A useful guide to Koh Lipe, a paradise island in Thailand!
November 7, 2023
Koh Lipe is an island located at the Southern West side of Thailand, close to Malaysia. With its crystal clear blue waters, white sand beached and tiny island size, it’s a true paradise. I’ve visited Koh Lipe during my roundtrip through Malaysia and loved every single minute of my time on the island. This guide will help you prepare your trip to Koh Lipe and will hopefully convince you to visit this paradise island.
How to travel to Koh Lipe?
Koh Lipe isn’t the easiest island to get to, but it is definitely worth it once you’re there. Most people travel from Krabi, Phuket or Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe. Another option is to travel from Langkawi (Malaysia) to Koh Lipe. The island can only be reached by boat.
– Traveling from Krabi, Phuket or Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe
It’s easy and straightforward to travel from Krabi, Phuket or Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe. I traveled from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe and this took about 3,5 hours. I was a bit afraid of the boat ride and afraid for seasickness, but the ride was totally fine and very comfortable. The tickets are a bit expensive, but it’s the only way to reach Koh Lipe. Don’t worry about it, it’s totally worth it! 😉
Note: I typically use 12go.asia for booking transportation around Southeast Asia. However, the prices of the ferry to and from Koh Lipe via 12go.asia are probably more expensive than when booking directly at the site. Just keep in mind, that some ferries and speedboats sell out quickly, so if you are on a tight schedule, I recommend booking a ticket in advance and paying a bit more.
Thanks to the fact that Koh Lipe is located near Langkawi, a Malaysian island, it’s also possible and very easy to reach Koh Lipe by ferry from Langkawi. It only takes around 1,5 hour. The ferries go from the months October to May. During the other months they don’t operate because of the rain season. Keep in mind that you still need to pass immigration when entering Koh Lipe.
I also traveled from Langkawi back to Koh Lipe. First, at the ferry terminal in Langkawi I had to fill in an arrival card and then I got my departure stamp in my passport. Then I had to give my passport to the employees of the ferry, who gave my passport at arrival to the immigration office in Koh Lipe. I know it feels weird to give away your passport, but this is mandatory and worked out fine. You don’t have to worry about it. When I arrived in Koh Lipe, I had to wait for about an hour at the immigration office. The immigration office was at the beach and the most laid-back immigration office that I had ever seen.
Getting around in Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is very tiny, so you can easily get around by foot. There are no cars or buses on the island, so there’s a very relaxing atmosphere. The only public transportation you can take, is a scooter with sidecar or a long tail boat.
Getting around will most likely be much easier if you can speak the language, at least to some level. This makes it easier for you to ask directions and speak to the locals while you are exploring the area. It also means you can make the most of your time on the island by being able to talk with locals. A good idea is to learn Thai free online before your trip. This will enable you to make the most of your experience.
How many days do you need in Koh Lipe?
Since it takes some time to reach Koh Lipe, I highly recommend spending at least 3 days on the island to make the trip worth it.
What is the best month to visit Koh Lipe?
The best time to visit Koh Lipe is from November to April. During these months the temperatures are between 25-30 degrees and there is little rain. The peak season lasts from mid-December to April when the precipitation is low.
The low season runs from May to October. Expect to have more rain during this period. Although hotels are much more affordable during these months, some shops and restaurants may be closed.
The best things to do in Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is a small island, but there’s enough to do and discover:
– Vist the Walking Street
The most well-known street of Koh Lipe is probably the Walking Street. Here you can find most of the shops, restaurants and bars. You can visit the Walking Street during the day and evening. I love the atmosphere in the evening!
– Go snorkeling or diving
Koh Lipe is an amazing place to go snorkeling and diving. The water is crystal clear, very quiet and you can find beautiful coral reefs. You can just walk into the water and go snorkeling straight away.
For the best snorkel experience in Koh Lipe, I recommend taking a day trip to the surrounding islands. Koh Lipe is actually part of the Adang Archipelago, a cluster of about 10 uninhabited islands. Day trips to the surrounding islands are popular and I highly recommend booking one as they are the best way to explore the marine park. In my travels through Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, I have never seen such beautiful and especially such vibrant coral. The area is really beautiful and well worth exploring through a snorkeling tour.
