Vibrant annual event showcases the diverse culture and nature in this southern Thai paradise, including a creative contest to make artistic sculptures from recycled waste. Pimalai Resort & Spa, the five-star sanctuary on the southern Thai island of Koh Lanta, has reaffirmed its commitment to preserving the island’s culture and environment by joining forces with the local government and community to be part of the 18th Laanta Lanta Festival 2023, a vibrant annual festival designed to showcase the island’s rich multicultural and natural heritage.
Nestled in the Andaman Sea, just off the coast of southern Thailand’s Krabi province, Koh Lanta is a diverse society comprising Muslims, Thai Buddhists, Chinese Thais and the Chao Ley people, who live their lives on the sea. Together, they have lived and worked in harmony for over 122 years, while also protecting the island’s abundance of natural resources – including lush green forests, colourful underwater ecosystems and native wildlife – for future generations.
Celebrating this rich diversity, the Laanta Lanta Festival ran from 3-5 March 2023 and featured a wide range of activities and events related to the conservation of the island. This year’s festival was opened by Mr. Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism & Sports, together with local government officials in a major ceremony at the courtyard in front of the Ko Lanta Community Museum.
One of the highlights of this year’s event was a sculpture contest that challenged the island’s schoolchildren and residents to create artworks made from recycled waste, including trash that had washed up on Koh Lanta’s beaches. Based on the theme of indigenous land and sea creatures, this initiative saw imaginative sculptures created from plastic bottles, beverage cans, sandals, food boxes and other debris which would otherwise have been left in nature where it could pose a severe danger to wildlife, such as sea turtles. This activity not only helped to clear trash from the island; it also raised awareness about pollution and the need for effective waste management among students, islanders, tourists and business operators.
The Laanta Lanta Festival was organised in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and B. Grimm, a group of companies that specialise in energy, health and educating young people about ecological challenges, along with officials, private organisations and the people of Koh Lanta.
Pimalai has been a long-term supporter and partner of the festival, which reflects its deep commitment to environmental conservation and social integration. Ever since this five-star resort opened its doors 21 years ago, it has worked on regular projects with authorities to help preserve Koh Lanta. For example, In November 2022, Pimalai came together with the government of Krabi province, Koh Lanta district, the Royal Thai Navy and local businesses to release 50 sea turtles and tens of millions of blue crabs into the sea at the resort’s beach. Next month, from 19-22 April 2023, Pimalai will team up with the Thai government’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife & Plant Conservation once again to undertake the latest coral restoration project at Koh Haa. Many more initiatives planned are being planning in the future, as Pimalai works tirelessly to secure a sustainable future for Koh Lanta.
Blissfully serene and secluded, Koh Lanta is a unique destination that feels very different from southern Thailand’s busier tourist islands. By highlighting the unique strengths of a multicultural community and pristine environment to Thai and international tourists, Pimalai is playing an active role in positioning the island as a world-leading sustainable tourism destination.