From Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe – a ride by a Hi-speed open water limo
There can come a time when you may want to squeeze in a little more to your Southern Thailand Island holiday. Need to get to that next tropical Island fast and in comfort? Speed is the need? Climbing aboard a Hi-speed open water limo may be the answer for you.
When planning an Island hopping holiday in the Andaman Sea, time, or lack of it, may be your only restraint. ‘Sooner’ rather than ‘later’ can be a necessity if you hunger for that next Island destination and you are on a limited time schedule. In other words you want to get there fast without sacrificing comfort. I found myself in such a situation when I needed to get from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe – Thailand’s most southern ‘chilled out’ Island destination – in a hurry. My choice, jump aboard a Hi-speed purpose built power boat, an open-water speed machine. Its departure time at 1.30pm from Saladan Pier meant that I wouldn’t lose a day in transit and I would be in Koh Lipe well in time for sunset cocktails.
I wasn’t alone in my quest as I gathered with other speed ‘junkies’ at the Ban Saladan passenger jetty. The ‘Satun Pakbara Speed Boat Club’ operates a Koh Lipe – Koh Lanta – Koh Lipe service on a daily basis through high season, November to April. This super efficient service offers fast water transport between distant, romantic, isolated Island getaways. With luggage stowed we settled in and cruised from the jetty out into open water. The popularity of this service was evident, as there were at least 40 other passengers aboard. I found most were of the same opinion as me, that by paying a modest increase in fare can equate to even extra large savings in time.
This sizable boat was a thoroughbred. Built for speed and designed to race across the top of any swell with maximum passenger comfort and safety. Powered by three, fuel efficient, emission friendly, four stroke 225h.p outboards, this baby could move. Scooting down the length of Lanta we were soon into open water, and distant specks on the horizon were soon intersected, as we flashed past various smaller southern islands. Our captain guided us, perfectly judging the different directions of minor swell changes, as some passengers snoozed whilst others used their time catching fantastic photo opportunities.
Laughing with passengers we compared this journey to something like a high-speed limousine service between Island hideaways. It was for many, as we stopped off at a few pre-arranged isolated Island locations. Here couples or families, disembarked onto waiting long tail boats that had come out to meet them. For them this was ‘instant’ remote Island paradise. For me, Koh Lipe was still over the horizon, but not for much longer. A cluster of Islands ahead indicated that we would soon be docking just off Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe. Stepping off and onto our waiting long tail boat, I pondered on next time staying aboard and doing the extra15 km across the border to Langkawi, Malaysia. Thoughts of cold beer and a few sunset cocktails at any of the beach bars I could spy soon evaporated those ideas. Maybe next time…
For boat schedules, fares and more destination details browse www.tarutaolipeisland.com