Ever wandered into the ocean at night just to catch the glowing plankton in the waters, while admiring the twinkling stars above too?
That was what we did on our little adventure to the secret little island Koh Lipe in April 2019!
In all honesty, we fell in love with the place and everything it had to offer. Despite being a tiny island (walkable from one end to the other!), there was hardly any crowd and our time there was so relaxing.
If there could be a place in Thailand with the name of “The Maldives of Thailand”, this would REALLY be it.
When you take the ferry over, whether from Hat Yai or Langkawi, the first thing that hits you before you even step foot on land are the crystal clear, turquoise waters. It’s so, so beautiful that you definitely have to come at least once, just to see it for yourselves!
PS: If you’re travelling from Singapore or Malaysia, all you’ll have to do is head to Langkawi (1.5 hour flight from Singapore). Koh Lipe is a 1.5 hour ferry ride from Langkawi. In total, we’d say that Koh Lipe is a mere 3h away from Singapore!
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13 Hidden islands 2 hours from Phuket and Krabi in Thailand to swim, snorkel and dive in clear waters
This itinerary will cover everything needed to cater to your time in Langkawi & Koh Lipe, from suitable accommodation to wonderful things to do and eat.
We’ve even plotted out the routes for you, so your journey will be less tiring and more exciting!
There are 2 ways to get to Koh Lipe.
Take a 1.5 hour ferry ride from Langkawi, Malaysia (from SGD $32.90 one-way)
Take a 1.5 hour speedboat ride from Hat Yai, Thailand. (from SGD $6.50 for van transfer to Pak Bara Pier, from SGD $23.90 for one-way speedboat transfer to Koh Lipe)
1. From Langkawi to Koh Lipe
For travellers travelling to Koh Lipe from Singapore or Malaysia, we recommend flying to Langkawi first. There are 2 ferry terminals here, Telaga Terminal or Kuah Jetty, where you can take the ferry from.
Pre-book your ferry ride and make sure to arrive at the ferry terminal 2 hours before your ferry is scheduled to depart. (We learned this the hard way!) You will need to register yourselves at least 1.5 hours before that, as you’ll be crossing over to Thailand.
2. From Hat Yai to Koh Lipe
If you’re travelling from Hat Yai, you will need to book a minivan to bring you to Pak Bara Pier where the ferry will bring you to Koh Lipe.
PS: Trip.com offers a ferry ticket from Langkawi to Koh Lipe with hotel transfer (SGD $74.90), so you can book your ferry with ease and transfer directly to your hotel upon arrival!
Once you’ve reached Langkawi, you can choose to Grab around (yes, Grab is available here), or hire a private car for the day.
In Koh Lipe, you won’t have to worry about transportation too much as the whole island is literally walkable from one end to the other.
For the times when you don’t feel like walking, motorbike taxis with a sidecar is the main mode of transportation around the island. Wherever you’re going, no matter the distance, it is a flat rate of 50 Baht per ride, per person.
Explore Langkawi’s famous Sky Bridge and cable car ride!
Note: The earliest flight to Langkawi from Singapore is at 10.55am. You will reach Langkawi at 12.25pm. Upon arrival, have a quick lunch at Jetty Point Complex (located at Kuah Jetty) or Telaga Terminal. We also recommend hiring a car for the day in order to be able to fully utilise your time in Langkawi. (Return flights from SGD $180)
Not only can you do a little bit of shopping here, you can also learn the art of Batik, and make your own to bring home! It was one of the things we personally enjoyed at Langkawi, and it is a must-do in our books!
Photo Via Tripcanvas5
At Oriental Village, there’s surprisingly tons of things to do.
But if you don’t have the time to finish everything, here are the 2 must-dos – explore the Langkawi Sky Bridge (crazy views here) and enjoy the ride up on the Langkawi Cable Car. You’ll also get to see the famous Langkawi eagles circling around on the Sky Bridge! Incredible.
Photo Via Little_alpinegirl
This Pasar Malam (Night Market) blew us away with the sheer range of food available. Walking through the market, there were so many delicious smells and interesting food we had never seen before (both Singaporeans and Malaysians went on the trip!)
Have your dinner at the market and enjoy exploring the curious fusion of Malaysian/Thai food on offer here!
Photo Via Livetotrek, Ruffmurad, Theislanddrum
Once you’re done with dinner, head back to Ombak Villas! It’s one of the nicer resorts in Langkawi and offers a plethora of beautiful rooms to stay in.
You’ll also enjoy the picturesque breakfast buffet the next morning (ocean views, and an infinity pool too!) before you head to Koh Lipe!
Photo Via Thewinterchee, Triciawonggg
Marvel at Koh Lipe’s beautiful crystal turquoise waters
Note: Make sure to reach the ferry terminal 2 hours before the scheduled departure. If you’re taking the earliest ferry to Koh Lipe at 9am, head to the ferry terminal and register yourselves before having breakfast. We took the ferry from Kuah Jetty where Jetty Point Complex is also locates, is a pretty nice place to hang out before the ride!
