Ko Lipe

Travel Guide Asia Thailand South Thailand Ko Lipe

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Introduction

Ko Lipe is a very small island within the Tarutao National Marine Park but not part of it. It is owned by about 500 Chao Ley (Sea Gypsies) living in a village near Sunrise beach. About 10 years ago a water pipeline was built, before it was a very basic place with not enough water but good snorkeling everywhere, since then tourism mushroomed with a small Khao San road and hotels and restaurants everywhere.

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Sights and Activities

Pattaya Beach is a nice white sand beach. Snorkeling and diving is excellent in the surrounding Tarutao National Marine Park, there are boat tours for snorkeling near Ko Adang and several dive shops.

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Getting There

By Plane

The closest airports are Hat Yai from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and Trang from Bangkok.

By Train

The closest train station is Trang from Bangkok.

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By Car

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By Bus

From Trang or Hat Yai take a bus or minibus to Pak Bara, then a boat.

By Boat

The following companies operate boats in the high season (Nov-May):

  • Adang Sea Tours operates three daily speedboats from 1 Nov-15 May, leaving Pak Bara at 09:30, 11:30, and 15:30. The speedboats stop at Ko Tarutao or Ko Bulone. The journey from Pak Bara takes 90 minutes and costs 650 baht one-way, 1,200 baht round trip. The boats leave Ko Lipe at 09:30, 13:30, and 16:00 for the return trip (Feb 2016).
  • Bundaya Resorts and Lipe Speedboat Company also operates speedboats from Pak Bara, leaving at similar times and costing the same as above.
  • Forra Speedboats operates two daily speedboats from 1 Nov-15 May, leaving Pak Bara at 11:30 and 13:30. The speedboats stop at Ko Tarutao. The journey from Pak Bara takes 90 minutes and costs 650 baht one-way, 1,200 baht round trip. The boats leave Ko Lipe at 09:30 and 13:30 for the return trip.
  • Satun Pakbara Speed Boat Club operates a daily boat from Ko Lanta, leaving at 13:00 and stopping at Ko Ngai, Ko Muk, Ko Bulone, before reaching Ko Lipe at 16:00. The boat leaves Ko Lipe at 09:00 for the return trip. The company offers transfers to this boat from Phuket. The company also operates two daily speedboats from Telaga Terminal at Telaga Harbour Marina in Langkawi, Malaysia, 42 km from Ko Lipe. These boats dock at the south end of Pattaya Beach. The boats leave Langkawi at 09:30 and 14:30 for the 60 minute journey, costing approximately 120 ringgit. The boats leave Ko Lipe for the return journey at 10:30 and 16:30.
  • Tigerline Ferries operates a daily speedboat to/from Langkawi, leaving Langkawi at 08:00 and arriving at Ko Lipe at 09:00, and returns from Ko Lipe to Langkawi at 16:00. The trip costs 1,200 baht. The company also operates a daily speedboat to/from Hat Yao Pier in Trang, leaving Ko Lipe at 10:00 and arriving in Trang at 12:30. The trip costs 750 baht. The company offers boat service to Ko Lanta (1,500 baht total, arrives 15:30), and Phi Phi (1,800 baht total, arrives 17:00). For the journey to Ko Lipe, the boats leave Phi Phi at 08:00 and arrive in Ko Lipe at 15:30.
  • Tropical Charters operates ferries from Ko Lipe to Langkawi (Kuah jetty) twice per day during the high season at 11:00 and 16:00 from Ko Lipe and 09:30 and 14:30 from Langkawi. During the low season, the company only has morning trips. Price is RM118 one way (RM100 if you book online), including the longtail boat transfer and Thai custom fee (2015). Registration 90 minutes before departure at the Bundhaya Speed Boat office at Bundhaya Resort. The trip takes 90 minutes. Arrival in Langkawi is at Jetty Point in Kuah.

Off season there is 1 boat per day from Pak Bara via Ko Tarutao, in season are several per from Pak Bara, also boats from Ko Lanta via Ko Bulon Leh and Langkawi, Malaysia. These boats go to a platform floating off Pattaya beach, you will need then a local boat for 50 Baht to the beach and walk the last few metres through the water, be prepared for that!

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Getting Around

By Foot

On this island it's walking, it is very small.

By Bike

You might find a motorbike taxi if you have heavy luggage.

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Drink

Beers are surprisingly cheap on Ko Lipe, given that everything else seems jacked up in price.

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Sleep

There are over 60 guesthouses on the island. While some places may charge as little as 500 baht for very basic accommodation in the high season, these guesthouses sell out quickly. Most places will charge 1,000 baht+. Some hotels will have a sign advertising cheaper rates, but when you go inside to enquire, those rooms will inevitably be unavailable.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are countless internet bars across the country in big and small towns. Internet caf├ęs are widespread and most are inexpensive. Prices as low as 15 baht/hour are commonplace, and speed of connection is generally reasonable, but many cafes close at midnight. Higher prices prevail in major package-tourist destinations (60 baht/hour is typical, 120 baht/hour is not unusual). Keyloggers are all too often installed on the computers in cheap cafes, so be on your guard if using online banking, stock broking or even PayPal. Remember that in the smaller towns and more traditional areas the owners and staff of internet bars prefer if customers take off their shoes at the entrance and leave them outside. This might seem strange although this gesture goes a far way to make friends and give a positive image of foreigners to Thai people.

Outside the most competitive tourist areas, free Wi-Fi is not as common as in neighbouring countries in many budget hotels and guesthouses and they may charge small fee for Internet by LAN or Wi-Fi even if you bring your own laptop. Wi-Fi is commonly available in cafes and restaurants serving Westerners.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international code for Thailand is 66. 999 connects to all emergency services. Standard GSM emergency number 112 is supported in mobile networks. 911 for Tourist Police Department, English available.

For mobile phone users, Thailand has three GSM mobile service providers - AIS, DTAC and Truemove - which may be useful if you have a mobile phone that will work on either one or both of the GSM 900 or 1800 frequency bands (consult your phone's technical specifications). If you have one, you can buy a prepaid SIM card for any of the Thai carriers in any convenience store for as little as 50-200 baht and charge it up as you go. Using your own mobile phone while on holiday with a Thai pre-paid SIM card can save a lot of money and lets you give your number to family back home, so they can have an emergency contact number.

Post

Thailand Post is the Thai postal service that deals with all local and international mail in Thailand. The business is operated from local post offices. Post offices are easy to recognise with their red white and blue motifs and the words 'Thailand Post' in English and Thai above the entrance. They are open from Monday to Saturday, usually 8:30am to 4:30pm (main ones until around 8:00pm), though keeping shorter hours on Saturdays (usually until 1:00pm). They are generally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Each post office offers a comprehensive service which includes an Express Mail Service (EMS) and parcel post. They also have a price calculator for letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. They also have a track and trace system and money transfer services. If you want to send packages, it might be a good idea to check with private courier companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and generally quite competitively priced.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 8:55 on Jan 9, 19 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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