Getting Back to Basics on Koh Libong

Sea on Koh Libong

Koh Libong is the largest of all of the Trang islands.

And yet, it’s one of the least visited.

There are just five small guesthouses on the island, and they’re rarely ever full. This is an island that remains untouched by mass tourism, and that makes it an excellent destination for relaxation.

Want to get away from everybody? Head out on a ten minute walk or jump on a scooter and you’ll have your own patch of sand without anyone else on it.

And so, I treasure so much the time I spent on Koh Libong. It was such a peaceful few days, spent getting away from everything and absorbing as much of the island as possible.

Koh Libong from the water
Approaching Koh Libong had me excited by just how untouched this island looked

From the water, Koh Libong already seemed different to other islands I’d visited in Trang.

It was far less built up, by which I mean you could see no buildings all along the west coast until you reached the cluster of guesthouses towards the end of the beach.

There were no people. I couldn’t see a single person on the entire stretch of sand — and I knew this beach was the busiest on the island.

The water was deeper, too. Unlike the bright turquoise of Koh Ngai and the shallow waters of Koh Mook, the sea was a deep blue here, and looked like it would be ideal for swimming.

Views from Koh Libong
The view from my guesthouse balcony

It was peaceful, too. 

We motored up to the shore outside our guesthouse and when our longtail driver cut the engine, we could hear nothing but birdsong. The beach was deserted.

We thanked our driver then walked through the gardens of the guesthouse, smiling as we pointed out all the hammocks and benches and sun loungers and so many palm trees. They were all directed towards the spectacular beach view.

This was obviously an island for doing not very much at all and I was only too happy to oblige. 

Koh Libong beach
The beach from just outside our guesthouse. It was rare to see more than two people on it at any one time
Koh Libong island
And this was looking in the other direction: what a cute little island!

Koh Libong is the type of island that’s perfect for getting away from your stresses, with a beautiful stretch of sand and even a small island that you could walk out to at low tide.

There’s little that’s close to the guesthouses on the beach, so for the most part, we spent our time near to our accommodation. We paddled in the water, ate delicious Thai food in the restaurant, and lazed in the hammocks.

Dirt track on Koh Libong
Setting off from our guesthouse on a scooter-based adventure!

Yes, despite being the largest of the Trang islands, there isn’t all that much to do on Koh Libong, especially if you’re not confident on two wheels. Fortunately, my travel partner is all about that scooter life, so we grabbed a map of the island from reception and hired a bike for the day.

Our aim? To see everything there is to see on Koh Libong.

And our first destination? Ban Ba Tu Pu Te — a small Muslim fishing village.

Floating village on Koh Libong

It was so lovely and peaceful! With houses built on stilts, fish drying outside houses in the sun, and lots of people to wave at and say hello to, I felt so welcomed in this colourful village. 

dugong sign on koh libong
dugong viewpoint on koh libong

The main reason why tourists head into the village — and in fact why many people choose to visit Koh Libong at all — is for the dugongs.

These shy, rare animals roam the clear waters surrounding Libong and if you happen to time your visit perfectly, you can easily spot these sea giants drifting through the water.

Koh Libong village view
Scooters from above

Many people opt to take a boat tour out to spot the dugongs, and while I initially thought I’d do the same, I eventually decided to pass on it.

My propensity for sea sickness coupled with the likelihood of spending several hours sitting in the hot sunshine looking for a grey shadow that may not even appear? Well, it sounded like a not-so relaxing way to spend my time in Koh Libong, and I wasn’t here to feel stressed.

Instead, I had ventured into the village.

It’s home to a huge lookout tower, stretching out into the sea and several stories high. While it’s unlikely you’ll spot any dugongs from up there, it still makes for a great view of the village from above.

Sandy road in Thailand

After grabbing a coffee from a little cafe in the village, we got back on our scooters again, riding out of the village and along the narrow roads through the island. It was a hot day on Koh Libong and the wind whipping around my hair around provided a welcome cooling sensation. 

I spotted a turn-off for the right and I told Dave to brake. 

“Wanna go down there?” I suggested. 

“What’s there?”

“Literally no idea. It’s not marked on the map.”

“Do you want to?”

“Might as well? We’ve got the scooter for the entire day.”

