Koh Lanta old town of is a traditional fishing village located on the eastern side waterfront of Koh Lanta Yai, and is certainly not to be missed. Take the west road south then cut across the island and continue heading south. There, you will find the traditional wooden homes of the local fishing community, as well as local handicrafts for sale. The best idea is to rent a motorcycle, as you can then take your time and enjoy the scenery along the way.
Lanta Old Town is one of the region’s most culturally diverse villages with Chinese merchants, original Thai fishing families and an ancient Sea Gypsy community. Many years ago, Koh Lanta’s Old Town acted as the port and commercial center for the island and provided a safe harbor for Arabic and Chinese trading vessels sailing between the larger ports of Phuket, Penang and Singapore. This thanks to the island’s east coast that is sheltered all year round.
There is so much to see in this place full of character and atmosphere – mangrove forests, rice fields, pink shrimp farms, and exceptional views of the southern islands of the archipelago. Flora and Fauna are abundant; it is not uncommon to come across an iguana or two, sunbathing in the middle of the road.
Koh Lanta Old Town has stayed pretty much the same that is was so many years ago, an extended fishing village where Thai life goes on the way it has done for years and years. A visit of this part of the island will give you a taste of ‘real’ life within a local Thai community. Be careful of course to respect the privacy of the locals, and ask permission before taking any photos. These people will welcome you to their village, but are often very shy when faced with strangers. All the same, you will definitely learn a lot about their culture during your visit.
For more information about Lanta Old Town, visit http://www.lantaoldtown.com/