Koh Lipe is one of the 51 islands that make up Tarutao National Marine Park. Located some 80km (50 miles) off Thailand’s southern coast, it used to be one of the country’s most beautiful islands. Sadly, the influx of tourists has made it the subject of rapid development projects in recent years.
Fortunately, its surrounding turquoise waters is another story. Just a few meters from its shores are colourful corals that are home to a wonderful marine life. This is 25% of the world’s tropical fish species to be exact!
This, along with Koh Lipe’s still pristine beaches, makes it a famous destination for snorkelling and diving.
As the island straddles the waters along the Thailand-Malaysia border, it’s a great jump-off point for travellers who want to experience both countries in one trip. From the Malaysian side, the best way to reach Koh Lipe is via Langkawi.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (May 2022), the cross-border ferry route from Langkawi to Thailand has not yet resumed. The ferry from Satun to Koh Lipe already resumed, but there is no update yet about the ferries from Langkawi to Thailand. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.
The distance from Langkawi to Koh Lipe is 40km (25 miles). In this post, we compare the 3 options to travel from Langkawi to Koh Lipe: by ferry from Telaga Harbour (1-1.5 hours), by ferry from Kuah Jetty (1.5-2 hours), or by ferry via Satun (2.5-4.5 hours). Ticket prices range from 110 MYR ($26) to 975 THB ($29).
We recommend taking the ferry from Telaga Harbour if you’re coming from the main tourist area of Pantai Cenang in Langkawi. It is nearer than Kuah Jetty, so you will be able to save on taxi fares. Combined taxi and ferry rates start from 164 MYR ($38.50).
The advantage of Kuah Jetty is that this port offers more ferry choices during the high season. Although the taxi ride to Kuah is more expensive, ferries from here are a bit cheaper. Total fares start from 110 MYR ($26).
During the low season (June to October), there might not be as many direct ferry options for the Langkawi to Koh Lipe route. On the off-chance that tickets are sold out for your desired travel date, you have an alternate route via Satun. This 4.5-hour journey involves 2 ferries and a minivan and rates start from 350 MYR ($82) + 625 THB ($18.50).
Keep in mind that you will be crossing a timezone. Langkawi is one hour ahead of Koh Lipe.
Customs & Immigration
Customs and immigration offices are at both Kuah Jetty and Telaga Harbour in Langkawi.
As you would in an airport, you should arrive at your desired port at least 90 minutes before your ferry’s departure time. Your luggage will be screened at customs and your passport will be processed for immigration.
Boarding the ferry
After that, you can board your ferry bound for Koh Lipe. You are to surrender your passport to the ferry’s captain. He will be in charge of taking care of it until you reach the island, where he will hand it over to their immigration officials.
In Koh Lipe, your final drop-off point (after you transfer to a smaller water taxi from the floating dock) is at Pattaya Beach, during high season, and Sunrise Beach, during low season. Their immigration checkpoint is also located in these areas.
Immigration in Koh Lipe
Your passports will be safely delivered to the immigration officers. Normally, they need 10 to 15 minutes to process the passports. Wait for your name to be called and once you get your passport back, you’re free to go to your hotel!
Note that when entering Thailand via water or land, some nationalities are only given a 15-day visa. Double-check your visa stamp upon receiving your passport to ensure you don’t overstay!
COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (May 2022), the ferry route from Telage Harbour in Langkawi to Koh Lipe has not yet resumed. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.
There are 2 popular ferry companies that depart from Telaga Harbour: Jumping Frog and Satun Pakbara. The journey takes 1.5 hours with a regular ferry and 1 hour with a speedboat.
Departure & Arrival Stations
Telaga Harbour is our preferred departure point because of its proximity to the main tourist area in Langkawi.
The harbour is located just 15km (9 miles) north of Pantai Cenang and you can easily reach it with a 20-minute taxi ride. Rates start from 30 MYR ($7), but if you’re hoping for cheaper rates, you can also try looking for shared taxis.
The arrival point for these ferries is Pattaya Beach. You can book your tickets online via BookAway, with fares from 135 MYR ($31.50).
