Phra Ae (also known as Long Beach) is Ko Lanta’s ‘trendy’ beach, with a mix of boutique resorts and basic bungalows and is more popular with young people – who also like its lively nightlife scene. The beach itself is long and fairly characterless, but it is good for swimming.
Phra Ae also known as Long Beach Photo Gallery
Away from the island towards Piper Gut, the bottom consists of sand and weed-covered rocks, but the current is considerably stronger. When there is a big northerly swell running, this is one of the very few sheltered places where you can actually dive, and it is a favourite with some of the charter boats (although if they took me there to dive, I would not bother to get wet). The depth is about the same all the way along to the Little Harcar, with the same boring scenery. The western end of Big Harcar is now called Forfar Rock and is where the Forfarshire struck on the northern side during her ill-fated voyage. The submerged walls of the reef at this point are covered in anemones and soft corals, caused by so much water being funnelled through Piper Gut, and the seabed at six metres has lots of pieces of wreckage melting’ into the rocks and stones. By staying close to the reef wall on the north side, you can quite comfortably fin around as long as you don’t venture too far out into Piper Gut. What is very surprising is that only 20 metres or so round on the north side of Big Harcar, there is little, if any, current close to the reef. There are some huge square rock ledges dropping down to the bottom, resembling very large steps. Travelling a further ten metres brings you to a shallow undulating kelp-covered plateau, 2-5 metres deep, that stretches out from the Big Harcar in a NNW direction for over 70 metres. There are a few small gullies and channels, often filled with lots of dead kelp and seaweed and with not much of interest.