Thinking about island hopping? Book a ferry from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe and you won't need to worry one bit about how to cross the Andaman sea. As you make it from A to B, you'll have access to a bathroom and comfortable seating. Depending on the weather, it may get kind of chilly on board and there might be some water spraying. Bring a light jacket with you to avoid any discomfort.
Although there's just one way to get to Koh Lipe from Koh Phi Phi, there are three ferry companies making the 150 kilometer (93 mile) journey over the Andaman every day. There are a total of four daily ferry departures from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe.
The ferry operators are: Tigerline, Bundhaya and Satun Pakbara. Each ferry has an excellent safety record and high-speed ferries and speedboats are equipped with buoyancy aids and other forms of modern safety equipment.
Tigerline's high-speed ferry is the only service to offer outside seating on its top deck. It also has covered, air-conditioned, seating down below. Both Bundhaya and Satun Pakbara provide boats with air-conditioned seating areas but nowhere to sit outside.
All three ferry types are quite small in comparison to the vehicle ferries operating in other areas of the Andaman. This means they can get a bit bumpy in bad weather and if you're prone to seasickness it's a good idea to take some tablets before you leave.
High season is from November to April which is when the boats tend to be in much higher demand. Outside of this time – March to October – it's quite easy to get a seat but the weather is a little bit more unpredictable.
Getting down to Ao Tonsai Pier on Koh Phi Phi about an hour before a designated departure time is definitely recommended. This saves you having a stressful dash to the ferry in front of all your fellow passengers. You can also buy provisions before you set off.
The ferry ride from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe takes anything from 3 to 5 hours. Prices start from US$64 for Tigerline's high-speed ferry; however you'll usually also need to pay local fishermen US$6 (200 Thai Baht) on arrival in order to get ashore from Koh Lipe's floating pier.
There's lots to see during the 3 to 5 hour ferry crossing from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe. Definitely keep your camera handy for those all-important Andaman shots but a good book or pack of cards can be just as important on this type of journey.
You won't be able to do that much on board any of the high-speed ferries or speedboat ferries sailing to Koh Lipe from Koh Phi Phi. Just make the most of the time to watch the water either from the covered seating area down below or up top on the sundeck.
The majority of the travelers making this crossing will spend their time listening to tunes, brushing up on their Thai or playing a few games of cards. Often the noise of the engine can be quite loud so it doesn't always lend itself to convivial chat, unless you're sitting next to someone.
If you're lucky enough to be sitting next to a window or up on the sundeck you can eagerly anticipate the gorgeous blue hues of southern Thailand, all the way. Just make sure you also take a warm sweater or waterproof jacket to combat sea spray, air conditioning and sea breeze, which can get quite chilly, especially from March to October.
The size of each ferry will also impact on what you experience over the course of the voyage. Some services will be restricted when not in high season. It can get very rough at certain times of the year so do your research and make sure ferries are running when you plan to go to Koh Lipe from Koh Phi Phi.
On the flip side, in high season, seats can be in high demand. Get your tickets as soon as you know when you're heading from one island to the next. Also, get down to Koh Phi Phi Pier as early as possible so as to grab the best spot on the sundeck or by the window.
As you sail south from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe you might come into contact with several other islands, starting with Koh Lanta that's roughly 35 kilometers (21 miles) offshore. Other islands to keep an eye out for as you approach Koh Lipe include Koh Ngai, Koh Kradang and Koh Bulon. Great photo ops aplenty as you pass by on the west side.
Taking a ferry
Firstly, there's a speedboat ferry that's put on by Bundhaya. This is what most travelers opt for when crossing to Koh Lipe from Koh Phi Phi. These boats are well-equipped with all safety services and also have covered seating areas and a small onboard bathroom.
This type of speedboat ferry takes about four hours to cross from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe. The cost of seats start from US$74 per passenger or US$149 for two passengers.
Secondly, Tigerline's high-speed ferry has an air-conditioned seating area as well as an open top sundeck. There's also a small washroom on board and tip top safety equipment. This is the most affordable option with travel prices starting from US$64.
Also, you'll need to bear in mind if traveling with Tigerline that you have to pay the local fishermen 200 Baht (US$6) to get from Koh Lipe's floating pier to the shore.
Finally, the speedboat service run by Satun Pakbara takes around four hours to reach Koh Lipe from Koh Phi Phi. On board you'll find an air-conditioned seating area as well as a small washroom. Prices per passenger start from US$68 or US$137 for two.
There are usually four ferries departing Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe every day. This is a well used service and no matter which ferry provider you use you will be in safe hands.
Sometimes the weather can add to the occasion so be prepared with a wind and rainproof jacket or a warm sweater to deal with the conditions. If you're lucky enough to be on the open top deck don't forget to always wear sunscreen.
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Bookaway's customers prefer Speedboat ferry by Bundhaya Speedboat
High Speed ferry by Tigerline starting at US$56
63 Km (Air)
FERRY: Satun Pakbara Speed Boat | Tigerline | Bundhaya Speedboat