Langkawi-to-Koh-Lipe-Longtail-boat

How to Go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe to Langkawi

The seriously relaxed island of Koh Lipe, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the south of Thailand is known for its white sandy beaches, diving, and snorkeling.  It’s also a great location close to the border with Malaysia, so if you’re visiting both countries it’s a great place to enter Malaysia from and vice versa.  While you’re here, you’ll want to explore some of the other nearby 50 islands that make up the gorgeous Tarutao National Park, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Let’s get here first!  This guide covers whether you’re going from Langkawi to Koh Lipe or Koh Lipe to Langkawi as you’ll need to know the best way to travel between these two destinations.  We also cover the details of immigration – so keep your passport handy!  There are several options for transport between Langkawi and Koh Lipe, but what’s the best way to go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe?  And what are the options for traveling to Koh Lipe from Langkawi?  Here’s our guide on how to get to Koh Lipe from Langkawi.

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Where is Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe, also called Ko Lipe – the name means “thin island” is in Satun Province and it’s 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the northwestern coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, and around 200 kilometers to the southeast of the Thai island of Phuket.  Koh Lipe is off the Andaman Coast of Thailand and is included in the Butang/Adang Archipelago group of islands.

Arrivals in Koh Lipe go to either Pattaya Beach (usually in the high season) or Sunrise Beach (in the low season), but the island is small and easily walkable, so it’s not far between the two.

Where to Stay on Koh Lipe

You’ll want to reserve your rooms early on Koh Lipe, especially during the high season. Here are my top picks for the places to stay on Koh Lipe.

Akira Beach Resort holds a prime beachfront location on Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe and comes with 3 swimming pools, a garden, and a gym.  Rooms and suites here at this luxury Koh Lipe hotel come with walk-in showers or bathtubs, A/C, and incredible amenities.  This is a superb, luxury Koh Lipe hotel with a fabulous staff.  Check rates and availability here.

Just 300 meters from Pattaya Beach the Bloom Hostel and Café has a shared lounge and bar and offers dorm rooms with good facilities.  It’s clean, with comfortable beds and fabulous WiFi. This is a great place to stay on Koh Lipe to meet other travelers (and the bar is cheap too!).  Check availability here.

Nest Hostel Koh Lipe is well located in the center of the island and has good clean facilities and friendly staff.  There are hostel rooms and private rooms here and the owner and staff are excellent and helpful.  It’s a great budget Koh Lipe accommodation option.  You can see rates and availability here.

How to Go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe – Transport Options

In this guide on how to go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe, the easiest way to go to Koh Lipe from Langkawi, and the cheapest way to get to Koh Lipe from Langkawi.  Much of the best way for you to go between Langkawi and Koh Lipe depends on where you want to leave Langkawi from – or where you want to arrive in Langkawi from Koh Lipe. If you’re heading to Langkawi, then our guide to Langkawi is here.

How to get to Koh Lipe from Langkawi

For transport from Koh Lipe to Langkawi, then you have several options and they all involve boats!  There is no airport on the island, the closest airport to Koh Lipe is Hat Yai on mainland Thailand, and I’m not even going to contemplate how long and painful that journey would be.   

There are several different ferry options to go to Koh Lipe from Langkawi and we’ll cover them all, the fastest, cheapest (although to be fair they’re all about the same price), and the easiest way to get from Langkawi to Koh Lipe.  You’ll need to know where you’re staying in Langkawi before booking your trip between Koh Lipe and Langkawi, as it will be MUCH easier to select your transport options.

You can book your ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe here. 

You can see the various immigration points as well as the ferry ports in our map later in this article.

Essentials for Traveling from Koh Lipe to Langkawi and Langkawi to Koh Lipe

There are three key really important things to know about this journey. 

  1.  Koh Lipe is in Thailand.  Langkawi is in Malaysia.  This means you’ll need to ensure you have the appropriate visa and entry requirements.   For entry to Thailand many nationalities can get 30-45 days with a visa on arrival (check here), for entry to Malaysia many nationalities are allowed up to 90 days with a visa on arrival (check here)
  2. Thailand and Malaysia are in DIFFERENT time zones.  Malaysia is one hour ahead of Thailand.  So don’t forget to set your watch, and consider this when working out how long the ferry journey actually is!
  3. Services WILL differ between high season (usually mid-October to mid-June) and low season (the rest of the time.  This is because of the sea state and the number of visitors.  You can check seasonal dates and times here.

Booking tickets online to go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

You have three primary options for booking ferry tickets to Koh Lope from Langkawi (and the opposite way around).  Keep reading to work out which Langkawi port to leave from.

12goAsia – offer ferries from Kuah Jetty and Telaga Harbor to Koh Lipe

Bookaway – ferries from Telaga Harbor and Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe

Klook – ferries from both locations to Koh Lipe (and they often have discounts and sales)

How to go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

The primary consideration when traveling from Langkawi to Koh Lipe is where you are on Langkawi, as Langkawi is a relatively big island and it can cost a decent amount to get from one area to another.

Telaga Harbor to Koh Lipe

If you’re staying in Pantai Cenang, the main tourist area of Langkawi, then this is the best tour to Koh Lipe for you.  The Telaga Harbour to Koh Lipe route is also best if you’re staying in Pantai Kok or near the airport in Langkawi.

Ferries to Koh Lipe from Telaga Harbor take about one hour and there are usually (in high season) two ferries a day – one in the morning and one in the early afternoon.  You can check the ferry times to Koh Lipe from Telaga Harbour here.

