Getting to Koh Lipe Thailand

Getting to Koh Lipe Thailand is fairly simple as there are a few ways into this island paradise on the Andaman Sea. Koh Lipe or Ko Leepae (Paper Island) is one of the last few remaining exotic islands of Southwest Thailand which used to be a hippy stop that is located in the Tarutao National Marine Park. The most common way here is from Pakbara town next to La-Ngu Town in the Satun district of Southern Thailand or via Telaga Harbor or Awana Porto Malai in Langkawi Island Malaysia.

Due to some recent issues with the ferry operators and the local Langkawi authorities, there have been some changes in the ferry services to Koh Lipe from here. It seems that there is a general ferry from Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe that has started.

Also note that every season (year) the ferry timetables change, so it is best to double and triple check if you are on a very tight schedule. The Ferry service from Langkawi starts on 20th October too.

Ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe Update - August 2014

  • The Langkawi Speedboat ferry transfers operate from Oct 20th - May 31st
  • General Ferries are only from Kuah Town Jetty
  • Tigerline will start their ferry service from Kuah to Koh Lipe and back from 8th November 2014
  • Tigerline Website
  • The speedboat service to Lipe from Telaga Harbour starts 20th Oct
  • The immigration counter on Ko Lipe is closed until 20th Oct (Off Season)
Ferry from Pak Barra to Koh Lipe
  • Take the 09.00am ferry from Kuah Jetty to Tammalang Pier in Satun which will arrive 09.15am (Thai time)
  • Then take a 1 hour taxi ride to Pak Bara Pier
  • One way ferry ticket is Baht 650
  • Then catch the speedboat transfer 11.30am to Lipe which arrives at 13.00pm
  • There is another speedboat at 15.00pm (From Nov 1st)
Ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe Fees - August 2014
  • Koh Lipe Thailand 1200 THB one way/person + 500 THB booking fee
  • Telaga Harbour Terminal 128 MYR + 6 MYR booking fee. If you book online, you get a RM10 discount. 
  • In total this is about 1300 THB one way /person

Telaga Harbor's Petronas Quay

For my trip to Koh Lipe in January 2010, I flew in to Langkawi Island from Kuala Lumpur on AirAsia and then took a ferry from Telaga Harbor to Ko Lipe. This is the only passage from Malaysia to Ko Lipe. However, you need to know that your ferry ticket can be booked online from the Telaga Harbor website in advance to avoid being sold out as it is a popular route these days.

Telaga Harbor Marina

Telaga Harbor Marina is located on the western part of Langkawi Island and is only about 15 minutes by taxi from the Langkawi Airport or about 30 minutes from Kuah Town. So plan your journey timings carefully here. There are a number of shops and amenities available like a KFC fast food joint and a mini convenient shop which is just at the Petronas Petrol Station just next to the ferry office.

Foreign Money Exchange at Telaga Harbor

More importantly, there is a foreign currency exchange available at one of the local banks there too. However, I would recommend you change your Thai Baht before coming here as the rates are not that good. Look for money changers in town or other cities. Your last alternative would be to change your Thai Bath with a friendly local guy that sits around the ferry waiting area with a laptop.

Koh Lipe ferry office in Telaga Harbor

Upon arrival, you head straight up to the Marina office where you need to fill up the immigration form and verify or buy your Koh Lipe tickets. (Online ticket buyers, bring the copy with you!) It is here that you also submit your Passport to them as they will hand it to the boat captain for safekeeping in a dry bag. This is completely normal so no worries here. After you have completed everything, head on downstairs and socialize while waiting. You would probably be the 9.5 out of 10 foreigners waiting as not many locals visit Lipe. (update 2014, more Malaysians and Southeast Asians are visiting Ko Lipe nowadays)

High speed ferry to Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe Ferry - What it looks like inside

Once the Lipe Ferry arrives, they will do a quick clean up and unload everything before you are invited to board the ferry. By looking at the pictures above, you would see that these are really high powered ferries that only take about 45 minutes from Langkawi to Koh Lipe. Each ferry can seat about 20 people comfortably. Bags are given to the deckhands to be stored in front while life jackets are ready on the seats. If you are the type that gets seasick easily, please be well prepared as these ferries are really fast.

Arriving at Koh Lipe in the water

On arrival at Koh Lipe, you should know that there is no pier or jetty for you. The boats will reverse and stop in the water where you have to get into the water and wade to the beach before heading to the immigration office. Your bags will be unloaded by the boatmen to the beach and you collect your own baggage. So avoid high heels (Asians!), socks and long pants. Best to go beach-style on this trip.

Koh Lipe Immigration Office or Hut

Passport Office at Ko Lipe

The ferries will stop right in front of the little immigration hut. It is so small that only one officer in charge so be prepared to wait if there are a few boats arriving at the same time. What happens is the captain will send all the passports kept in his dry bag to the immigration officer where he will check them individually and process them. When it is done, his assistants will call out your name to collect your passport. Note - Because foreigners have really nice names, it may be hard for them to pronounce so all ears there as in hang around closely till you get your name called. Sometimes they will just call a name and show the passport picture around. 

