I am currently planning a trip to Thailand for August 2014. I know this is pretty far in advance, but I am currently on break from school and thought I would get the bulk of my research done now.
Anyways, I am currently stuck and need a little guidance. I currently have some time in the middle of my itinerary to kill. I am undecided between Ko Lipe and Ko Lanta . Unless plans change, I will be traveling from Ko Samui to Krabi , where I will eventually head to Ko Lipe or Ko Lanta.
Now, I already know that in August if I want to go to Ko Lanta I have to take a minibus/van that will take a car ferry to Ko Lanta from Krabi. And I also believe that it will take about 3-4 hours to get from Ko Samui to Krabi (via Surant Thani).
I am curious to know how long it will take to get from Krabi to Pak Bara for the ferry to Ko Lipe. I know this is the only possible option in August, and it seems pretty far away. Travel time is going to be a big factor in my decision between Ko Lipe and Ko Lanta, as I only have a few days to give. Railay is also a third option...and of course my 4th option is to just add some time onto my stay in Ko Samui or Ko Phi Phi.
Thank you in advance for the help!
It can take 5 hrs from samui to krabi. Waiting time and slow buses. If only a few days just stay in ao nang or railay. Heaps of day trips to do.
Nothing much to do on Lanta. Not much open low season and they dont bother cleaning the beaches.
In years past, Lanta used to largely shut down in low season. But my last visit there I was struck by the number of places with signs OPEN ALL YEAR. The more conscientious of these will clean the beaches in front of their resorts - others wont and I'm afraid I can't tell you which are which.
Lipe is the same in that more places are staying open all year. But low season transport may not be as good - last I heard there is a daily ferry plus a daily speedboat service, weather permitting. The travel agents opposite the railway station in Trang will be able to line you up with tickets and transport to the pier in Pak Bara. (Plenty of Lanta and Krabi to Trang minibuses - and most tend to terminate at the railway station). So will travel agents on Lanta and in Krabi.
It's a fair haul from Krabi to Lipe (I'm thinking 4-5 hours in the van but if you are on Railay etc add a minimum hour to get to the van) - depending on what time the ferry/speedboat leaves you might be in for a night in Trang or Pak Bara. The latter is not too bad - a pretty nice town to spend time. Never spent a night at Pak Bara.
One downside of Lanta is that all the tourist beaches face west into the prevailing wet season winds - can mean lots of flotsam and jetsam and big waves on and after blowier days. Personally I'd jump a ferry from Krabi to Phi Phi and stay on one of the sheltered beaches on the east coast. Or at Viking's sheltered beach on the south coast which has the advantage of being within easy walking distance of town.
Lipe's Andaman (Sunrise) and the west end of Pattaya beaches tend to be sheltered from wet season blowier periods.