How to get to Koh Lipe Island (from Thailand) – Travel Tips

Joy Intisuk

how to get to koh lipe island

Ready to escape to a tropical island where azure waters meet sapphire skies and the golden sands inviting endless relaxation? 

If so, Koh Lipe is calling your name. 

Our digital nomad guide is meticulously crafted to provide all you need to know to travel to Koh Lipe, ensuring your journey to this serene island is as smooth and enjoyable as the ocean breeze. 

From the chaotic streets of Bangkok to the tranquil beaches of Koh Lipe, we cover a variety of travel options tailored to fit every nomadic adventurer’s needs.

Key Highlights

  • The comprehensive travel guide provides detailed options for reaching Koh Lipe from various locations, including Bangkok, Phuket, and Krabi, as well as international destinations like Langkawi. It details air, sea, and land travel combinations.
  • This digital nomad guide emphasizes the variety of transportation combinations available, such as flights, speedboats, and ferries, alongside the convenience of combination tickets that include all necessary transfers, streamlining the travel process.
  • Digital Nomads can experience a seamless journey with meticulously planned transfers, ensuring a smooth transition from major hubs to the serene beaches of Koh Lipe.
  • Airlines like Thai Lion Air, AirAsia, and Nok Air offer combination tickets that simplify logistics and facilitate a straightforward journey.
  • The guide advises digital nomads to book transportation in advance, especially during peak tourist season from December to February, to avoid inconvenience and fully enjoy Koh Lipe’s pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs.
  • This essential travel guide to Koh Lipe provides a thorough outline of travel options, equipping visitors with all the information needed for a hassle-free and enjoyable trip to one of Thailand’s most enchanting island destinations.

All you need to know to travel to Koh Lipe

Whether you seek the thrill of a speedboat, the convenience of a direct flight, or the affordability of land travel, this comprehensive digital nomad guide will help you navigate your way to Koh Lipe easily and confidently. 

Dive into our article and start planning your unforgettable adventure to Koh Lipe—your island paradise awaits!

1. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Bangkok

Option A – Airplane

You can book a flight from Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok to Hat Yai Airport.

Afterward, you must board a minibus and travel to Satun’s Pakbara Pier. The trip from Hat Yai and Trang airports will take about 1.5 hours. 

I suggest you reserve your transportation from Hat Yai Airport to Koh Lipe in advance. It will be such a waste of time if you get stuck because the bus is already fully booked. 

Paying for a cab to drive you to the dock is an alternative and more convenient option. However, expect the rate to be significantly expensive. 

Once you get to Pakbara Pier, a speedboat will take you to Koh Lipe.

During the peak season from November to May, the crossing to the island happens four times a day: 

  • 9:30 AM
  • 11:30 AM
  • 1:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM 

Again, you should budget 1.5 to 2 hours for boat travel.

As always, plan your trip accordingly. Proper organization of your travel itinerary is the best way to ensure a smooth and stress-free travel experience.

Doing so will give you enough time to pick up your bags, locate the bus stop, and get to the dock at least 30 minutes before the ferry departs.

Another feasible option when choosing air travel is to purchase a combination ticket. This option is something that some low-cost carriers like Thai Lion Air, AirAsia, and Nok Air offer. 

When purchasing your ticket, select Koh Lipe as the final destination. The airline will arrange all transportation from Bangkok to Koh Lipe. 

Your ticket includes the flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai, the vehicle to the pier, and the ferry to Koh Lipe.

I actually prefer this method. It is hassle-free as you leave every detail to the airline. However, it can also be pretty expensive. So, if you are a nomad on a tight budget, this may not be the best choice of travel. 

Option B – Bus, Train, and Ferry

When flying is not an option, you can go from Bangkok to Koh Lipe by bus, train, and ferry. 

Six times daily, from 1:00 PM to 10:50 PM, trains leave Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station for Hat Yai, which takes roughly 14 to 15 hours. 

Yes, fellow nomad, it is that longgg!

Up to 1,800 baht can be spent on a train ticket from Bangkok to Hat Yai. You can take a vehicle plus a ferry to Koh Lipe from Hat Yai Station.

Although traveling by land from Bangkok to Koh Lipe is a lengthy process, it can also be the least expensive. The availability of combination tickets for trains, buses, vans, and ferries is a plus.

So, if you are on a tight budget and willing to compromise with travel time, this can be a favorable option for you.

2. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Phuket

Option A: Ferry Boat

If you enjoy boat trips, you can go directly from Phuket to Koh Lipe by ferry boat. 

Remember that there will be multiple departure times during the high season but just one ferry per day during the low season. 

From Rassada Pier, the Phuket-Koh Lipe ferry arrives at Pattaya Beach. You will take between 5 and 7 hours on the ferry from Phuket to Koh Lipe. 

The boat is highly comfortable, with air conditioning, a bathroom, a bar selling snacks and drinks, and amazing views of the Andaman Sea, making it the finest alternative to go from Phuket to Koh Lipe. 

A ferry ride from Phuket to Koh Lipe costs between 2,000 and 2,800 Thai Baht.

Option B: Speed Boat

Speed boat travel is the quickest way to get from Phuket to Koh Lipe. The journey costs 3,400 baht and takes just 3 hours. 

Since the speed boat from Phuket to Koh Lipe leaves at 8:30 AM, lunch will be served on the island. 

If you have the budget, I highly suggest you take the speed boat ride. It is less crowded and cuts the travel time in half.

Option C: Bus, Van, and Boat Combo

Alternatively, you can go by bus, van, or boat with just one ticket. 

Depending on the agency you select, the vehicle can proceed immediately to Hat Yai Bus Station or the Pak Bara Pier. 

No matter the path, obey the directions, and they’ll deliver you to your desired location. This journey takes 7 to 9 hours and costs 800 to 1,200 Thai Baht.

Option D: Airplane

The final alternative is flying. 

Daily flights connect Phuket to Hat Yai, where you can continue using the abovementioned travel. After the hour-long flight, the trip to Koh Lipe takes an additional 4 to 5 hours. 

3. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Krabi

Option A: Van & Ferry Combo

The quickest and most cost-effective way to get from Krabi to Koh Lipe is by van and ferry combo. 

In a little over 4 hours, the van will take you right to Pak Bara Pier. You can then board a ferry or a fast boat to Koh Lipe. 

If you order the combo ticket in advance, it costs between 1,100 and 1,200 baht, and they will likely pick you up at the hotel. 

Option B: Airplane, Taxi, and Speedboat Combo

Fly from Krabi International Airport (KBV) to Hat Yai International Airport (HDY). Multiple airlines operate this route, and the flight duration is approximately 1 hour. Good thing, flights are available several times a day.

Upon arrival at Hat Yai Airport, take a taxi, minivan, or pre-arranged transfer to Pak Bara Pier. This journey takes about 2 hours.

Many transport services offer combined tickets, including the airport transfer and the ferry to Koh Lipe. Booking in advance can ensure a smoother connection.

From Pak Bara Pier, board a speedboat or ferry to Koh Lipe. The speedboat ride takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

Option C: Private Cab or Van

The exact route can be completed using a private cab or van, but the cost will be higher (4,000–5,000 baht for the boat and road trips). 

The biggest advantage of hiring a private cab or van is convenience. It is most convenient because you are in control of your time and company. You can travel anytime with anyone you want. 

4. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Koh Lanta

Option A: Ferry (Direct Route)

To travel from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe, the most straightforward option is to take a direct ferry during the high season, which runs from November to April. Saladan Pier is the departure point for all ferries between Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe.

The direct ferry service takes about 4 hours and may include brief stops at islands like Koh Ngai, Koh Muk, or Koh Bulon. This can be booked online or through local travel agencies and hotels.

The ferry costs from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe range from 1,400 to 2,000 baht.

Option B: Speedboat (Direct Route)

If you prefer a faster route, a direct speedboat will get you there in about 3 to 3.5 hours, though the ride can be bumpy.

In the peak season, there are numerous departures each day. Plan ahead because the timetable can be unpredictable during the low season, and some firms run boats every other day.

Option C: Ferry and Speedboat Combo (Indirect Route)

If traveling during the low season or looking for a more economical route, you can opt for an indirect journey. 

First, take a ferry from Koh Lanta to the mainland at Trang or Pak Bara Pier, which takes around 2 hours. Then, travel by taxi or minivan to Pak Bara Pier, which takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. 

From Pak Bara Pier, take a speedboat to Koh Lipe, which lasts another 1.5 to 2 hours. 

This entire journey totals approximately 6 to 7 hours and can be booked as a combined ticket through travel agencies.

5. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Phi Phi Island

Option A: Ferry Boat or Speedboat (Direct Route)

A ferry or speed boat leaves from TonSai Pier every day if you want to get to Koh Lipe from Koh Phi Phi. 

The journey will take three and a half to four hours. Since they only stop in Koh Lanta, the ferry travels faster than the speedboats.

The speed boat cost might range from 2,000 to 2,600 baht, compared to 1,950 for the ferry from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe. 

You can leave early in the day with ferries and speedboats starting at 9 AM or late with ferries beginning at 2 PM.

Several agencies run services between the two islands. Therefore, comparing the costs is essential if you want to get the best deals.

Option B: Ferry, Bus, and Speedboat Combo (Indirect Route)

If you travel during the low season or prefer a more economical route, you can take an indirect journey via Pak Bara. 

First, take a ferry or speedboat from Phi Phi Island to the mainland, either to Phuket or Krabi, which takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. 

From there, travel by bus, taxi, or minivan to Pak Bara Pier, which takes 3 to 4 hours. 

Finally, take a speedboat to Koh Lipe from Pak Bara Pier, which takes another 1.5 to 2 hours. 

The entire journey typically totals 6 to 8 hours, depending on the connections, and can be booked as a combined ticket through travel agencies or online platforms.

Option C: Long Tail Boat Private Charter

For those seeking flexibility, private charters of long tail boats are available year-round, subject to weather conditions. 

While more expensive, this option allows you to choose your desired departure time and travel at your own pace.

If convenience and privacy are of the utmost importance to you, I recommend you take the private charter.

6. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Langkawi Airport

Airplane, Taxi, and Ferry Combo

After arriving at Langkawi Airport, the first step is to get to Telaga Harbour, where you can catch a ferry to Koh Lipe. 

From the airport, you can take a taxi or a private transfer to Telaga Harbour, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Taxis are readily available at the airport, and the fare is reasonable.

Once at Telaga Harbour, you can board a direct ferry to Koh Lipe. Ferries operate daily, but I highly encourage you to check the latest schedule and book your tickets in advance, especially during the high season from November to April. 

The ferry ride to Koh Lipe takes approximately 90 minutes. Ensure you have your passport with you, as you will go through immigration both in Langkawi and Koh Lipe.

Upon arrival at Koh Lipe, you will go through Thai immigration at the island’s floating pontoon. After completing immigration formalities, you can optionally take a long tail boat from the pontoon to Pattaya Beach, where most accommodations and facilities are located.

7. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

Airplane, Taxi, and Ferry Combo

Fly from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) to Hat Yai International Airport (HDY). Multiple airlines operate daily flights, and the flight duration is approximately 2 hours.

From Hat Yai Airport, take a taxi, minivan, or pre-arranged transfer to Pak Bara Pier. The journey takes about 2 hours. Many transport services can be booked in advance to ensure a smooth connection.

At Pak Bara Pier, board a ferry to Koh Lipe. The ferry ride takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Ferries typically run a few times a day, with more frequent services during the high season.

8. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Koh Phangan and Koh Tao

Airplane, Taxi, and Ferry Combo

Like the Chiang Mai route, fly from Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) to Hat Yai International Airport (HDY). 

This route may involve a layover in Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport – DMK or Suvarnabhumi Airport – BKK). The total travel time can vary, but it generally takes around 4 to 5 hours, including the layover.

From Hat Yai Airport, take a taxi, minivan, or pre-arranged transfer to Pak Bara Pier, a 2-hour journey. Arranging transportation in advance can ensure a smoother transition.

At Pak Bara Pier, board a ferry to Koh Lipe. The ferry ride lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours. Book your ferry tickets beforehand, especially during the peak season, to secure your seat.

9. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Koh Phangan

Ferry, Bus, and Speedboat Combo

Take a ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani. Several ferry companies operate this route, including Lomprayah, Seatran, and Raja Ferry. The journey takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.

Ferries usually depart multiple times a day, so check the schedule and book your ticket in advance.

Upon arrival at Surat Thani, take a bus or minivan to Pak Bara Pier. Many travel agencies offer combined tickets that include both the ferry and bus transfer.

The bus journey from Surat Thani to Pak Bara Pier takes about 4 to 5 hours.

