Boat to Ko Lipe from Lankawi, Pak Bara, Ko Lanta
Getting there: offseason only from Pak Bara, November to end of April also from Langkaw (leaving Kuah Jetty at 9.30 and 13.30 and Pattaya Beach at 11.00 and 16.00 costuming 1000 Baht), Trang (Hat Yao Pier) also to Ko Lanta, as well as Ko Bulon and Ko Tarutao from November to end of March.
From Pak Bara 650 Baht, also 650 from Trang including the minibus, from Had Yai only 600 (Cathatravel, early April 2015), from Ko Lipe 450 Baht.
The new transport concept Pak Bara to Ko Lipe might be necessary for the crowds which are now going to that island but is not nice. You arrive by minibus get at some desk a number/bordingpass enter the new and big pier pay 20 Baht, wait for your speedboat 80 passengers are crammed into it (you have to wear a live jacket but the last 20 to 30 will not get one), it stop then in Tarutao, if you get of you have to pay an other 200 Baht (Park fee, valid for 1 week) and some other little island ((Ko Khei) for 15 minutes and arrive then at a platform swimming before Pattaya Beach where you have to pay again 70 Baht for boat transfer to the beach and island management. Returning only 50 Baht for transfer and no stops.
If you come from Langkawi you should change money before (there is now a money changer next to the immigration but rather bad rates, also a ATM at the beginning of the Walking Street with additional charges), and you will need also some small bills to pay the transfer from the boat to the island (no pier, 70 baht per person)
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- Diving and Snorkeling
Getting there by air
The closest airports are Hat Yai, from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, with AirAsia you can even book a transfer if you come from Bangkok, otherwise take a minibus to Pak Bara, then a boat, Trat from Bangkok only, and minibus to Pak Bara, and Langkawi from Malaysia and Singapore, then boat.
Boat from Ko Lipe 450 Baht, minibus to Had Yai airport 250, to Had Yai town 200 and to Trang airport and town 200. From Trang and from Pak Para to Ko Lipe 650 Baht!
- Diving and Snorkeling
By train and boat fom Bangkok
There are 2 trains from Bangkok to Trang (depart 17.05 and 18.30 arrive 8.05 and 10.31), the later and a bit slower Rapid has non aircon sleepers from 521 Baaht, the Express has aircon sleepers from 761 Baht (aircon is usualy to cold for my taste, but in low season, May to October, the only way to get to Koh Lipe is by speedboat from Pak Bara at around 11:30hrs).
From Trang to Bangkok departure 13.29 (non aircon) and 17.25 (aircon, you have to use this train if you don´t want to stay overnight in trang), arrival 5.35 and 8.35.
I had never problems getting a bed on the same day, in Ko Lipe several travel agencies are selling traintiickets for a small fee, the boat is now 450 Baht, minibuses 200.
In Trang (nice place if you have time to spend) next to the train station you see several places selling minibuses to Pak Bara and boat tickets to Ko Lipe for 650 Baht, in Pak Bara the boat is also 650 (early April 2015)!
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Speedboat Langkawi to Koh Lipe
The direct speedboat traffic to Lipe from Telaga Harbour on Langkawi started Oct 20 and the rate is 128 Rm one way and 248 Rm return. To be on the safe side you should make an online reservation here: http://telagaterminal.rezgo.com/tour
Boat ride from Pak Bara Jetty, Satun
1. From Pak Bara jetty, take the speedboat to Ko Lipe.
Published rate is 1,200 baht per person. We were offered 700-800 baht for a return trip from Forra Diving Speedboat operator. Condition is that you have to use the same boat operator for both ways for the purchase of a return ticket.
Pak Bara - Ko Lipe: 11-11.30am
Ko-Lipe - Pak Bara: 9am
Route: Speedboat will drop passengers to Ko Tarutao National Park, and stop at Ko Ngai beach before heading to Ko Lipe.
Journey: 1.5-2 hours
2. Longtail boat
It is not possible for the speedboat to dock at Ko Lipe beach as there is no jetty and the water is too shallow. Passengers will have to take a 5 minute long-tail boat ride to go to the beach. 50 bath per person.
Island Hopping Around Koh Lipe
You can easily book a longtail boat when u are on the island, tell them u want to go island hopping, talk to the resort people they will help u get a boat, or talk to the boatmen themselves. U can rent the boat for half a day or one full day, u can negotiate maybe 3 or 4 islands, with lunch or without. Some nice boatmen will catch fish for you and cook it for your lunch. Some nice spots are Koh Yang and Koh Hin Ngam, which has beautiful stripy pebbles, but beware that there is a curse on the island for anyone taking anything from it so do not take any of the stones home!
But if you want to go to Koh Tarutao, it's over an hour away by ferry... so if you want to take a boat, it's going to take u at least 3 or 4 hours. Better u stop there on your way to Koh Lipe, or on your way back from Koh Lipe, then maybe stay one night at Koh Tarutao... i have not done this. The accomodation there is very basic, camping and a few govt. chalets. Maybe you can try take the ferry that's going back and forth from the mainland there, but sometimes there's only one ferry a day, you should think about staying overnight at Koh Tarutao.
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How To Get To Koh Lipe From Malaysia
The first time i went to Koh Lipe i took ferries. There are ferries from Kuala Kedah and Langkawi, Malaysia to Satun, Thailand where u do all the immigration stuff before taking another ferry out to the islands. I think from Kuala Perlis u have to get a ferry to Langkawi then change to Satun, then ferry to Koh Lipe in that order. Same goes for ferrying it from Penang to Satun, you have to change ferries in Langkawi.
At times of the year there'll be only one ferry daily from Satun to Koh Lipe, usually around 1 p.m. so make sure yr ferry from Langkawi arrives in plenty of time. Some times the ferries can be a little unreliable. Last time we went, on the way back, our ferry to Langkawi was delayed an hour and we missed our flight back to KL!
Another good way, from KL or Singapore, is to take a bus or train all the way to Hat Yai, then a taxi to Satun to catch the ferry. The connection times for that are more reliable since the bus and train from the south arrive in the morning (bus arrives around 8 a.m. in Hat Yai and train arrives around 11 a.m.). Then the taxi takes less than 2 hours to get from Hat Yai to Satun. So u must leave Hat Yai by 11 a.m. or 11.30 a.m. LATEST. (It will help if you get the agency to CALL the ferry people so they can hold the ferry for you if you are late!! But be warned you will not be very popular with other travellers who are waiting on that ferry for you!) Also make sure you check whether the ferries are operating from Tammalang or PakBara Pier, these are the two piers in Satun that have ferries departing to Koh Tarutao, Koh Lipe, Koh Bulon etc. Depending on season and demand, sometimes only one pier is operating. Lat time we had to take a taxi from Satun's Tammalang Pier which is where the ferry from Langkawi lands, catch a taxi to PakBara Pier which is about an hour away, and take the ferry from PakBara Pier to Koh Lipe, stopping at Koh Tarutao first.
Don't worry if the boat ride is a little bit rough, depends on which ferry u take, it's worth it when u get there.
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