Man at His Best

Lesser known destinations in Asia: Ko Lanta, Thailand

Ko Lanta in the Krabi province is a diver's dream come true.

BY shermian lim | Mar 29, 2017 | Travel

Don't all dive in at the same time now (iStock)

Ko Lanta’s dive spots in the region of the Koh Lanta National Marine Park are for the avid submariner. Start with the well-preserved Koh Ha, a dive location with a cluster of five islets, where early-rising divers will be rewarded with a spectacular, emerald view of sunrise from the water. Move down southeast to Koh Rok Noi for downward sloping hard coral reef, with colourful views—blue-spotted stingrays, black-tipped reef sharks and nudibranchs are found in abundance here during diving season. On land, the Urak Lawoi, Ko Lanta’s predominantly Muslim sea gypsies retain a strong cultural presence within the island’s robust tourism ecosystem. Shrimp farms, fishing villages on stilts and Thai-Malay-Indian cuisine are the mainstays along the entire west coast beachfront of Ko Lanta, right alongside Western restaurants, sports bars and reggae joints with fire-spinners.

Agoda's latest Travel Smart survey based on booking traffic on the travel reservation site indicates an increasing popularity of lesser-known destinations with potential for new experiences for travellers. Niseko in Japan caps the list as a highly sought-after ski destination, followed by many islands in Southeast Asia. Get to know about these places while you still can.