Koh Lanta is a tropical island off the southern coast of Thailand, with long stretches of unspoiled white sandy beaches, calm ocean waters and towering palm trees. When the word “paradise” enters your mind, you’re probably unknowingly picturing Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta is long and skinny, with the majority of development on the northwest side of the island. The island becomes less busy the further south you go, but the beaches remain beautiful.
The most popular beach on Koh Lanta is Long Beach, and it is just that: a long stretch of gorgeous white sand with incredible sunset viewing and good restaurants dotted along the ocean. The next beaches moving south are Relax Bay, Klong Khong and Khlong Nin with Kantiang Bay, Klong Jark and Bamboo Bay further down the coast.
The beaches on the northern coast of the island are by far the busiest; but to get to the more remote beaches on the southern coast requires a one-hour motorbike ride over high hills and uneven roads in the hot sun. If you’re a novice on a motorbike, it could be a tough ride (although worth it).
Luckily, there are two stunning beaches on the northern part of the island that are completely untouched by tourism (no restaurants or hotels) and offer great swimming and unspoiled views of the sunset. These two “secret” beaches are between the more popular Relax Bay and Klong Khong Beaches.
Secret Beach #1
Just south of Relax Bay is a hidden gem of a beach, secluded from the rest of busy Koh Lanta. There are rarely more than 10 or 20 people on the whole beach, even at sunset; and there is only a very small bamboo shack selling beers and coconuts.
It’s a great place to come a few hours before sunset and enjoy a quiet swim, lay in the sun or read a good book. Be sure to bring a picnic with you and slather up in sunscreen, as there is no shade on the beach.
To get there, you just have to find the dirt road, and it’s easiest if you’re traveling north. Before you get to the bend right before Relax Bay, you’ll see a large white sign that says “TO THE BEACH” in red lettering. Take that left onto the dirt road, and after about a quarter of a mile, you’ll come to a clearing with tall palm trees and roaming cows. Park your motorbike in the shade of a coconut palm and head to the beach!
Secret Beach #2
Another beach with calm water, sunset views and no people. This beach is more secluded than Secret Beach #1 and has no amenities and no shade but a few palm trees. The swimming here is rocky, so water shoes or flip flops are recommended.
To get to this beach, park at the resort farthest north on Klong Khong and walk north (to the right) on the beach. After about 10 minutes, you’ll pass the last resort on Klong Khong and come to a hidden cove.
Here you can enjoy a tropical beach to yourself and witness a stunning sunset. Be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen and a snack. Observe Thai culture by watching fishermen bring in the daily catch from the rocks.