Immigration officer at Koh Lipe

The passport office is located along the Pattaya Beach just right next to the Bundhaya Resort. This is the main beach of Koh Lipe while there is the Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach and Mountain Resort. Depending on where you stay, you can take the longtail taxis from just outside the passport office. For me, I stayed at Mountain Resort which is a private beach on the north most part of Koh Lipe. So I went down to the beach and asked the local Chow Ley (sea gypsies) longtail boatmen how much to my resort. It generally costs about 50 Baht per person for taxi services.

Ferry check in times at Koh Lipe

If you are backpacking and planning to travel to other islands or parts of Thailand and Malaysia, I suggest you check your boat timings and bookings here as there is an office for this. On the main shopping street of Lipe, there are a number of travel services provided too. Ferry, train, bus tickets all sold there. Watch out for my next posting about Koh Lipe in general. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there are NO ATMs or Banks in Koh Lipe so bring enough cash. Some outlets offer you cash advances from credit cards, but you know the drill.

There is an ATM available now and also a 7-11 at the Walking Street of Ko Lipe. 

You should not follow the timetable below as it is the old one, I have done the new one up above and due to the current changes, there may be different timings for 2014/2015. 

For the below, there have been some confusion as a few readers have tried to contact a number of ferry operators but was told that they do not operate to Ko Lipe. I would suggest you go through the Telaga Harbor Ferry Service. 

Ferry from Awana Porto Malai Resort in Langkawi to Koh Lipe;
Ticket price for Awana-Koh Lipe: RM129 per person one way
Return ticket Awana-Koh Lipe-Awana RM250 per pax.
Times: 10.30am, 12.00noon and 2.30pm
Contact Mr. Adam of Andaman Vacation
Telephone. +6012 463 6899

Tigerline Ferry timings to Koh Lipe and Langkawi
Departing Langkawi: 09.00 (Telaga), 09.00 (Awana Hotel jetty), 12.00 (Telaga)
Departing Lipe: 10.00 (To Telaga), 16.00 (To Telaga), 16.00 (To Awana Hotel jetty) 

Ferry from Kuah Town in Langkawi to Koh Lipe;
Alternatively, you can go to the Kuah Pier at Langkawi town and book your ticket from the ferry counter to Tammalang. From Tammalang, Tarutao Island you can hop on to a direct ferry to Ko Adang or Ko Lipe. You need to pay about 350 bath per way.
Tigerline Website

Koh Lipe Packages via Travel Agents;
Apparently, there are a number of travel agents in Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach) in Langkawi that offer 3D/2N packages to Ko Lipe. You can also check with them as they do an all-inclusive package with ferry transfer and lodging. 

Some of the travel agencies in Hat Yai or Pak Bara also offer packages so you can check with the respective agents there too if you are coming from Bangkok or via Hat Yai.

Getting to Koh Lipe from Thailand;

From Bangkok to Hat Yai to Pak Barra - There are daily trains from Hua Lamphong train station  in Bangkok at around 5pm to 8pm. Journey to Hat Yai town is 15 hours. From Hat Yai, take the mini bus from Thalat Kasit Station (near airport) and journey to Pak Barra is about 2 hours (150 Baht). Various travel agents sell package tickets in town (Mini bus plus ferry) but you have to buy it from these agents. You can also book a private van/car direct to Pak Barra, costs a little more.

When you reach Pak Barra town, it can get pretty messy with every other person trying to sell you ferry tickets. Best option is to buy your ticket from the relevant ferry company counters. There are restaurants and shops to pass time while waiting for your next ferry. Make sure you stock up on your necessities as prices are almost double on Ko Lipe. The last shop before the jetty in Pak Bara sells some decent Water Proof Bags. We got Size No5 for about Baht 300 while Size No10 at Baht 350.

Pak Barra serves as the main gateway to Koh Lipe from land. 

From Phuket and the surrounding islands which include Krabi - You need to get to Koh Lanta where there are many ferries heading to Koh Lipe. Check with the people there on the timings. Some ferries make various stops at many of the smaller islands before Koh Lipe. Also be careful of the low season from May to November as a number of services stop during this period.

Telaga Harbor Langkawi Map

View Telaga Harbor Marina in a larger map

Ferry to Koh Lipe from Telaga Harbor Langkawi

Update august 2014 - Please follow the updates in the begining of this post
Departing Telaga Harbour Langkawi twice a day - 0930hrs & 1430hrs
Returning from Koh Lipe twice a day - 1130hrs & 1700hr
Ticket bookings and availability online or Telaga Terminal, Telaga Harbour Marina, Langkawi.
One Way Ferry Ticket to Koh Lipe - RM 128 (US$42)
Return Ferry Ticket to Koh Lipe/Langkawi - RM 248 (US$82) 

You can also read about my other article on Koh Lipe, Thailand. If you have been wondering where this beautiful island is, it is just north of Langkawi Islands and it is the most south most island from Phuket in Thailand. I have personally been here twice and tried visiting this place from Langkawi and also Pak Bara Town in Thailand. I hope this guide gives you good information about Getting to Koh Lipe Thailand.