Is Koh Lipe worth visiting?
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.
A small downside though is that this paradise comes at a slightly higher cost than other destinations in Thailand. It’s not extortionate, but prices are slightly higher when it comes to accommodation.
Putting prices aside though, Koh Lipe truly embodies a tropical island vibe. It has all the cliche elements you expect; powdery-white beaches, turquoise rolling waves and largely uninterrupted peace.
Don’t worry though, there are still several things to do and you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. Not to mention island hopping till your heart’s content exploring Tarutao National Park.
Where to stay on Koh Lipe
If you hate the hassle of organising trips, you’ll love Koh Lipe. With really only 3 main places where everyone stays, it’s pretty easy to make your choice.
Location #1: Pattaya Beach – the liveliest beach of all three
The first steps you take on Koh Lipe will be on to Pattaya Beach, as this is where the boats drop you off. This comes with the advantage that you won’t have to carry your luggage too far!
However, being the island’s main beach, Pattaya tends to be noisier than the other two beaches. This is due to the larger number of boats and the livelier nightlife. It’s still pretty quiet when you compare it to other places in Thailand though!
Good news though, if you’re looking for nightlife, it’s centred around Pattaya. There are a number of late-night bars and restaurants lining the beach as well as the place to find the daily fireshow – outside Reggae Bar!
The nightlife is still pretty tame compared to the other Thai islands, but if you’re looking for ultimate tranquility one of the other beaches may be a better fit.
Location #2: Sunrise Beach – the prettiest place to stay
As the name suggests, Sunrise Beach is the place to stay if you love watching the sun ascend into the sky each morning.
Located on the eastern side of Koh Lipe, Sunrise beach is recommended by many as the best area to stay. The resorts have flocked to fill this demand, meaning most of the high-end hotels and resorts are located on Sunrise Beach. Don’t panic though, there are still several budget options available for the travellers watching the pennies.
Beside Sunrise beach being the prettiest beach to stay on, this side of the island also offers some awesome snorkelling opportunities.
Just off the shore, you’ll find a colorful underwater world which remains largely interrupted. This is mainly thanks to the small amount of boat traffic on this side of the island.
An extra bonus, on clear days when you pop your head above the water, you may even see Langkawi in the distance.
Location #3: Sunset Beach – off the beaten track
If you’re more of a sunset fan then you can situate yourself on the smallest beach of the three; Sunset beach.
Situated along the west coast of Koh Lipe, this side captures more of an off-the-beaten-track vibe; a secluded beach that brings you back to nature and simplicity.
For accommodation you’ll find mainly beach bungalows as opposed to the resorts found on the other beaches.
There are only a few laid back bars and restaurants in this beach area. Luckily, it’s only a 10 minute walk to Walking Street, the main ‘town’ located between Sunrise and Pattaya beach..
How to get around on Koh Lipe
Getting around on Koh Lipe is pretty simple really. There are only a few motorised vehicles and the island being so small, your main option is by foot.
To give you an idea of how small the island really is, you can walk from one side to the other via Walking Street in about 15-20 minutes.
Don’t feel like walking? You’ll be able to find several longtail boats on Pattaya Beach that will take you anywhere on the island for around 50 baht.
Alternatively, there are also a few motorbike taxis with a sidecar that can usually fit 3 people plus luggage for the same price as the boats. You’ll be able to identify these taxis by the purple vests that they wear.
Pro-tip: Check with your accommodation to see whether they offer pickup from the port.
How to get to Koh Lipe?
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Bangkok||6.5 – 22.5 hours excl. transfers||1,270 THB-1,460 THB ($42-$48.50)||Bangkok to Koh Lipe|
|Langkawi||2 – 4.5 hours||1,060 THB – 1,220 THB ($34 – $39)||Langkawi to Koh Lipe|
|Phuket||5- 13 hours||1,050 THB-2,050 THB ($35-$68)||Phuket to Koh Lipe|
My favourite places to stay in Koh Lipe
Location, location, location! This hostel is the perfect spot for those travelers who want to explore the island. Less than 400m to 3 different beaches, you can spend your day soaking up the rays at a new spot every day. This hotel offers semi-private, cubicle style, rooms and is very well-known for its friendly staff and cleanliness.
- Excellent location
- Very clean
- Friendly owners
- Walking distance to the beach
Private rooms start at $30 per night
This hostel & cafe is situated in a great location within walking distance to plenty of sights and beaches. The hostel is extremely, offers very comfortable beds and clean towels every day. The owners and staff are very friendly, welcoming and will assist in any way possible. The on-site bar that often provides live music is a great place to relax with a cold drink and enjoy the island vibe.
- Great location
- Comfortable beds
- On-site bar
- Friendly staff
Private rooms start at $36 per night
Your own private bungalow! Nestled in the nature of Koh Lipe sits this amazing resort. Just 50m from Walking Street and less than a 5-minute walk from the beach, it’s the perfect location. If you’re looking to enjoy nature and enjoy the peace and quiet but still be close to the action then this is definitely the spot for you! They offer free water, coffee, and tea and there is also a restaurant on-site.
- Great location
- Comfortable beds
- Private bungalows
- Surrounded by nature
Private bungalows start at $53 per night