Photo: The beaches on Ko Libong can get very busy.

Eat and meet

Libong’s limited restaurants serve some notably good Thai food, with just enough options to keep you from getting bored, at least for a while. All of the eateries close by 21:00 or 22:00 so make sure not to nap through dinner lest you go hungry for a night.

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Many travellers never feel the need to stray from Libong Beach Resort’s open-air seaside restaurant, serving a lengthy menu of mostly Thai dishes that, in our experience, exceed expectations. The seafood green curry came spicy and with big chunks of crabmeat and fresh fish; the chicken massaman was rich and hearty; the som tam was well balanced and the fresh fruit plate stacked with bright purple dragon fruit and sweet-as-can-be mango. The resort also does whole barbecued or fried fish along with breakfasts, burgers, fresh coffee and excellent fruit shakes. Prices are where they should be for the quality and large portions -- starting at 80 baht for basic stir-fries, 150 for curries and 250 for seafood. Family-size portions are also available.

For something cheaper and more homely, walk south down the beach to the charming Rimlay Restaurant in Baan Lang Kao. Owned by a family who were all born and raised on Libong, the three-table joint overlooks the beach and offers a single-page menu with dishes costing just 40 to 50 baht. The tom yum that we ordered came full of aromatic spices and fresh chunks of white fish -- as good as you’re likely to find at any of the resorts and less than half the price. Other options include simple noodle soup, pad Thai and stir-fries like pad pong karee, Southern Thai yellow curry with egg, scallions and squid. The mother of the house prepares your food right there in an open kitchen.

The restaurants at Relax and Sunset resorts both do reasonable Thai food but don’t touch the quality of Libong Beach. However Relax has the best bar on Libong, run by a friendly bartender with considerable experience working in more touristy places. We’ve heard good things about his cocktails, and the atmosphere is great for a sundowner. As of 2016 Sunset had also added a bar and was advertising barbecue as well.

You’ll find only a handful of tiny local-style restaurants beyond Haad Lang Kao. Though we didn’t get around to trying them, we noticed a few cheap noodle and rice shops operating just north of Batu Bute along the main cross-island road. You’ll also find locally owned convenience stores to go with streetside stalls selling Thai sweets and grilled chicken, among other munchies, in the villages.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ko Libong? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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