Koh Lipe is tucked in the interior. It is 64 km from Pak Bara, the nearest Thai Port and 40 km from Langkawi. While Langkawi might seem like the easiest route into Koh Lipe, it is regrettably so only in the high season. Otherwise, the Pak Bara route remains most reliable all year round. There are ferries plying the Pak Bara-Koh Lipe route on a daily basis. Nonetheless, their frequency remains highly dependent on the number of passengers available.
The Langkawi route means you have to wait for the high season, which runs from early November to the end of April. During this season, you can unbelievably travel from Koh Lipe to Phuket without necessarily ever going to the mainland. It is achievable by going to various islands such as Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, and Langkawi. Keep reading to find out how.
Flying from Bangkok to Trang or Hat Yai: air travel takes you as far as Trang or Hat Yai airports. The rest of the journey is for the minivans or taxis, and it takes up to 90 minutes. As of 2013, you can now connect by plane using Nok Air or Air Asia. These companies even offer packages that include a minivan or taxi hire, and speed boat charges. However, that might prove expensive, thus the importance of ferries. Luckily, Andaman ferry service from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe has your back when it comes to delivery and price friendliness.
From Phuket to Koh Lipe: the period running from November to May is a high season. Hence, ferries plying this route at this time are usually booked in advance. In case you choose to take this route, adding more fun and adventure, make sure to book early.
From Phi Phi Island to Koh Lipe: again this route is highly efficient only in the high season. During the low season, you can still travel via Phi Phi but to get to Koh Lipe would need a connection. First, you go via ferry to Krabi and then from there you take a minibus to Pak Bara where ferries going to Koh Lipe are available all year round. The route needs advance booking too.
You now have an idea of how you can get into Koh Lipe. Things are quite dynamic though, and that is why you should keep on digging for information online, in case you are planning a visit. Nonetheless, Pak Bara to Koh Lipe remains a sure shot, especially for first timers. The other routes are best advised for people visiting a second time, or veterans seeking a new twist. When it comes to Koh Lipe, the surprises never seem to end. The only pier available is an offshore floating pier out in the coral reef. As such, you have to seek the services of sea gypsies. Upon paying an additional fee, these local taxi boats will ferry you from the floating pier to any beach on the island. Boat fees are within the 50bht range. While the journey to Koh Lipe might seem long and tiresome, it is worth the trouble.