Koh Lipe is a small Thai island located south of the Andaman Sea, on its beaches, you will always find a light breeze and no less than 25º temperature, it also has blue waters and fine white sand making it you may think you are in paradise. You can find a large number of hotel accommodations of all kinds, the food as Thailand has accustomed us is fresh and delicious, especially if you do it accompanied by the sound of the waves of the sea.
The truth is that it seems that the time on the island stops and everything becomes a pleasant sway, in some bars, they even organize film screenings around 18:00 and I am sure that you will love this island for its transparent sea, atmosphere Joyful and romantic sunsets, a must-see spot alongside Maya Bay in Phi Phi and James Bond Island in Phuket.
The island is part of the Adang archipelago, an area with ten uninhabited islands, Lipe being the only exception, it has the famous Tarutao Marine Natural Park, a nature reserve created in 1974 and the second National Park of Thailand with about 50 islands and 1,500km².
The weather of Koh Lipe Island
The weather in Koh Lipe has mainly two types of seasons, the wet and the dry, the rainy season usually occurs between April and September, however, these rains are not usually very strong and last a few hours so you should not have problems beyond a specific moment of the day that catches you hitting a bath.
The best time to visit the island is between the months of November and February when the rains are scarce and the temperature cooler than the rest of the year, it is also the high tourist season and when you will find the most travelers on the island.
The average temperature in Koh Lipe is above 26 degrees and the weather is usually similar, from March to April you will have the hottest season of the year.
When to go to Koh Lipe Island?
Knowing what time is waiting for you during your vacation is important, not only to decide what to put in your suitcase but also to plan and organize your visits and programs. Koh Lipe has a tropical climate that gives it pleasant temperatures throughout the year and provides it with different climatic characteristics in each season of the year. There are three:
The dry season is the most pleasant and recommended, remember that it is also the most expensive and busiest, to travel to Koh Lipe. If you want to save a few bahts, book your flight in low season. Contrary to what many think, the rains are not as intense and also, there is less tourism.
How to get to Koh Lipe Island?
Koh Lipe was practically a backpacker destination. In recent years, the number and types of traveler profiles that dare to discover this authentic and paradisiacal enclave of Thailand have grown significantly.
The island is very well connected and you can get to it from many areas in the south, including from Malaysia. We tell you all the possibilities you have, so you can choose the route that suits you best.
Boats and Ferries to Koh Lipe
It is easy to get to the island from many areas of the South of Thailand, even from Malaysia, on the island, there is no port, so once you get to the coast you will ride boats that will take you to the beach where your accommodation is for 50 bahts ($ 1.59).
Traveling from Pak Bara – Pak Bara is the main port that connects to the island, it is about 60km away and it takes between 1h30min and 2h to make the journey, you can get to Pak Bara by taking a taxi from Hat Yai (2h), Trang (2h), Satun (1h), Kabri (4h) and Phuket (6h).
Traveling from Langkawi and Penang (Malaysia) – Langkawi is about 30km from the island, this route is available during the high season from October to May, when you arrive in Koh Lipe you can stop by the immigration office that will put the corresponding stamp to entering Thailand, the route will pass through Satun or Hat Yai to leave at Pak Bara. The price is around 1,300 bahts ($ 41.26) by a fast boat and takes about 40min.
Traveling from Phi Phi – You leave from the Tonsai port in Phi Phi and it takes about 5 hours, the price is around 2,500 bahts ($ 79.39) by fast boat.
Traveling from Phuket – The port you need depart from is Rassada in Phuket Town, the journey takes about 6 hours and the price is usually 3,500 bahts ($ 111.15).
Traveling from Koh Lanta – The ship departs from Saladan port and takes around 3 hours, the price is 2,000 bahts ($ 63.51).
Traveling from Krabi – You must get to Pak Bara and from there take the ship to the island.
To get from the rest of the islands ( Koh Samui, Koh Tao, etc.), you will have to take a boat to one of the islands named above and from there to Lipe.
In low season, there is usually only one ferry to the island, so remember to try to match your schedules to catch it on time, otherwise, you can spend the day in Hat Yai, the third-largest city in the country.
Flights to the island
I am sorry to tell you that there is no airport on the island, it is a very small island, but you can travel by plane from Bangkok to Trang and then take a ferry to the island with Nok Air or from Bangkok to Hat Yai and go by bus to the Pak Bara to catch the ferry with Air Asia.
How to get there from Malaysia, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur
To get from Malaysia to the island, you have the option of the ferry leaving from Penang or Langkawi explained a little above, if you come from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore it is best to take a plane to Hat Yai or Langkawi and then go to Pak Bara.
Things to do on Koh Lipe Island
Snorkeling and diving are the main activities you can do on the island, in addition to relaxing and enjoying a full-blown tropical island, stress forbidden here, hehe. Fishing is prohibited on the island so it is better that you do not think of fishing anything in its waters.