I wanted to make the most of our two wheels.

Secluded beach on Koh Libong
Trees in the sea in Koh Libong

We made our way down a sandy track until we found ourselves at a beach. Unsurprisingly, we had it all to ourselves. 

Unexpectedly, the seawater was filled with trees.

It wasn’t the best beach in the world, but it was still lovely to have it all to ourselves as we snapped our photos and kicked off our shoes to tip-toe into the water.

I wondered how many people visit this beach; if we would be the only people to step foot on it that day.

Beach on Koh Libong

Our next destination was the Stone Bridge, back on the west coast. It’s pretty self-explanatory — this stretch of beach is worth visiting in order to see a bridge that’s made out of stone. It was formed by erosion from the sea.

Dave parked our bike in amongst a forest of rubber trees, I almost stepped on a giant, bright-red centipede, and then we wandered down the track to some of the most pristine water I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Sea on Koh Libong
Clear water on Koh Libong

It was like a swimming pool.

The most inviting water I’ve seen.

The turquoise water was so calm and so warm and why the hell did I not bring my bikini with me?

While we were here to see the Stone Bridge, I was much more excited by the natural pools that had been formed along this rocky stretch of coastline.

Rocky beach on Koh Libong
Stone Bridge on Koh Libong

I made the effort to scramble up the rocks to sit atop the bridge, then vowed to return the following day to spend even more time here. 

We both knew we likely wouldn’t do it, but if we’d had more than three days on Libong, I definitely would have returned. 

Beach on Koh Libong

We stopped off at a few more places on the island, like Tohkay Bay, the northernmost point of Libong, where there were several hundred metres of sandbanks, and bustling Baanprow Harbour, where the ferry comes in from the mainland.

Tung Yaka Beach was another highlight — a viewpoint looking down on yet another empty beach with steps leading down to the mile-long stretch of sand. You can even see Koh Mook and Koh Ngai in the distance. 

And then, a dramatic moment.

As we were driving aimlessly along random Libong lanes, we spotted a sign that was directing us to “Point Dugongs”.

“We gotta go check it out,” I announced.

Little did we know that Point Dugongs is actually at the very top of a very steep, very sandy hill, and that the scooter would not be able to make it up there.

In fact, we got roughly half way up before the tyres began spinning in the sand and I had to leap off the back. Fortunately, we had the strength to push the scooter to top of the hill.

And when we reached Point Dugongs?

Well, it turned out to be the most treacherous-looking viewing platform I think I’ve ever seen.

It didn’t look so bad from the track. Just a platform extending out over what would normally be the sea at high tide.

But then I got a little closer.

Viewed it from another angle.

“Yikes,” I muttered, when I realised it was barely attached to anything. Just a couple of ropes tying it to a tree.

When I descended on to the beach and got to look up at the rickety contraption, I was delighted.

It did not look in any way safe.

I immediately scampered up to see if it could take my weight.

Yeah, it was a little nerve-wracking to wander out on to it.

narrow track in thailand

“Are we done then?” Dave asked.

After consulting my map, I confirmed that we were. 

Over our five hours on the bike, we’d taken our scooter down practically every single road and track on the island, and seen as much as we’d wanted to.

There was just one thing left to do.

Get back to our guesthouse, order a spicy curry and a couple of cocktails, then sit and watch the sun set on another perfect day in Thailand.

sunset on koh libong

And so, for the rest of our time in Koh Libong, we did exactly what we’d done when we’d kicked off our time here. We sunbathed, we read books, we laid out on the beach.

We even went for a little walk and stumbled upon a tiny restaurant that was run by one of the local fishermen. He didn’t speak any English, the menu was all in Thai, and we genuinely just pointed to two dishes on the menu, despite having no idea what they were. 

Somehow, Dave managed to arrange for him to take us back to the mainland the following day, using only sign language, and negotiated us a far better deal than the fixed price that our guesthouse was offering. 

Most of all, though, I tried to soak up exactly how wonderful it felt to be in one of the most relaxing places in the world.

Koh Libong reef

Koh Libong is usually skipped over by travellers to the Trang islands, but I think that’s a big mistake. It’s so worth visiting. 

