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Ko Lipe Walking Street, Thailand

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.

This 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.

Ko Lipe Walking Street

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.

The walking street in Lipe tends to be very 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 for 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 pretty 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 away, 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 are selling beach wear of all sorts.

Looking closely, the prices were very cheap 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 they 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 here, 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.

Conclusion

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 I suppose this is one of the best things to do in Ko Lipe too.

Post a Comment

8 Comments

CathJ said…
did you try the massage?? wah.. I don't dare hihihi..
Malaysia Asia said…
Cath, that was ME in the picture getting my back stepped on lol.
silv3r3ack said…
Hi David,

Thanks for the lovely post, reminds me of my trip to Lipe 3 months ago. There is now an ATM in Lipe :)
At that time it is not fully operational but guess now it should be.
Malaysia Asia said…
Wow, awesome! Where is the ATM located at in Lipe?
silv3r3ack said…
Located near the walking street entrance from Pattaya Beach. :)
Miss FJ said…
Green Curry & Seafood Tomyam at BungRoon were awesome, Ko-Hin Ngam are truly amazing, and the local people there are friendly. Good food, crystal clear water & white sandy beach almost makes a perfect holiday to me.. The only thing, there are too many homeless dogs...
Unknown said…
hi,
visit koh li pe on end of october, is the walking street 80% close? thanks.
Malaysia Asia said…
Geniyin, I wouldn't be able to tell you. But most likely 50% closed, depends on the monsoon, rains and so on. Probably best to read some latest update on a forum?