Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Things to do in Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe Things To Do

As this is one of the last remaining beautiful unspoiled islands in the south of Thailand, many may be wondering what are the things to do in Koh Lipe.

Having been here twice in a year, I have come up with a list of what you can do while visiting this stunning island in the Andaman Sea.

Things to do in Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe or Ko Lipe is situated on the west coast of Thailand way down south, passing Phuket and Krabi and bordering Malaysia's Langkawi Island.

Getting here is no simple task as there are no airports or roads here, only via speedboat ferries from either Pak Bara in Trang, Phuket or Langkawi.

I also wrote an article on how to go to Koh Lipe if you want more information, especially about the ferry timings. 

So you love islands and beaches? This is hands-down one of the most beautiful islands left and here are the things you can do at Koh Lipe. 

Koh Lipe Island Photo
Koh Lipe Island
1. Just Chill Out on Koh Lipe

Nothing beats going to an island and just chilling out, doing nothing and absorbing the sea and sun. Koh Lipe offers various kinds of relaxation randing from luxury retreats to backpacker style guesthouses and lodges.

Poshtels is also the rave here where boutique hostels have popped up in recent years. Some resorts offer spas while the smaller ones are plain and simple leaving the traveler to explore the local massage places along the main Lipe Walking Street. 

In the evenings, beach-side restaurants offer to lounge on the sand of the beach with cocktails and drinks while watching the sunset behind the Andaman sea.

Travelers are also seen with whiskey buckets strolling and finding spots on the sand where they can just chill and relax too. 

Koh Lipe Snorkeling
Snorkeling at Koh Lipe
2. Snorkeling at Koh Lipe

If you love the beach and the sea, you must at least do some snorkeling around Koh Lipe, and there are many spots to do this.

There are pre-designated areas for snorkeling while proper snorkeling is conducted with the island hopping tours where they take you to other islands to do snorkeling there.

The color of the waters here is amazingly beautiful with aquamarine and turquoise while the clarity of the water is beyond your imagination. 

3. Diving in Koh Lipe

This island is also known as a scuba divers paradise as there are a number of diving spots on Koh Lipe which are pretty good and highly recommended.

As for dive centers, there are three popular ones located around the island. You can also take your scuba diving license or dive courses here with reasonable fees.

Diving gear is easily available here while for first-timers, there is the Discover Scuba Diving or DSD available. 

Dive sites at Koh Lipe
Dive sites at Koh Lipe
4. Kayaking at Koh Lipe

Most of the beachside resorts or hotels offer kayaking to the guests. Some may be free for the guest, while others may charge a small fee.

Do inquire with the resort or hotel you stay with about this if you are interested, but make sure you are experienced in kayaking.



Koh Lipe activities
Activities at Koh Lipe
5. Jungle Trekking at Koh Lipe 

For the adventurous traveler, there are some jungle treks and nature walks located on the opposite island called Koh Adang, which is also a protected national park.

One needs to get a permit to do some trekking here and you can do this by arranging with the local tour operators on the island or from your hotel or resort.

Among the popular routes are the waterfalls trek and viewpoint where you can see the entire Tarutao National Park.

Most resorts or hotels offer jungle trekking or hiking packages and you can enquire with them. 

6. Camping at Koh Lipe

Outdoor lovers will be pleased to know that you can actually do some serious camping at Koh Lipe island.

However, there are various styles available, the hardcore camping at Koh Adang or Koh Rawi or the resort assisted camping where resorts arrange a spot in their land for you to do camping there. You can check with the operators about this. 

Please note that Koh Tarutao National Park is only open from November to May and campers who show up on the islands during the monsoon season can stay at the park accommodation.

However, they must bring their own food from the mainland as there are no shops or anything on the other islands. 

Beach at Koh Rawi Island
Koh Rawi Beach
7. Island Hopping at Koh Lipe

Well, the tour takes you to a couple of islands but the star here is Black Rock Island or Koh Hin Ngam, where small palm-sized black rocks dominate the island landscape with a unique forbidden history behind this.

You will hear boatmen tell you stories of Leonardo di Caprio and his experience here when he was filming the popular backpacker movie 'The Beach' at Koh Phi Phi.

Apparently, he made a stopover on Black Rock Island but I will leave the rest of the story for the boatmen to tell you if and when you visit this unique island. 

Island hopping is a day trip that costs around 500 to 600 Baht which includes lunch and snorkeling equipment per person.

Usually, the tours take you to Koh Rawi, Black Rock Island and a few other islands around the vicinity.

You can book these from your hotel or resort, or even at some of the small tour counters along the walking street. 

8. Eating and Drinking in Koh Lipe

Yes, as the title says, you can simply live like a wannabe-prince and eat, drink and be happy throughout your vacation here.

There are countless local and international restaurants available on the island, even Halal food for Muslim travelers.

Also, seafood is on top of the menu, there are also a number of local Thai hawker stalls selling the famous Thai Pancakes or Rotee and Mu Ping (หมูปิ้ง) Barbecued pork or chicken skewers. 

Bars are found all the main beaches of Pattaya, Sunrise and Sunset beach here while there are general stores that sell beer and soft drinks along the walking street.

In general, everything revolves around the Ko Lipe walking street here. 

Koh Lipe Karma Beach
View of Karma Beach from Mountain Resort 
9. Doing Absolute Nothing on Koh Lipe

The best island remedy is actually to go there and do nothing! Why do people even want to bother by filling their days with all kinds of activities?

The objective is to go for a holiday, not go and maximize your vacation to come back tired and exhausted needing another holiday to recover from the first one.

So, I recommend, going to Koh Lipe and simply do nothing there, just go with the flow, relax and enjoy yourself. 

Photo of Koh Lipe
The laid back beach life
What Else to Know About Koh Lipe?

If you have never been to Koh Lipe before, I just want to stress that the island is really small and this means you can walk from one end to the other end in under 30 minutes.

The island is so laid back, there are no cars or roads here. There are probably some motorbikes or bicycles that are used to move around the island, and these are for the locals.

For a better understanding and to see the resorts and layout of the island, here is a Koh Lipe Map.

Koh Lipe Budget Chalets
Some of the budget chalets along Sunrise Beach
For food and entertainment, there is one main area called Lipe Walking Street where all the action is found at.

When you arrive, ferries or speed boats stop out at sea and you board a transit platform before taking a local longtail boat to the island.

Conclusion

The island has four main beaches - Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach, and Karma Beach at the back of the island facing Koh Adang.

The most popular are Sunrise and Pattaya Beach here. There is an ATM available and also a Pharmacy while the rest are simply restaurants, bars, cafes, general stores, and massage centers.

Overall, this article was written for those wanting to know what are the many things to do in Koh Lipe, Thailand. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much does it cost for diving license? Thinking to get it there 😊

David Jr said...

Hi, price ranges around RM1000+ Not too sure because I got mine here, but my instructor was from Kuala Lumpur, so it was a package, paid here. You can google it or try visit one of the dive operators site there.