70km (43 miles) SE of Krabi
The two islands of Ko Lanta Yai (Big Lanta Island) and Ko Lanta Noi (Small Lanta Island) are a few hours' road and boat trip from Krabi airport. In a few years, Ko Lanta Yai has already become a bohemian alternative to heady Samui, or pricey Phuket. However, the island is big enough that, during the high season (Nov-Mar), small pockets of seclusion can be found -- especially in the far south and over on the east coast, where Muslim fishing villagers carry on with their traditional economy, ignoring the rolling cement trucks and bangs of construction on the upper west coast, where most resorts are located. Despite the island's growing popularity, the endless white-sand beaches are far from crowded. A great mix of international visitors ensures excellent nightlife, with a good array of funky bars and small dance clubs. During March, when the crowds have left, regional locals head to historic Lanta Old Town for the annual Laanta Lanta Festival -- a celebration of street art, performance, cultural shows, music, dance, fun, and games.