Koh Lipe is a dream island where everyone should go for once in a lifetime...winter wind has gone....summer wind has come to replace. We can't think of anything but the sea in the weather like this....We are going to one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand this time. We are going to Koh Lipe.
We fly with Lion Air this time on both trips. The ticket is 3,150 THB per person. If you plan to go to travel to Koh Lipe only, I recommend you to take the early morning flight that will arrive no later than 8 AM so you could catch the morning boat. This is because you need to take the van from the airport which takes about 2 hours to get to Pakbara Pier. The timetable of the boat is as follows; 9.30 AM, 10.30 AM, 11.30 AM, and 3 PM. This is what you have to keep in mind when booking your boat time. Pakbara Pier is located in Pak Nam, La-ngu District, Satun. If you want to travel in Songkhla first like us (my boyfriend lives here so we drive our own car), then you could stay overnight near Pakbara Pier. You can take the boat next morning directly this way. Our flight is at 11 AM from Bangkok and we arrive in Hat Yai at 12.30 PM. My boyfriend is already waiting for us at the airport. Our plan is to travel in Songkhla first before heading to Satun. We haven't booked a hotel for tonight yet and we have ended up staying at "Farmsuk Residence Resort" https://th-th.facebook.com/farmsuk.resort. This resort is about 10-kilometer far from Pakbara Pier and it is 650 THB per night. I have checked the review of this resort and they have got a lot of comments from foreigners. That's why we want to give it a try. Guess what! We are totally happy when we arrive at the resort. It is very nice. For those who look for a place to stay near Pakbara Pier before going to Koh Lipe, I would recommend this place. It is cheap and good. Moreover, the owner is very kind and takes a very good care of us. She even gives us a very detailed travel information....Well, I guess it is time to say good night for now. We need to get some rest in order to be ready for tomorrow's journey...
Day 2...We leave the resort around 8 AM. We are going to have some breakfast first. Luckily, we have found a restaurant not far from the resort run by local Muslim person. This meal costs 415 THB in total for 7 people. Then we are ready to go to Pakbara Pier. There is an admission fee at the pier which is 20 THB per person. There are many companies operating the boats to go to Koh Lipe and you need to look for your company sign when you are at the pier. We are going to Koh Lipe with "Lipe Ferry & Speedboat" this time
www.lipeferry.net with a speedboat. You can book it online in advance where you need to give some deposit and pay the rest of the service fee upon arrival. The round-trip ticket is 1,000 THB per person for adults and 700 THB per person for children. Our speedboat will depart at 10.30 AM and we have arrived before 10 AM. I would suggest you to arrive around half an hour earlier so you could get into the speedboat and reserve your favorite spot first. You can also find a life vest on the seat there. Once all the passengers are on board, the speedboat will depart right away and our speedboat departs at 10.15 AM. We will arrive at Koh Lipe in about 1 hour and a half.
If you travel to Koh Lipe with the speedboat, you will have a quick stopover at Tarutao National Marine Park and Koh Khai. This is for tourists to take a quick look of the islands, take photos, and for those who will stay overnight here. The admission fee is 50 THB per person and you can choose not to enter and just stay by the boat. However, you will get an admission pass if you pay this admission fee. This pass will allow you to snorkel in some islands around Koh Lipe and enter Koh Ravi without extra charge (if you travel with a tour operator, they will organize everything for you).
Once the boat is about 500-meter far from Koh Lipe, it will park at the floating pier in front of Pattaya Beach (Bundhaya Beach) as same as all other traveling boats. You need to get off here in order to catch another long-tail boat to the island. This is where you need to queue up for a bit before boarding into the boat. The long-tail boat costs 50 THB per person. This practice also applies on the way back. You need to pay another 50 THB to take the long-tail boat from Koh Lipe to this floating pier before taking the boat back to the mainland.
We have arrived at Koh Lipe finally. We walk from the beach to the Walking Street which is located by Pattaya Beach. It is about 50 meters only to get to our resort where we will be staying for the next 2 nights. Our resort is "Leelawadee Resort". We book it through Agoda.com at 2,876 THB per night with breakfast included. This price is pretty reasonable compared to those hotels and resorts by the beach. In addition, our resort location is great. It is very easy to find something to eat and it is located close to 7-Eleven. On the other hand, for those who prefer to stay away from the crowd I recommend to find a resort in Sunrise Beach or Sunset Beach. Let's get settle now and go out to explore the area!
There are still some food stalls and restaurants opened during the daytime. The cost of living is pretty expensive around here including food and drinking water. So it is a good idea to buy and bring some snacks and drinks from the mainland....Our first meal on the island is lunch and we have picked to eat at "Ja Yao Restaurant". We also have got some discount here since we stay at Leelawadee Resort. Rice topped with one kind of food ranges from 120 - 150 THB. We have spent 830 THB for this meal. Then we are going to take the local taxi to Sunrise Beach. The local taxi here is a motorbike with sidecar and it costs 50 THB per trip. It is pretty shady at Sunrise Beach in the afternoon so children can stay away from the strong sunlight from time to time while enjoying the beach. For me, I walk along the beach before going up to "Mountain Resort" to see the view of Koh Lipe. I have only seen photo taken by others of this spot so I guess it is my turn. ^^ Mountain Resort is known as having the best view on the island and I couldn't agree more. I shout Wow! out loud after seeing the amazing view right in front of me. hahaha It is truly beautiful. I also explore the guestroom in Mountain Resort for a bit on the way back down. I have found out that it is all about location. Guestrooms here are facing toward the amazing sea view..I guess I will stay here next time when I travel to Koh Lipe.
