Idyllic Koh Lipe

Jun 25, 2014
Long stretches of white-sand beaches, crystal clear water, chill atmosphere, great snorkelling...The list could go on forever. All these things I had heard prior to coming here and all things I expected from this tiny little island of Koh Lipe. Our last stop on Thai islands. Situated quite a bit down south from the most popular Thai islands, it has been said that Lipe is one of the best kept secrets. Whilst this may or may not be true, we at least found what we were looking for: The perfect place to end our island hopping. And although the island itself is small, it's part of the Tarutao National Marine Park and surrounded by many bigger, untouched islands. These, plus its proximity to the Malaysian border, all contribute to its good location. 

The arrival to Lipe was pretty different from the other islands as it didn't have a passenger pier and the ferry dropped us off on a floating harbour bit further off the shore. The luggage then was transferred into a long-tail boat which then brought us to the Pattaya Beach where we got off the boat and literally waded through the knee-high water. As easy-going arrival as the general vibe of this whole place! The island really has only three main beaches and one "main" pedestrian road that connects two of the beaches. It's all very walkable and the stroll from one end to another is only a good 10-15 minutes. The beach where the ferry operates is not so attractive during the day but in the night the restaurants spread out their tables across the sand and it transforms into this lively beach dining milieu. Along with this beach, the main strip gets very bustling during the evening hours and there's everything from cheap manicures to reggae bars to choose from. 

Somewhere along the Sunrise beach...

For the first night we had to stay in an overpriced bungalow on Pattaya Beach because to our surprise everything was pretty fully booked...but luckily the next day we found the loveliest place called Castaway on the other side of the island, on the Sunrise beach. Thanks to this pretty and secluded little hideaway we ended up having an amazing stay on Lipe, and everything about this place just screamed paradise. From its traditional wooden bungalows to its stylish beach front, and from its delicious happy hour drinks to its well-equipped diving shop, they knew exactly how to make people's stay there an unforgettable treat. So, over the next couple of days we pretty much soaked in as much island-life as possible in this beautiful setting, knowing we would have a number of cities lined up next. But before I close my chapter on Thai islands I have to mention one of the most memorable moments on Lipe, namely a night swim with a million planktons; tropical thunder in the distance, finally quiet (read: no long-tails coming in & out) beach and pitch-black star sky above us. And suddenly as we moved our hands to swim we could see them sparkle everywhere around us...honestly it was quite magical!

For the two of us who are not the biggest beach lovers, we had now spent quite some time lounging on the islands and although it's never easy to leave such a paradise, we were already more than ready to switch our bikinis into our regular clothes and explore the land for a change...And quite frankly I think it's time to leave the beach when the colour of your bikini start to fade ;)!

...and the title of the best beach goes to... 

Finally, we've been asked which Thai island was our favourite and why. I would say something along these lines; Koh Tao was probably best for snorkelling, Koh Phi Phi for the landscapes, and Koh Lipe for the beach in general. Out of all the islands we visited we would like to go back to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan (where the Full Moon party was) since we didn't have enough time on those two. Also why not to go and discover some new ones like the uninhabited islands around Lipe, such as Koh Tarutao or the tiny island of Koh Ngan further north. Good news is that we don't run out of cool Thai islands anytime soon and there are new adventures awaiting for the next time around!



Marine Life 

Local Shuttle

{All pictures © Voyages of Discovery}

Have you been to Thai islands? What was your favourite one and why? 



- Cool, chic and eco-friendly bungalows right on the best beach (Sunrise beach) of the island. They're also specialised in diving and rent out equipment for different water activities. We absolutely loved our stay here and totally see why Lonely Planet rank Castaway as one of their top picks. 

- It's a high-end bungalow resort but you can also enjoy their magnificent terraces over a lunch/ drinks/ dinner etc.  They have the best setting (and views!) for chilling the hottest time of the day away in their hammocks and couches. The food was super delicious there, amongst the best we ate in all Thailand! 

- Affordable and good solution for budget-travel, clean & right on the beach.

All the accommodations above are on the Sunrise Beach.


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