Koh Lanta now is at almost the perfect stage of development. You still can easily get the feeling that you have the whole beach to yourself and see the local lifestyle virtually unchanged by tourism, but there are a few five star hotels and modern shops, and plenty of bars, pubs and restaurants of every description, as well as shops catering to almost your every need.
You’ll even a disco or two and some live concerts with big local names. All major beaches are lined with bars/restaurants, usually run by laid back young men from surrounding provinces, as most local islanders are Muslim and can’t sell alcohol. In the past, tourists were limited to simple local fare, just a few kinds of beer and maybe a cocktail or two, but most beach bars now offer quite a good variety of cocktails (beer is still limited) and they are learning how to make pretty good western foods. The restaurants on the street are becoming quite trendy and a wide variety of ethnic and specialty foods can now be found.