We're planning on flying to Langkawi from KL in mid-May, then afterwards plan to head over to Thailand. The closest airport with regular flights seems to be Phuket but the flights aren't that cheap so we're thinking a ferry might be a better choice. We also hate flying so we like to avoid it where possible!
There seems to be conflicting info on various websites regarding ferries from the Telaga Terminal - some places say the ferries run once a day up until 31st May, others say the last ferry is on 31st April.
Just wondered if anyone had experience of this journey in May - we don't want to fly in and end up stranded with no option but to take an flight that is outside of our budget.
Thanks in advance x
I've never done that trip myself but this past March I was told by various travel agents on Lipe that the ferry to Langkawi stops April 30. These things do change, and if they didn't extend it this year they might next year -- but I realize that doesn't help you at the moment. If you want to check directly with someone on Lipe, email the people who run this website and they'll have up to date info (they're a reputable travel company based on Lipe): http://www.kohlipethailand.com/index.php
Again, I've never made this trip at any time, but there must be other (and surely better/faster/cheaper) options than flying to Phuket, which is really not close to Lipe. I'm not sure on this (and don't have time to research it now, sorry!) but I imagine you can get a ferry to the mainland from Langkawi then cross into Thailand through the Wang Prajan crossing, then make your way to Satun and arrange transport to Pakbara (main jumping off point for Lipe) from there. I imagine you could also go overland to Hat Yai then book a transfer all the way to Lipe from there. Again, not sure as I've never been to Langkawi, but it's highly likely that you could book a full transfer via land (including boarder crossing) to Lipe from a travel agent on Langkawi. Hopefully someone will come along here who can tell you for sure. :)
I remember helping another guy research this but can't find my posts on it.
According to wikitravel there is one ferry from Satun in the low season. Try and contact someone about going during this time though as the reason the main ferries stop is because the national park is closed and there is little to no accommodation/food etc available. Might want to reconsider your plans or at least get confirmation stuff will be open.
Thanks for your help guys :)
@DLuek: I will email! Thank you!
@Geer1: Maybe Langkawi isn't possible for us this time - can you suggest any other places in Malaysia that we could spend some time in? We just want to see more of the country than just KL, preferably somewhere with the things Langkawi has like beaches, marine parks etc.
Just got clarification from the TF writer based on Langkawi ...
As of now, there is no ferry from Langkawi to Lipe after April 30. This is partly due to weather conditions, but mainly because Thai immigration on Lipe closes from April 30 to Nov. 18 - so there would be no way to check travelers legally into Thailand. There's apparently talk that the immigration office will remain open year-round starting in 2014 but we don't have any verification on that.
However, there are year-round ferries direct from Kuah town on Langkawi to Satun in far southern Thailand. As far as I've been told, the ferry direct from Satun to Lipe runs only during high season, but it's not difficult to transfer from Satun to Pakbara some 60 km north. From Pakbara, at least one speedboat runs to Lipe everyday at 09:30 during low season, unless there's a big storm.
Again, I imagine you could book an all-in transfer to Lipe from a Langkawi travel office. Otherwise, you could arrange it through On's Restaurant in the center of Satun town. Satun's a nice little town, by the way, worth a night if you can swing it.
In sum, it's fairly easily doable without going all the way to Phuket. Lipe and Langkawi can be wet and quiet side in May, but personally that wouldn't stop me from going. It normally doesn't rain all day and those quick tropical storms blowing in can be a thrill. Low season also means cheap beach bungalows. :)