Do not miss, for anything in the world, the opportunity to make snorkeling and diving excursions in Koh Lipe. There is an ideal tour for you to go to the nearby beaches and visit the Koh Adang Lookout. The Thai Maldives are waiting for you. If, in addition, you are excited about the idea of becoming a “PRO” of diving, then I suggest you go with the best School in all of Thailand.
Koh Tarutao National Park
An activity that you cannot miss is visiting the Koh Tarutao National Park, it is 30km from the west coast of Satun, during 1940 it was used as a prison because it was difficult to escape from it and in 1974 it was established as a Marine National Park with an area of 1490 km² and 51 islands divided into two groups, the east, and west.
In this park, you will find a lot of fauna, both animal and plant, in addition to the beautiful beaches that you will find in these almost virgin islands, you have a lot of incredible points for diving and snorkeling, entrance to the park costs 200 bahts ($ 6.35 ) for foreigners and 100 baht for children. There are bungalows to spend the night in the park but they cannot be reserved, you will have to check their availability once you arrive at the park.
Koh Adang Lookouts
Koh Adang is an island 2km to the north and it will take about 15 minutes to reach it by boat, you can take a look through the three viewpoints that it has to contemplate the island.
Diving on this island in Thailand
One of the best activities you can do on the island is undoubtedly diving, you will find a lot of schools that will offer you canoe excursions around the main beaches of Koh Lipe, you can have a barbecue on a deserted beach and then swim with bioluminescent plankton, you will be able to admire the fauna and enjoy the seabed that is definitely worth it, you can also go snorkeling.
Some recommended diving areas are 8 Mile Rock, Yong Hua Shipwreck, Hin Takorn Dukong, Ko Bu Tang, Ko Sawang and Ko Langcha among others.
You can rent a Kayak and visit some of the main and most beautiful places and beaches on the island, you can spend a day or even two seeing the island and the reefs.
The clear and calm waters of the island are perfect for snorkeling since you can see a multitude of corals and marine species.
Throughout the island, you can also enjoy a good massage in some of its massage shops or on the beaches.
So far some of the things you can do without a doubt, it is one of the many paradises of Thailand, a small island with three beautiful beaches (Sunrise, Sunset, and Pattaya), do not hesitate when visiting the island because you will not be disappointed.
Best beaches in Koh Lipe Island
Koh Lipe is one of the country’s natural paradises, which many aptly call the ‘Maldives of Thailand’. All those dreamy things you would like to enjoy, here you can do them. Surely one of them is to take a bath in blue-green waters, like the ones you see on postcards.
This is possible on any of its three main beaches; all with calm turquoise waters, where there is no centimeter in which nature does not do as it pleases and where the only thing to do is get lost, recreate, let yourself go and enjoy.
On the island you will find perfect white sand beaches to relax and snorkel, its waters have an enviable color and you will find lots of diving areas around its coasts, one thing is for sure that you will not get bored on the island.
Visit Pattaya Beach
The Pattaya Beach serves as a port for arriving or leaving the island, the main tourist activities begin here, the best time of day to visit is during sunrise and sunset, these are moments when painted in fantastic colors. At night, you will find good restaurants on the beach where you can dine and have a drink to the music.
The sea of this beach is always calm and its water is quite beautiful as well as being full of fish and corals, it is a calm place with few boats and lots of places to relax along the beach, the sand looks like white flour and it is very Smooth, if you get to the end of the beach you will find a wooden walkway that takes you to an even smaller beach where you can go scuba diving.
Visit Sunrise Beach
Sunrise Beach is undoubtedly the best beach on the Thai island, although usually, the most crowded, ideal for swimming and snorkeling, the best time is to go early in the morning when you can enjoy more the beach to yourself.
On the south side of the beach, you will find the ideal area to snorkel, see corals and goldfish; In addition, the beach is in the middle of great restaurants where you can have a drink at any time, you can also practice water sports such as windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Visit Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach is a little more secluded beach that earlier where you can enjoy the view spectacular sunsets while you take something cooler, you must enter the water with proper footwear as a trekking sandal that are tied by the heel because it has a coast with many stones and thus you avoid hurting yourself on the soles of the feet, also when you snorkel these sandals are a great help to avoid pricking yourself with the coral.
It is a quiet beach where you can relax and bathe without much hustle of boats, you can access it through the popular “Walking Street” of the island.
Visit Sanom Beach
Sanom beach is one of the most isolated, very nice and quiet places, it is a corner sea truly celestial in which you have to pay attention to the movements of the tides that make the level of the sea up and down, it is from a small and very beautiful private beach, you will have to cross an improvised walkway of branches and wooden boards to reach the main area.
It is one of the best beaches on the Thai island, its tranquility is incredible and it has fantastic views, the sand is white and the waters are crystal clear. What more could you ask for?
Where to Sleep in Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is a small island that has a fairly limited but varied hotel offer. Its scarce offer and the high demand for this idyllic Thai destination means that its prices are generally higher than those of other islands or coastal sites.
There are basically three great areas to sleep on Koh Lipe: Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach, and Sunset Beach.
