Koh Lanta Dive Area: Thailand
Koh Lanta, located approximately 70 kilometers south of Krabi, offers some of the best diving on the west coast of Thailand, boasting vibrant reefs, dramatic drop-offs, alluring caves and wrecks. Liveaboard diving in the South Andaman Sea presents a wealth of offerings just off the front door of Phuket. Diving on Koh Lanta offers some of the best dive sites in Thailand. Leading the way are Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, underwater pinnacles covered with carpets of anemones, sponges, and sea fans, which host regular whale sharks and manta rays. Experienced divers are best suited to the currents swirling around these pinnacles. A typical itinerary on our South Andaman Sea liveaboard safaris will also include dives at Phi Phi, Koh Haa, Koh Rok, Shark Point and Anemone Reef. Along with its 3 main islands, Ko Klang, Ko Lanta Yai, and Ko Lantan Noi, another fifty or so islands gather to form the Mu Koh Lanta National Park.
As with the rest of the South Andaman Sea, the best time to dive Koh Lanta is between November and the end of April, when diving conditions are favorable. Koh Lanta’s west coast has exceptional beaches and a more relaxed feel than its neighboring islands of Ko Phi Phi and Phuket.
What you can see
Koh Lanta is within easy access to the twin seamounts of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, two of the best dive sites in Thailand. Renowned for their pink and purple corals, these sites not only offer interesting topography but incredible marine life. Second, to the northern islands of the Andaman Sea the area is best placed for Whale Shark sightings, other pelagics such as the grey reef sharks, leopard sharks have been known to grace the waters.
The majority of dive sites are between Phuket and the mainland. The area is wide and the dive sites differ in topography with shallow coves, deep drop-offs, limestone outcrops, seamounts, and undersea caves to explore. You can expect to see brightly colored reefs, usual suspects, gorgonian sea fans, blacktip reef sharks, anemone fish, and the occasional solitary hawksbill turtle along with a more varied marine life such as sea whips, bearded scorpionfish, groupers, ghost-pipefish.
Water conditions are similar in the area with good visibility and varying currents.
Liveaboard.com offers good itineraries that cover the best of Thailand liveaboards on the west coast. The best way to get to Koh Lanta is arriving at either Krabi or Phuket International airports and joining a Thailand liveaboard trip departing from Chalong Pier in Phuket or Khao Lak. The nearest airport to Koh Lanta is Krabi Airport - fly from Bangkok with THAI Airways, Air Asia or Bangkok Airways.
Important to note there are two airports in Bangkok. If you are arriving in Bangkok on an international flight check to see if your departure airport to Krabi / Phuket is the same as your arrival one into Bangkok. Transferring between airports can take up to 3 hours and is not recommended.