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Koh Libong An Offbeat Local Thai Island

Koh Libong is the largest of the Trang Islands in Thailand at 40 square kilometers, but it is the least visited. It is an unspoiled local island with not a lot of tourism infrastructure, where many of the hospitality workers don’t speak any or much English (unusual in Thailand), and where there are only a handful of places to stay.

And that is the attraction.

I love visiting Thai islands and have visited a number of beautiful islands in this magnificent country over the years. On our most recent trip, we spent two weeks island-hopping between four of the Trang Islands off the Andaman Coast.

Haad Lang Kao beach

And although I loved our time on the laidback resort islands of Koh Ngai and Koh Kradan, and the friendly local island of Koh Mook, it was Koh Libong that really felt like something special.

Sure, the beaches on the island aren’t the best in Thailand and there aren’t a ton of things to do there, but what made it so special to us was being able to experience life on a more authentic island where tourism is only a minor contributor to the local economy.

You can find untouched beaches without another soul on them, friendly Muslim fishing villages, incredible night skies free of light pollution, and if you are lucky, you might get to see one of the more famous island residents – dugongs, or sea cows. 

If you want a more authentic Thai island experience, don’t miss visiting Koh Libong.

Koh Libong villageWe ended up spending five nights on Koh Libong and it was the perfect amount of time to explore the attractions on the island, relax on the beach out front of our resort, and even develop a daily routine that we looked forward to.

I put together this Koh Libong Travel Guide to hopefully inspire you to visit and to help you plan your own trip.

Koh Libong Travel Guide

Things To Do on Koh Libong

Relax at the Main Beach on Koh Libong

Haad Lang Kao is on the west side of the island and is where the majority of the island’s accommodation is located. This long stretch of golden sand is the perfect place to lay out and take ocean dips, although it is difficult to swim at extreme low tide due to shallow water and lots of coral just offshore.

Koh Libong Beach

If you love shells, there are lots of interesting and unique ones here (admire them but don’t take any), including many that are inhabited by hermit crabs. I saw the largest hermit crabs I have ever seen on this beach. 

Head north along the jungle-backed beach to get a more secluded patch of sand, although even in front of the resorts we never saw more than a handful of people.

Main Beach on Koh Libong

Explore the Island By Scooter

If you have some experience on a scooter, I highly recommend hiring one for a day of exploring – it’s the best way to explore more of the island. We hired a couple of scooters from Star Coffee Bar and Restaurant (I like to drive my own) and spent around six hours exploring the island. It was my favorite day on Koh Libong.

The roads are generally paved and in pretty good condition but some of the side roads can be muddy and potholed so be careful and wear a helmet.

Koh Libong pier

We used Google Maps to navigate and visited the Muslim Fishing Village of Batu Bute, Leekpai Pier and the Dugong Viewing Tower, Stone Bridge and a secret beach around the coast from there, deserted Tung Yaka Beach, and the viewing platforms and cave at Point Dugongs.

If you aren’t comfortable hiring scooters, ask at your resort or a travel agency about the possibility of hiring a scooter with a sidecar and driver, or look into taking an island tour by boat.

Batu Bute Fishing VillageTake a Day Trip To Another Island

There are a number of day trips on offer around Koh Libong and to other islands from Koh Libong but many require a certain number of people or you will be paying a premium. We wanted to go to the remote islands of Koh Rok to check out the beaches and snorkel but no one else signed up during our time on Koh Libong and we didn’t want to pay for a private tour. 

Koh Kradan beach

You can also visit Koh Mook, Koh Ngai, Koh Kradan, and Koh Lao Liang from Koh Libong. Talk to your resort about tours or ask around at the tour operators in the small village by Haad Lang Kao Beach.

Go Dugong Spotting

There are around 200 endangered Thai dugongs that live and feed on seagrass in the waters around Koh Libong – 70% of the total population. We didn’t see any during our time there, but we did see one at low tide off the pier in Koh Mook so we didn’t try too hard on Koh Libong.

Point Dugongs

You can hire a longtail from your resort or in Batu Bute fishing village to take you dugong spotting and you’ll have a 1-in-3 chance of seeing one, or head to the viewing platforms at Point Dugongs or the viewing tower on Leekpai Pier in Batu Bute. Both have nice views whether you see dugongs or not.

Alternatively, hire a kayak and look for these gentle giants yourself, just don’t disturb them and keep a distance if you do see one.

