Koh Libong

Located just a 15-minute long-tail boat trip from Hat Yao, in the far south of Thailand, the unspoilt paradise island of Koh Libong is a mountainous jewel in an azure sea known for its unique ecosystems, flora and fauna.

The beaches are thin, with reddish-brown sand, but the island itself is heaven for ecotourists. Its only residents live in a small, Muslim fishing community, and there are a few resorts set along its western coastline. Rather than draw travelers with its beaches, it appeals to those looking for natural curiosities, such as the only remaining colony of dugongs on earth.

Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve lies on the island’s eastern coast at Laem Jul Loi and is a protected mangrove swamp containing a variety of protected species including the critically-endangered dugongs.

Much of the remainder of the island is un-spoilt, with virgin rain forest and other unique habitats, as well as extensive rubber plantations. Forested cliffs give superb ocean views, and most beaches are deserted. Diving here is a delight due to clear waters and an abundance of marine life, and peace and tranquility are highlights.

The four beach resorts on the island are all on its southwestern coastline, boasting wood-and-thatch beach side chalets, bungalows and beach huts, with the exception of a few cement bungalows in the newest resort. For the real Koh Libong experience, the rustic accommodations are just the thing, and several offer dugong-spotting boat tours to the mangrove forests in the wildlife reserve.

 

From Trang town on the mainland, a minibus runs to Ban Haad pier for the public long-tail ferry to the island, which leaves when it is full. After docking at Ban Praw pier, you’ll need to take a motorcycle taxi to your resort. Flights to Trang leave from Bangkok’s DonMuangAirport, and the slow train from Bangkok to Trang is another option.

 

The island’s climate is called tropical monsoon for a good reason, with visiting in the rainy season between April and December not recommended, although temperatures vary little over the course of the year.