(this is, updated with new info, re-post from my old blog)
WHY Koh Lipe? Koh Lipe is not a party island.
It took me my whole life but I finally get to my dream island, I really hope it doesn’t take to long to come back there.
The nearest airport to Koh Lipe is Hat Yai. The cheapest and easiest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Lipe is to fly to the Hat Yai airport. Then take a shuttle bus to Pak Bara. The trains from Bangkok to Hat Yai takes 15 hours. Pak Bara pier is the only place where you can travel to Koh Lipe at any time of the year. There are two piers in Langkawi that have a ferry to Koh Lipe, Telaga, and Jeti Kuah. Ferry from Langkawi , Malaysia to Koh Lipe takes approximately 90 minutes. Register for your ferry 1 hour before boarding, registration closes 30 minutes before your departure and you will not be allowed to board without registering. Kuah Jetty pier has immigration onsite, you will have to go through immigration before departing Malaysia. The ferry only operates from 20 October until 31 May. The immigration office at Koh Lipe is located at the eastern part of Pattaya Beach, next to Bundhaya Resort. The Police Office is located behind Immigration on Pattaya Beach. The local hospital is on Sunrise Beach next to the school. There are two 7 elevens located on Walking Street.
The best way to explore the Tarutao National Park is to take a Day Trip from Koh Lipe.
I left Ao nang town early in the morning, at 7 o’clock, and the journey took about 4 and half hours to reach the Pak Bara pier. In high season boats also run to Langkawi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket and several small islands in the Andaman Sea. And from the pier to the island took about 1h25min to reach the island by using speed boat. I got amazing deal from my Glur hostel in Ao Nang for only 750B when travel agencies where asking from 1500 to even 3000B for the same destination.
As of 2017, there are 4 ATM’s on Koh Lipe! When I was there in 2013 there was no ATM on island, so I made sure I was prepared for that.
About Koh Lipe :
Koh Lipe is the most Southern island in Thailand. Lipe (aka Ko Lipe) is located in a beautiful part of Tarutao national park of Satun Province Thailand. The beach has white sand with crystal clear shallow water. Lipe, it is a very special place. What attracts me most to this island is their size and atmosphere. Beautiful sunrises on Sunrise beach is something that is hard to forget. Amazing day trips are a cherry on the top kind of a thing. Scuba diving is one of the main attractions. People call this island the Maldives of Thailand! Koh Lipe hotels can be found for all levels of budgets. Koh Lipe is slightly more challenging to do on a backpacker budget,e because its little less known. All prices change depending on the season. Its the best to avoid peak season.I personally recommend getting accommodation on the Sunrise Beach, because its the prettiest of them all. High season is November until early May and Pick Season is around December 15th until the end of February. Low season is from May to October. Be aware that best places will be fully booked months in advance.
There are 4 major beaches: Pattaya Beach in the south the most popular busy beach where guest arrive from the ferry, then my favorite Sunrise Beach on the east with quiet lovely space and Sunset Beach in the west, which as the name implies, faces the sunset. The island is not that big. It takes around 10 minutes to walk from Pattaya to Sunrise beach through Walking street where all shops and food stalls are. Since 2013, there are official motorbike taxi’s (with sidecar and taxi drivers wear a purple vest), that can fit a couple of people for a fixed price 50 baht per person. Lipe at night has a great selection of beach bars and a handful of bars open late into the night but it is nothing like Phi Phi or Koh Phangan.
After I checked in to Gipsy2 accommodation I went to explore the island and found the best place to do my diving course. I picked Ko lipe Diving. I was so excited as this was my first time diving ever. The first day dive was an introduction to the basic rules of diving. I decided to do the full course. Diving sites around Koh Lipe are just stunning. I was so lucky to be able to spot a lot of marine species and a variety of tropical fish, seahorses, shrimps, sharks, and mantarays. The weather was on our side and water couldn’t be more clear. Huge boat was so comfortable, and equipment very modern. Our instructors where very nice and friendly, plus they spoke in so many languages. We got lovely Thai lunch and fruits between our dives. Together I did 6 dives in 3 days, and as deep as 18.5m! Theory exam was pretty hard and I was happy to pass it eventually at the end of the course. Time went so quick and it was finished. I wanted to dive again and again.
Budget Travel Tip: Some of the cheapest places to stay in Koh Lipe are run by local families and many are listed on Airbnb.
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