People and culture
Until recently, almost 90% of the 20,000 odd inhabitants of Koh Lanta were Thai-Muslims and Thai-Chinese people, but with a burgeoning tourism industry, the population of the island has swelled considerably and there is now a very significant Buddhist presence as well. Koh Lanta is also home to sea-gypsies and a number of Westerners who now reside on the island too.
Things to do
Year-round, a variety of activities exist ranging from elephant trekking in the jungle to peaceful kayaking among the mangroves; from bird watching to mountain biking around the island; from exploring the island by car or motorcycle and seeing the nature reserve in the south to taking a long-tail boat to Koh Talabeng and Koh Bubu east of Koh Lanta; from enjoying delicious, spicy and authentic Thai meals in small local restaurants to experiencing gourmet cooking in the more expensive restaurants.
Snorkeling and diving are usually only possible from November to April. During these months, daily trips to Koh Ngai, Koh Muk (and the Emerald Cave), Koh Rok, Koh Ha and Koh Phi Phi and the well-known dive spots of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are possible. Although there are windows of opportunity to dive during the monsoon season (May to October), most of the regular dive operators are closed during this time and travel by small boats is not always possible.