarly, consider tipping 10-15 per cent in restaurants if a service charge hasn't been added to your bill.