Getting to Koh Lipe and The Stay (Part 2) - Low Season

Continuing from Part I...Koh Lipe is known as Maldives of Thailand. I highly recommend this place to everyone who are already sick of travelling to Langkawi during the December school holidays. I truly understand that during the December holidays all our beautiful islands at the east coast are shut down due to rainy monsoon. To find a good island is very hard except Langkawi. Now, I am telling you that you only go to Langkawi to take a speedboat or a ferry to Koh Lipe. Langkawi cannot compare with this island. This island located at Andaman Sea has been named as top 10 best islands in the world in National Geographic
However, the speedboat or ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe is only available during high season which is between 1st November - 15th May. So in this post I only share about low season travelling to Koh Lipe because it is much harder. During the low season, scheduled boat has reduced their frequency, restaurants and chalets at Koh Lipe are mostly closed. 
The speedboat and the ferry has almost the same travelling time which is 1 hour 30 minutes and cost the same too! The only difference is you prefer to enjoy sea wind or air-condition air. If you are a person who is easily sea-sick, do take the ferry.
This is the ferry. They have two scheduled time to Koh Lipe per day which is at 11.30am and 3.00pm for both speedboat and ferry. I know it is quite stupid because they could have 4 time slots instead of 2 but this is how they work. The price is 350baht/person for a return ticket but...as usual, anything in Thailand can be negotiated especially you are coming in big groups. Don't be shy and negotiate with them.
Another difference between speedboat and the ferry is the ferry boat cannot land ashore like the speedboat here.
They need this smaller boat to take you from the ferry boat to the shore. The price is 40baht/person. Not included in the ticket fee which you paid for the ferry earlier on.
We arrived at the sunrise beach and had to pay 20baht/person for the island fee to the local government.
Not many selections as I mentioned earlier for accommodation but the best part is the price is cheap! We stayed at Forra Resort. This resort is big! They have 3 branches over this small island. They occupied every each beach in this island. For your information, there are 3 beaches which are called Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach and Pattaya Beach.
We stayed in a bamboo chalet with fan only. It costs me 600baht/night and if you are diving with them on that day, you get a free night stay! ONLY on low season. Amazing!
This chalet is located at the Sunrise Beach. So at night, it is not that hot. Electricity here are opened 24 hours but no hot shower is provided. 
However, their restaurant is not open during the low season. All his workers are on holiday.
However, the most irritating part is not this spider but the mosquitoes. There are a lot of mosquitoes in this island so insect repellent is an essential item here.
This island is simply amazing despite the mosquitoes. Clear blue water and white sandy beach...it is a paradise for me. I would like to retire here if I could but I can see the island is pretty occupied by everyone.
Not much night life during low season. The activity here is basically just swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and diving. Not many dive centers are opened during the low season so you will have a hard time to get the best price out of them.
About going back to Pak Bara, there are also two time slots only which are 9.30am and 1.30pm. If you are holding an open ticket, please make sure that you go to your boat company 24 hours before boat departure to confirm your seating. If you do not do that, they will have the right to not let you on-board if the boat is fully occupied. Do take note on this. Once again for the ferry boat, you need to pay 40baht/pax to get to your boat.
There are not many restaurants opened during this season but take a little walk inside the island and you will see plenty more other choices waiting for you. Some of you may choose to fly to Hatyai and take a bus to Pak Bara. Do take note that the bus will take 90 minutes to arrive and there is only one bus for every hour. Sometimes, the bus is not really accurate with their timing. It is easy to get to Koh Lipe even it is low season if you get all the information right. Enjoy!
Summary:-

1) Langkawi - only available during high season between December to April.

2) Fly to Hatyai - My advice is to take a bus to Pak Bara and stay a night there. There are taxi van available if you are coming in larger group. If you are taking AirAsia, you should be able to catch 3.00pm boat without any stay required. For going back to KL, you need to stay a night at Hatyai. Make your half day worthwhile at Hatyai! Hatyai is a great place too!

3) Drive to Thailand - If your group does not need land visa application, do take the route to Wang Kelian and you should be able to reach Pak Bara in one hour. Parking fee is 100baht/day. It is safe. If your group needs a visa such as from China, you need to go to Bukit Kayu Hitam and pay 1500baht for the visa. Another 3 hours drive, you should be able to reach Pak Bara.

Pros & Cons of travelling to Koh Lipe during Low Season

Pros:
1) Low number of tourists/not too crowded
2) Competitive price for accommodation and water entertainment
3) Highly negotiable boat fare

Cons:
1) Only one route to Koh Lipe which is through Pak Bara
2) Limited boat schedule
3) Limited chalets and restaurants available

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