Recently it has become well known, especially in Sweden. The island is relatively less developed with most of the accommodation available being basic bamboo huts. In 2015 a new bridge was built connecting it to the island of Ko Lanta Noi. There are very few paved roads on the island, mostly in the north, and they deteriorate gradually towards the south.
Ban Saladan, the main town and port, is at the northern tip of the island and is served by ferries from Krabi, Phuket, and Phi Phi. The main beaches are on the western shores of the island, the largest being Klong Dao, Pra-Ae, and Klong Khong Beach. There are other, much less accessible, beaches at the southern end.
Lanta escaped the worst of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Although there was widespread devastation along the west coast, significantly fewer injuries and fatalities were reported in comparison to the Phi Phi Islands. It is thought 11 people lost their lives. Assisted by tourists, most businesses were up and running within a few days.