Koh Tao vs Koh Lipe?

Old Feb 4th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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Koh Tao vs Koh Lipe?

Next week, after a few days in Bangkok, we'd like to travel to one of Thailand's beautiful islands. I've been researching all the islands, and have rounded the choices down to two, Koh Tao or Koh Lipe. Does anyone have an opinion on one versus the other?

The most important things we're looking for are:

very beautiful, scenic island
fine, white sand beaches and clear water
good food
some activities if possible - a little shopping, cultural sites, hikes, etc
few crowds

We're not looking for heavy touristy areas such as Phuket or Krabi, or partying, nightclubs, etc.

If Koh Lipe, is the best travel path flight from BKK to Hat Yai, taxi to Pak Bara, and ferry to Koh Lipe (total travel = 4-5 hrs)?

If Koh Tao, is the best travel path flight from BKK to Koh Samui, and ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao (total travel = 3-4 hrs)?

I am aware that travel to Koh Tao will be more expensive than Koh Lipe, since we'd have to use Thai Airways rather than Air Asia. Any thoughts on Koh Lipe vs Koh Tao?
pearpuff is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Between the two I would say that Koh Lipe, haven't been personally but my opinion formed by friends and relatives experiences, will be more exotic and picturesque than Koh Tao where I've been a few times. However, both these islands will have no cultural sites and both could get crowded especially Koh Tao.

Travel time will be longer IMO than your calculation.

Koh Lipe: 1 hour to go to the airport, wait 1 more hours, flight 1 hour, negotiating and riding a taxi or bus to Pak Barra 2.5 hours, ferry or speedboat to Lipe another 1.5 hour totalling 6 or 7 hours from the time you started your journey.

Koh Tao: roughly the same travel time IMO as Lipe but by flying into Samui you will be paying a lot for your plane tickets since Bangkok Airways has a monopoly for Samui airport which they own. Thai does fly there but few flights and expensive as well.

I would casually drive or train to Chumporn and then take a jet ferry from there, cheaper and more fun. As an alternative to staying on Koh Tao you could stay on the nearby Koh Nang Yuan which is IMO more beautiful.


If your budget permit than there is also a very nice resort with it's own airport at Koh Kood. Travel time will be minimal and no crowds.

Hanuman is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2011, 01:21 AM
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I've been hearing some pretty terrible things about Koh Lipe lately (check Travelfish.org for a pretty scathing commentary). While I agree Nang Yuan is beautiful, there's not much there except for the one resort. Koh Kood or Koh Mook, both near Koh Chang, would be better options, IMO. You might also look at Koh Libong in Trang province.
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Old Feb 11th, 2011, 12:02 AM
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Koh Kood or Koh Mook might suit you, but watch time of year as Koh Chang area has limited good weather season, plus you can spend time on Koh Chang if you want some busier days.
If you are heading to the far south island look at the Nok Air flight and ferry combined services
Wow - long link hope it works
There is a Koh Mook in that area too so don't get confused.

Koh Tao is great is you are into snorkeling, but not great if you are looking for cultural areas, but mainland area nearby has local and rural areas and you could head into Khao Sok National park as an option.
Fastest to Koh Tao ( well from next week anyway ) would be Solar Air + Lomprayah option from 'old airport' Bangkok ( Don Muang ) that is 1 hr 15 flight to Chumphon and then transfer to pier and ferry crossing, flights are daily except Sunday
( That for me works fine on IE but not on Firefox )
http://www.solarair.co.th click for English
That is about B 3,250 / US$ 108 through to Koh Tao.

May to September Koh Tao would be good weather plus mainland in that area. For far south December until around April time.
Also dec-April Khao Lak area, that also gives you the chance to get into Khao Sok National park plus there are quieter beaches and snorkeling at that time.

In the end final decision may come down to time of year you plan to visit.
JamesA is offline  
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