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Ko Lipe

Getting there and away

Air

Air Asia offers a single ticket that includes a flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai and minibus/ferry transfer to Ko Lipe. Note however that this is generally 1,000 baht more than it costs to book only the flight and then arrange the minibus/ferry transfer yourself from a local agent in either Trang or Hat Yai. If travelling via Trang, we recommend the service of Wunderbar; 650 baht includes pick-up at the airport, minibus transfer to Pakbara and speedboat to Lipe -- www.wunderbar-trang.com.

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Boat

Ko Lipe is usually reached by speedboat from a relatively new pier in the town of Pakbara, which is virtually always reached by minibus from any of the larger regional destinations. All travellers are required to pay 20 baht to use the pier.

In high season from November to April, speedboats depart for Lipe from Pakbara at 11:30 and 15:00, taking 90 minutes and costing 650 baht. Speedboats return to Pakbara from Lipe at 09:30 and 13:30. Additional boats are often available during peak season.

In low season, a single speedboat makes the run everyday from Pakbara to Lipe at 11:30, and from Lipe to Pakbara at 09:30. When we asked if this is weather dependent we were told the boat runs no matter what, so if it's monsoon conditions do use common sense before getting on board!

In either Lipe or Pakbara, speedboat tickets must be purchased from any of the countless travel agents. It's also possible to book boat tickets with minibus transfers to/from regional destinations like Trang, Hat Yai and Krabi. It's up to the agents to provide instructions and assistance on how/where to find the correct boat/minibus.

Note that travel agents in Pakbara often try to sell roundtrip or "open" tickets for 1,200 baht or less, but we don't advise these because finding the return boat on Lipe can be a pain.

Speedboats also run daily in high season (October 20-April 30) from Langkawi in Malaysia, departing at 9:30 and 14:30, costing 1,100 baht and taking one hour. Boats return to Langkawi from Lipe at 10:30 and 16:30.

There is no regular boat service between Langkawi and Lipe during low season.

The daily ferry from Satun stopped running in 2013. If coming from there, book a minibus transfer via Pakbara.

Speedboats to Lipe arrive at a very disorganised floating dock off Pattaya Beach. From here, travellers are first required to pay a 20 baht fee for "waste management and cleaning schemes", and then 50 baht per person for a longtail boat transfer to either Pattaya Beach or Sunrise Beach. There is often a wait time of up to 45 minutes for the longtail boat shuttles, which isn't made any easier by the fact that Pattaya Beach's white sand is so close that you could probably swim. Don't forget to pack your patience.

From October 20 to April 30, speedboats run an island-hopping route that includes Lipe as the southernmost stop. From Ko Lipe, these boats depart at 09:00.

Ko Bulon Lae is 600 baht and takes one hour; from Ko Bulon Lae to Lipe departs at 11:00.
Ko Muk costs 1,400 baht and takes two hours; from Ko Muk to Lipe departs at 10:00.
Ko Ngai costs 1,600 baht and takes two and a half hours; from Ko Ngai to Lipe departs at 09:30.
Ko Lanta costs 1,900 baht and takes three hours; from Ko Lanta to Lipe departs at 09:00.

From Ko Lanta it's possible to connect to speedboats headed for Ko Phi Phi and Phuket.

Lipe is not a large island -- it's only a 600 metre walk from Pattaya Beach to Sunrise Beach -- but motorbike taxis are available with a going rate of 50 baht to anywhere on the island. When you're ready to leave Ko Lipe, you can get boat tickets from almost any guesthouse, but it's best to purchase from the local travel offices as they provide better assistance. We recommend Koh Lipe Thailand Travel Shop (aka Boi's Travel Shop) on Walking Street near Pattaya beach, which also has an excellent website on Ko Lipe info, including updated boat schedules: www.kohlipethailand.com.

Travel shops can also book boat tickets along with minibus transfers to popular destinations. Trang costs 850 baht; Krabi: 1,050 baht; Phuket: 1,250 baht; Surat Thani: 1,300 baht; Bangkok: 1,500 baht.

It's worth noting that except during peak season most of the above going rates are negotiable, so if you do some bartering with the travel companies you'll be sure to save some baht.

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(Remotely sensible, non-ranting comments are much appreciated. Serial ranters, loons and spammers will be banished!

Please note reviews are now pre moderated. Not all reviews will be published and submissions may be edited for clarity, typos and style before they appear.

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