There are places to eat around Jetty Point Complex, so feel free to settle down for breakfast at whichever eatery you’d like.
You can also shop around a little with several interesting stores at affordable prices! Whether it’s getting essentials from Rubiso, or getting a Naraya bag or 2, or even buying some swimwear or sun hats, it’s the simple pleasures here!
Photo Via TripCanvas
While there are many beachfront resorts around Koh Lipe, we personally stayed at 2!
If you have the budget, and if it’s a special occasion, we highly recommend splashing out for Idyllic Concept Resort. This is where you can enjoy a true beachfront stay. Imagine opening up the sliding doors of your balcony to the beach that’s literally 8 steps away!
Photo Via Somjitratarn, Jerrylim02
Otherwise, Sita Beach Resort is another comfortable and more affordable option too. It’s a huge resort that’s connected to the beach!
You can choose to walk or take a motorbike taxi from your hotel to the walking street. This is the central location of Koh Lipe where most of the cafes and eateries are.
For starters, we’d recommend dining at our favourite Cafe Tropical, a healthy-eating cafe that seriously has some amazing food! (Oooooh that hummus platter….)
Note: If you need to draw some cash, you can find several ATMs at the Walking Street too.
At Koh Lipe, there are 3 main beaches, Pattaya Beach (where you arrive from), Sunrise Beach, and Sunset Beach. Pattaya Beach and Sunrise Beach is generally where everything is, while Sunset Beach is quite literally where people go to see the sun set!
On your first day in Koh Lipe, we recommend renting out a kayak from one of the resorts on the beach, and have some fun kayaking or doing some light snorkelling straight from the beach.
PS: You can also choose to hit up some of the bars/cafes on the beach on a drink or dessert!
Located right behind Koh Adang Sea Divers, this is a lovely little cafe/restaurant on the beach (seriously, your toes will be in the sand all the time). They serve up some pretty good Thai food (and Western options too) on the menu.
My personal favourite was the Black Pepper Prawn Vermicelli – SO GOOD.
PS: Before having dinner, remember to head to Adang Sea Divers to book a snorkelling tour (from 650 Baht / SGD $28.20) for tomorrow! If you’d prefer to dive, or want to learn to dive, you could also do it here too! #IMPORTANT
Photo Via TripCanvas
After dinner, feel free to continue exploring the walking street, get a massage or head back to your hotel to rest and relax!
PS: There are massages available by the beach. (300 Baht / SGD $13 for a 60min Thai massage)
Photo Via TripCanvas
Island-hop, snorkel, catch the sunset and glowing plankton!
Note: You’ll be spending a full day island-hopping, so remember to load up on snacks and water for when you’re hungry. And if you’re prone to sea/motion sickness, remember to bring sweets to suck on, or inhalers/smelling salts. Depending on the package you choose, the snorkelling/diving instructor will likely bring snacks, water, and motion sickness pills too. Make sure to clarify with them beforehand.
One of the best things to do at Koh Lipe, seriously is the island-hopping and snorkelling. A multitude of treasures awaits under the ocean and on the islands!
Your tour begins at 9am, so make sure to grab breakfast before then. You could opt to have breakfast at the walking street before heading over – over get one of the breakfast menu items off the Sunrise Beach Restaurant (located behind Adang Sea Divers).
Depending on the tour you choose, there are many different islands to hop to, including the beautiful Koh Hin-Ngam, a unique island made of black rocks. (The rocks themselves are so pretty, resembling black fluorite crystals with the layers of colours – but beware, legend says that anyone who visits and takes a rock home will be cursed with bad luck.)
Photo Via TripCanvas
If you’re interested in jungle trekking, pick the Koh Adang tour! You can trek up to 3 stunning viewpoints, and do some snorkelling too!
Depending on the snorkelling tour you choose, your tour may end anytime between 4pm to 6pm. If it ends early, we recommend heading to Sunset beach to catch the incredible sunset (from 5-6.30pm)!
Just imagine being in the waters, watching the sun paint the ocean in different colours of pink, purple, silver and gold as it lowers down to the horizon. Seriously, incredible.
Next, catch the glowing plankton at North Point Beach!
We were brought here by our snorkelling instructor as part of the tour, but if your package does not offer it, here’s where you can find the glowing plankton.
Head to North Point Beach and wade into the waters. If you’re lucky, you should be able to start spotting them once you’re thigh deep!
Note: We recommend including the glowing plankton as a part of your Koh Adang Sea Divers tour. It’s definitely better to have the instructor/local with you to help find the best spots to catch the glowing plankton.
Photo Via Kendrawaldman, TripCanvas
With so many restaurants on the beach, and cafes around the walking street, you can feel free to dine at any of them. Not even kidding.
We experienced dining at one of the beach restaurants – I-Deal Cuisine of Idyllic Concept Resort (which was amazing)…
But if you’re at the walking street, Elephant Restaurant is a favourite with travellers with its good food and live band. It also happens to be the sister restaurant of Cafe Tropical!