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Ko Libong

Travel Guide

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Ko Libong is not your typical postcard island getaway -- the accommodation is on the rustic side, tourists are far outnumbered by locals, and the beaches and swimming are not the greatest Thailand has to offer. Even so, Libong offers a unique chance to enjoy a laidback, isolated atmosphere, a memorable nature-jungle experience, and to get a sense of local island village life.

If you're looking for luxury resorts, spa treatments and perfect English-speaking hotel staff, then you might as well stop reading right now. But if you're tired of the over-development and crowds on places like Ko Phi Phi, Ko Samet, and Ko Lipe, and are looking for deserted beaches and thick but accessible jungle, then Ko Libong is for you.

The largest of Trang province's islands, Libong is home to a thriving Muslim community that earns its livelihood almost exclusively from fishing and rubber. A fishing village occupies much of the east of the island, and a sizable swath of the interior is filled with rubber plantations.

Due to the industry and the number of people living here, some parts of Ko Libong are on the littered side. With the northern chunk protected as a wildlife preserve, though, the island retains an impressive jungle environment. Some picturesque forested cliffs with viewpoints over the ocean are easily accessible by mountain bike or motorbike, and a kayak ride along the western and northern shores will provide plenty of deserted beaches to choose from.

Ko Libong is also the best place in Thailand for attempting to spot an endangered dugong in the wild. Many of these amiable beasts graze the sea grass offshore, and especially in the brackish rivers that run into the east side of the island. Any of the resorts will be happy to arrange a guided canoe trip to have a look-see, but as with all wildlife spotting, remember that sightings are not guaranteed.

Unlike other nearby islands like Ko Kradan or Ko Ngai, the beaches of Ko Libong are not picture perfect. The sand is darker and grainier here, and much of the island's shoreline is rocky so it's not optimal for swimming. This is not altogether bad, however. Even on the western shore where all four resorts are located, the large and relatively long stretch of beach is often completely deserted save a few dogs, local kids and longtail drivers. This western beach is an excellent sunset spot, and the coral formations and extreme quiet can combine for a uniquely other-worldly feel. If you set out for one of the more isolated beaches, it's nearly guaranteed that your only companions will be the resident hermit crabs -- really!

Enjoying the peace and quiet is still the leading pastime here, but Ko Libong does offer diving and snorkelling trips -- if interested check with Le Dugong or Libong Beach Resorts.

There are no ATMs on Ko Libong, so bring enough cash for your stay.

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Text and/or map last updated on 28th December, 2011.

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