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Ko Lipe - Hidden Gem of Thailand
Ko Lipe - Hidden Gem of Thailand

Thailand's Hidden Gem

Post by : MalaysiaAsia

Post Date : January 1970

Trip Summary

Travel Date : June 2010

Destinations : Satun ,Trang

Activities : Beach ,Scuba diving ,Scuba diving school ,Snorkelling

Traveller's Rating

Rating 2.185

108 votes

Ko Lipe is one of the most beautiful islands at the Tarutao Marine Park in Satun and is considered one of Thailand's Hidden Gem. This small island sits at the Southern most part of the marine park and the name Ko Lipe (pronounced Lee Pay) comes from the local sea gypsy name which means Paper Island. Ko Lipe is also known as the Maldives of Thailand as the waters here are amazingly crystal clear while the unspoiled beaches are donned with pure white sand. The paradise is also known by many other spellings such as Koh Lipeh, Ko Lipey, Ko Leepay and Ko Lipe.

Ko Lipe is easily accessible as there are many ways to get here especially from Phuket, Ko Lanta, Pak Barra and also Langkawi Island in Malaysia. There are no airports so the only way here is via the modern speed boat ferries. Journeys are estimated at about 1-2 hours depending on which point you choose. As for my experience, I have visited Koh Lipe during the high season via Langkawi and also during the low season via Pak Barra jetty in Satun which is in Southern Thailand. After you arrive at the immigration office for your passport chop and want to take a longtail boat taxi to your resort at the other beaches, they charge a fee of 40-50 Baht per person.

This paradise island was originally settled by a band of sea gypsies from Malaysia, known as the 'Chao Lei' people and was once a secret little backpacker haven. At the current moment, the island operates on two seasons, Low Season from May till September and High Season from October till April. You will find that during the rainy season, about 60% of the island comes to a standstill where prices are slashed to about 50-60% off peak rates. Koh Lipe is also divided into four main beaches - Pattaya Beach, which is the main beach where most of the hotels and resorts are located, Sunrise Beach where more budget accommodations are found and a few upscale lodgings and Sunset Beach where it caters to the backpackers and divers. A fourth stand alone beach called Karma Beach is part of the  Mountain Resort which sits on the North most part of the island facing the beautiful Koh Adang.  The main attraction besides the beautiful views and scenery is the Lipe Walking Street located at Pattaya Beach that stretches inwards the island. It is here that you get all the restaurants, shops, massage centers and so on. The walking street comes alive at night with food, music, shopping and partying. No actual proper bars or clubs but you get the local island style settings. Stretching about one kilometer long, there are countless places for you to spend your evenings. For divers, there are about 5-6 dive centers where you can take your PADI Diving Certificate at Koh Lipe. There are also about 16 known dive spots around the 4 main islands which are Ko Lipe, Ko Adang, Ko Rawi and Ko Dong. Apart from this, you have the option to go snorkeling or island hopping to the many beautiful islands around the Tarutao National Park. For camping enthusiast, you can do so at Ko Rawi and Ko Adang but you need to get permission from the ranger station at each island. There is also a trek and a waterfall at Ko Adang Island.   There are no ATMS there The nearest ATM Machines are in Pak Barra jetty or Langkawi jetty Some businesses on Lipe will do Credit Card Advances at 5%-8% commission Foreign Currency can be changed at most resorts but at terrible rates There is only one Immigration Hut located at the end of Pattaya Beach next to Bundhaya Resort A local Police Station is also available behind the Immigration Office The only way in and out of Koh Lipe is via Ferry or Speedboat There are no taxis or cars on the islands Do not participate in Fishing Trips as it is illegal There is only one small clinic at the local Chow Lay village called Topoe A helicopter landing area is there for major emergencies Visa on arrival over land or sea is only 14 days for foreigners Alternatively, you can do a visa run to Langkawi, Malaysia and back within a day There is a small local church available in the Chow Ley village Room/chalet rates start anywhere from US$12 right up till US$250 a night Boat timings are crucial to and from Lipe. Check the low and high season timings From May until November Koh Lipe can only be reached from Pak Barra jetty
Photo Galleries
Rating 5 / 108 votes
Ko Lipe Mountain Resort view

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Rating 3 / 108 votes
Ko Lipe beach and boats

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Rating 4.667 / 108 votes
Ko Lipe Beach

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