You can find these in most places – if an area is big enough to have a 7/11 store, there will be tuk tuks in the near vicinity either waiting by the road or driving past frequently. Finding one in other areas (especially further south than Klong Nin) could be tricky
To find a legal tuk tuk, look for a driver with a numbered vest. These drivers are registered with the police and should have a price sheet showing the correct fares.
If you arrive on Koh Lanta without a hotel booking, tuk tuk drivers may offer to find accommodation for you. If you don’t like what’s offered, you may have to pay a fee for their time, plus the fare to take you somewhere else. An option here would be to take one night at the offered hotel, then find another one yourself the next day.
If you have a hotel reservation but someone tells you that the hotel is closed, insist on going there anyway.
You may be able to barter on the fare, especially if there are a few of you. Make sure you agree the price before you get in
Pickup trucks are available for rent from some companies, normally your resort should be able to organise this for you. Expect to pay around 1500 baht per day, for a 4 wheel drive pickup, slightly more if you keep it overnight. A smaller jeep should cost around 1200 baht per day.
If you can’t find one, just ask in any tour shop, the owner will sometimes rent you their private car if you’re only staying on the island and not driving onto the mainland. Make sure the car is insured for you to drive it
Tuk tuks can be rented daily, weekly and monthly for reasonable prices. Many families use these to get around as a cheaper alternative to renting a car long term. This is probably only slightly safer than piling your entire family onto one motorbike – tuk tuks are difficult to control and turn over easily. In inexperienced hands they can be death traps, but regardless of this you will see plenty of foreign families driving around in these with no seat belts or helmets for the kids
Scooters & Motorbikes
By far the best way to see the island is to rent your own scooter…(see Koh Lanta Motorbike Tours). These are available for rent from nearly every resort – if yours doesn’t have any, there are numerous internet or travel shops on the road that can provide them
Expect to pay around 200 per day for a manual bike, or 300 for an automatic (better if you’re a novice rider). You should be able to barter a discount for a longer rental period. Make sure you check the vehicle for scratches and other damage with the owner before you rent.
There are a few gas stations around, but more common is to find gasoline in a minimart sold by the bottle (about 1 litre). Most villages have motorbike repair shops in case of a flat tyre
Please take into account the following tips to make your journey safer:
Wear a helmet. It may look silly and mess up your hair (as well as interfering with your tan) but it could save your life. It could also avoid a fine at a police check point
Drive slowly. Some scooters can go quite fast, but their brakes could be dodgy
Pay attention. As well as other motorists there are pedestrians, cows, cats, chickens & dogs, who sometimes don’t watch the road
Turning left – watch out for people overtaking you on the inside. Turning right – dont stop in the middle of the road to wait. Pull over to the left and wait for a gap in the traffic
Careful when driving through puddles…there are sometimes potholes concealed by the water
If you follow all these tips, you’ll have a great day out and see some stunning views. For the more adventurous, larger road bikes are available from some motorbike shops. Off road bikes can also be rented – Koh Lanta has a huge amount of off road tracks waiting to be explored.