You can go on fun dives or get your Open Water Certification with any of the local dive shops.
– Go kayaking
Kayaking is another fun activity to do in Koh Lipe. You can rent a kayak for a small price and have a sporty afternoon. A nice place to rent a kayak is at Sunrise beach. From here you can kayak to a small rocky island called Koh Kra. Expect to pay around 200 THB per hour for a kayak.
– Make a day trip to Koh Adang
You can easily make a day trip to Koh Adang, an island close to Koh Lipe. From the Nothern part of Sunrise beach you can take a long tail boat to Koh Adang. The cost one way per person is 100 baht ($3.20 USD) and just let the driver know when you would like to be picked up from Koh Adang.
Besides beautiful, white beaches, you can also find a magnificent viewpoint on top of the Chado Cliff that overlooks Koh Lipe. It’s nice to hike to this viewpoint and to watch the amazing views. There is a simple map at the visitor’s center. The hike should take you approximately 45 minutes one way. Be sure to have decent shoes because it is a pretty steep climb up the hill.
Tip: it’s also possible to stay the night on Koh Adang. Although Koh Adang is a little bigger than Koh Lipe, it’s more quiet. The Adang Island Resort is a beautiful place for example.
– Visit Koh Lipe’s beaches
Koh Lipe has some beautiful beaches. Pattaya Beach probably is the biggest and most developed beach, where you can also find the most accommodations. Therefore, this beach is the most crowded one. From here you can walk straight into Walking Street. If you don’t want to go far from Pattaya Beach, you can go around a corner and lay down at Sanom Beach; which is more quiet.
Sunset Beach and Sunrise Beach are other beautiful beaches. Like the names already tell, at Sunset Beach you can watch the sunset and at Sunrise Beach you can watch a beautiful sunrise.
The most quiet beach is probably Secret Beach (Patai Galah Beach). You have to walk a little through a “jungle” path, but you won’t be disappointed!
– Watch the sunrise or sunset
Watch the sunrise on Sunrise Beach or the sunset on Sunset Beach. You won’t regret it!
– Enjoy a massage
Island life is all about relaxation! There are plenty of massage places to choose from in Koh Lipe. My favorite one is near the north-central end of Sunrise beach with massage beds on the rooftop, overlooking the ocean. Expect to pay between 300 – 500 THB for an hour-long Thai massage.
– Have a cocktail and enjoy the (sunset) vibes
Have a drink in one of the cozy bars in the walking street or at Sunset Beach. Some of my favorite bars are;
Sea la Vie beach bar
Tip: Pattaya Beach is the place to be to see a fire show.
Where to stay in Koh Lipe?
Nowadays, there are enough accommodations to chose from for you stay on Koh Lipe. The island still is truly a hidden paradise, however it’s also true that more and more people hear about Koh Lipe and want to travel to the island. Most accommodations can be found on Pattaya Beach. You’ve luxurious accommodations, but also more budget ones.
During our stay on Koh Lipe, we’ve stayed at the Zodiac Beach Resort. The accommodation offers nice rooms in little beach houses. From your little house you can walk straight to the beach and the water. It’s beautiful.
– Budget accommodation:
Bloom hostel is located in The Walking street, but despite it’s location, it’s still very quiet. It’s also clean and the drinking water, coffee and tea is available for free. It’s a great place for budget travelers.
Lipe Inn is also a nice accommodation if you are on a budget. The property offers private rooms and is located in the Walking Street.
– Mid-range accommodation:
The apartments in Lipe Banyan Apartments are spacious, have large beds and a fully equipped kitchen with everything you need. My apartment was clean and I loved the location, close to the sea.
I really enjoyed visiting Koh Lipe and definitely would say that it’s worth to visit the island. It’s an amazing destination for snorkeling, diving and explore white sand beaches and crystal blue waters.
If you have any questions or would like to share some other tips, please leave a comment in the comments section below.
This article is part of the GPSmyCity mobile app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.
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