Pak Bara is a city on the southern Andaman coast of Thailand. It primarily serves as a transport hub for tourists.
Pak Bara is the main ferry hub for Ko Lipe, with ferries running all year. The reality is that it's a crappy little town.
Pak Bara is 237 km south of Krabi, 59 km from Satun, 123 km from Trang, 124 km from Hat Yai. It takes two hours to travel by minibus from Hat Yai to Pak Barra and roughly four hours from Krabi.
Minibuses run to nearby cities where you can connect to buses that will take you everywhere in Thailand.
Travellers come to Pak Bara for one reason: its ferry port. Admission to the pier just to look around will cost you 20 baht (good for five days). There is no ferry ticket office at the pier. All tickets are sold by vendors in the vicinity of the pier. Just walking around near the pier ensures that you will be approached by a ticket-seller. Every agency sells tickets for the same price. There is an additional charge of 20 baht just to set foot on the pier (Feb 2016).
Speedboat to/from Ko Lipe
- Departures from Pak Bara at 09:30, 11:00, 15:30. Travel time, 90 min. Fare is 650 baht one-way, 1,200 baht return (open)
- Departures from Ko Lipe at 09:30, 13:30, 16:00. Travel time, 90 min.
Ferry (not speedboat) to/from Ko Lipe
- Departure from Pak Bara at 11:30. Travel time, 2 hr.
- Departure from Ko Lipe at 09:30. Travel time, 2 hr.
Speedboat to/from Ko Tarutao
- Departures from Pak Bara at 09:30, 11:00, 15:30. Travel time, 30 min. Fare is 400 baht one-way, 700 baht return.
Speedboat to/from Ko Bulone
- Departure from Pak Bara at 12:30. Travel time, 1 hr. Fare is 450 baht one-way, 800 baht return.
When you arrive back at the pier in Pak Bara, there will be minivans waiting to take travelers to onward destinations such as Trang, Krabi, Phuket, Hat Yai. Vans leave within 30-60 minutes of each boat's arrival in Pak Bara. A typical fare is 450 baht to Krabi (Feb 2016).
There are several ATMs in Pak Bara in the vicinity of the pier.
Most travellers will arrive in Pak Bara after a lengthy bus trip and overnight until their ferry the next morning to an off-shore island. Fatigued, hungry, and thirsty, they will look for a place for a meal and possibly a beer. Too bad. There are next to no restaurants open in the evening near the ferry pier. The nearest are several hundred metres up the road to La Nguu. All of them are Muslim restaurants. They do not serve beer, nor do they permit you to bring beer purchased from the 7-Eleven that, mercifully, is near the pier. A better plan may be to stay in the larger town of La Nguu, 10 km distant, overnight and make your way to the ferry in the morning (first high-season speedboat is at 09:30).
- Happy House (One street up from the plaza in front of the pier. Signposted on main road). Adequate place to spend the night while waiting for a ferry. Clean. No services. Free Wi-Fi. 490 baht (high-season).