For reasons we can’t understand, Koh Lipe is often forgotten about compared to other popular Thai islands.
We think this is a big shame, as Koh Lipe is the perfect place to get away from it all, something that’s hard to find nowadays!
Sitting in the south of Thailand near the Malaysian border and only a stones throw away from Langkawi, this tiny island has still managed to preserve a small slice of Thai paradise.
Being a tropical island, you can probably already guess the kind of activities available – beach bumming, island hopping etc.
Of course you can do that on Koh Lipe too, but we wanted to focus on activities that are really unique!
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are some of our favourite activities to do during your stay at Koh Lipe:
Keep reading to find out everything you can do on the island of Koh Lipe!
#1 Explore the surrounding islands in Tarutao National Marine Park
Tarutao National Park consists of 51 islands, so there’s plenty to explore – both above and below the water.
Embarking on one of the many boat trips means you can cover more ground and discover the stunning hidden-away beaches the area has to offer.
We recommend the Koh Lipe Morning Snorkelling Tour, costing just 680 baht ($22), including lunch.
On this tour you have two route choices:
- Visiting some of the bigger, more well-known islands like Jabang, Him Ngam, Koh Yang and the spectacular Koh Adang.
- Discovering the smaller, hidden gems such as Hin Son, the barely inhabited Koh Bulon, Monkey Beach and many more!
#2 Hang out around Walking Street
Walking Street is more than just a street that gets you from A to B. Located in the heart of Koh Lipe, you’ll most certainly end up strolling along this street to get to the different beaches, but the area deserves more of your time.
It’s essentially the ‘town’ of Koh Lipe and has pretty much everything you need – ATMs, 7elevens, massage parlours, restaurants, bars, shops etc.
Once you’re done wandering, pick a bar and just enjoy watching the world go by! It’s a great place to people watch as the street can get rather busy.
Besides the large choice of bars and restaurants, Walking Street is also the place to book boat trips to explore the surrounding islands. You’ll find plenty of tourist information and dive centres ready to assist you.
Pro-tip: there are only a handful of ATMs on the island, so it may be easier to just bring enough cash with you in case the ATMs are out of service.
New to Koh Lipe? Our compact Koh Lipe guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Koh Lipe!
#3 Spend the day on a deserted beach on Koh Adang
Being the highlight of most boat trips, many travellers decide that Koh Adang deserves more than a fleeting visit. Instead, many dedicate a whole day on Koh Adang island.
Not only is Koh Adang larger than Koh Lipe, but this island remains largely unspoilt and peaceful. It embodies what most Thai islands were like 20 years ago.
The island is only a 5-10 minute boat ride away and will cost you around 100 baht each way. You can hire a boat from any of Koh Lipe’s main beaches.
Pro-tip: Arrange a pick-up time from Koh Adang to Koh Lipe with your boat captain to avoid the hassle of finding another boat.
As the island is part of the National Park, there is an entrance fee of 200 baht. This lasts for 5 days so if you haven’t got your fix in one day you can always go back for more.
#4 View Koh Lipe from Koh Adang viewpoint
The hike takes around 45 minutes from the ranger station to the highest point on the island at 690m. Along your hike you’ll come across 3 viewpoints; the first one after 10 minutes, the second after 25 minutes and the best of all – another 10 minutes.
Once you reach the top, you’ll likely be breathless not just from the hike, but due to the stunning views that will span ahead of you. Here you can experience Koh Lipe from another angle and appreciate how small the island really is.
#5 Explore the underwater world by snorkelling and diving
Koh Lipe is often overlooked by many travellers, which is quite surprising considering that the island offers some of the best dive sites in all of Thailand.
The underwater world of Koh Lipe has exceptional visibility and has some of the last spots in Thailand that flourishes with soft and hard coral.
These admirable conditions don’t just attract visitors like you and me. The thriving ecosystem invites a whole host of sea life including barracuda, seahorses, trevally or even whale sharks and rays if you’re lucky.
Thanks to these great dive sites around Koh Lipe, you’ll find plenty of dive schools offering single dive trips, day trips and PADI or freediving courses.
How to go diving on Koh Lipe
If you’re looking to dip your toe in the water when it comes to scuba diving, you can join a one day Discover Scuba Diving course which will take you to 2 dive sites near Koh Lipe.
The dive schools are mainly situated around Pattaya beach, giving you direct access to the boats. Conveniently, you can reach most dive spots after just 10 minutes in a boat including Stonehenge, 8 mile rock and Far Islands, to mention a few.
