Ban Si Raya

Top choice Village

in Ko Lanta
John Borthwick / Getty Images
John Borthwick / Getty Images

Located halfway down Lanta's eastern coast, Ban Si Raya was the island's original port and commercial centre, providing a safe harbour for Arab and Chinese trading vessels sailing between Phuket, Penang and Singapore. Known to the locals as Lanta Old Town, here the vibe is very different from the rest of the island, with wooden century-old stilt houses and shopfronts transformed into charming, characterful guesthouses. Pier restaurants offer fresh catch overlooking the sea, and there are some cute bohemian shops dotted around.

Every Saturday afternoon from November to April the main street is transformed into a Walking St filled with food stalls, DJs, live music and traditional Thai dancing.