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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to get there: Koh Lipe

For those who still want to get to Koh Lipe,
It's really not that difficult...
During High Season (November until May) especially you'll be spoilt for choices

1. Go through Langkawi
It is no surprise that Koh Lipe used to be under Malaysia,
that it is easy to reach there from Langkawi
In fact, from what I've read, it is a mere one hour boat ride
which makes it easier and nearer from Thailand
so all you need to get there is
A. fly to Langkawi (or take the long land route)
B.  Get yourself to Kuah Jetty or Telaga Harbour
C. Take a ferry to Koh Lipe and go through Immigration

2. Go through Pak Bara
The more common route especially during low season 
is travelling through land to Pak bara pier 
A. Get to Hat Yai
I read there are many vans around the train station
 I went through another route, by going to the newer Van station
 located 7 km outside of the city
not to be confused with the bus station
even though there are lot of vans there too

At the van station
 go to the ticket counter 9
where you can buy the van ticket to pak bara
for 150 baht
they also offer ferry tickets + the van ticket at 650 baht
slight more expensive but convenient
 then you just wait...
After the 2 hour van ride, you get off near the pier
You can just ask anyone for directions if still uncertain where the pier is
tickets for the boat can be bought at the pier too...

After you get on the ferry,
be prepared for one heck of a ride
and the reason why it is low season
Check out the mother and son...
so for those with motion sickness...
be well prepared
but after an hour and a half (or nearly two)
you arrive near Pattaya beach
 and since a pier has yet to be constructed
you get off near land
 
and get your luggage transferred later
(which for some even includes their dogs?!?)
 but that is pretty much how easy it is to get there...

The reverse is pretty much the same...
At the drop off point there'll be quite a few taunts 
asking for tourists to buy their return tickets 
 here there are a few opinions
If you are those inflexible,
perhaps it is best to buy your ticket early
in case there are no more when you wish to leave
(though unlikely in low season)
The other opinion is to just rock up early a bit to any of the ferry counters 
and buy your ticket
because the boats arrive and leave at different times,
you can prevent unnecessary waiting times
but either way there are no guarantees
but I found the latter one no hassle

 and even those who had purchased earlier,
when they arrived later also got a later number
as they ran it pretty fairly in my opinion on a first come first serve basis

does that mean they don't get a seat if it's full?
I think the more likely scenario is 
they'd just pack you into an already full boat

 3. I hear you can also get to and back from Satun and Trang
but as a malaysian this is too far north to be the first choice...






















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