There are more and more people traveling to beautiful Koh Lipe in the deep south of Thailand every year, and since the majority of them are coming straight from the capital, we’ll take a look at the transportation between the two places today.
The most practicable way to get from Bangkok to Koh Lipe is to fly to Hat Yai, take a minivan to the pier and from there a ferry straight to the island.
While you can buy separate tickets for each of the 3 legs of the journey, the easiest way is to go on AirAsia.com and book a package which includes the transfer to Koh Lipe from the airport. The price for that is just around 2,300 Baht one way.
Here’s some info on the procedure of the journey:
Flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai
Hat Yai has the closest airport to Koh Lipe, and the flight there from Bangkok takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The flights depart from Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok – you can get there either by metered taxi from downtown (about 200 Baht) or you can also take the MRT to Chatuchak Park Station, and from there the Airport Bus (A1 or A2) to Don Mueang Airport (30 Baht).
Minivan from Hat Yai to Pakbara Pier
Once you arrive at Hat Yai Airport, you will already be awaited by the staff of the minivan company in the arrival hall. You won’t miss them as they have a big sign that says like “Air Asia to Koh Lipe”.
According to the schedule, there’s a layover of 1 hour and 35 minutes, but it usually doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes – as soon as all travelers are there, they will bring you outside to the minivan, which immediately departs.
The minivan ride to Pakbara Pier in the Satun province takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes – which is exactly the same time as the flight and the ferry.
Ferry from Pakbara Pier to Koh Lipe
Once you reached Pakbara Pier, the minivan staff will guide you to their office and give you a paper confirmation that you show the staff at the pier, who will then issue your ferry ticket.
The departure of the ferry is usually much earlier than on the schedule, since the boats leave once every hour and you just hop on the next one that’s departing.
Note that there is also a national park entrance fee of 200 Baht for foreigners and 40 Baht for Thais, to be paid at the pier before you board the ferry.
The great thing here is that they make two 10-minutes stops along the way: Koh Turatao and Koh Khai. Yes, you can leave the boat, walk around a bit and take photos. That’s quite nice from the boat company, especially since it comes quite unexpected.
Here are two pictures I took on our stop on Koh Turatao right off the small pier:
And this is the beautiful Koh Khai (which literally means Egg Island):
So again, the whole ferry ride takes 1 hour and 30 minutes (including these two stops) – on your way back from Lipe to Pakbara Pier it’s only about 1 hour and 10 minutes since you cruise straight over without stop.
The ferry arrives at Pattaya Beach on Koh Lipe. From there it’s a 15-20 minutes walk to Sunrise Beach (the main tourist area), but many hotels also have a pick up service from the pier.
To sum up the trip:
- Flight: Bangkok to Hat Yai (1 hr 30 mins)
- (waiting time: 30 mins)
- Minivan: Hat Yai to Pakbara Pier (1 hr 30 mins)
- (waiting time: 45 mins)
- Ferry: Pakbara Pier to Koh Lipe (1 hr 30 mins)
That makes a total travel time from Bangkok to Koh Lipe of about 5 hours and 45 minutes. And like always, here is the map for your orientation:
Map of Transport on Koh Lipe
Video of Ferry Ride to Koh Lipe
- See also: Attractions & Nightlife on Koh Lipe