I have visited the Lanta National Park on four occasions and love it. I feel it is one of the must-do experiences when visiting this island in the sun. It is located in the south of the island and takes about 40 minutes to reach from Saladan village in the north. The jungle roads in the south are up and down like a twisting rollercoaster. Great fun but be careful. The entrance fee is 200 baht for adults and I paid 30 baht to park my old banger. The National Park staff are friendly and helpful.
Once at the park, you have two options, if you are a bit of a lazybones you can head to the gorgeous beach, sunbathe, have a swim and a short walk up to the lighthouse for a selfie or three.
However, if you are a lot of a madcap Indiana Jones wannabe like this intrepid old coffin dodger then it is time to bungle in the jungle. You’ll see the steps leading into the rainforest straight from the car park and the only way is up. After just a few steps the concrete steps vanish and you walk along a jungle trail. Being a hard-core council estate Mancunian I do it in flip-flips but in all honesty, a pair of trainers would be easier. It is a hot humid sweaty climb up to the top. I have spotted monkeys and lizards but sadly no snakes. I love snakes. The third time I climbed this trail it was raining and I was slipping and sliding all over the blinking place. My intrepid companion was a strong healthy German girl who kept giving me a hand so I didn’t slide back down to the bottom. On the fourth occasion, I was both relieved and saddened to see the more difficult sections now had ropes. Relieved because it was easier but saddened coz this daft old codger likes to do things the hard way.
It takes about twenty minutes to reach the top. Time to sit down and catch your breath and massage your aching legs. But anyone can do it. On the first two adventures here I did the jungle hike with a Kiwi lady and a British woman. They took their time and it probably took us about 45 minutes to reach the top because they took lots of rest stops on the way up.
Once at the top, the rest of the route is following a concrete path with concrete steps. I would estimate it is about 30 minutes of easier going hiking through the rainforest. Absolutely brilliant, with huge trees, creepers, and green foliage. And if you are lucky a cool breeze too.
As you near the end of this walk you turn a corner and the view really takes your breath away. The deep blue sea, a sunkissed beach, an island, and a lighthouse. I am sure you’ll snap a few pics for the folks back home.
Now it’s just 15 minutes to reach the end of the hike, Time to walk barefoot on the soft perfect beach and paddle in the warm sea. I even had a 30-minute swim and splash about in the sea with my German friend. Washing the sweat off my tired body as I just gazed in wonderment at the beach and the thick wild jungle. Wunderbar.
Now it is time to walk up to the lighthouse for a few photos of the lighthouse and of course a shot of both beaches on the same pic.
There is a small cafe selling cold drinks and snacks as well as a kiosk where an ice-cold drink is top of the list.
So if you visit Koh Lanta then make sure you spend a day at Lanta National Park. I highly recommend doing the hot sweaty jungle trek first you will be rewarded with the spectacular view near the end and then it is time for the beach and a refreshing dip in the sea,
There are many macaque monkeys near this beach and the cafe but be careful because they are used to accepting food from visitors they can be aggressive and if you get too close they may even bite you. Also, watch your belongings because these cheeky creatures could snatch your mobile phone or bag. But don’t worry, just keep your distance and don’t taunt them and you’ll be fine.
If you are lucky you’ll see some dusky langurs which live in the rainforest. They are very beautiful and their babies are a beautiful shade of golden orange. On my fourth visit, I did spot some in the trees near the start of the walk. I was as Happy as Larry. Difficult to get any photos but this is the best one taken by my mate Steve.
Right, that is all for now. I’ll leave you with the image of the dusky langur. Maybe we’ll meet in the jungle or on the beach in Lanta National Park one day. xx