Bangkok might seem like a world away from the isle of Koh Lipe, but don't be fooled, the journey southwards is a breeze.
The best option to get to Koh Lipe from northern Thailand is to take the train to Hat Yai. The journey takes around 15 hours, and there are five trains daily from Bangkok's Hualamphong station: 13:00, 14:45, 15:10, 15:35 and 22:50. Most people enjoy the convenience of the night train. Drifting to sleep aboard a gently rolling train carriage is one of travel's most alluring images, and there's nothing quite like waking up in a different place to where you fell asleep. Nevertheless, this is Thailand; one of the tropic's most beautiful countries, and ripe with jungle covered culture. Travelling by day is a readymade adventure, and one of the region's great railway journeys. Here's a tip, book early to secure one of the wider lower berths - or if you're on a budget, save around 100 baht by sticking to the slightly narrower upper berths.
It's also possible to take the bus from Bangkok, but at the time of writing the price was similar, so we'd always recommend the comfort of the Thai railways over the national bus routes.
Another popular option to consider is a direct flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai. There are several airlines (including Thai Airways www.thaiairways.com, Air Asia www.airasia.com & Thailand's own domestic airline Nok Air www.nokair.com) operating this route, and the flight takes just one hour. Depending on what time you arrive in Hat Yai, you have the option to stay the night (or even a couple of days to explore), or continue your journey onto Koh Lipe via a minibus or taxi before taking the fast ferry service to Koh Lipe from Pak Bara.
If you choose to travel with Air Asia or Nok Air, you can book your whole journey from Bangkok to Koh Lipe. So take the stress out of your travel schedules and let the professionals take care of the hard work.
We won't lie, while some travellers find the crossing to Koh Lipe an exhilarating experience, the speedboats do live up to their name. Whether you take to the speedboat or ferry option, if you get queazy on the high seas, it's worth coming prepared with your preferred remedy. That's not to say they should be avoided, the ferries and speedboats along the Adang Archipelago are regarded as being some of the safest forms of transport in Asia.