Koh Lipe is a tiny island in Thailand’s south-west and close to the Malaysian border. Many people are unaware of the island’s existence because it is located further south than any other known islands. Despite being a little further away, the island is easily accessible and well worth the trip.
Because it is a small island, you can simply walk around it; there are no cars, but you may also take a motorbike taxi around the island. This is a motorcycle with a side car in which multiple persons may seat. Because the island is not as well-known as the other islands in Thailand, it attracts less tourists.
We decided to travel to the south and spend a few days on Koh Lipe. Our trip began in Bangkok. We had to get at the airport early because our flight was at 6:30 a.m., so we had to be there at 4:30 a.m. We grabbed a Bold taxi from my apartment, which worked perfectly and took about 30 minutes. We took a flight to Hat Yai and arrived at 8:00 a.m. We had to go to a booth after landing to let the company know we had arrived for the transfer. The shuttle we had to take left at 9:00 a.m., so we had some time to get breakfast at the airport before continuing our trip. We took a minivan and drove for approximately 2 hours to get to the pier. We were dropped off at another booth to get the ticket for the shared speedboat.
The boat left at 11:30 a.m. and took around 2 hours to arrive because we stopped twice. The first stop was at the National Park Tarutao, where we could take a 20-minute walk around to do some sightseeing. Following that, we proceeded to the next location. This was a little island with a white sand beach, crystal clear water, and an archery bow-shaped cave. Following this stop, we continued to Koh Lipe, where we arrived around 14:00 p.m. The transportation was easy and well-organized, and they were pre-informed of our arrival, thanks to Travel Exclusive Asia, who arranged the transportation for us.
When we arrived on the island, there was already hotel staff waiting to greet us. They carried our bags to the hotel in a wheelbarrow. We stayed on Pattaya Beach, which is also where you arrive on the island, so it was only a short walk over the beach to the hotel. Mali Resort Pattaya Beach was where we stayed. Which is located on the beach. We got a bungalow with a view of the sea and an outside bathroom, which was fantastic.
We were on Koh Lipe from Thursday 10 November 2022 until Tuesday 15 November 2022. We didn’t do much the first few days. We just relaxed and explored the island, visiting some beaches. We visited Pattaya beach, Sunrise beach, and Sunset beach. By sunrise beach, you can already see a lot of coral and fish near to the coast, where you can enjoy snorkelling. We took a long tail boat taxi from Sunrise Beach to Sunset Beach to enjoy the magnificent sunset. From Pattaya beach to Sunrise beach, Koh Lipe has a kilometre-long walking street. There are many shops and restaurants here, and it’s a great place to stroll around in the evening.
On Sunday we went on a snorkelling trip. If you want to go on a snorkelling trip, and you want to arrange it by yourself, there are several traditional long tail boats at Sunrise Beach. Here you can simply ask for a snorkel trip and tell them the islands you want to visit. They will come up with a price and you can negotiate. We did not do this. Instead, we inquired for a tour at the hotel’s reception since we felt it would be the easiest way and the pricing was already established. We took a boat trip to the following islands: Koh Hin Sorn (snorkelling), Koh Dong (Monkey Island), Koh Dong – Aow Kamnun (beach & snorkelling), Koh Lugoi (beach), and Koh Peung (snorkelling & beach).
We had our own private traditional long tail boat with a captain. We were the only ones at the snorkelling spots and beaches we visited throughout the trip. This was quite special since generally on other islands, you would be with a lot more other people on a snorkel trip, so it was amazing that we were all by ourselves, which made it extra special. It was a joy to snorkel here. The coral was still intact and very colourful, and we spotted many colourful fishes. The islands themselves were also stunning, and it was a pleasure to sail through the area and observe nature from the boat. The tour lasted around 4 hours. When visiting Koh Lipe, I highly recommend taking a snorkelling tour.
On our final full day, we took a suba diving instruction dive. We first had a scuba diving theoretical lesson. We received all our equipment and they explained everything to us. We boarded a long till boat and travelled to Long Beach by the island Koh Adang. We did our first dive here. We did some essential exercises on this dive, such as what to do if you lose your regulator or what to do if water gets into your mask. It also allowed us to practise breathing through the regulator before the actual dive. So, after the exercises and some trying to swim around, we continued our journey by boat to Koh Yang East. We did an actual dive here for around 45 minutes, with the deepest point being 11 metres. The coral here was just spectacular; the colours were vibrant, as were the fishes. We noticed a variety of species, including scorpionfish, puffer fish, and a range of other colourful fishes. We even found Nemo several times! Simply swimming among the coral with all the fishes surrounding you gave you the feeling that you were a part of the underwater world. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
The next morning, we had to check out of the hotel and board the speedboat at 11.30 a.m. We had to leave the beautiful island Koh Lipe and return to Bangkok.
Even though the island is a bit more away than others, it is well worth the trip. The island is stunning, with white beaches, crystal clear & blue water, a laid-back atmosphere, and a spectacular underwater environment. Because Koh Lipe’s underwater world is simply stunning and has so much to offer, you would regret it if you did not experience it through snorkelling or scuba diving. If you have the time, you should visit this amazing island!