Koh Lipe is a beautiful island in the south of Thailand next to Malaysia. Here you will find the real white beaches and the crystal clear blue water with beautiful fish and coral. Koh Lipe is also called the paradise of Thailand by some. Koh Lipe was the last destination of my Thailand itinerary in 5 weeks.
The island is relatively small, but it has several nice beaches. On Koh Lipe you will find a wide choice of ho(s)tels, restaurants, shops and even two 7-elevens! The presence of a 7-eleven on such a small island obviously says something about the crowds.
Because in recent years, Koh Lipe has become a tourist resort. It gets busier and busier every year. And the busier it gets, the more the prices rise unfortunately.
When I visited the island in January 2019, I expected it very differently because of the stories on the internet. But apparently it’s getting busier every year. I found Koh Lipe a bit too touristy.
4 best activities in Koh Lipe
1. Walking street
Walking streets are very populair in Thailand especially. The cozy Walking Street runs from Pattaya Beach to Sunrise Beach. On the Walking Street are several hostels and guesthouses, restaurants, shops and two 7-elevens. I found it a very nice atmosphere and it is quite busy in the evening. You can not really shop cheaply, I would do that elsewhere, such as in Bangkok, at the weekend market for example.
2. Snorkeling and diving
The sea around Koh Lipe is incredibly clear and you can therefore snorkel and dive fantastically! You can book a snorkeling trip at most tour agencies. There are also a number of dive shops in the Walking Street where you can do diving trips.
If the sea is a bit calm and there is not too much wind, kayaking is a great activity. There are two islands from Sunrise Beach that you can kayak around. You can rent a kayak for about 150 Baht per hour at, for example, Cast Away at Sunrise Beach.
4. Koh Adang Viewpoint
North of Koh Lipe is the larger island of Koh Adang. This island is a lot quieter than Koh Lipe and can be reached with a rented longtail boat. On the island you can walk to the Koh Adang viewpoint from which you have an amazing view over Koh Lipe.
Renting a longtail boat can be done at Sunrise Beach and costs 200 Baht per person return.
5 beaches on Koh Lipe
1. Pattaya Beach
The southern beach where you arrive by boat is called Pattaya Beach. Many hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars are located on the beach. You can relax and snorkel, but you’re certainly not alone.
Unfortunately, the view of Pattaya Beach is often obstructed by the hundreds of docked longtail boats. With the help of swimming lines, parts of the beach are demarcated where you can swim. But the fact that these swimming areas are indicated because otherwise the longtail boats will take too much space, actually says enough; it’s quite busy during the day. The photo below was also taken in the morning.
2. Sunrise Beach
The name says it all, from Sunrise Beach you can best see the sun rise. There are also accommodations on this beach, but you will find a number of bungalows there. Restaurants and cozy bars can also be found on Sunrise Beach. When you walk down the beach all the way to the north, you end up on a sandbank. You can see the sunset from this sandbank.
3. Sunset Beach
But the best beach to watch the sunset on is Sunset Beach! This beach is located in the north of the island and is a lot quieter than the other beaches. It’s about a 15-minute walk from Walking Street.
At the end of the afternoon it’s very busy here, because everyone wants to see the most beautiful sunset. After sunset, there are also dozens of motorcycles with sidecars ready to offer you a ride.
4. Sanom Beach
This little beach is less known to most visitors and is also a bit hidden. You can find Sanom Beach by walking down Pattaya Beach to the west. There you will find a wooden walkway leading to Sanom Beach. There is a restaurant and an accommodation nearby.
On the way to Sanom Beach, I came across hundreds of tiny colored crabs waving with one large pair of claw. It looked so cool!
5. Patai Galah Beach
But the best hidden beach is really Patai Galah Beach, at least I think that’s the name. From Sanom Beach, walk up the hill and turn left on the paved road. The road eventually turns into an unpaved sandy road. After a few minutes walking on the dirt road, turn left towards a path that goes down through the bushes.
Download Maps.me to approximately see the route. At Patai Galah Beach you will find at most a handful of people and you can relax!
Place to eat on Koh Lipe
There are many different types of restaurants on Koh Lipe. Traditional Thai, Indian, Italian, Mexican and you name it. But Koh Lipe is unfortunately quite expensive compared to the rest of Thailand. The food on Koh Lipe is also pricey. Still, there are quite a few cheap tents to be found!
Mexican at Aroy
Mexican is always a good idea. And at Restaurant Aroy you can eat delicious burritos, enchiladas, nachos and much more, for a great price! The restaurant is run by a super friendly family and I felt very welcome in their restaurant. Recommended!
Pizza at Paolo
If you are looking for an affordable lunch / dinner, go for a pizza at Paolo Pizzeria on the Walking Street. You pay 100 Baht for a good slice. And they’re very tasty! They have a number of seating areas at the bar, but of course the pizza can be to-go!
Coconut Donut at the singing man
Of course you can’t visit Koh Lipe without eating a coconut donut! Anyone who has ever visited Koh Lipe knows the tune: “coconut donut 10 baht 10 baht coco”. This singing gentleman sells the sweet snacks at the end of Walking Street on the corner of 7-eleven. But thanks to the tune you can hear from a distance where he sells the coconut donuts!
Hosteltips Koh Lipe
As I said, the prices on Koh Lipe are higher than elsewhere in Thailand (especially compared to the north of Thailand), so the hostels also have a higher price tag. But traveling with a small budget isn’t impossible.
Bloom Hostel is a super nice and spotlessly clean hostel. It is located in the Walking Street near the 7 eleven. An ideal location! A bed in a dorm costs about € 13 and for a neat double room you pay about € 35.
Also A-Plus Hotel is located near the Walking Street and is also very clean. For a bed in a dormitory you pay about € 8 and private room costs about € 35.
Transport on Koh Lipe
On Koh Lipe you travel mostly by foot because the distances are not so great. If for some reason you don’t feel like walking, you can also take a motorcycle with sidecar. They drive around almost all of Koh Lipe.
How to get to Koh Lipe
Koh Lanta ? Koh Lipe
From Koh Lanta there are two ways to reach Koh Lipe.
You can take a direct speed ferry, but there is a hefty price tag: about 1300 Baht per person. You can buy this ticket at various tour agencies. Definitely try to bargain here! The boat trip takes about 6 hours.
If you want a cheaper option and don’t mind being on the road longer, you can travel via Pak Bara Pier (boat – bus – boat) for 900 Baht per person. Not the most ideal route, but the cheapest.
Krabi ? Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe can also be reached from Krabi. For this option you pay 850 Baht for the bus from Krabi to Pak Bara Pier and the boat to Koh Lipe.