From Pak Bara Pier, board a speedboat or a second ferry ride to Koh Lipe. The speedboat ride takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

10. How to Get to Koh Lipe from Koh Tao

Ferry, Bus, and Speedboat Combo

The same travel route applies from Koh Lipe to Koh Tao. Take a 4 to 5-hour ferry ride from Koh Tao to Surat Thani. Several ferry companies operate this route, including Lomprayah, Seatran, and Songserm.

Upon arriving in Surat Thani, take a bus or minivan to Pak Bara Pier. This journey takes about another 4 to 5 hours.

Many travel agencies offer combined tickets, including the ferry from Koh Tao and the bus/minivan transfer to Pak Bara Pier.

From Pak Bara Pier, board a speedboat or ferry to Koh Lipe. The speedboat ride takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

Things to Keep in Mind When Traveling to Koh Lipe

Here are a few things you should be aware of before selecting your route and purchasing your tickets:

  • Koh Lipe is far from Thailand’s major cities, so you should reserve your transportation in advance to ensure a seat, especially during the peak season (December to February).
  • You’ll combine various kinds of transportation, such as a flight, a van, a bus, and a ferry. Most businesses, including airlines, sell combination tickets, which is a wise option. 
  • These businesses will transport you from point A to point B without charging you an extra booking charge or anything else; you buy a single ticket that covers everything. You must adhere to the directions and always keep your ticket.
  • Pak Bara Pier in the Satun area is the nearest pier to Koh Lipe on the Thai mainland. Four speedboats and one ferry travel from there to the island every day at 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:00 PM. 
  • It costs between 650 and 700 baht to travel from Pak Bara Pier to Koh Lipe, and the trip takes 90 minutes. The 20 Baht pier fee will need to be paid at boarding time. The transit ticket does not include this fee.
  • Koh Lipe is part of Tarutao National Park. Thus, you must pay the 200 baht entrance charge when you get there. The cost is suitable for a seven-day stay.
  • A floating offshore pier will serve as a dock for ferries and speedboats. You must board a taxi boat (longtail boat) to get to the beach from there. Depending on the tides, you will be dropped off at a small floating dock, or you may have to walk on water. 
  • Be ready, wear sensible shoes, and ensure your belongings are adequately packed. Be ready to spend 50 baht for the ride because only some firms include the taxi boat on their tickets.

Final Thoughts: Getting to Koh Lipe

As you conclude this comprehensive digital nomad guide on traveling to the enchanting island of Koh Lipe, it’s clear that whether you’re venturing from Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, or even international gateways like Langkawi, the journey is well worth the effort. 

Koh Lipe beckons with its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and the serene Tarutao National Park.

From detailed transportation options, including flights, ferries, speedboats, and even multi-transport tickets, to insider tips on making your journey smoother, our guide offers all you need to know to travel to Koh Lipe and ensure a hassle-free adventure. 

Don’t forget our key advice – booking your transportation in advance, especially during peak season, and being prepared for various legs of the journey that might include air, land, and sea travel.

With every method of arrival laid out—from the most economical to the fastest and most direct—your perfect digital nomad adventure to Koh Lipe is just a plan away. 

Remember, traveling smart involves good planning, organization, and flexibility to maximize your tropical retreat. 

Safe travels, and enjoy the unmatched beauty of Koh Lipe!

FAQ

Koh Lipe is accessible by bus, train, air travel, or boat. Most routes combine air and marine transportation, particularly those that depart from important hubs like Bangkok, Phuket, and Krabi.

No, there’s no airport in Koh Lipe. The closest airports are in Langkawi, Hat Yai, and Trang. From there, you can travel to Koh Lipe by speedboat or ferry.

The dry season from November through April is the ideal time to explore Koh Lipe. The weather is suitable for boating and beach sports.

When visiting Koh Lipe in Thailand, you must have a valid visa. Most visitors can enter Thailand without a visa or get one at the airport, depending on their country.

Yes, it is highly advised that you reserve your transportation in advance, particularly during peak season, to guarantee availability and prevent last-minute issues.

Joy Intisuk is not only a seasoned travel writer and a native of Chiang Mai, Thailand, but also a Director and Chief Editor of Thailand Nomads. Specializing in the digital nomad lifestyle, Joy leverages over a decade of experience exploring Southeast Asia to bring a deep and personal insight into the vibrant culture and hidden gems of Thailand. Her expertise is particularly focused on the logistical nuances of living and working remotely in the region.

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