Modes of Transportation in Koh Lipe
This island requires you to cross the seas so that you can experience its splendid beauty. You can take a speedboat or ferry from Pakbara, and it will take you an hour or four, respectively. Since Koh Lipe has no port, you will have to transfer to a longtail boat in the water.
These longboats are ferried by the sea gypsies or 'chao ley', the "water people", who are living in the seas of the Malay peninsula in their 'kabang'. A 'kabang' is a houseboat which was popularly used by these people of the sea as their homes when they still actively adhered to their nomadic lifestyle. Building a boat was a part of a tradition that each newlywed had a houseboat built for them, from a single tree trunk. However, the chao ley have now learned to intermix with the Thai majority and have made permanent houses along the coasts. Their livelihood mainly comprises of fishing, and using their longboats as the gondolas of Koh Lipe.
Meanwhile, other than these longtail boats, you can also rent kayaks or canoes to discover the sea and sand. It is a great way to enjoy the picturesque island and to luxuriously laze around in the clear emerald waters. There are also sea tour operators who can take you to chao ley habitats, or go island hopping, snorkelling, and diving. If you wish to discover Koh Lipe's shores, the best way to do so is on foot since there is no other mode of commuting. The island is just a fair distance anyway, and the best way to discover its little secrets is by walking. You might see a few motorcycles, but they are not for rent to tourists.