After several years of construction, the bridge between Ko Lanta and neighbouring island Ko Lanta Noi was finally completed and opened to the public at the end of April 2016.
The bridge does not connect Ko Lanta to the Krabi mainland direct – it only connects Ko Lanta to Ko Lanta Noi. Vehicles coming to Ko Lanta still need to use one car ferry between the Krabi mainland and Ko Lanta Noi before driving through Ko Lanta Noi and then across the bridge to Ko Lanta.
The car ferries that were previously used between Ko Lanta Noi and Ko Lanta are being moved to the Krabi – Ko Lanta Noi crossing to help ease congestion there. Typically in high season (November to April) there can be long queues for the car ferry both to get on and off the island.
As such, the fastest way to Ko Lanta in the 2016 – 2017 high season still remains the speedboat transfer which avoids the car ferry and the bridge by taking a speedboat from the Krabi mainland direct to Ko Lanta in about 15 minutes.
The Krabi to Koh Lanta private minivan taxi transfer will certainly be a bit quicker thanks to the bridge, but there could still be delays due to the car ferries. It remains to be seen how well the local authorities will manage the traffic flowing to and from Ko Lanta and make the most of this impressive new bridge.
Plans are already underway to build a second bridge between the Krabi mainland and Ko Lanta Noi, which would then mean Ko Lanta is completely accessible by road without any need for car ferries. The estimated completion date for the second bridge is anywhere in the next 4 to 6 years, so it looks like it won’t be opening before 2020 at the earliest.