Getting away to Koh Lipe, Thailand couldn’t be easier. A high-speed ferry gets you there in about an hour depending on the sea conditions. Koh Lipe is a small and simply developed island in the southern Andaman Sea. The surrounding Butang Islands and Tuarutao Marine Park offers great diving and snorkeling off these beautiful and undeveloped islands.
Koh Lipe offers a number of pleasant hotels and many small resorts with rattan huts and ceiling fans. The 3 beaches in Ko Lipe each offer a unique experience and a variety of restaurants accommodations. You can get some great information on hotels at Travelfish .
I arrived at Telaga Harbor at 8:30 am and joined the gathering travelers.
You need to take your passport upstairs with your departure card. The staff
then takes all the passports to immigrations and brings them to the boat in
a watertight dry bag. The crew will then hand the passports into Thai Immigrations upon arrival.
At 9:30 everyone boarded the boat for the short trip to Thailand. The breeze was cool and the seas flat for the journey. The boat with its multiple and very large outboards kept up a good speed. The Island of Langkawi slipped behind and the first of the small outlying Butang Islands came into view.
When we arrived in Koh Lipe at Pattaya Beach everyone was then loaded into long tails boats for the short trip to the beach. Immigration was quick and
I was off to seek out a hotel. Having no reservations is not usually a problem except in the very high season. Even then you can always find a small hut with a fan. I was recommended the Z-Touch Resort , just a short walk down Pattaya Beach. The Z-Resort has a friendly staff, a nice pool and restaurant and for those of us who can never be away from the net; Wi Fi (that works!)
Can read more ( HERE )
After a quick check in, I dropped my bags off in my small but comfortable room. I then set off to explore the island and all that it has to offer. It’s better to ex-change your currency into Thai Baht before you arrive. You’ll get a much better rate.
Unfortunately for me, the Maybank exchange in Telaga was closed the day I departed so I needed to seek out a money changer in Koh Lipe. The larger hotels will exchange currency but I found a slightly better rate at a money exchange on the ‘walking street’; the main thoroughfare on the island that begins in Pattaya Beach.
There are 3 beaches on Koh Lipe; Pattaya, Sunrise and Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach being the most isolated. Which beach is the best? They all have their charm and differences and they should be explored ! And explore I did in the short time I was there.
And being such a small world, I ran into my friend Gary ( a cruising sailor) at the Boom Boom Bar on Sunset Beach . The owner, Man and his right hand man Lif kept everyone well supplied with cold beverages and conversation.
It was a great group of people and it just happened to be a going away dinner for Suzie and Hans, a visiting couple from New Zealand. Throw in a few fireworks, fire twirling, live music, and a beautiful sunset and I found myself staying late into the night.
Back on Pattaya Beach the next day, I discovered the Monkey Bar. It’s a great place to meet people for conversation and libations. I happen to meet a Japanese Reggae musician, Coco Tabu, who by chance was on his way to Langkawi to play the Kita Kitar Festival at Babylon Matlounge in Pantai Cenang Beach.
Telaga Harbor has ferry service from Langkawi to Koh Lipe Thailand twice a day at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm everyday from October through April or May. The return ferries to Telaga are at 10:30 am and 4:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online 48 hours in advance or at the Ferry Terminal, 120 rm one way and 240 rm round trip.
And if you are booking a ferry from Ko Lipe to Langkawi? There are more than one company, so be certain you know where you are arriving in Langkawi. It’s possible to have friends waiting for you in Telaga and you happen to be on the ferry to Kuah Town. It’s an easy mistake to make, so read the fine print or ask.