Laanta Lanta Festival 2024

Every year the island of Koh Lanta, in the Krabi Province of southern Thailand, celebrates their unique Laanta Lanta Festival. 2024 is the 19th year the festival has been held and it has been recognised as a national and international festival.

When and Where Is the Laanta Lanta Festival in 2024?

Traditionally the Laanta Lanta Festival is scheduled around the first full moon in March, usually at the beginning of the month. However in 2024 moon isn’t full until the 25th March by which time Muslims would be fasting for Ramadan so there was some confusion as to when the festival would be this year. The decision was made to celebrate the festival from Thursday 7th March to Saturday 9th March, 2024. The parade is at 5:30 pm and opening ceremony at 6:45 pm in the Front Yard of Koh Lanta Community Museum in Old Town.

Big, colourfulmsign saying Lanta Old Town

The Laanta Lanta Festival is held in Old Town on the east coast of Koh Lanta. This is on the opposite side of the island to the main tourist areas which are on the west coast. Old Town is a traditional fishing and trading village with wooden houses on stilts over the sea and a long pier. It is always a fascinating place to visit but especially when they are enjoying the festival. Most of the buildings in the main part of Old Town are now shops and restaurants and there are a limited number of places to stay.

It takes about 20 minutes to drive to Old Town from Sala Dan and about 15 minutes from Long Beach (Phra Ae). It is also about 20 minutes by car or bike from Klong Nin but it would take about half an hour if you are coming from the Kantiang Bay area. If you are hiring a tuk-tuk or songthaew to take you make sure you negotiate a price before you set off and arrange a pick up time and place for the return journey.


The festival is held in Old Town with many of the events taking place in the Front Yard of Koh Lanta Community Museum. The main stage is set up here with rows of chairs, as well as displays and information boards. Across the road going to towards the sea and the pier you will find rows of food and drink stalls. The music stage is next to the lighthouse with a few hay bales to sit on and plenty of room for dancing. At the beginning of the Walking Street next to the roundabout is the event area. A roped off area next to the giant lobster statue has the trash sculptures on display.

The area in front of the museum in Lanta Old Town where the Laanta Lanta Festival is held
The area in front of the museum in Lanta Old Town where the Laanta Lanta Festival is held

What Is the Laanta Lanta Festival?

This is a unique festival that is not celebrated anywhere else. It was established to highlight the peaceful cultural diversity of Koh Lanta. It gives the various ethnic groups that live on the island a chance to show their appreciation for each other’s cultures. The three main population groups are Thai-Chinese, Thai-Muslim, Thai-Buddhists and the Chao Ley people (Sea Gypsies). Koh Lanta also welcomes and celebrates the tourists who visit the island, in particular the Swedes who have established a community here. The festival showcases each group’s unique culture and traditions through crafts, art, song and dance while also emphasising the harmony and co-operation between all the inhabitants of Koh Lanta.Poster for the Laanta Lanta Festival 2024

Each year the Laanta Lanta Festival has a theme and in recent years this has focused on protecting the local environment and wildlife. Last year in 2023 the theme was ‘Human Journey Existence and Culture’. This year the theme chosen is ‘Great Nature –  Glorious Culture’.

Highlights of the 19th Laanta Lanta Festival

One of the great things about the Laanta Lanta Festival is seeing how happy everyone is to be there. You will often see old friends excitedly greeting each other. As always in Thailand, the food available is varied and delicious.

Collage of trash sculptures at the 2024 Laanta Lanta Festival
The trash sculptures on display at the Laanta Lanta Festival in 2024

We were very impressed by the trash sculptures. The ingenious use of trash to create a variety of statues was inventive and striking. We also enjoyed the Parade. The variety of costumes and groups were entertaining, with lots of music and dancing.

Food and Drink

As well as the Lanta Old Town restaurants there are numerous stalls offering all kinds of food and drink. Several Koh Lanta hotels and resorts have stalls near the Music Stage with tables and chairs. Most of the food stalls are in the main festival area between Museum and the pier but there are also many lining the street down from the 7-Eleven and more in front of the shops and restaurants on the main road.

Photos of some of the food stalls at the 2024 Laanta Lanta Festival
Some of the food stalls at the 2024 Laanta Lanta Festival

Laanta Lanta Festival 2024 Schedule

While some activities will be running throughout the three days there is a program for some specific events. During the day the festival is free but on the evenings there is a small entrance fee. The restaurants and shops of Old Town will be open and there will be a market and Walking Street. There’s usually two stages for performances. One stage is for traditional music and dance, such as the Sea Gypsies’s Rong-Ngen. The other stage will have a mixture of jazz and reggae music bands.

The gate in the main stage area, Laanta Lanta Festival
The gate in the main stage area, Laanta Lanta Festival

Thursday, March 7th

  • 4:00 pmGarbage Sculpture Competition.  Display of entries for the sculpture contest that challenges the island’s schoolchildren and residents to create artworks made from recycled waste, including trash that had washed up on Koh Lanta’s beaches.
  • 5:30 pmCultural and Boat Parades.  A parade with 600 contributors from multiple cultures and nationalities, including a fashion show, performances and dances + a boat parade with 123 longtail boats.
  • 6:45 pmOpening Ceremony.  Speech by Ministry of Culture & Communities.
  • 9:00 pmMusic Stage.  Mr Rifkee & Job 2 Do
The opening ceremony of the 19th Laanta Lanta Festival
The opening ceremony of the 19th Laanta Lanta Festival

Friday, March 8th

  • 5:00Local Sport Activities.  Various competitions including coconut tearing, rice pounding, and an oiled pile challenge.
  • 5:300 pmLocal Time Machine Seminar.  Pop up Lanta history cubicles with seminars discussing the history and future of Lanta.
  • 6:00 pmOn Stage Performance by Lanta Community.  Performances by local students.
  • 9:00 pm – Music Stage.  Krathing and Laanta Brother Band

19th Laanta Lanta Festival, Koh Lanta

Saturday, March 9th

  • 5:00 pm – Local Food Contest.  Highlighting local cuisine including specialties like goat soup, spicy oyster salad, and grilled fish.
  • 6:00 pm – Nature & Culture Seminar.
  • 7:00 pm – On Stage Performance by Lanta Community.  Music and dance performances by local students.
  • 9:00 pmMusic Stage. South Paradise Band & Mr Rifkee.

The Laanta Lanta Festival is a completely unique event. Having such a diverse community taking the time to come together and celebrate their unity and cultural differences is an unusual concept. Koh Lanta is known for being a happy, friendly island and this festival is a fun way to enjoy and appreciate the islanders welcoming attitude. If you are in or around Koh Lanta at the beginning of March, making time to visit the festival will be a highlight of your trip.