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Lanta Yai – a Paradise for Your Indulgence


If you are looking for a secluded desert island, with lush green vegetation, pristine beaches and a aqua marine ocean then you don’t have to look to far off the Thai coast. Ko Lanta Yai which is located near the Andaman Islands on the Andaman Sea fit the description of thousands of romantic movie settings and would even make Daniel Defoe re-script “Robinson Crusoe.” Despite being close to the Phi Phi Islands off the west of Thailand the islands are for administrative purposes classified under Krabi Province. It is just a classification though, for once you arrive here all ties with the outside world are severed and all that remains is you and the deep blue ocean.

Despite its miniscule proportions (its only 30 km long and 6 km across), the Lanta Yai Island offers a diverse range of recreational activities to indulge in. It is popular for scuba diving as the rock and coral formations around the island serve as a home for many species of marine life. Experiencing a ride on a traditional Thai Long tail boat is also something no tourists should miss; nothing can beat rowing out to the vast expansive ocean and being so close to nature.

Lanta Yai is mostly frequented by tourists who want to get away from the crowded party oriented beaches of Phuket and are instead searching for a more relaxed, laid back holiday. Due to its popularity among a niche market the island’s are extremely peaceful and non-commercialized; no red light districts or night clubs here!

As described earlier Lanta Yai is not the place to head to if you are looking rollicking nightlife or crowded night clubs. None the less a couple of more laid back night time pursuits can be enjoyed here, the island boasts of a wide variety of restaurants. They can range from banana pancake joints to fully fledged gourmet restaurants; many of them offer breathtaking locations right on the beach itself. A couple of laid back bars and pubs can also be found around the Lanta Yai Harbour and also in most hotels.

Enjoy the comforts of this exquisite paradise while staying at a krabi luxury villa such as Langham Place Koh Lanta which is highly regarded for its unmatched quality and service excellence.

Thai yourself to the Ropes

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing and Thailand may not be things that are linked in your mind, but Railay, near Krabi in southern Thailand, is a centre that attracts climbers from all over the world, from beginners to experts. Railay is an isthmus, reached by long-tail boat, with towering cliffs falling into the perfectly clear turquoise Andaman Sea. Mangroves and mud flats hug the coastline.

Rock Climbing Schools

There are several climbing schools offering a range of courses, from half-day to three-day or more, and prices normally include not only all equipment hire – ropes, harnesses, bolts, chocks and packs of chalk (to help hands grip slippery rocks) – but also climbing boots. The instructors are highly skilled; some are even recognised champions at the sport. Ribboning up the cliffs are more than 700 bolted rock-climbing routes, all put up since the 1980s, capable of providing practice and training to climbers at all levels of skill.

Thiland Cliffs

The cliffs vary in height, beginners being gently eased in on a cliff a mere 50 metres tall. No doubt about it, however, rock climbing is counter-intuitive and requires not only strength and agility but also gritty determination. Jamming your fingers into a small crack or clinging on to a tiny ledge and then taking pretty much your entire body weight on your hands is not something that comes naturally to most people. Fear of heights is another contra-indicator: if you’re not happy on the top deck of a Channel ferry, it is possible you’ll balk at being virtually self-supporting some metres off the ground.

Views Of A Mountaineer

It doesn’t always follow, however. The late great Eric Shipton, who in the 1930s and 1940s was Britain’s number one mountaineer, said that he felt uncomfortable looking over the viewing ledge of a skyscraper but thought nothing of teetering on the edge of a mountainside infinitely higher. Why might this be? He couldn’t explain it. Perhaps it’s because when you climb a rock or a mountain, you familiarise yourself with it; you make it, in a sense, your own; you know where its difficulties lie. Nothing of the sort with a building, especially if you have whizzed to the top in a high-speed lift.

Climb Or Watch

So, back to Thailand. With expert instructors and a perfect array of safety equipment, the worst that can happen to a wary beginner is being made to feel a bit inadequate. But if you do, you’ll be in good company, because there are lots of people who go to this secluded haven not to climb but just to watch. And there are plenty of nice places to do it from – beach hut hotels and small restaurants on and around the beach.

You can get to Railay by flying non-stop from Heathrow to Bangkok and then take another flight to Krabi, from where it’s a short and inexpensive ride on a longboat. The UK-based operator AwimAway (020 7430 1766, www.awimaway.com) offers activity and adventure tours to far-flung destinations for individuals and corporates. AwimAway can organize corporate incentive programmes at these islands, where you can organize a conference or just chill out, party, unwind or … train for the Olympics on a sun-drenched shore, on a ski slope or in the soothing scenery of a silent wood.