Solo Travel: Koh Lanta
Full of beauty and adventure, Thailand is a country that will have you coming back for more. With delicious food, a relaxed vibe, and cheap everything, it’s hard to stay away. The perfect thing about Thailand is that you can create a trip that best suits your needs, whether it be to completely blow out with your mates or take the solo route by recharging at a yoga retreat. Naturally, after two years away I made my return to the stunning Krabi Province. Although my previous trip was quite memorable, it wasn’t the healthiest or most tame holiday. So this time around, I had a different agenda.
To begin the trip, I revisited Phi Phi Island, the quintessential adult playground, with some friends. After a long few months of work, all we wanted for Christmas was to unwind on the beach with a Chang in our hand. I’d say we successfully fell into the beach bum lifestyle and forgot all our worries.
After a few days on the island, I left the fire dancing and buckets behind for a solo retreat in Koh Lanta. With the new year approaching, I wanted to reset and detox on the beach, complete with yoga, nature, and time for personal reflection. Koh Lanta provided everything I sought and more.
Koh Lanta is one of the larger islands in Thailand, located in the southern providence in Krabi. It’s known for being more laid back and quiet compared to other islands around the area, making it the perfect place for a solo trip. If you’re thinking about taking a personal retreat to Thailand, here’s a little insight to my 4 day solo getaway.
Since I splurged on hotels in Phi Phi, I decided to take the hostel path. I ended up staying at a cute beach side dorm called Hey Beach Hostel on Klong Dao Beach. The accommodation is brand new and is run by a sweet lady named June. The dorms are clean and well maintained, however, being a remote island the electricity is quite glitchy. The hostel provides a modest self-serve breakfast including toast, fresh fruit, and coffee and tea. Although the hostel is simplistic, the location is unbeatable. It’s literally walking distance to the beach and right next to a reggae beach bar. Honestly, the best part of this hostel was the people who stayed there and the connections I made while at Hey Beach. During my stay, I was surrounded by fellow solo travelers from all over the world and had the pleasure to share some amazing memories with them.
Food in Koh Lanta can pretty much be summed up by a local saying, “same, same, but different.” The food on the island is very much like every other place in Thailand; the local food is delicious but the attempt at western food is poor. Up and down the coast of Koh Lanta, you will find seaside restaurants that carry the traditional thai dishes, pad thai, spring noodles, curry, and exceptional seafood dishes. As for fresh dishes, fruit and coconuts are plentiful. Since, I was looking for a cleaner and wholesome foods, I was able to locate a few amazing restaurants on the island.
Pure Koh Lana
Situated on Klong Nin Beach, this charming cafe serves clean and wholesome food including smoothie bowls, falafel wraps, and vegan sweets to name a few.
Kunda Anti-Pop Café
Located in Klhong Khong Beach, Kunda offers a variety of international vegetarian and vegan options. With a relaxing vibe, many go to hang in the open garden, trying out the extensive coffee selection.
My main agenda for this trip was to dive into yoga and to explore the natural environment. However, Koh Lanta has something for just about everyone. Between elephant trekking, diving, chasing waterfalls, and exploring caves, it goes without saying that Koh Lanta is the destination for adventure. Wherever you are staying, the reception should be able to arrange an activity for you. If yoga is at the top of your solo excursion list, I suggest trying out Oasis Yoga on Klong Dao Beach. Just steps from the ocean, Oasis Yoga is a charming beach studio that offers a range of classes. I thoroughly enjoyed my 3-day mini retreat there (read more about my experience here).
Another must do activity in Koh Lanta is to rent a motorbike and explore the outskirts of the island. For 200 baht a day, it’s an absolute steal. Being the wimp that I am, I rented a tuk tuk with two others for about $1200 baht for the whole day. During the day we hit up multiple locations including:
Koh Lanta National Park
Sea Gypsy Village
A solo retreat would not be complete without a little R & R. Fortunately, a massage or two will not break the bank here. Running for about $300 baht, you can choose between a coconut, aroma, or Thai massage. I highly suggest the coconut oil massage, as coconut is fantastically nourishing for your sun soaked skin. Finding a place to go will be easy, as massage establishments are like a dime a dozen in this beach town. The best time to go? Sunset..you’ll thank me later.
If you’re looking for a low-key island get away, check out Koh Lanta. It was absolutely the best way to start out my year.