This week’s ‘Thailand Travel Tales’ comes from Melissa of the ‘Thrifty Family Travels’ sharing her guide to the southern Thai island of Koh Lipe. Enjoy.
With its powdery white beaches and brightly coloured turquoise waters, Koh Lipe is a postcard perfect island. Visitors spend their days relaxing on the beach and swimming in the warm waters, whilst evenings are spent drinking cocktails and enjoying delicious Thai food.
Located not far from the Thailand mainland or Malaysia’s Langkawi, you can access Koh Lipe by ferry from either country.
The easiest and quickest way is to take a ferry from Langkawi. The ferry ride takes around 90 minutes. From Thailand take a ferry 2 hour ferry ride from Pak Bara.
If you are staying in Langkawi, click here for tips on where to stay.
Koh Lipe is a tiny island which can easily be accessed by foot. In fact apart from a few motorcycle taxi’s, you can really only get around the island by foot.
There are three main beaches on Koh Lipe – Pattaya Beach (the main beach), Sunrise Beach and Sunset Beach. It won’t take more than 20-30 minutes to walk between either of the beaches.
In the centre of the island is the main street called “Walking Street”. Here you will find many shops, massage parlors, bars and restaurants.
Things to Do in Koh Lipe
There isn’t an endless list of activities on Koh Lipe, but then that is the attraction for many visitors. Here are my tips for things to do on Koh Lipe.
The main activity in Koh Lipe is to swim in the stunning warm ocean. The water is calm and perfect for having a relaxing swim. My favourite swimming beach is Pattaya Beach, here you could mistakenly think you were in a swimming pool the water is so clear and flat.
The waters around Koh Lipe are perfect for snorkeling. Hire some snorkels and look for marine life straight from the beach. My favourite spot for snorkeling is off Sunset Beach. There is so much marine life here its like swimming in an aquarium. In fact the water is so clear you can easily spot marine life by just standing in the water.
Another recommendation is to snorkel off Sunrise Beach particularly at low tide.
Hire a kayak and paddle around the island finding your own adventure. My favourite beach to kayak is around Sunset beach. Here there are several little coves where you can explore, go ashore and swim off your own private beach. When you get hungry or thirsty paddle around to one of the few resorts and have a bit to eat.
Book one of the four island hopping tours, where you will be transported to various stunning islands, see rock formations, snorkel, see marine life, see monkeys and have lunch on your own private beach. You can either join a group tour, or for a little bit extra hire your own boat and go wherever you like.
As the day disappears, find yourself a comfy spot and order a few cocktails as you reflect on your day and watch the sunset go down.
After sunset, be entertained by the various talented fire dancers that do the rounds of the beach bars.
If you don’t do anything else whilst on Koh Lipe, be sure to spend some time relaxing – whatever that means for you. My favourite thing to do is do find a relaxing lounge chair at one of the rustic bars along Sunrise Beach, order a drink or two and just take in the gorgeous view of the brightly coloured water.
If you need an extra hand relaxing, there are plenty of massage parlors around only too happy to help.
Where to Stay
Accommodation is located on all of the three main beaches. Each of the beaches is unique and offers visitors something different.
In my view, Pattaya is the best beach in Koh Lipe. The water is calm, clear and turquoise green, whilst the sand is powdery white. Pattaya Beach is also the busiest beach with quite a few accommodation options and various restaurants and bars. The main entrance to Walking Street (the main inland island strip) starts on Pattaya Beach.
For budget accommodation stay at Green View Bungalows, or if you prefer something more luxurious consider Akira Lipe Resort.
The second most popular beach is Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe – in fact I hear many people say this is their favourite Koh Lipe beach.
Sunrise Beach is pretty spectacular to look out – the bright turquoise green water goes as far as the eye can see – I honestly don’t think I have seen a more beautiful beach. I could easily sit and look at this beach for days.
For budget accommodation stay at Castaway’s, or if you prefer more luxurious accommodation try Ten Moons Lipe Resort.
The last beach is Sunset Beach Koh Lipe. This is a very small, quiet and laid back beach with a couple of hidden resorts and bars. The water is calm here and there are various rocks to climb and rock pools to explore. You can easily spot tropical fish swimming from the shore.
For budget accommodation stay at Bayview Sunset, or if you prefer more luxurious accommodation try The Cliffe Lipe.
About the Author: Melissa is the creator and writer for the Thrifty Family Travels website; which details her family’s travels both within Australia and across the globe. Together they look for new adventures, experience new cultures and indulge in local delicacies whilst exploring every corner of our beautiful world. Thrifty Family Travels hope to inspire other families to travel, by showing their followers fantastic new destinations as well as providing detailed itineraries, tips on where to stay and recommendations for the best travel gear. You can check out her travels here: