Welcome to Ko Lanta Old Town.
Whether you are going to, or coming from Langkawi, or just cruising around, make Lanta Old town one of your stops. The anchorage here offers year round protection and no swells!
There is all tide access to the town via the pier and, at high water, you can bring your dinghy right to the beach. (be careful though as the shore dries out for up to 100 meters at low water springs! As a general rule, when the water gets to the level of the bottom of the horizontal concrete part of the pier at the second steps (shown as 2.2m on the tide tables for Pak Nam Krabi), it’s time to head to the boat on a falling tide or head to the beach on a rising tide) The beach is mainly sand and small stones with the occasional patch of mud and is generally OK for dinghy wheels. There are soon to be some improvements made to the pier to make access easier (a dinghy dock) but in the meantime it is best to tie your dinghy fore and aft from the end of the pier to the railing to avoid contact with barnacles and to keep your dinghy away from other traffic. Note: be careful when going to or from the beach at lower waters, there is a large obstruction underwater about midway down the pier, on the North side. It is only visible at LWS. You should stand off the pier by at least 50m to avoid it.
Once you are ashore, enjoy a walk through this beautiful, friendly town and you will find many restaurants from cheap (50bt) to more expensive (150bt) and with a range of dishes that reflect the diverse population of the town. If you are in need of provisions there are a few shops around town that have good supplies of fresh (and well kept) fruit and veg, chicken, pork, beef and seafood and on….. Sunday mornings there is a colourful market at the end of the pier. (there is also an ATM machine if you’ve arrived without Thai currency) There are 2 hardware stores in the town with a growing supply of stuff for boats. Bottled drinking water and ice can be found around the town until around 9pm and if you need larger quantities, these can be delivered to the end of the pier in the mornings, from about 6am. Normal (non-drinking) water can be obtained from the end of the pier.
A new museum has just opened not far from the end of the pier and offers a view of Lanta and Old Town over the many years of it’s existence.
Not far from the town is Lanta Hospital which offers basic facilities for accident victims (x-rays, stitching, splints etc) as well as normal care for fevers and the like. There is also a small clinic and pharmacy not far from the end of the pier but this has no fixed opening hours. Most of the general stores also keep a supply of things like Paracetamol, Imodium, plasters etc.
Accommodation is available around the town from around 400 bt/per night for basic up to 2000bt for your own suite with deck overlooking the anchorage and surrounding islands. There are a growing number of houses over the sea, that are available for longer term rental from around 25,000bt per month. E-mail facilities are available at most restaurants and guest houses and a community shop not for from the pier. Printing and photocopying are also available.
If you want to check-in or out, it’s easy to get to Krabi town by road on the hourly aircon mini-vans that leave from Old Town. (250bt) and in the high season (NE monsoon) there are ferries to Krabi and Phuket too. The new international airport in Krabi has regular flights to BKK, KL and Singapore and thence the rest of the world!
Cars, motorbikes and private taxis can all be arranged at short notice and a short but beautiful ride over the mountains will bring you to the beaches, bars and restaurants of the West coast. A slightly longer, and even more beautiful ride will bring you to Saladan at the north of the island, where you’ll find more shops, banks and supermarkets.
The surrounding islands are many and beautiful, offering beaches, caves, and mangroves and can be explored by your own means, or you can relax and take a longtail tour. The depth of the water between old town and the surrounding islands is fairly shallow but can be navigated at anything above LWS if your draft is 2.0m or less. If you get it wrong, it’s a soft landing! Once you get to the outer islands the depth is fine and there are many good anchorages for both seasons, all with good holding. If you go further afield to the mainland coast east of Ko Lanta you will find many beaches and river inlets to explore. Check it out on ‘Google Earth’.
So there you have it, ‘Lanta Old Town’ a haven of peace and tranquillity for both you, and your boat!