Pattaya Beach is the main beach on the island. It is where speedboats arrive, the one with the most services and hotel offer and where Walking Street, the most important street, is located. If what you are looking for is something of animation and having bars, restaurants, diving centers, some shops, and others on hand… this is your best option.
Sunrise Beach, located on the northwest coast, is much quieter than Pattaya Beach but also offers services of all kinds. It is a quiet beach where you will not be short of restaurants. There are hotels from very cheap for backpackers to some options for the most demanding.
Sunset Beach, for its part, is the quietest of the three. The theme services are quite limited and apart from some options to eat and have a drink, it does not offer much. It is an option for those who seek to isolate themselves from everything and spend a few days in absolute relaxation.
Nearby Excursions and Tours
The surroundings of Koh Lipe have all the necessary ingredients to enjoy a paradisiacal vacation. In them, nature, sea and authentic Thai customs come together forming one of the most idyllic enclaves in Thailand.
The island is embedded in the impressive Koh Tarutao National Park. It is located about 30 km from the Satun coast, very close to the marine border with Malaysia, and is made up of 51 islands, which form three different archipelagos: Koh Tarutao, Koh Adang, and Klang.
They are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, mangroves, and forests, inhabited by more than a hundred species of birds and numerous exotic fauna, and dotted with almost virgin beaches and great underwater wealth, in fact, they contain 25% of the fish tropical world.
The largest island is Koh Tarutao. In the 30s and 40s of the 20th century it served as a prison for political prisoners, but today it is a practically virgin and calm island, which attracts the most adventurous and exploratory traveling souls.
In it, you can bathe in magnificent beaches, such as Ao Jack, Ao Malo or Ao Sone, protected by casuarinas and palm trees and bathed in turquoise waters, kayaking, sailing in longtail or touring the trails of the interior of the tropical jungle, which constitute an authentic Showcase to its valuable fauna, among which the langurs, macaques, deer, and a hundred birds stand out.
If you are looking to do something different, come to Ao Talo Udang. It houses the ruins of the old prison, the old cemetery, which contains the remains of the former prisoners, and the coal furnaces.
Koh Adang is the closest to Koh Lipe and the second largest in Koh Tarutao. Its six kilometers long is dotted with idyllic beaches that invite rest and relaxation.
Its interior is dressed in a dense blanket of tropical vegetation, including impressive waterfalls and privileged viewpoints, from where you can enjoy views of Ko Lipe, Ko Rawi, and, if it is clear, Ko Tarutao. The great attraction is its black sand beach, located in the north and only accessible by boat.
Koh Rawi is another of the virgin islands that dot the Andaman Sea coast as it passes through this national park. They are hidden between mountains and cliffs and bathed by wild beaches, which offer a rest worthy of your height and a great underwater wealth, where lovers of diving and snorkeling can recover.
Very close to the Tarutao park is Koh Bulon Leh. This island is a real treasure, which, if you have time, you have to visit it. It is small and familiar, almost does not receive tourism, and is inhabited by the Chao Ley community, which will allow you to search into the most traditional Thailand.
It has exceptional beaches, such as Ao Panka Noi or Ao Panka Yai, where you can relax or enjoy a good day of snorkeling. In the southern part is Bat Cave which houses a large group of these mammals.
How to move in Koh Lipe Island
Koh Lipe Island is very small: 2 km long and 1 km wide. With this size, you can move from one part to another without any problem. Unfortunately, motorcycles are not rented in Koh Lipe Island. There is also no car.
In case you want to use a means of transport, it is best to take a taxi, here are motorcycles with a sidecar, which will take you anywhere on the island for between 50 and 200 bahts. In any case, many tourist accommodations have their own transport for transfers to the pier.
Nightlife in Koh Lipe Island
Koh Lipe is a calm island and its nightlife has nothing to do with the lively Krabi, Phi Phi or Phuket. The main beach, Pattaya, has Chiringuitos with a lot of animation, where you can listen to live music.
However, the main party center is Walking Street. It is full of restaurants with atmosphere, yes, it does not extend beyond midnight.
Purchases in Koh Lipe Island
If you want to do your shopping or take a piece of this Thai paradise as a souvenir, you can do it on Walking Street. In the popular main artery, you will find a good amalgam of shops and stalls where you can buy traditional items.
Where to eat in Koh Lipe Island
The cuisine of Koh Lipe combines the flavors and aromas of traditional Thai, Malaysian and even Indian cuisine. The result is very unique and tasty dishes, among which stand out the pad thai, the coconut milk soup, fried rice -fried rice with Thai-style chicken- or the rotee, with banana.
Barbecued fish and seafood, especially lobster, are very common in local cuisine.
In Pattaya, the main and most crowded beach, and in Sunrise you will find a good variety of restaurants, right on the beach and with live music. They are the best areas to taste fish fresh from the sea.
On Walking Street, the ideal pedestrian street, there is a vast offer of street stalls and restaurants of all kinds, including Muslims. Of course, keep in mind that it is not too cheap or all the traditional you are looking for.
The Map of Koh Lipe Island
Enjoy this map of Koh Lipe so that you can orient yourself on the island and move correctly, here are more maps of the Asian country.