View from Dugong tower

Walk Out To a Small Island at Low Tide

I have a bit of an island obsession so when I saw that you could walk out to the tiny island off Haad Lang Kao Beach at low tide, I knew I had to do it. We set out a few hours after low tide and the deepest the water got was mid-thigh, the water level would have been lower had we walked over closer to low tide.

Walking to offshore island

There isn’t much to see on the island, but I liked the view back to Koh Libong and I liked the mini adventure in getting there. It looked like someone was living on the island with a small makeshift dwelling up on the high tide line of the island. There is possibly a path to get higher on the island but I couldn’t see one so after walking to the high tide line, I turned around and waded back to Koh Libong.

I highly recommend walking over with water shoes if you have them because some of the rocks on the island are sharp, alternatively take some sandals with you.

Island off Koh Libong

Have a Cave Adventure at Point Dugongs

We didn’t really know what to expect when visiting Point Dugongs and we were very pleasantly surprised when we ended up adventuring up through a cave system to viewing platforms above.

Cave at Point Dugongs Koh Libong cave

Entering the cave up a steep flight of stairs, we then followed a boardwalk through a flat section and then used ropes to climb up to a higher part of the cave before tackling more stairs to get to the platforms. What a fun adventure! The views from the top were sensational but we didn’t see any dugongs, unfortunately.

On the way back down we saw a family of monkeys in the cave which was an added bonus.

Explore a Muslim Fishing Village

There are a few Muslim Fishing Villages on the island but the largest is Batu Bute – around 3.5km east of the resorts on Haad Lang Kao beach.

Batu Bute Fishing Village on Koh Libong

This colorful village is a lovely place for a stroll, with houses on stilts over the water, a few local restaurants and shops, the 1km long Leekpai Pier with pictures of dugongs painted on it, and the five-story Dugong spotting tower at the end of the pier.

Swim at a Secret Beach

We stopped off at Stone Bridge on our scooter trip and weren’t that impressed by the rocky stone archway on the beach. What we did love about this stop was the gorgeous white sand beach we found by walking around the rocks to the north of the Stone Bridge.

Secret Beach Koh Libong

There wasn’t another soul around and we took a long dip in the clear warm waters. This was the clearest water we saw on Koh Libong.

I’m not sure if it is accessible during high tide – it’s lovely but don’t risk your life to get around to it if it is dangerous.

Unwind With a Massage

Every resort on Haad Lang Kao offers massages right by the beach and it is a perfect way to relax and unwind on your vacation. You can get a variety of massages but I recommend a one-hour full-body Thai massage. These can feel quite rough but you will feel great after. You can always ask for softer if it gets too much.

Watch the Sunset With a Cocktail

Haad Lang Kao beach is the perfect place to watch the sunset and although a few of the beach resorts have beach bars, you can’t beat the quality of the cocktails and the excellent service at Andalay Beach Resort.

Sunset at Andalay Resort

We came here nearly every night of our stay to watch the sunset with Pina Coladas and appetizers and the vantage point from their beachfront tables is perfect.

Andalay Beach Resort sunset

Eat at Star Coffee Bar and Restaurant

Star Coffee Bar and Restaurant was my favorite place to eat on the island and we usually ate here a couple of times a day.

It looks very unassuming from the outside but the owners are super helpful and friendly, the food is very affordable and so delicious, and there are a handful of cute kitties that live here so you can get some kitty love while you are waiting for your meal.

Star Coffee Shop and Restaurant

My favorite dishes were the mango sticky rice (the best I have ever had), the yellow noodles with chicken, garlic prawns, and the prawns in tamarind sauce. They grill the seafood out the front and it is super fresh.

We also hired scooters here and booked our transfer off the island and to Trang town for a lot less than the price our resort wanted to charge us.

Go Snorkeling and Kayaking Off the Beach

There is a large reef just offshore of Haad Lang Kao beach, so when it is close to high tide it is easy to just swim out a little way to see lots of colorful fish. You can also take tours to different spots around the island to snorkel.

Andalay Beach Resort has kayaks for guests to use so if you are staying there you can go on a kayaking adventure out to the small island offshore or along the coast looking for dugongs.

Quiet beach

How To Get To Koh Libong

It isn’t cheap to get to Koh Libong as it isn’t on the main tourist route. We traveled from Koh Kradan and it cost 2200฿ for a private longtail boat to Koh Libong (split between two). We booked it through our resort so you may be able to get something cheaper if you talk to boat owners directly.

