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HOW TO GET TO KOH LIPE IN RAINY SEASON
Koh Lipe, we are a big fan of this beautiful little island near the Malaysian border! This beautiful paradise has very friendly inhabitants and beautiful beaches. About Koh Lipe it’s often said that you shouldn’t go there in the rainy season, it rains all day, it is impossible to get there or the hotels are closed and then there is nothing to do. Luckily we didn’t listen to this and still went to Koh Lipe, in the rainy season!
In this article you can read all about our experiences, the weather and how to get to Koh Lipe in the rainy season.
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Rain season versus dry season – Advantages and disadvantages
Rain season (May to October)
The rainy season is also called the green or low season. In this season Koh Lipe is a bit more difficult to reach but an advantage is that it is a lot calmer on the island. Because of this, some accommodations and restaurants are closed, but there is more than enough open! Spending the night in the rainy season is often a lot cheaper. But you can’t book all snorkel and dive trips.
Dry season (November to April)
The dry season is also called the high season. In this season you can reach Koh Lipe fairly easily from different places and surrounding islands, which makes it a lot busier and more expensive on the island. The advantage of this is that all restaurants and bars are open during this period. If the weather doesn’t do crazy things you can take all the diving and snorkeling trips there are.
The weather on Koh Lipe in the rainy season
Of course we can’t give any guarantees, but during our stay in the month of July we only had a few showers in a week. You usually saw these showers coming. The sky got dark, it started blowing harder and then it went completely loose. We always find it a wonderful spectacle to watch! (If you’re sitting somewhere nice and sheltered…). After about an hour it became quiet again. The clouds drifted away and the sun reappeared. In no time everything dried up again and it looks as if nothing has happened. The months July and August are fairly at the start of the rainy season, according to the statistics the chance of rain is getting bigger and bigger towards September and October. But that doesn’t mean anything either, after Koh Lipe we traveled on to Koh Tao again, weather-technically a smart choice in the month of July. Only we had rain there for almost a week. We hear you think “nothing is as unpredictable as the weather”, right! But how do you get to Koh Lipe in the rainy season?
How do you get to Koh Lipe in the rainy season?
In the rainy season you will have to do a little more to get to Koh Lipe. In the high season you can take a ferry from several islands to Koh Lipe. In the rainy season you will travel more by land and air. We thought it was fine to do and everything went as planned. You will have to wait here and there for a while, but most of the time everything connected pretty well.
First by plane to Hat Yai
The easiest way to travel to Koh Lipe in the rainy season is by plane. This can be done from Bangkok but also from almost every other possible airport. For Koh Lipe, flying to Hat Yai is the fastest option. From the Don Mueang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok it’s a short flight of about an hour and a half. By the way, we flew from Chiang Mai, which was about two hours flying time. We arrived late in Hat Yai so no chance we could be on time for the speedboat to Koh Lipe. That’s why we stayed one night in Hat Yai. Hat Yai is a nice city to spend the night in, maybe it was because we honestly didn’t expect much from it. We slept for a good price at the P-Residence Hotel, a good place for a low price and right in the centre of Hat Yai!
From Hat Yai to Pak Bara
In the early morning we took a songthaew, this half-open minibus has many pick-up places and in your accommodation they can tell you where the stops are. With this van we went to the Hat Yai bus station. The costs were 30 baht per person. At the Hat Yai bus station we were picked up by a pre-booked minibus. Together with a group of other travelers we drove in two hours to Pak Bara, the village from where the (speed)boats for Koh Lipe leave. At the pier we had to wait another half hour. There is a small market where you can buy some souvenirs and directly on the pier a small supermarket. A bit further from the pier is also a 7-Eleven. Time flies and before you know it is time to board!
We had booked the mini van from Hat Yai to Pak Bara van in advance at 12GoAsia, ideal if you want to be sure you can leave at a certain time and you don’t know the surroundings. Our experiences with this travel agency have always been good, always on time and friendly service.
With the speedboat to Koh Lipe
We often have taken a speedboat to an island, that’s why we knew it could be a ‘bumpy ride’. If you get seasick quickly, we advise you to take a seasick pill half an hour before departure. These are also available at the many 7-Elevens that Thailand has to offer. Was it a terrible trip? No, not as far as we are concerned. Of course there were waves and you bounce over the water, but this goes in a kind of rhythm that has a special (but quite logical) effect. Namely that almost everyone fell asleep within fifteen minutes! (Rock a bye baby?) Pretty bizarre to see all those rocking heads to the rhythm of the waves. After we also fell asleep we woke up after a thick hour because the speed decreased and we were there, well almost!
DO YOU KNOW?
Pak Bara is a small town located on the Strait of Malacca. This water used to be notorious for its piracy as you can read in our article about the history of Koh Tarutao.
The last bit…
The speedboat moors on a floating pontoon where you have to buy tickets for Koh Tarutao National Park and the longtail boat. The longtail boat brings you the last hundred meters to the beach, in the rainy season this is Pattaya Beach. When you are in the boats you realize how beautiful it really is! The water is crystal clear and you can see the fish and the bottom with ease. A little further on the white beach with waving palm trees is waiting for you, welcome to Koh Lipe!
When the sea is too rough or when it rains very hard there are no speedboats for safety reasons, keep this in mind in your planning. Put on a poncho when it rains. In spite of the canopy, you will still get wet through the sides.
Travel costs to travel from Bangkok to Koh Lipe in the rainy season in euros for two
€ 10,- : Taxi from Bangkok centre to airport (DMK)
€ 100,- : Flight ticket Bangkok to Hat Yai
€ 5,- : Taxi from Hat Yai airport to the centre of Hat Yai
€ 25,- : Overnight stay in the centre of Hat Yai
€ 5,- : Songthaew from our hotel to the bus station of Hat Yai
€ 50,- : Minivan from Hat Yai to Pak Bara and with the speedboat from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe
€ 5,- : Longtail boat from the platform into the sea to Koh Lipe
€ 15,- : Entrance fee for the Tarutao National Park
Total: € 225,- for two persons from Bangkok. Attention we rounded the prices a bit upwards and took into account the baht as it stands now (mid 2019).
Other options to consider in low season
- Flying by plane first to Trang and then by van to Pak Bara and then the speedboat to Koh Lipe.
- You can also catch a night train from Bangkok (Hualamphong Station). This one way train to Hat Yai costs about € 40,- and takes about 16 hours.
- There are also several bus companies leaving Bangkok for the 13 hour trip to Hat Yai. Average price of € 20.
The beste restaurants on Koh Lipe
Located on Walking Street. Awesome team, great food, great vibe, just fantastic!!!!!
- Café Tropical
Nice place to find good vegan meals. From the same team as Elephant – just good!
- Papaya Mom
Also located on Walking Street with delicious fish and shellfish dishes. Order also the Mango Sticky Rice yummm…
- The Box
Part of The Box Lipe Resort on Walking Street. If you fancy a good glass of wine together with some delicious tapas, this is the place to be. Super friendly Spanish owner by the way! Olee!
- Made in Italy
Fancy a nice pizza or pasta? Made in Italy is the place to be!
- Ten Moons Restaurant
Part of the Ten Moons Resort at Sunrise Beach and a very popular place to visit for us! Enjoy the view and the food!
- On The Rocks Restaurant
Part of the Serenipity Resort at Sunrise Beach and another place with an amazing view and fantastic food!