Getting to Telaga Harbour from Pantai Cenang

It’s 15 kilometers (9 miles) to Telaga Harbor from Pantai Cenang, which is about a 20-minute taxi ride.  Taxi rates are regulated on Langkawi, but you can also save by sharing a ride.

Telaga Harbor Customs and Immigration

You’ll need to arrive 90 minutes before your ferry to go through customs and immigration at Telaga Harbor.  It’s usual to hand over your documents to the boat captain and wait for your name to be called.  There’s a café here that you can wait in.

Koh Lipe Customs and Immigration

When you arrive at Koh Lipe immigration is at Pattaya Beach (don’t worry you’ll be shepherded to the right place), usually via a floating dock and a small boat transfer.  It’s the same procedure as on Langkawi – wait until your name is called and then go up.  Once you’ve retrieved your passport be sure to check the number of days that you’ve been allowed in Thailand.

You can check the times and prices of ferries from Telaga Harbor to Koh Lipe here.

Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe

Kuah Jetty is a better departure point from Langkawi if you’re staying on the east of the island, it also benefits as being the main port on the island by having more departures to Koh Lipe (and other locations).  The journey time to Koh Lipe from Kuah Jetty is about 30 minutes longer than from Telaga Harbor.   The ferries and speedboats from Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe arrive at Pattaya Beach on Koh Lipe.

Check the times of ferries from Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe here.

Getting to Kuah Jetty from Pantai Cenang

It’s about 40 minutes by taxi to Kuah Jetty from Pantai Cenang, and shared taxis run this route regularly, a private taxi is about 40 MYR.

Kuah Jetty Customs and Immigration

You’ll need to arrive 90 minutes before your ferry to go through customs and immigration at Kuah Jetty.  As with Telaga Harbor hand over your documents and wait for your name to be called.

Koh Lipe Customs and Immigration

It’s the same process for arrivals in Koh Lipe.  You’ll arrive at Pattaya Beach via a floating dock and a small boat transfer.  Wait until your name is called and then go up.  Don’t forget to check your passport when you get it back. 

You can check the times and prices of ferries from Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe here.

Pattaya Beach Koh Lipe

Langkawi to Koh Lipe via Satun

If you’re an off-season traveler like us, then this *could* be an option.  I say *could* because, like the Langkawi to Krabi route that I wrote about here – it’s not currently running.

Compared to the direct ferries above, this is a bit of a pain, but to be honest, when you’re traveling out of season it might be your only option.  It involves getting a ferry from Langkawi to Satun – you go through immigration at Tammalang Pier and then take a minivan to Pak Bara.  

Ferry from Langkawi to Satun

(Note in January 2023 this is the bit of this route that is NOT running).  When it is running there are usually two ferries a day – although Ramadan affects this too.  One in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I’ll come back and update this when they are running again.  The ferries take 75 minutes and arrive at Tammalang Pier aka Satun.

Minivans from Tammalang Pier to Pak Bara

Once you’ve arrived at Tammalang Pier you need to take a minivan from here to Pak Bara.  This will take up to two hours if you find a minivan or longer if you need to use the bigger, public transport buses.  Alternatively, you can preorder a taxi to get you to Pak Bara (check rates here), which might be necessary if you want to catch the ferry from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe.  Keep reading.

Ferries from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe

There might be several companies running this trip, but they ONLY depart between 11 am and 1:30 pm, hence my note above about getting a taxi to get here!

Ferries to Koh Lipe from Pak Bara take around 90 minutes up to 3 hours and various companies run them, all of which get similar reviews, so pick the best timing for you.  And book a seat, otherwise, you’ll be hanging around for 24 hours in Pak Bara!

Check times, seats, and costs of ferries to Koh Lipe from Pak Bara here.

Map of Ports, Ferries & Boats going from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

You can also see the locations of ferries from Langkawi to Koh Lipe here

map of piers langkawi to ko lipe

What’s the best way to go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe?

The best way to go to Koh Lipe from Langkawi is the only way to go! By ferry.  It takes about 90 minutes to go to Koh Lipe from Langkawi and the BEST departure point on Langkawi depends on your location on the island.

If you’re staying in Pantai Cenang then leave from Telaga Harbour – check options here

If you’re staying on the east of Langkawi then leave from Kuah Jetty – check options here

The quickest way to get from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

The quickest way to get to Koh Lipe from Langkawi is to take the ferry from Telgaga Harbor.  It takes about 60-90 minutes on the ferry to Koh Lipe from Langkawi – BUT remember you are traveling internationally – and there is a time zone change, so budget your time appropriately!  You can book tickets from Langkawi to Koh Lipe here.

The easiest way to go to Koh Lipe from Langkawi

The easiest way to get from Langkawi to Koh Lipe depends on where you are staying in Langkawi.  If you’re staying in Pantai Cenang, then it’s easiest to take a ferry from Telaga Harbor (check the prices and availability here).

The cheapest way to go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

To be fair all the ferry companies between Koh Lipe and Langkawi are about the same price.  – reserve your seats here.

Popular Routes in Thailand

Want to know more about different forms of transport in Thailand? Our guide to Thailand transport is here. And here’s how to travel some of the popular routes around Thailand, your options, and how we did it.

Final Words on How to Go from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

The only way to go from Koh Lipe to Langkawi and return is by ferry as there is no airport on Koh Lipe.  During the high season, there are regular ferries to and from the islands, on the offseason, you *may* need to go via Satun and Pak Bara, although this route is not (Jan 2023) currently running.  This is an easy trip however, you’ll just need to select where you want to leave (or arrive on) Langkawi from, and plan from there!

Travel Tips for Exploring Thailand

Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.

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