Visiting the likes of Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai are fantastic holiday experiences and showcase some of the best things about holidaying in Thailand. But when you want the most stunningly beautiful and laidback holiday experience that Thailand has to offer, visiting one of the Kingdom’s picturesque islands is the thing to do. There are many options since Thailand is famous for these kinds of places. But out of all of them, Koh Lipe is likely the best of Thailand’s secluded islands of paradise, and a fantastic choice for your getaway!
Koh Lipe is a remote, dreamlike island in the Andaman Sea just off the south coast of Thailand and Malaysia. The island is located relatively near the Malaysian island of Langkawi and is the definitive tropical paradise like in the movie “The Beach’. Koh Lipe is also part of the Tarutao National Park, which is a collection of islands that are great dive spots known for their coral reefs. This is the perfect place to escape because it is not at all a commercialized party center like Phuket, Koh Phangnan, or Koh Samui. Rather, Koh Lipe is a first-class choice for relaxation and personal well-being.
Where to Stay on Koh Lipe?
Koh Lipe is the most southerly Thai island and is very small compared to some of Thailand’s other island holiday destinations. The island is approximately 3.5km in length and 2.5km in width. It’s part of 50 other islands that belong to the Tarutao National Park and It is reported that there are only 800 residents, not counting tourists of course.
The main areas to stay are at its more popular beach areas. These are Sunset Beach on the west side of the island, Pattaya Beach to the south, and Sunrise Beach on the east. These spots are the ones with the most resorts and beachside bungalows.
However, because Koh Lipe has a national park status, you can pack up with your tent and camp on one of the beaches without any hassles or trouble. Koh Lipe has predominantly been a top destination for backpackers over the years, but it is currently attracting a more high-end clientele with newly built resorts. Although the bamboo style beachside bungalows are still very popular with tourists, the main beach areas also have some 4-star luxury accommodations now.
What to do on Koh Lipe
As with any paradise island, sometimes you are limited on what to see and do while holidaying there. Most people come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to relax on the beaches and soak up the Tropicana. The main attraction on Koh Lipe are its incredible beaches, and here is a list of the three most popular Koh Lipe beaches and what they offer:
Pattaya Beach is situated on the south side of the island and is the longest beach on Koh Lipe at approximately 1km in length. The beach is also one of the most commercial and is home to lots of restaurants, hotels, restaurants, bars and general store-type facilities.
Sunrise Beach is located on the east of the island and is also sometimes locally referred to as Haad Chao Ley. With shallow seas, this beach is ideal for those who enjoy a stroll in the ocean. The beach is 800 meters in length and very well protected from the monsoons in low season. This is a popular beach with both backpackers and high-end tourists alike. Haad Chao Ley is home to a school, a hospital, and even a few restaurants. Although it might not be as commercial as Pattaya beach, it is still very popular with tourists.
Sunset beach, as the name might suggest, is located on the west coast of Koh Lipe and is locally called Haad Pramong. The beach is very cozy and quaint and is only 200 meters in length, and even though it faces west, it is somewhat northerly located in relation to the Island geography. This beach has gained a reputation as an excellent beach for backpackers and those who enjoy the hippie lifestyle. The area has some wooden bamboo and thatch style beachside restaurants that offer great views out across the ocean. If you are a seeking a tranquil place to stay and meet other likeminded individuals, Sunset beach is the perfect place.
Renting a Motorbike to Explore the Island
One of the best parts about staying on Koh Lipe is how comfortably small the island is. It is so tiny that most people tend to walk everywhere they need to go. However, you can rent a motorbike to get about a bit quicker. You can rent motorbikes for between 200 and 300 THB from one of the small shops along Pattaya Beach. Just make sure to be careful riding, and be aware of any possible scams involving these rentals. We actually recommend you walk everywhere because not only is that the cheapest option, but also the most rewarding. Strolling along the beaches are one of the best activities of holidaying on Koh Lipe.
Koh Lipe Shopping, Dining, and Nightlife
When it comes to shopping, dining out, or nightlife on Koh Lipe, most of the places are located in the main beach areas, paticularly on Pattaya beach. Specifically for nightlife, some of the most popular spots with live music are the Reggae Bar and Longtail Bar on Pattaya Beach, and Cozy Cove at over on Sunset Beach. Incidentally, please remember that bars and restaurants can change names and locations quickly in tourist destinations, so just check out what the current hotspots are when you go there.
When it comes to shopping, we would suggest that you visit the market areas at the three main beach areas. Up until recently, there were no ATMs on Koh Lipe, and if you wanted to circumnavigate a potential banana skin, we would recommend that you take all the money you need with you just in case, and then you will have no problem.
So, as you can tell, Koh Lipe is the perfect place to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s more commercialized tourism destinations. Although there are not so many things to do, if you are a fan of beaches, snorkeling, diving, swimming and relaxing, Koh Lipe is the ideal place. Just remember to take your cash along and to bring a good book or two to break up the time.