The nearest airports are Krabi, Trang and Phuket. Krabi and Trang have direct road and boat connections to Ko Lanta, and are the best options if you're only visiting Ko Lanta. Flying into Phuket is a better option if you're intending to spend time in Phuket and nearby islands, or, since Phuket has many more international flights, if you don't want to have to organize a domestic flight to Krabi or Trang from Bangkok. As an alternative to Bangkok, there are daily flights to Krabi directly to and from Singapore, as well as Kuala Lumpur.
Nok Air offers three-daily flight+ferry services from Bangkok to Ko Lanta v.v. by flying with Nok Air from Trang and transferred on a ferry to Ko Phi Phi. This can be booked directly from their website.
Air Asia offers three-daily flight+ferry services from Bangkok to Ko Lanta v.v. by flying with Air Asia from Krabi. This can be booked directly from their website.
Air Asia runs a free transfer van from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang Pier where you can catch the 10:30am Ferry (470 baht). However the Ferry only runs November to April, and might not be running if the weather is bad.
The quickest service from Krabi Airport and Phuket Airport to Ko Lanta is by using the express transfer which is a combination of minivan and speedboat travel. If you arrive early you will not have to wait for the ferry and if you arrive late at these airports you can still arrive on Ko Lanta the same day.
From Krabi airport a 45 minute air conditioned minivan to the first car ferry port. You then go on board the speedboat which then takes you on a stunning boat ride across the water along the coastline of Ko Lanta. The journey takes around 15 minutes depending on weather and conditions. You will arrive directly in Saladan (alternately written as Sala Dan) on Ko Lanta, where you are then transferred to your hotel by car. That means the total journey time should be 1.5 to 2 hours. This eliminates the waiting time at the car ferry and also if you are going from Ko Lanta to one of these airports allows you more time to enjoy your visit.
Ko Lanta does not have roads connecting it directly to the mainland, but is served by car ferries. Take Rt 4206 off Hwy 4 about 20 km southeast of Krabi airport. Drive to the end of the road, where there is a car ferry from Baan Hua Hin to Ko Lanta Noi. From the pier here, turn right and follow the "ferry" signs to the second car ferry to Ko Lanta Yai. Ferries operate 07:00-22:00.There are plenty of car taxi and minivan taxi services from Krabi and the nearby airport. A seat in a ten person minivan from the airport to Ko Lanta costs about 300 baht. These minivans usually don't have much room for luggage (although they can usually find room for one or two large suitcases together with backpacks for the rest of the passengers) so if you're not traveling light you might need to get a private taxi.
This is what the divemasters do. A private minivan taxi will usually be quoted as 2,500 baht. It's possible to bargain a few hundred baht off this price but not much more or the tolls will consume too much of the price. Car taxis cost about the same.
When travelling to/from Ko Lanta in the afternoon by road, allow 2–3 hours for the journey as the queues for the vehicle ferries can be lengthy. The passenger ferry which leaves Ko Lanta pier (high season) at 08:00 and arrives at Krabi pier at 10:00 is quicker.
Ferry arrival at Ban Saladan pier
From Ko Lanta to other islands
Private companies on Ko Lanta operate boat services to many destinations. Tickets can be booked in advance online here
- Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi: 08:00 and 13:00, 350 baht.
- Ko Lanta – Krabi: 08:00 and 13:00, 300 baht (apparently, in high season, at least 400 baht)
- Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Phuket: 13:00 and 14:30, 700 baht
- Ko Lanta – Ko Phi Phi – Krabi: 09:00 and 13:30, 700 baht
Ferry services run from Krabi, Ao Nang and from Phuket via Ko Phi Phi to Ko Lanta Yai's Saladan pier. During high season, there are sometimes direct ferries as well. Ferry services are subject to weather and to demand. Many ferries have limited room for luggage. Often the ferries dock alongside each other, meaning that to get on and off passengers must clamber onto and across other boats with their luggage. However many times boat staff will be there to help you board your bags.
Services from Ao Nang are run by Ao Nang Travel and Tour (+66 75 637 730) and depart at 10:30 (470baht).
Ferries depart from Ko Phi Phi at 11:30 and 14:00, and take 1 hour. If travelling from Phuket in a single day, you will need to leave Phuket on the 08:00 ferry to transfer to the 11:30 ferry. Tickets to Ko Lanta are 200 baht from Ko Phi Phi and 450 baht from Phuket.
Once you arrive, if you have a booking at a hotel/resort, there should be a person at the ferry exit with a sign giving the name of the hotel you have booked.
By passenger van
All the travel agents in Krabi can arrange passenger vans to Ko Lanta. There is no regular, scheduled van service from Krabi Airport, although vans and taxis can be chartered to Ko Lanta for about 2,000 baht per vehicle (2,500 baht if you are going to the south end of Ko Lanta). Taxis (usually vans) are also available at the airport at the same rate. It will pick-up, drop-off at the airport. You should factor in 3 to 4 hours to get from Ko Lanta to the airport, since the mini van will pick-up and drop off other people along the way.
There is a mini van service that runs between Krabi and Ko Lanta. It cost 400 baht (Oct 2014) and leave from Soi 6 (street going down from temple). Expect to pay 400 baht if booking by hotel, "booking office" or "travel agent". Be aware that if you are coming from other city in Thailand by minivan they will drop you at their station and expect to pay 400 baht. It is wiser to book your travel just until Krabi and say you want drop off at Soi 6, where you can buy ticket by yourself.
If you want to return to Krabi by van rather than by ferry, ask at your hotel/resort and they will book you on the minibus which will take you there (as a group with others from other hotels), for a reasonable price.
It is worth travelling to Lanta one way by boat and the other by road just to see the contrast. The price is not much different.
The nearest train station to Ko Lanta is in Trang province just south of Krabi. From there, there are trains to and from Bangkok.
Distances from Bangkok
The distance from Bangkok to Krabi is approx 950 km or about 12 hrs by car.
Route 1: Phetburi -> Prachuabkirikhan -> Chumphon -> Phang Nga -> Krabi = 946 km.
Route 2: Phetburi -> Prachuabkirikhan -> Chumphon (Hwy 41) to Chaiya (Surat Thani) -> Krabi (Viangsra) -> Hwy 4035 -> Krabi (Ao Luk) and along Hwy 4 again = 814 km.
To Ko Ngai
Ko Ngai or Ko Hai is an island that is actually in Amphoe Ko Lanta of Krabi but it is classified as a tourist destination off Trang as it is easier to get there from Trang, from Pak Meng Pier, located 15 km away on the mainland opposite, in Trang Province. Standard ferries take about one hour. A boat can be rented for 1,500 baht (10 people) and 6,000-10,000 baht (for 20-40 people). A faster speedboat connection from Pak Meng Pier is also available, departing around the same time. It takes just 20 minutes.
From Ko Lanta there is a scheduled ferry service to Ko Ngai and it is also possible to rent a private longtail from Saladan (Ko Lanta) during high season (Nov - April). Another possibility is to buy an snorkelling trip from Ko Lanta and leave the boat at Ko Ngai.
From Bangkok, Nok Air offers three-daily flight+ferry services from Bangkok to Ko Ngai v.v. by flying with Nok Air to Trang and transferred on a ferry to Ko Ngai. This can be booked directly from their website.