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

Boat trips

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Ko Libong is nicely situated for day trips to the superior beaches and snorkelling sites found at a host of nearby islands.

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Photo of Boat trips

Of course, you could always stick close by in the hopes of spotting an endangered dugong swimming peacefully offshore.

Most of the organised dugong trips offered on the island are undertaken by longtail boat, which have loud engines and sharp propellers that would presumably spook a dugong. A traveller who took one such excursion recounted cruising to a few different spots along the east coast, where sea grass is most abundant, and sitting quietly with the engine shut off for long stretches. She didn’t have any luck. We’ve heard that dolphins, sea turtles and migratory birds from Siberia are also sometimes spotted. If you want a shot at seeing a dugong without a boat, head to Point Dugongs or the watchtower in Batu Bute -- and bring binoculars.

Perhaps the better option is to book a dugong spotting and bird watching trip organised by Lifelong Learning Foundation in association with Haad Yao Nature Resort. Using kayaks rather than longtails, these are led by experienced naturalists and have minimal impact on the environment. The tours are available in high season only.

To ensure that you see something interesting even if no dugongs are about, go for a longtail boat trip around Libong that also includes stops at Saphan Hin (a small rock bridge), the observation tower in Batu Bute and bird watching in the east-coast wildlife reserve near Ju Hoi Cape. If you prefer to stay independent, you could always rent a kayak at one of the west coast resorts and paddle around on your own, but keep in mind that Libong is not a small island.

Those looking to head further afield can book a trip to swim in Ko Muk’s spectacular (unless full of tourists) Emerald Cave and snorkel amid the south reef of Ko Kradan and the islets of Ko Chueak and Ko Waen off the coast of Ko Ngai. You might also cruise out for superior snorkelling at Ko Rok, which is a solid two-hour ride west, or south to the gorgeous twin islands of Ko Lao Liang and more reefs around Ko Takieng. Just keep in mind that these longer trips often depend on the tide, as it’s impossible to drive a boat up to the west-coast beach at low tide due to the abundant rocks.

Boat trips can be arranged at Libong Beach Resort and Relax Resort, both offering some different options. The former uses a large boat for group trips to Ko Rok, while the latter mixes things up by hitting the Emerald Cave and dugong / bird watching on the same trip. If booking through resorts, the per-boat costs run from 1,500 baht for dugong spotting only, up to 3,000 to Ko Kradan, 3,800 to Lao Liang and Takieng, and 5,000 to Ko Rok. Inquire at both resorts to ensure the best price, and don’t be afraid to haggle.

Alternately, walk south up Lang Kao beach to Rimlay Restaurant, where islander Mr Bangriam takes travellers out in his own longtail boat at prices that are often half of what you’ll pay at the resorts. Offering trips around Libong and the other islands mentioned above, he makes up for a lack of English with a sincere and modest personality -- and of course the very cheap rates. Don’t be upset if he sends you away; it means the tide isn’t right for a trip. Look for him in person at the restaurant or call T: (099) 483 3074. His private transfers to Hat Yao are also a lot cheaper than from the resorts.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Libong.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ko Libong.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ko Libong.
 Read up on how to get to Ko Libong, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Libong? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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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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