Especially if you’re confident on a scooter, because otherwise, I could see that you could end up a little bored on the same stretch of empty beach. 

But I think it’s still worth visiting, even if you can’t see the rest of the island!

After all, it’s not often that you can find a beautiful beach in Thailand and feel as though you have it all to yourself. 

Does Koh Libong sound like somewhere you’d go out of your way to visit?

About the author

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents.

Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.


  1. Scott
    April 26, 2020

    How do you find these off the beaten bath places?!! Seasickness aside, do you regret not seeing the dugongs, or have you seen them before?

    • April 26, 2020

      Hahaha! I tend to look at a map, search for all of the place names on Google Images, and if somewhere looks pretty, I look up if there’s accommodation and how to get there. Sometimes it works out well and sometimes I end up in a dump in the middle of nowhere, haha.

      No regrets about the dugongs, just because I think that if I had spotted them, they’d have likely just been a grey bump in the distance that wouldn’t have looked like much at all.

  2. kalem
    April 27, 2020

    This sounds amazing, Lauren! I’d never heard of Koh Libong before reading your article, but now I really want to go.

  3. Tabbi
    April 27, 2020

    Thanks for sharing another great post about Thailand! That day on the scooter looks like so much fun and I’d definitely want to do the same if I was there. Was it expensive to hire a scooter for a day? And how much were the prices of everything else on the island?

  4. Marie
    April 27, 2020

    Looks like a lovely island. So if Koh Mook was your favorite Thai island, where does Koh Libong rank on the list? :)

  5. Tim
    April 27, 2020

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts about the Trang islands. Makes me want to go! Will you be posting about Koh Kradan too?

  6. Jules
    April 27, 2020

    Those beaches! I can’t believe how few people are in your photos. I wonder why these islands aren’t more popular?

  7. Frida
    April 28, 2020

    Sounds amazing to me! I love that beach with all of the natural pools in the water. It looks so calming!

  8. Michael
    April 28, 2020

    A question: how long do you think you could spend on koh libong before you felt like you were bored? Could you spend two weeks there? Or one week? Or is it just the kind of place to spend a few days? Thanks.

  9. Carolin
    April 28, 2020

    I spent 4 days on Koh Libong last November and totally agree with everything you said :)
    Exploring this island was so much fun even though my husband and I did it by bicycle (we’re not really confident with scooters and some exercise doesn’t hurt when you live on pandan rolls like I did in Thailand).

    We actually did a dugong boat tour but you are right, you don’t miss much if you skip it. We did see dugongs and even close to our boat but they stay underwater and since the water was murky that day, we didn’t see much more than their nostrils :)

  10. Cha
    April 30, 2020

    I hope this place will be preserved if ever tourist will flock over there after this pandemic. By just looking at your photos, it surely make you want to do there.

    • April 30, 2020

      I doubt tourists will ever flock to this island, to be honest. Compared to the more popular Thai islands, it’s expensive and quiet with not much to do.

  11. Aaron
    May 1, 2020

    Nice one, Lauren. This sounds amazing! Would love to explore by scooter like you did.

  12. Steph
    May 2, 2020

    How do you find all of these places? Every time I think I’ve seen the best places in Thailand, one your posts pops up in my feed to let me know about an amazing place I hadn’t even heard of before! I’ll have to travel to Koh Libong within the next few years to see how it compares to all of the other islands I’ve been to.

  13. Roberta
    May 2, 2020

    What a lovely sounding island in Thailand. I guess if you didn’t feel comfortable on a scooter you’d be stuck on that one beach though. Still, even that sounds pretty appealing right now!

  14. Janice
    May 2, 2020

    I’ve read all of your Trang posts and I have to say I think Koh Libong might be the island for me. It sounds so peaceful and relaxing, and I love to visit places that aren’t full of people. I’d love to visit all of the islands though! But if I had to choose just one, I’d go for Koh Libong.

  15. I love the pictures. More destinations on my travel bucket list. Thanks!

  16. Jane
    May 25, 2020

    Such a pretty place. Can’t get enough of those turquoise waters. Added to my travel list.

  17. Peter
    January 13, 2021

    I spent several days at Koh Libong in mid Dec 2020 and saw 3 dugongs… l was quite lucky. One of my favourite Thai islands.

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