To get to Koh Lanta, we flew from Chiang Mai to Trang with a short layover in Bangkok. We waited a little bit too long to book this leg of the trip and ended up paying more than we would’ve liked at about $120/person. A month earlier I’d seen tickets for half that price.
There had been overnight train tickets as well for around the same. I thought that may have been a cool experience. Some of the overnight trains have fairly high ratings, and when you’re traveling in a party of two you get a whole cubby to yourself that turns into beds. Next time!
We flew on Air Asia. Part of the reason we’d procrastinated on booking this leg of the trip was that we kept reading horror reviews of these small inter-Asian airlines, where travelers get tagged at the airport with “overweight” baggage and end up paying hundreds of dollars at the gate. Any by overweight, I mean almost every inter-asia airline charges for every pound over the first 11 pounds which is ridiculous. And they are super strict on bag size. To fly free of charge the bag has to be the size of a small backpack and weigh under 11 pounds. After that the price goes up drastically. My friend got caught at the airport with a normal duffel bag and had to pay $120 at the gate! When that’s how much your whole ticket costs, that really stings. Thankfully, most of us all travel light (Mine and Hubby’s travel backpack pictured below. We lived a month out of these!) So most of us didn’t have to pay any extra at all. A couple of us paid $20.
The trip was pretty uneventful and we landed in the tiny city of trang a few hours later. It was more like a village… flying in you could just see endless acres of agriculture with tiny little homes scattered through the hillsides.
We had arranged for transportation all the way to Koh Lanta including a minibus pickup and ferry crossing. The shuttle was private since we were a party of 7, and was about $20/head. The minibus brought us on the ferry as well for a total of about 3.5 hours from Trang to our hotel in Koh Lanta.
We stayed at the Lanta Ray Bay Hotel. Like most places we stayed in Thailand on a budget, the rooms were clean but nothing to write home about. Basic and simple which suited us fine since we spend all day outside sightseeing.
Food in Koh Lanta was “meh.” We were spoiled in Chiang Mai. Cost was much higher, portions smaller, and overall the food was just better up north. We found that to apply overall and had read online that a lot of travelers find the food in Northern Thailand to be better and cheaper. We still couldn’t complain too much. There were a lot of restaurants within walking distance and food is still more affordable than traveling in the USA or anywhere else I’ve been!