Koh Lipe is the southernmost island in Thailand, and it’s the closest inhabited island to Langkawi in Malaysia. It is possible to travel by boat between the two islands, making it one of the more memorable international border crossings in Southeast Asia.
Here is how to go from Koh Lipe to Langkawi by boat.
Koh Lipe – Langkawi ferry map
[Map of Koh Lipe – Langkawi ferry.]
Koh Lipe – Langkawi ferry tickets
There are two options to choose from for boat travel between Koh Lipe and Langkawi: speedboat or high-speed ferry. The speedboat operated by Satun Pakbara is faster than the Langkawi Ekspres high-speed ferry. The scheduled travel time by speedboat is 1 hour, and 1 hour 30 minutes by ferry.
The easiest way to buy tickets is to use 12Go Asia. This website displays all of your travel options on one page, so you can compare the speedboat and high-speed ferry times.
12Go Asia is a well-known brand in Thailand, so your ticket will be recognised at check-in.
[12go Asia flags at the Koh Lipe ferry departure point.]
Koh Lipe – Langkawi high-speed ferry review
I have already travelled on the speedboats around the Andaman Islands, so for the sake of variety I opted for the high-speed ferry for this trip.
Ko Lipe is a small island so there is no grand port building with immigration facilities. The immigration checkpoint for the high-speed ferry is a small office on Pattaya Beach, near Bundhaya Villas.
[Koh Lipe immigration point on Pattaya Beach, near Bundhaya Villas.]
There is another checkpoint on the same beach for the speedboat service to Langkawi. I was sent a message via Whatsapp that sent clear instructions on what immigration point to go to.
[Satun Pakbara immigration point at Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe.]
There is a check-in window for the ferry company and an immigration window.
There is no holding area for passengers who have officially left the country. Once you are stamped out your passport is held by the boat company until you board the boat.
When the boat is ready to board, passengers wait on the beach. At this point, you are still in the general population area, but you have no passport so there is no turning back now.
Koh Lipe is a small island with no jetties for big boats. The ferry waits offshore and passengers are transferred via longtail boats.
Passengers are given a ticket number upon checking in, and the long tail boats are boarded in exact numerical order.
This process takes a while as it takes several trips to transfer all the passengers. There is a separate boat for bags.
Another consideration is that the boats move around a lot when transferring from the longtail boat to the ferry. If you have mobility issues then this will be a problem.
There is no outside deck on this boat, but I found it to be more comfortable (and quieter) than the speedboat option.
There is also a toilet onboard.
A Malaysia immigration form is provided while onboard.
The bags were loaded by the crew when we boarded, but when it came time to exit everyone was scrambling to grab their bag.
The ferry arrives at the Kuah Jetty, where there is a ferry terminal that is more fitting for international travel. The immigration procedure was quick and without any hassle.
There are the usual taxi touts at the exit, but just head straight to the official taxi stand. There is a list that shows the fixed price for places around the island. The taxi from Kuah Jetty to Cenang Beach is 38 MYR.
The speedboat service arrives at Telaga Harbour Marina in Langkawi. That also requires a taxi transfer if you are going to Cenang Beach.