It would be cheaper if you were traveling from Koh Mook instead – around 750฿ per person.

Koh Libong beach

From Bangkok, fly to Trang Airport then take a minibus or taxi to Hat Yao Pier which serves as the departure point for Koh Libong. From there, you can charter a long-tail boat Koh Libong. You should be able to purchase a minibus and boat combo through a travel agent at the airport – we did this to get to Koh Mook.

Leaving Koh Libong for Trang City, we paid 1400฿ for two of us and this included a moto taxi to Banphrao Pier, a shared longtail boat to Hat Yao Pier, then a private car transfer to our hotel in Trang City. We booked this through Star Coffee Bar and Restaurant. You can probably lower this by doing each part separately and haggling.

Where To Stay on Koh Libong

The absolutely best place to stay on Koh Libong is the amazing Andalay Beach Resort. If we had known how beautiful this resort is we would have splurged a little to stay there (it’s around $100 – $150 per night). The resort has luxurious rooms, two pools, and a sumptuous breakfast is included. We ended up hanging out here a lot and the staff are super friendly and attentive.

Pool at Andalay Resort

For a more budget-friendly option, stay at the neighboring Libong Beach Resort – this is where we stayed. I was pretty unimpressed by the food there and the staff weren’t the friendliest but we liked our little hut, it had air conditioning, and we saw monkeys and monitor lizards from our place nearly every day. Staying here cost us around $30 per night.

Libong Beach Resort

Le Dugong Libong Resort and Garden Beach Libong are also on the same stretch of beach and have affordable rooms.

Where To Eat on Koh Libong

There aren’t a ton of options for meals on Koh Libong, but we loved the food here.

Our favorite place to eat was Star Coffee Bar and Restaurant as mentioned above. Everything we tried here was amazing and we ate here about ten times in total during our stay. Don’t miss the seafood and the mango sticky rice.

Fisherman’s Kitchen is another little local spot in the small village of Haad Lang Kao Beach. They have a simple and affordable meal of classic Thai dishes. I enjoyed my Pad Thai here.

Koh Libong sunset

Andalay Beach Resort has an outstanding buffet breakfast and we splurged one morning and ate so much we didn’t need lunch. Breakfast consists of an omelet bar, a Thai roti pancake bar (the best on the island), tropical fruits, breads, pastries, cereals, salads, proper espresso coffee, and juices. It’s definitely worth it and it’s free if you stay there.

We also had appetizers here and the chicken satay was particularly good. I bet their main dishes are just as incredible.

In Batu Bute fishing village, Ja Nhai Seafood near the pier is a popular choice for seafood and has excellent reviews.

Koh Libong beach and island

Tips For Your Koh Libong Vacation

  • Consider staying somewhere with air conditioning. We were on Koh Libong in February and it was very hot. I would have been very uncomfortable during the hottest part of the day if we didn’t have aircon.
  • Take enough cash to cover your stay because there is only one ATM on the island. This is new since I visited in 2023 – I have been told it is in town but ask at your accommodation.
  • Bring your own snorkel and mask if you want to do some snorkeling off the beach. Alternatively, you can hire from some of the beach resorts.
  • If you are an animal lover – look out for monkeys and monitor lizards. We saw loads around Libong Beach Resort.
  • Be aware that if you decide to hire scooters, your travel insurance usually won’t cover any damage to the scooter or yourself if you don’t have a motorbike license.
  • You can generally save money for transfers and tours if you book with a local tour operator rather than at your resort.
  • Pack this awesome water bottle with a heavy-duty filter – it’ll allow you to drink from the tap, saving money as well as being more environmentally friendly.
  • Unfortunately, there is also a large amount of glass on Haad Lang Kao beach so be careful where you step. We picked a large amount up and handed it to our resort to dispose of.

Low tide island

The Best Insurance For Your Thailand Trip

Make sure you get travel and health insurance before your Thailand trip, just to be on the safe side. Safety Wing is my go-to and they are cheap and easy to claim with. 

Safety Wing also allows you to sign up when you are already traveling, unlike a lot of other travel insurance providers.

If you liked this post, why not check out some more of my Thailand posts:


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2 Comments on Don’t Miss Koh Libong: One of Thailand’s Most Authentic Local Islands

  1. Thank you for all the fabulous tips. Your post inspired me to go. Arrived today and already loving it! (Just FYI by now there is 1 ATM in the main town)

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