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Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
40 posts
Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

Hello!

i am super excited to visit Thailand. We are traveling early November and have heard that the Andaman coast is our best bet when it comes to weather. We are considering a few options. Flying from LAX to Bangkok spending a day or two there then heading to the islands. Koh Lipe is definitely on our list. So should we fly from Bangkok to Kerbi, head to Koh Lipe then head back closer to Kerbi islands? We also want to visit an elephant sanctuary. Is this too much? We are there for a total of two weeks. I guess my biggest worry is setting up a really long commute back to Bangkok for our returning flight home. Does that make sense? Or should we just fly straight to the islands, since thats really where were spending most of our time? Seems a bit of a silly move to go to Thailand and not experience Bangkok? IDK! Help!

Any prior experiences and knowledge on how to get around in Thailand would be awesome.

THanks in advace!

6 replies to this topic
Florida - Alaska...
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province
Level Contributor
8,051 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

Flights from most anywhere in Thailand are around an hour or so to Bangkok, so not really a "long commute". Just leave a good amount of padding between the flight's arrival time in Bangkok and your flight home to LA, flights are not always on time here in Thailand.

Getting to Koh Like is probably better via Hat Yai Airport, not Krabi. Using Krabi Airport would add a few hours drive time.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
40 posts
2. Re: Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

Thank you @Mr. Cycling,

Have you been to Koh Lipe? My partner thinks its too far, but I think its worth it based on the reviews... seems like visiting there and some of the busier islands like Phi Phi would be a good balance, whats your opinion?

THanks!

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
1,989 posts
3. Re: Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

Hat Yai airport to Lipe is about 4 hours total by minivan and ferry.

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
Level Contributor
20,562 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

You could fly into Hat Yai and return to Bangkok from Krabi. This would be easy to book with Air Asia or Nok Air. Between islands, you can get longtail or speedboat hops, or if necessary return to the mainland and use Thailand's excellent bus system to go to the next port, or book a private transfer if that's your cup of tea. Hotel desks can always advise you on the best transportation and book a boat or ground transport as necessary. There's nothing you need to arrange in advance on the internet. In fact, DON'T try to book transportation in advance except for the flights in and out.

Lipe, Bulon Leh, Kradan/Ngai/Muk, Lanta and Jum then the "back way" to Krabi Airport by local boat and songthaew via Laem Kruat would be a great trip.

Maybe from Bulon Leh you'd have to get to the mainland at Pak Bara and then go by ground transport to Pak Meng to get a longtail to Kradan.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
40 posts
5. Re: Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

Thank you for your responses! I did have the Hat Yai route in mind.

Here's another scenario! What if we just flew into Phuket? Would that be simpler? This way we can do the Phuket Elephant sanctuary and be closer to the andaman coast?

There is also a ferry that goes to Pak bara and then connecting Speed boat total of 6 hours from Phi Phi, my partner is leaning towards the 6 hour trip instead of the Hay yai route since it will only be two different transfers and just about an hour longer. Whats your opinion?

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
Level Contributor
20,562 posts
33 reviews
6. Re: Andaman coast- how to get around Island.

I don't really understand your reasoning. Phuket is a big, over-developed and over-run tourist island, Thailand's priciest destination and it's a LOONG way from Koh Lipe. Phi Phi is also now super-touristed. Have a look at the map. Since you said in the OP "Koh Lipe is definitely on our list" I assumed you wanted to do an island-hopping trip up the coast on relatively less-developed islands. The atmosphere and lifestyle on Phuket versus that of Koh Lipe is like day and night. It's up to you: super-touristy or more laid back

There's also an elephant sanctuary in Krabi Province at Ao Luk. Search on Facebook for "Krabi Elephant Sanctuary."

Hat Yai to Lipe is one transfer: ground transportation to the pier at Pak Bara about 2 hours, and boat trip to Lipe about 2 hours. Especially for the boat part, it's not a "commute" but part of the fun of your trip. But even on the ground part, you'll get a snaphot of lush, southern rural Thailand.

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