Is this relaxing or what?
Most of Thailand’s secrets have long been common knowledge, but
there is still one little island - Koh Lipe - which stands out as a slice of
paradise and is only now just being discovered.
Koh Lipe (http://www.koh lipemap.com), a small island in the Andaman Sea, is
a little gem 60 km off the coast inside the Tarutao National Marine Park.
Koh Lipe has become the southern anchor of the busy north-south Andaman
tourist route and getting there these days couldn’t be easier with boats
arriving from all up and down the coast including Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta,
Krabi and Trang. Koh Lipe is also the jumping off point to Langkawi and
At its largest, the island is only 2 km long and 1 km wide. With 2 main
beaches each with their own distinct character, there is something for
everyone. The busy one, Pattaya Beach has a wide beach stretched in a long
crescent of fine white sand. In the evening it transforms as restaurants and
bars set out chairs and bamboo mats on the sand and lit by candle lit,
reggae tunes drift down the beach.
On the other side of the island is Sunrise Beach with views of several small
nearby islands and a cool onshore breeze most of the year. Sunrise Beach is
the opposite of Pattaya Beach, with just a few resorts and bars, it is very
laid back. It also has a very large coral reef with the best snorkeling on
the island directly from the beach.
storey bungalows right on the beach.
There are no cars on the island, and thankfully few motorbikes so people get
around by walking. The whole island can be explored on foot in a couple of
hours. Pooh’s Bar (http://www.poohlipe.com) in the middle of the island is
run by the charismatic Pooh and is almost an institution on the island.
Famous for its live music in the evenings it draws a large crowd.
Karma Bar (http://www.kar mabar.net) at the north end of Sunrise Beach is
well known on the backpacker scene with its mellow music and great location.
At the other end of Sunrise Beach is Castaway Resort (http://kohlipe
.castaway-resorts.com) has stunning sea and island views which viewed from
its raised candle lit deck has to be the ultimate in chilled out dining and
Tarutao National Marine Park has some of the best dive sites in all of
Thailand. Within easy boat reach of Koh Lipe are hundreds of coral reefs
with an amazing variety of huge hard and soft corals. The corals and seas
around Koh Lipe are full of marine life, offering everything from turtles to
huge rays. Even if you aren’t a diver you can enjoy the marine world
drifting along the edges of coral reefs with a mask and snorkel. Compared to
other dive and snorkel areas there is so much to see and no competition to
Koh Lipe still has a lot of cheap backpackers accommodation, with places
like Varin offering simple bamboo huts close to the beach. At the top end is
Sita Beach with a swimming pool and Castaway Resort with its 2 story breezy
bungalows which was described by the Lonely Planet as ‘the most chic on
Tips for Travelers
* If you are travelling from Hat Yai, be in Pak Bara before 11
a.m. to catch the speedboat.
* If you are travelling from Langkawi, the boat journey is shorter and there
is a small efficient immigration on Koh Lipe.
* There are no ATM’s on the island so make sure you bring enough cash for
your stay, and then double it as you’ll end up deciding to stay longer!
* Varin 2 on Sunrise Beach has the newest and cheapest bamboo bungalow huts.
* Castaway resorts has the chicest accommodation
Contact: [email protected]