Koh Lipe. A postcard island with its fine beaches and blue water stretching out endlessly. Island life is at its highest here: spend the day at the beach soaking up the sun and the sea or go on a combined sail and snorkel trip around the island. And nighttime? Bury your feet in the cool sand, evening drink in hand, and watch the sunset. And then head out to one of the beach restaurants for some fresh seafood dinner.
For many years rumors were out. Head deep South, even more southern from Koh Lanta, to the unknown islands. But nothing happened. Only few went, the islands stayed peaceful and remote. A reason was that these islands only was reachable by boat from mainland, and therefore could not be easily connected. Another reason was that travellers are often lazy and do what others do.
But things has changed. Koh Lipe in the deep South has become a hot backpackers destination, with cosy lodges and fine beaches and a laidback “stay here forever” attitude. Head here from the mainland, or take the Tiger Line boat south from Koh Lanta or Phi Phi Islands, doing stops along the way at many other of the small islands along the Andaman coast. Or cross in from Malaysia; Koh Lipe is just a short boat ride from the Malaysian island Langkawi.
Koh Lipe is a small island. With not that many big resorts yet. However, they are building and developing here and things happen fast on the tiny island. Still the island has a great vibe and an awesome feel about it. 3 beautiful beaches: Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach and Sunset Beach. Pattaya is the main beach. There are a lot of longtail boats here and you get the noise from them when they travel to and from. But the main beach is also absolutely stunning with fine white sand and the small restaurants and bars strewn along it. Sunrise Beach is a bit more quiet but just as beautiful. And Sunset Beach is, of course, where you go to see the most amazing sunsets.
Pattaya Beach is also where the boats come in. However, as there a no pier on the island, all bigger boats only go to the floating dock just outside Pattaya. From here you take a longtail boat in to the island. To keep the island beautiful you pay a small fee that goes to cleaning the island and getting all the trash away. At the time of writing volunteers can meet up every Monday and help collect garbage across the island. Restaurants, bars and other businesses on the island offer food and garbage bags for this and then it’s just to get out there helping maintain the beauty of this place.
Between the different beaches you will find a small walking street. This is where all the action is. Restaurants, salons, shops, bars and of course dive shops and hotels. The walking street is the center and the nerve of the island and you always end up walking up and down the street oh so many times. And you just grow to love it just as much as you will love the small seaside restaurants along Pattaya Beach.
Along with the beautiful beaches and the crystal clear waters come the pristine snorkeling and diving. All over the island you will find various dive centers and surrounding the island there are a heap of diving spots. Incredible diving spots with lots of life and corals. And the corals here are unharmed unlike some other places around island. If you are not into diving, be sure to rent a boat and his driver for the day to explore the island from the seaside and below the surface. He will take you to the most incredible places and you will be sure to get a day well spent.
A final piece of advice: you might read and hear that there are no ATM’s on the island. This is not true. There is one just outside 7/11. Bring cash though. It’s always nice to have cash instead of just credit cards. And then remember: Koh Lipe is not a party island. So don’t expect here to be partying all night long. But this is also one of the charms about the island.