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What is the most beautiful island of Thailand? If you ask me that question, my answer will be without doubt: Koh Lipe. Famous for it’s clear and turquoise blue water and white beaches.
To me this island can easily be compared to the the islands of the Maldives.
We arrived at nighttime and in the morning when we stepped out of our hut on the beach, we couldn’t believe how beautiful this place is. It was like we were still dreaming.
So where is paradise island Koh Lipe located and how do you get there?
Koh Lipe is quite a small island that is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park located in the South of the Andaman Sea.
You can reach Koh Lipe by taking a ferry from either Langkawi (Malaysia) or Pakbara, Tammalang pier satin or Koh Lanta (Thailand).
Ferry times can vary depending on the season. Be sure to check that with a travel agent or the ferry company once you arrive.
We took the ferry from Koh Lanta and payed 1500 Baht for our ticket. We got picked up from our accommodation and got taken to the ferry. The journey was supposed to take 5 hours, but since the stops on the way took quite a while we ended up actually spending 9 hours on the ferry. Though that happens quite a lot in those countries, so better expect that already when planning your journey.
There was also the option to take a speedboat from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe which costs 1900 Baht is significantly quicker.
Once you arrive at Koh Lipe be aware that there is no jetty. On arrival you need to pay 200 Baht for the national park fee plus 50 Baht for the transfer with the long tail boat.
Depending on where your hotel is located you can either walk or take the moto taxi which is 40 Baht a person.
Where to stay on Koh Lipe
The island is relatively small, but in the last couple of years a lot of new places popped up. You can choose from a variety of hostels, bungalows or hotels. There are options available for the budget traveler, though expect to pay a little bit more than in other places in Thailand. Paradise does come at a price 😉
A real treasure is the laid-back Castaway Beach Resort situated on Sunrise Beach. Surrounded by a beautiful natural setting you can re-connect to simpler life and spend a relaxed holiday there. Here you can stay in one of the wooden bungalows just a few footsteps away from the beach. I loved to be waken up by the sun and start the day with a coffee in our hammock while listening to the sound of the waves.
At the atmospheric sun deck drinks and food can be enjoyed throughout the day. Definitely pop by in the evening to have a tasty cocktail during happy hour.
Feeling active? In the morning and afternoon yoga classes are being offered and if you fancy some diving they have their own dive school Castaway Divers.
Cheaper options I can recommend would be Geckos Resort or Lantern Resort.
Things to Do on Koh Lipe
On Koh Lipe you will find three beaches: Pattaya Beach, Sunset and Sunrise Beach. All of them are beautiful but if I had to pick a favorite to spend the day, I would go for the Sunrise Beach. It is the most beautiful one, more quiet as there are less departures and arrivals from there and along the beach you will find a few cozy beach bars and restaurants.
For sunset move on to Sunset Beach. Obviously Afterwards I would head to the Pattaya Beach, which is generally a little bit more busy. Here you can end the day with a drink in one of the many beach bars that are aligned next to each other. The vibe on the island is very relaxed so don’t expect crazy parties to happen here. Instead there is live music, maybe a bonfire and a lot of friendly people to chat to.
Go diving or snorkeling
Koh Lipe is surrounded by a pristine coral reef and still is one of Thailand’s best kept secret diving destination. With hundreds of beautiful reefs, lots of marine wildlife and very few divers it is a great alternative to popular Koh Tao.
To go diving here you pay a little bit more, but every Baht spent is well worth it.
Prefer snorkeling? There are many snorkeling half and full day trips available.
Discover the surrounding islands and reefs of the Tarutao National Marine Park by joining an excursions. There are several different half and full day tours available that can be booked in any of the travel agencies. Trips start at around 550 Baht and often include snorkeling equipment, lunch, water and fruit.
We went on a full day trip and started at 9.30 am in the morning. As I was traveling with four other people we were able to get our own long tail boat and were more flexible where we wanted to go and how long we wanted to stop at each place.
We first stopped at two great snorkeling sites, then visited Koh Hin-Ngam which is made up of countless grey cobble stones. Because it was quite busy there we decided to move on and do a stop which wasn’t in the original itinerary: Koh Rawi.
Here you will find a beautiful white beach and this little island is the perfect place to relax, especially since we were the only group there.
The last stop was on Koh Adang where we enjoyed lunch and fruit on the beach and got to spend a few hours. We watched the sun set and it slowly got dark. Then we moved on to the next spot. My absolute highlight of the day. We booked the tour where you can swim with the glow planktons. An experience I can absolutely recommend. As you jump in the dark water and move you can see many little spots light up. It really felt like swimming in a sea full of stars.
Hike up to Koh Adang Viewpoint
Koh Adang is only 2 km away from Koh Lipe and it takes about 15 minutes by long tail boat to get there. There is a trail with three viewpoints on the way from where you have a great birds eye view over Koh Lipe and the national park. The hike takes around one hour each way so bring some water.
Have you been to Koh Lipe before? Any things you would like to add? Please let us know in the comments below.