Family Friendly Koh Lanta

On the ferry from the mainland over to Koh Lanta.

On the ferry from the mainland over to Koh Lanta (behind us).

The word “koh” in Thai means island, a word the kids grasped quickly, since we were on a bit of a koh tour for most of December. By the end of the month, we had truly mastered how to relax the whole day away at the beach: water, sand, eat, repeat.


Koh Lanta is a great island for families, with its mellow surf, affordable cafés, and relaxed vibe. We found a kid friendly resort, Southern Lanta, filled with many other little blondies, mostly from Sweden. For months, we had the only toe-heads around, and suddenly we were surrounded. Finally, Merle had a challenging pool slide to go up and down (repeatedly), and Mathilda had lots of space to safely wander, dance, pick flowers and sing about her life. The playground was strategically situated right in the middle, so they could play while we chilled at least within earshot. This is also where Mathilda got her fancy braids, which she refused to take out for over a month.

Sountern Lanta is on Klong Dao, one of several beaches on Koh Lanta. Its landscape, shape and size reminded us of Kauai’s Hanalei Bay, except the water was even more clear and sand even more fine. Swimming there was hampered for the first few days by the stinging presence of sea lice (jellyfish larvae), but our time finished up there beautifully with that clearing up, enabling us to swim on/off all day. Along the beach are numerous eateries featuring fresh fish and candlit bamboo tables right on the beach… Perfect for watching kids play while the sun set. Our favorite place was Picasso’s with its quirky dinosaur sculptures and play area right on the beach in front of the restaurant.

The wide expanse of Klong Dao often inspired Mathilda to dance. I think the natural, tropical environment in general provides inspiration for her to move in way that is very true to her soul.

Walking down the beach for dinner at sunset was a favorite routine while on Koh Lanta. Merle and Mathilda are sometimes slow walkers, but the pace definintely picks up if there is chasing involved. These photos really capture the synergy and love they have developed for each other on this trip (despite, of course, the normal off moments young siblings have daily).

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