Ko Lipe Walking Street

Walking Street Koh Lipe

The Ko Lipe Walking Street will be everyone's hangout when you set foot on this beautiful island in the Southwest part of Thailand.

Getting to Ko Lipe is no easy task as there is much work to be done, like getting the times of the ferries and so on. Note - Only ferries go to Ko Lipe; there are no planes, no buses, nothing.

Ko Lipe Walking Street

Koh Lipe was once a backpacker heaven which has recently opened up to commercial tourism and is now one of the must-visit places when you travel to Thailand.

I had the luxury of visiting this beautiful place twice a year, once during the peak season and the other during the off-season and found it to be totally different.

Firstly, the walking street will be your everyday hangout unless you choose to just eat, play, and love in your room, but at any point, you would need to go out and definitely pass this place.

Lipe's walking street is lively in the evenings till about midnight. Some commercial shops would close by about 9 to 10 pm, while restaurants, bars and Internet cafes will remain open till about midnight or a little later.

Walking Street at Lipe Island
Some of the creative ways of attracting customers.

As I have been to Lipeh twice in one year, I managed to catch the best of both seasons - peak and non-peak on different visits.

The entire area seemed like a ghost town in June and July, while towards the end of the year, it looked like a 24-hour island festival.

Lipe Walking Street stretches about a kilometre from central Pattaya Beach to the main junction inland.

Branded as the heart of Lipe, almost everything and anything can be found here, making this a must-stop spot for all visitors to the island.

Massage Place in Koh Lipe
Use the internet while massaging.

What Shops Can You Find At Ko Lipe Walking Street?

Over here, you can find many dive shops, Internet cafes, speciality bakeries, and foreign-run restaurants right to local stalls.

You can find about anything here except the ATM Machines (Update 22 Sept 2014: There is an ATM available now).

Yes, there is no bank here in Ko Lipe, so you must come prepared with good old cash. Alternatively, some outlets will accept credit card cash advances but be prepared to pay premium prices.

While the most prominent businesses you will come across are the massage and Internet centres or, better still, Internet and Massage in one place.

Menu for food Ko Lipe Walking Street
Thai Roti and Western snacks.

Food is a haven here as you get almost all kinds of local and international food along this street. For Muslim travellers, there is even Halal Food available here.

During my multiple visits here, I saw Indian, Western, Mexican and Chinese food available aside from the many local Thai restaurants.

Prices are decent and affordable too. For the budget-conscious, many local stalls sell food below 50 Baht too. (Update 22 Sept 2014, there is a 7-11 available at the walking street now)

Off season at Ko Lipe Walking Street
Lipeh Walking Street during off-peak season.

The main street was actually a sand path made by the local Chow Ley people, who are the islanders, and due to the boom in tourism here, the mainland government got involved and revamped the walking street.

A cement road about 8 feet wide was laid all the way here. However, this stole the island's natural charm, making it look very commercialized, so the locals decided to cover the concrete path with heaps of sand from the beach nearby.

 'Now it looks authentic', claims one of the local vendors when I spoke to them about this.

Sale at Ko Lipe Walking Street
Beachwear on sale.

For those who are overdressed, you would be pleased to know that even a couple of boutiques sell beachwear of all sorts.

Looking closely, the prices were very low too. You even get some local souvenirs here; do not be surprised if you see a boutique doubling as a sundry shop.

Thai Massage Koh Lipe Walking Street
Getting a Thai Massage.

One of the fun things to do is try out the local Thai Massages. I counted on my first trip, and at least 10 outlets must have offered massages.

Prices are really cheap, starting from 300 Baht an hour for the small outlets, while hotel services charge about 400-600 Baht. Some centres even combine manicures, pedicures, facials and hair braiding services.

During my stay here, I must have gone for one massage every night after a long day of diving.

Shop selling Thai Pancakes
Thai Pancake Shop Menu.

Girl Making Thai Pancakes
Thai pancake is made by a local girl.

Thai Pancake at Ko Lipe

A must-try for those coming here is the Thai Pancake or Rotee. The cafes or stalls sell them along the street, and are absolutely mouth-watering.

You can have them plain or filled with a savoury or sweet filling. Locally in Malaysia, we call them Roti Canai or in Singapore - Prata Bread.

I found an acquired taste with the Rotee and Nutella Chocolate combined with some iced Thai coffee. This became my staple meal for supper.

Ko Lipe Island Wedding
Wedding on Ko Lipe Island.

My highlight of Lipe Walking Street was during the off-season when I visited in June 2010. About 70% of the businesses here were shut; therefore, the place looked like an island ghost town.

As we ventured into the dark street one night, loud thumping music was heard, and our curiosity led us to it.

What a surprise, a local Island Wedding was happening inside one of the compounds just off the street. The entire island was there enjoying this joyous occasion.

Upon walking into the crowd here, we were instantly invited to join in, and without offending the locals, we politely accepted in a shy manner.

Beer was passed around while some dragged us to dance merrily with the rest. Young and old were seen having a joyous time, and I ended up dancing with one of the village elders, who was quite tipsy.

Bakery at Ko Lipe Walking Street
Pee Pee Bakery at Koh Lipe.

After about 45 minutes, we politely excused ourselves as we had an early boat trip back to the mainland the following day.

For those planning to visit this island paradise in the Andaman Sea, you should take note of the logistics of getting to Koh Lipe, as the only possible way here is via boat.

As Koh Lipe is the southernmost island in the west of Thailand, it is the only populated island in the Tarutao Marine Park.

Once here, there are three main beaches with accommodations and moving around will be on foot or via longtail taxi boats.

This is also one of the last non-fully developed islands in the region, so if you dislike heavily populated islands, this is your kind of place.


A tip is to avoid participating in drug-related events or using them when you are here. Thailand is a no-nonsense destination, and you can get into serious trouble if you do so.

Finally, nothing beats walking barefoot around the island and making daily visits to the Ko Lipe Walking Street when you are here, and this is one of the best things to do in Ko Lipe too.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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