Trang Islands Day 3: Going to Koh Libong

The Thailand Island-Hopping adventure continues, moving southeast from Koh Kradan.

We left Kradan in a leaky boat (cue Split Enz, skip to 1:30), water streaming in between the planks at an alarming rate. And when the boatman gunned it a bit toward the end of the crossing, there was a vertical squirt of water with every surge of the bow. While the amount of water after a journey of nearly an hour must have been concerning, it seemed he must have had a decent bilge pump at the stern. When the bow was slapping the water at high speed it sure incited the imagination. What would I attempt to save? Is the shore swimmable from here? Would he have time to phone for help or would we sink lickety split like the Edmund Fitzgerald??? But moments later the prow wedged into the sand of Libong and we hopped ashore.

Koh Libong was a much more substantial island than Kradan. Some rising karst in several places, plenty of rich tree cover.

Hotel Review: Libong Beach Resort

We chose to stay at Libong Beach Resort (right next to the visually less appealing Le Dugong.) Nice little resort.

We had agreed to Trang travel agent Gift’s (see Arrival on Koh Kradan) price of 500 baht for a simple bungalow with fan, set back beyond a creek that cuts through the property, and the owner seemed irritated that Gift had offered that price (250 baht off).

But no worries, she upsold us on beachside bungalows with sliding glass doors and a/c for 1000B (a considerably bigger discount but obviously double what she would have gotten, and they weren’t exactly sold out). Electricity runs 24/7 here unlike on Koh Kradan where it is generator-dependent and varies from place to place.

Our goals for this island were to rent a motorbike and go find a fishing village, and take a boat tour in hopes of sighting the rare and endangered dugong.

If you are looking for peace and quiet, even far beyond that of Koh Kradan, Libong has plenty of it. Libong Beach Resort faces west for great sunsets. The beach is not powdered sugar or anything, but it’s nice enough and a few hammocks swing in the breeze under the palms along shore. Beneath the water is a bit of coral amid scattered rock and the calcified coral of yesteryear (not worth snorkeling at all).

There is certainly nothing wrong with the fan cabins. They are small but decent for that price. The a/c in the expansive beachfront bungalows, however, made this more “flashpacker” than backpacker. We were cool with that.

The food was great. We ordered fried fish for 250 baht ($8.40USD) and out came a huge golden beauty that we made ourselves sick trying to finish off. It was so much food I wondered if she had meant 250 per person.

We rented a motorbike for half the day and spent the afternoon riding through rubber tree plantations, down rough roads into the trees and out to a couple of coves, and then finally into a couple of towns where fishermen came and went and local life was uninterrupted by tourism or tourists.

Kids played soccer in the dust. Others gathered blossoms from the trees in a park and road around, three of them to a motorbike making any Western parent grit their teeth at the potential for something untoward to happen, (mai pen rai – never mind). Most of the locals were Muslim and women would ride past, their headscarves fluttering in the wind.

We had a delightful time, chatting with curious kids, shooting photos, and stopping to check out a guy processing the milky white latex of the rubber trees. (see the Koh Libong photos – the photos of the kids are cute!)

This is an island to bring a book to. The breeze off the sea kept the heat at bay, and if the waters had been a bit more stable, we may have ventured out to Koh Rok for a snorkeling tour. But we were quite content to take it easy, eat, drink, and be lazy. When the tide went out, we explored the tide pools. That got us into a mild inconvenience at one point. (An upcoming blog post – check back or subscribe and receive it automatically)

See the Koh Libong Photo Gallery on The Mad Traveler main site and come back to see how our Dugong Watching went…