If your idea of the perfect getaway is long strolls on a deserted beach, reading a book and generally doing nothing, then Koh Libong in Trang might just be your ideal Thai Island.
I love a quiet island; I really do, the popular tourist islands of Koh Samui and Phuket couldn’t be further down my list of ideal Thai beach destinations. Now Libong, however, takes quiet to another level; there is literally nothing to do here. I would usually find this quite challenging, I have a very short attention span, so I’m always on the go. When we’re on an Island, we’ll be off on a rented scooter trying to find restaurants or hidden beaches. We attempted that on Libong…still nothing.
There is a viewpoint that is meant to be amazing, but we tried to climb it in our flip flops and failed miserably! You can also go Dugong spotting, but I don’t like the thought of chasing around those big gentle giants in a long tail boat with a massive engine. Scaring them to death isn’t my idea of a good day out.
So I must have had a terrible time right?
Well no, actually, Koh Libong has a way of forcing you to relax, which is just what I needed after a hectic end to 2017. There’s something magical about this sleepy beach which made it impossible for me not to merely accept my fate and recharge my batteries. We’d been pretty much non stop moving every other day since we started our little trip of the Andaman coast in Khao Sok National Park ten days previously. The three days of pure relaxation on Libong were just what the doctor ordered. Reading books, writing and strolling up and down the long stretch of beach by our hotel was pretty much all our days consisted of here.
What about the food?
Eating in resort restaurants is not something I usually make a habit of; I find the food is more often than not, overpriced and bland, which is not my favourite combo. This is clearly not the case when it comes to the Thai cuisine at the Andalay Beach Resort, where we stayed, the food was out of this world. In fact, everything I ate there during our stay was top quality.
The massaman curry was incredible, one of the best I’ve eaten anywhere in Thailand. It must be something about Trang Island resorts because the last memorable massaman I had was at the De Tara Resort on Koh Mak. All of the curries at the Andalay are top class, and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve never eaten Thai food of this standard consistently in a mid-range resort before. The prices here are certainly a little higher than on the mainland, but at 160-200 baht for a curry, you’re not exactly breaking the bank.
Another interesting dish I tried was the choo chee curry with prawns; it’s very similar to a Panang curry. The prawns are served peeled but with the removed heads cooked in with the sauce. This resulted in all the lovely prawn juices ending up in the curry, plus, I got to suck the heads!
There is also a little shack restaurant in the ‘village’ serving up quick, simple Thai food that’s half the price of the food in the resorts. I tried the fried yellow noodles with seafood and stir-fried squid in curry powder, and both are more than OK. If you’re on a budget, then this could be the place for you. The little restaurant is located before the mini-mart, just after the road taking you up to The Andalay Beach Resort and Libong Beach Resort.
Here’s a video review of the amazing massaman curry. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!
So how’s the beach?
The beach itself is a little rocky with stones in the sand. This isn’t the powdery white sand of nearby Koh Mook or Koh Kradan, but you will forget all about the sand when you witness the sun set behind the mini desert island 200 meters offshore; it makes for one of the best sunsets we’ve come across anywhere on our travels. It’s very quiet on Libong, with a few resorts such as the Libong beach resort and a handful of fishing boats. Perfect for an afternoon stroll.
Would I come back?
Probably not unless I was in the area. It’s a little too remote for me but would definitely suit couples seeking a romantic beach holiday away from the hustle and bustle. There were also a few families with young children in our resort and they all got along fine.
I would suggest combining Koh Libong with a trip to Koh Mook, Koh Kradan and maybe Koh Ngai as a little Trang island tour.
Where should I stay?
A little slice of luxury
If I were to return to Libong, I would definitely stay at the Andalay Beach Resort again. Although it is a resort, the Andalay still feels like a family run place. It’s small and quaint, and the staff are really welcoming. The service is painfully slow at times, but hey, this is Thailand! We were at the Andalay for Christmas, and they put on a gala dinner for free with traditional Thai dancing and games which I wasn’t expecting to like nearly as much as I did. They even had a Thai Santa turn up on a quad bike from the beach so who wouldn’t enjoy that? Coupled with the fact that the Thai food is top-notch and there’s just enough to keep you busy for a few days.
A decent budget beach option
If your budget doesn’t stretch to the Andalay, but you still want direct access to the beach, then you could try the ever popular Libong Beach Resort next door. They have simple bungalows with both aircon and fan options for a fraction of the price of The Andalay. They also have a very popular restaurant, serving a large variety of Thai dishes. But, as it was more expensive than The Andalay’s restaurant we didn’t actually eat there.
You can grab a fan room here for as little as 500 baht in low season with an aircon room in the high season running to 2000 baht. This may not be the most luxurious resort in Thailand, but if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful bungalow with direct access to the beach, then this could be your spot.
A wallet-friendly jungle stay
The most budget-friendly option we found was a place called Libong Sea Breeze. It’s set back in the jungle and a solid 10-15 minute walk to the beach so if you like to wake up and have direct access to the sea and sand this may not be the best place for you. The air-conditioned bungalows start at (a cheap for Koh Libong) 1200 baht a night. They also claim to make the world’s best pizza here!
Getting to Koh Libong
The easiest way to get to Koh Libong is to fly from Bangkok to Trang with either Nok Air, Lion Thai or Air Asia. From there you can head straight to Had Yao Pier by minibus or private taxi, or you can take our advice and spend a night in Trang town to sample the fantastic local dim sum and roast pork there.
Once in Trang, you can pick up a minibus to the pier for 100 baht per person from any travel agent in town. Don’t make the mistake of going to the bus terminal to get the minivan, it will drive back to town to pick up people from the travel agents so you’re just adding extra time on your journey. Once at Had Yao Pier you can hop on a long tail boat to Koh Libong for 100 baht each which takes around 20 minutes to reach the island. At the Pier in Koh Libong there will be Tuk Tuks waiting to take you to your accommodation. It cost us 150 baht each for the tuk tuk to the Andalay Beach Resort.
If you’re looking for a clean, budget-friendly option for Trang town, then we suggest you check out Ban Ao Thong next to the Night Market. Rooms start at 800 baht a night with air conditioning and a hot shower. They have just opened a wine café downstairs serving pretty good Thai food and Western pasta dishes.
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