Ferry Schedule from Telaga Harbour in Langkawi to Koh Lipe*
*COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (May 2022), the ferry route from Telaga Harbour in Langkawi to Koh Lipe has not yet resumed. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.
Kuah Jetty, Langkawi to Koh Lipe by Ferry
Duration: 1.5-2 hours Cost: 110 MYR ($26)
COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (May 2022), the ferry route from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi to Koh Lipe has not yet resumed. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.
Bundhaya Speedboat and Jumping Frog Travel are the 2 ferry companies operating from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi to Koh Lipe all year round. Travel time is between 1.5 hours to 2 hours, depending on which company you book with.
You can reach Kuah Jetty through a 40-minute taxi ride with prices from 40 MYR ($9). If you’re travelling solo and don’t mind sharing a ride, you should be able to find a shared taxi in the town centre.
Departure & Arrival Stations
Departing from Kuah Jetty is a great alternative especially if you’re travelling from Langkawi to Koh Lipe during the high season. You’ll have more ferry options here. The only downside is it’s a little farther away (20km east) from the main tourist hub of Pantai Cenang.
The ferries going to Koh Lipe arrive at Pattaya Beach. Fares start from 110 MYR ($26) when you book through BookAway.
Ferry Schedule from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi to Koh Lipe*
*COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (May 2022), the ferry route from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi to Koh Lipe has not yet resumed. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.
More ferry options during high season
From October to June, Klook used to offer 1 or 2 trips every day for the Langkawi to Koh Lipe route, but currently, it is not available. The schedule varies depending on the month that you are travelling in, but you can easily check this on their website.
Another option is Langkawi Ferry Services, which offers direct trips from November to early June. The price of a one-way ticket is 110 MYR ($26). However, they’re not available to book online, so you’ll have to check Langkawi Ferry Services for ticket reservations and schedules.
Kuah Jetty, Langkawi to Koh Lipe by Ferry via Satun
COVID-19 UPDATE: Currently (May 2022), although the ferry from Satun to Koh Lipe has already resumed, the cross-border ferry route from Langkawi to Satun hasn’t. Please check the provided links to see if anything has changed.
Up until a few years back, direct ferries from Langkawi to Koh Lipe were only available during the high season. This last option via Satun used to be the alternative for tourists travelling this route during the low season.
Nowadays, you’ll still find a few direct ferry options from June to October. But just in case they run out of tickets for your desired travel date or you just want an adventure, know that there is an alternative indirect route when travelling from Langkawi to Koh Lipe.
Step 1: Langkawi to Satun by Ferry
Duration: 1hr 15m Cost: 350 MYR ($82)
First, you’ll have to travel to Tammalang Pier in Satun, a southern province in Thailand.
Ferries operating from Langkawi to Satun depart from Kuah Jetty. This is located some 20km (12 miles) east of Pantai Cenang and a 40-minute taxi ride will cost you around 40 MYR ($9). If you’re travelling solo, you can also try finding a shared taxi for a cheaper fare.
Langkawi Ferry Services offer 2 trips for this route daily. However, if you want to complete this journey within the same day, you’ll have to take the ferry that departs at 09:30. Otherwise, you will be too late for your ferry connecting to Koh Lipe.
Travel time is approximately 1hr 15m and a ticket costs 350 MYR ($82). You can buy them at the port or you can reserve a ticket by calling them beforehand. Contact details are available on the Langkawi Ferry Services website.
*Currently (May 2022), the ferry route from Langkawi to Satun has not yet resumed. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.
Step 2: Satun to Koh Lipe by Ferry
Duration: 1.5-3 hours Cost: 625 THB ($18.50)
From Tammalang Pier, you’ll need to take a minivan to Pak Bara Pier, which is located 70km (44 miles) north. Note that the minivan ride takes another 1.5 hours, so time your connecting ferry accordingly.
At Pak Bara, you’ll have at least 4 ferry choices to reach Koh Lipe. There are several departures from 11:30 to 13:30 every day. We recommend that you book online through BookAway to guarantee a seat. Fares start from 625 THB ($18.50).