The island of Ko Lipe is open year round, but due to seasonal rains and currents, getting there directly from Langkawi is only possible from roughly October through April. The absolute quickest route is taking the high-speed boats from Telaga harbour for 128 ringgit one way. Two departure options are available daily from the Telaga Harbour Terminal, plus one slower ferry option from Kuah, with Bundhaya Speedboat.
Bundhaya Speedboat is a reputable company with well-made shock-absorbing seats, ensuring you arrive with your
spinal column intact as well as making for a comfortable offshore sightseeing experience.
The process is quite easy; either book online 48 hours in advance through telaga-harbour.com or in person at the terminal. Your passport is taken when you pick up your ticket and this can be done the day of your planned trip or in advance. It’s only necessary to arrive 45 minutes prior to departure, but you may want to leave room for error because the boat absolutely leaves on time.
The staff handles the immigration procedure and deliver passports to immigration in Ko Lipe for further processing. Do note that the Ko Lipe immigration office is only open when the Langkawi-Ko Lipe ferries are running. Otherwise the immigration checkpoint will be at the Satun Ferry Terminal.
On arrival to Ko Lipe, you either get lucky and get taken straight to the beach or you take the scenic route and get delivered to an offshore dock, where you transfer to a longtail and then get delivered to the beach. Departing boats amid waves can be tricky at times, so we recommend wearing non-slip footwear. We also recommend waterproofing your luggage, because your precious cargo is handed over across open water. Do also note that you will get wet. Disembarking at the beach will put you in at least two feet of water.
By the time you hit dry land your passports are already being processed, so just wait for your name to be called, pick up your passport and you are good to go. You will be at the same building you return to for a return ticket to Langkawi. If you took the one-way-only option they also have available speed boats for Ko Lanta, Pakbara Pier and the islands in between.
We highly recommend taking this company back to Langkawi as well. Another company, Pakbara Speedboat Club, goes to Langkawi from Ko Lipe as well, but it’s not nearly as comfortable and your return trip will include being delivered to Porto-Awana, a free taxi ride to immigration farther inland with no way out except to pay for a taxi. Regardless of which company you choose, knowing your exact Langkawi arrival location can save you time and money.
By Vanessa Workman
Last updated on 11th December, 2012.