Where to go snorkelling on Koh Lipe
If you just prefer to snorkel, there’s also lots of action right off the coast of Koh Lipe. The best snorkelling is around 2 tiny islands by Sunrise beach; Koh Kra, in front of the school, and Koh Usen, in front of Idyllic Resort.
You’ll be able to rent a mask for around 50 baht, or you can take your adventures slightly further afield and rent a kayak for 200 baht/hour and paddle around the island.
- Full Day Scuba Diving for $130
#6 Clean up the beach with Trash Hero
Trash Hero organise weekly beach clean-ups and educate volunteers on the impact plastic waste has on our environment.
The organisation spends a few hours starting at 10am every Monday on Pattaya Beach, scouring the beach collecting any rubbish that is littering the environment. Just look for the bright yellow t-shirts!
As well as witnessing the consequences of careless waste management, it’s a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people on the same mission as you.
Pro-tip: Trash Hero has gone global so make sure to check their website to see where else you can get involved.
#7 Experience the heavenly cuisine Koh Lipe has to offer
Koh Lipe has become a fusion of cuisines, offering traditional Thai foods, international dishes, cafe culture and not to forget – awesome pancakes.
Madame Yoohoo’s pancakes won’t disappoint you, especially the banana and peanut butter ones. Her stall is hard to miss as she yells out ‘Yoohoo pancake’ to any passer-by!
Another top pick is Cafe Lipe. The rustic, back-to-nature aesthetics of the place creates a chilled and personal vibe in which to delve into a delicious breakfast or lunch. The bread is baked fresh every day and the fruit juices are a must-try!
#8 Enjoy the chilled nightlife Koh Lipe has to offer
Koh Lipe is no party island. Most bars close around midnight, 2am at the latest. Nevertheless, the island offers chilled nightlife, where you can chat with fellow travellers while listening to live music or even busting some moves together.
Drinks on Koh Lipe are slightly more expensive than other places in Thailand, but it wouldn’t be Thailand if there was no happy hour. Ten Moons bar offers 2 for 1 cocktails everyday between 4-6pm, all whilst enjoying the amazing view of Sunrise Beach.
Open until 2am, Sea La Vie is relatively new to Koh Lipe and owned by the same people who run the popular Maya Bar in the town centre. Like many bars in Koh Lipe, also Sea La Vie is a beachfront bar with a very chilled and great ambience.
The music choice sets the scene with the deep house beats merging perfectly with the sound of the waves.
Also check out How to get to Koh Lipe from other destinations in Thailand!
Being much smaller than many of the popular Thai islands, the number of accommodations is also smaller. This means that prices are higher on Koh Lipe, and a lot of the accommodations are luxury resorts that come with a price tag. Places tend to start around $30 for a room, a lot higher than the rest of Thailand, but also cheaper than most of the world.
Here are our favourite places to stay in Koh Lipe, for all budgets:
Nest Hostel - Budget Friendly
Nest Hostel isn’t the kind of place that you shout from the rooftops about, but it is one of the cheapest and best-rated places to stay on Koh Lipe. The rooms are clean, comfortable and peaceful. Dorm rooms are also available if you want to save even more money.
Here you’re only 300m from Pattaya Beach and within walking distance of the other main beaches on Koh Lipe. The staff are amazing and make you feel instantly at home.
- Clean and comfortable rooms
- Close to the beach
- Amazing staff
- Dorm and private rooms available
Dorm rooms start from $13 per night.
Lipe Garden Beach Resort - Treating Yourself
When visiting a tropical island like Koh Lipe, the dream is to stay seconds from the beach right? Lipe Garden Beach Resort helps you to make that dream come true. You can hear the gentle sound of waves crashing from your bungalow.
The rooms are simple, but comfortable, each coming with their own private balcony with a seating area and hammock. As well as the perfect beach location, you’re also close to the Walking Street and pier.
- Directly on the beach
- Bungalow style rooms
- Private terrace
- Great location
Bungalows start from $55 per night.
Ananya Lipe Resort - Treating Yourself
The best way to describe this place is with one word — WOW! Ananya Lipe is the kind of resort most of us can only dream of. The beautiful rooms have swim-up pools or you can go for a swim in the huge lagoon-style pool and grab a drink from the bar while you’re still in the water!
Tired of the pool? Don’t worry, the beach is only steps away. And that’s if you can be persuaded to leave your stunning oasis of a room and huge bathrooms. If you opt for a room with a jacuzzi, you’re probably never going to want to leave. This place is amazing!
- Huge swimming pools
- Beautiful and comfortable rooms
- Right on the beach
- Delicious free breakfast
Rooms start from $161 per night.
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.