Many people ask the question of whether they should visit Koh Lanta in the low season. If you look it up online then there are so many reports of "south west monsoon" and everything being closed. So this article is to let you know a bit about Lanta in Low Season.

Although the low season is described as starting from May, it really starts in April when visitor numbers drop dramatically. Lanta experiences similar weather to Phi Phi and Phuket but because these are more known tourist routes they keep on as always without the low season stigma.

The reason that many businesses close their doors from May is because of the drop in tourist numbers. Lanta is 28 kilometres long and there are 9 beaches along the west coast sunset strip so with so many places to stay there are just not the numbers to fill them, or to pay staff to stay open. Small family run resorts can stay open because they have the family to work. Many others that work in high season take the time in low season to have a deserved break, many of the local sea gypsies go fishing, while others do a favourite thai past time - sleep.

Each year the ferries have been running for longer periods. The Phi Phi ferry operated until the end of June this year, and has been restarting in September.

Lanta in low season is about chilling out. If you want to socialise then you would be hard pressed to find anyone to have fun with. The resort you stay in will quiet possibly have no- one else in residence, their restaurant may be closed, and if you head to the beach there is the unfortunate world wide phenomenon of rubbish washed up from the ocean.  You may say how unpretty - but this is a world wide problem, so perhaps pick up a couple of pieces of trash as well as the shells you collect.

It certainly doesnt sound inviting but the reasons to love Koh Lanta in low season is because  Lanta goes back to being a rural Thai island with the locals carrying on as they did 15 years ago before tourism arrived. The places you eat are the places locals eat - the roadside stalls(There are also still at least a couple of good restaurants open on each beach) . You need to be mobile in low season, so a scooter is a must, then it is no problem to go around and check out the island - venture over to Lanta Noi where you step back to another world. Have a game of soccer with the locals on sunset (played on almost every beach) - or help to collect clams on low tide.

The weather is really not as bad as it is made out. In fact it seems that it is a well kept secret, as the fine days this low season have far outnumbered the stormy ones. Rain is often at night to about 9am then clears. There will be days of high wind and sideways rain - so read a book or do a 3 hour pamper massage package, or cooking school. Remember it is not cold so get the rain coat out. The rain doesn't stop the locals.

Lanta low season is for those who want to see a bit of Thailand (the place that is not only shopping malls and tourist strips of bars - aka Phuket). If you want to find companions to hang out with - or bars of people, you wont get it on Lanta. The shopping is also very limited. If you are couple who want to destress and escape then this is a great place.

There are still a few things to do on Lanta in low season - the diving is limited but actually can be good. There is also surfing and learn to surf on Klong Dao beach. A good variety of cooking schools, Lanta Animal Welfare (go walk a dog), explore by motorbike, walk to the caves or waterfall, or national park.

If  you want to escape from the tourist throngs then this may be a place you would enjoy - if you are worried it might rain, might not have enough restaurants, might be hard to get, might not have enough to do then go somewhere it is high season. Anyway the best advice is that you are on holiday - enjoy, and if you don't like it go somewhere else, thats what travelling is all about.

 Klong Dao July 2011                 storm passing

Klong Dao July 2011