Lanta islands in Krabi province, Thailand are made up of two islands of Koh Lanta Yai (“Big lanta island”) and Koh Lanta Noi (“Small lanta island”). The large island have everything one could expect from top class tourist destination in terms of infrastructure and activities yet without crowds, hectism and over development typical for other destinations in Southern Thailand like Phuket, Phi Phi, Ao Nang or Koh Samui. Local community maintain the genius loci by its relaxed way of life, respect to nature and history.
The first people who came to Lanta were probably people of Chao Lay, “people of the sea”, the descendants of Moken people. Around 500 years ago they settled on the island and they continue to live mostly in south eastern coast.
They pay respects to their ancestors during Loy Rua festival usually in June and October.
First muslim inhabitants came to Lanta about 300 years ago from provinces of Nakhon si Thammarat and Sai Buri and with Buddhists respresent major ethnic groups on the islands nowadays.
The Sri Raya (Old Town) on the east side of the island used to be a main port and main point of connection to the mainland until recent years. This role has been passed to the village of Sala Dan in the north west. Yet Old Town stays romantic area with lots of shopping and dining options.
In 2016 the Lanta bridge connecting Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lanta Yai was opened and replaced ferry transportation. This made casual trips to the less developed sister island convient.