We call the taxi to pick us up from Sunrise Beach back to our resort. It is 7 PM when we have gathered and go out for dinner. Our plan is to go for dinner at the well-known Rak Lay Restaurant since there are many good reviews about it. We have ended up eating at "Kon Lay Restaurant" because Rak Lay Restaurant has such a long queue. We have ordered big plate of Fried Rice with Shrimps, Steamed Sea Bass in Soy Sauce, Steam Squid with Spicy Lime Sauce, Batter-Fried Prawns, Stir-fried Vegetable, and I forget the lash dish. hahaha Then we ask for the bill. What! We are very surprised with the total bill price...It is 2,370 THB. The big plate of Fried Rice with Shrimps costs 800 THB (we didn't ask for the price of this dish at first but all other dishes are labeled with the price). I guess it is our fault. We fail. T_T The food is average in general and the food is quite expensive here. I wonder why people queue up here earlier...We think we will make it to Rak Lay Restaurant tomorrow to see whether it is as good as what people have said or not. It is time to chill around at the Walking Street and take photo. Walking street gets crowded in the evening and most of the crowds are foreigners. I felt as if I was not in Thailand. Last but not least, there is a hospital here. Just so you know in case it is needed during your stay ^^. It has been a good day and we are ready to go back to our resort to get a good night sleep. We are going to do snorkeling tomorrow...Yeah!!!
Day 3...We woke up early to get ready for a snorkeling trip. The boatman will pick us up at 9.30 AM. We are on the way to board into the boat in front of Pattaya Beach after the breakfast. Our boat for today is a private long-tail boat and it costs 2,800 THB including the snorkeling gears but we need to bring our own lunch box. We have got our lunch box from a restaurant nearby our resort with some snacks and drinks. We are now ready for today's snorkeling trip. The children seem to be excited already. We are going to do snorkeling both outer and inner area of Ko Lipe....Well, the current is pretty strong today but our young boatman is so good in controlling the boat. I even feel scared because it is my very first time on the long-tail boat sailing into the sea. I would like to tell you that if you bring your bag along, you better bring the waterproof one because it will get wet. We have arrived at the first snorkeling spot at Koh Yang after being on the boat for about 30 minutes. We are lucky that the current by the beach here is very calm. The water is so clear and beautiful. The weather is super nice too. The boatman let us snorkel here as long as we want since it is a private trip. We just need to let him know when we want to leave..^^
Then we are here at the second spot for snorkeling. The corals here are so pretty (it is a pity that I don't have a camera that can take a photo underwater). I ask the boatman why the current is very strong while the children have gone into the water. The boatman said "It has been like this for a few days and this is not that bad actually". I continue to ask him if it is long to go to the outer area such Ko Rokroy as an example. "It is about half an hour", he answered. Since the current is very strong so I tell the boatman to skip the outer area and go to the inner area of Koh Lipe only...
The third stop is at Koh Ravi. The beach here is totally white and beautiful. The stop here is for lunch as same as other tourists. Don't forget your admission pass!!! You can buy some food and drinks here. The toilets are also available. We have ended up spending almost 2 hours here for the children to have fun to the maximum. There are another 2 stops this afternoon including Koh Hin Ngam and Rong Nam Jabang.
The first stop this afternoon is at ...Koh Hin Ngam. Koh Hin Ngam mean Beautiful Stones Island in Thai and yes, it is very beautiful as its name. There is a current campaign asking tourists not to build up the stone tower by putting stones on top of one another. This is because when the stone tower falls down, the stones might be broken. Most of the tourists come here to take photos rather than swim.
The campaign doesn't allow you to build the stone tower as the photo above because it can fall down easily by the wind and the stones will break. There is also a sign of this campaign but it seems like some tourists don't really care (some tourists did this, I didn't).
The fifth stop of the day and the last one is at Rong Nam Jabang. The boatman has already mentioned that the current is getting stronger now and he will see if we could snorkel or not when we get there. We have arrived at Rong Nam Jabang and the current is very crazy. We think it might be dangerous and since the boatman who has been living here for maybe all his life said so. We agree not to snorkel here and will go back directly. We have quite a ride back as well due to the strong current. Anyway, we have made it back safely. We arrive around 3 PM. We let the children thave some fun on Pattaya Beach for a while before going back to our resort for shower. Today we are going to have dinner at Rak Lay Restaurant as planned. We arrive at the restaurant around 5 PM and we don't have to wait to get a table. Well, I am sorry to say that I don't have any photos to show you for our dinner. We are totally hungry so we eat right away. We have Stir-fried Spicy Razor Clam, Seafood Spicy Soup, Stir-fried Shrimp with Shrimp Paste, Deep-fried Snapper with Sweet Fish Sauce, and Shrimp Cake. Our dinner is superb and we spend 2,060 THB for this meal. I guess all the good reviews about this restaurant is right and the price is pretty similar to what we had for dinner yesterday. Today we didn't order Fried Rice though because we were afraid to experience the same situation as yesterday. hahaha We also have 3 pieces of Roti and 2 glasses of tea after dinner. They are 280 THB in total. We continue our walk through the Walking Street to Pattaya Beach which is during the same time that the restaurants by the beach have fire show, 7 PM - 8 PM. This is also where I see tourists picnic on the beach, some of them gaze the stars, while some others watch the sea at night. They are all very happy. ^^
It is time for me to go back home tomorrow already. I don't want to go back at all and I wish I could stay longer...I always believe that traveling will fade away all your sufferings and worries. Do you believe me? If not, you have got to try it yourself...and you will see ^^
(Summary of Expenses: Round-trip flight ticket is about 7,000 THB per person. I would like to tell you that traveling to Koh Lipe on your own is much cheaper than through the travel agency. Even though you might find it not easy, you can work it out for sure. You can also eat whatever you want. However, if you prefer the convenience; arranging your travel with travel agency might be a better choice ^^)