Sunday, February 21, 2010

Koh Lipe

I don’t care how last minute it is but if you suggest a trip to an island, I’m game!

Merv had the week off and Joe K was back in Malaysia for a month so what better way to spend Chinese New Year than to lay on the beach and soak up some UV rays. I thought a trip to Koh Lipe would cost close to nothing since it is literally the island next to Langkawi. An hour on the plane and another hour on the boat should be reasonably inexpensive right? Wrong.

How to get there
To maximize our stay, we took the earliest Air Asia flight out of Kuala Lumpur (LCCT) that got us to Langkawi at 8:30 a.m. After grabbing a bottle of Smirnoff at the airport duty-free store, we hopped into a cab and drove to Telaga Harbor only to find out that the 9:30 a.m. speedboat has been overbooked. We had to wait for the next (and last) boat that was departing at 2:30 p.m.

Goofing around in Langkawi

Roundtrip flight from Kuala Lumpur (LCCT) to Langkawi: RM569.00 (USD $168). Roundtrip speedboat from Telaga Harbor to Koh Lipe: RM 250.00 (USD $74).

Immigration at Koh Lipe
Waiting at the Koh Lipe Immigration for our passports

The speedboat took us to the the immigration center at Pattaya Beach where we waited patiently in the heat for our passport. After that, we then hired a long boat for a 3-minute boat ride to our hotel, which was on the other end of the beach about 1km away.

I’m pretty sure there are more economical ways to get to Koh Lipe. I read that you could take a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Had Yai and then a boat to Koh Lipe OR instead of taking a speedboat from Telaga Harbor, I eventually found out that you could hire a normal boat for much less. Also, during low seasons, budget flights from Kuala Lumpur (LCCT) to Langkawi cost as low as RM49 (USD $15).

Where to stay
Another disadvantage about traveling last minute (during high seasons) is that all good hotels are fully booked! Our first choice was Castaway Resort but since there were no rooms left there (or anywhere for that matter), we booked (and paid for – most hotels here asked for full payment upfront) a room at Sanom Resort. It was reasonably pleasant except that even though we were facing the beach, there was a lack of breeze so we had to keep the windows open the whole night and needless to say, we were attacked by seveteen thousand mosquitoes. I’m exaggerating. The room came with a mosquito net and fans but you get my point.

Castaway Resort
Lunch at Castaway Resort

Sanom Resort
Our room/hut at Sanom Resort

What to do
I was hesitant to write and share this trip because in my eyes, Koh Lipe is still a gem waiting to be discovered. It’s not as popular as Koh Phi Phi or Phuket but I can tell it will get there very soon. There were rows of resorts along the beach that was housing a few thousand tourists that looked like they needed to apply more sun block lotion. Popular activities include diving, snorkeling, beach massages, reading and lazing around.


Koh Lipe
Post lunch laze

Post Massage
Post-massage laze

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.