Although Koh Libong is the biggest island in Trang Province, it has a real local feel where the traditional Muslim culture is still followed, fishing is the main industry and tourism secondary.
The island only has three resorts and all are situated on the western side of the island on Haad Lang Kao beach. The Libong Beach Resort, the Libong Relax Beach Resort and the Andalay Resort.
Libong is accessible via longtail boat from Hat Yao Pier, you can either get a shared longtail to the local pier at Baan Maphao, a small village on the east coast. Then pick up a Tuk Tuk that will take you to Batu Bute before crossing the island to access the resorts. Or as we did hire a private longtail at the pier that takes you directly to the resort and drops you of on the beach.
One of the major attraction of Koh Libong is the opportunity to spot an endangered Dugong who are close cousins of the manatee, and commonly known as “sea cows” as they feed on sea grass, they are protected as part of the Libong Archipelago Wildlife Reserve around Ju Hoi Cape. We were fortunate that the day we went out with the local longtail boat that we actually spotted one, the boatman said we were lucky as usually there is about a one in five chance of spotting one.
We looked at all three accommodation options, and decided to book a beach front villa at Libong Beach Relax Resort. The only down side was the lack of extras like a fridge, but these are good options for couples seeking a bit more style than the rooms available next door in the Libong Beach resort. The Andalay is certainly the high end resort on the island and the only one with a pool but we thought it lacked character.
The Libong Beach Resort has a large open-sided restaurant and the only bar on the island, which is worth stopping by for sundowners even if not staying here, the resort also rents out motorbikes, bicycles and kayaks, and offers a wide range of boat tours and transfers.
In fact we used all three hotels, which are basically next door to each other, we had lunch in the Andalay, sundowners and breakfast in the Relax and dinner in the Libong Beach resort, as they certainly had the most authentic and wonderful food and the service could not have been better in fact all three hotels had great staff and couldn’t have been more helpful.
The Island is not all about dugong’s, hire a motorbike and just explore. The east is like a savannah with cashew trees and long grass. Dense jungle covers the inland hills, with the west coast is graced with long golden sandy beaches.
The village of Batu Bute is worth a visit there is a long walkway takes you hundreds of metres out over the sea, ending at an observation tower that was built for dugong spotting. Remember when out and about to be respectful of the local customs by covering up when you’re away from the beach. There is no ATM on Libong to our knowledge so ensure you have enough cash on you when you leave the mainland.
So our overall assessment of Koh Libong is if you are looking for peace, tranquility and just want to relax then it is certainly worth a visit and certainly worth it is you are lucky enough to spot a dugong. If you are staying on the island and like us are looking to do things rather than just beach bum then I recommend you spend 3 days and continue on your island hopping tour.