Chilling Out in Koh Lipe

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In the lap of the South Andaman Sea, Koh Lipe is a tiny paradise away from the world of the crowd, traffic, and fast living. The white sandy beaches, the crystal-clear water, and the amazing climate make it an idyllic island retreat where one can enjoy peace and tranquillity (except for Walking Street).

Transport and travel essentials

Getting there – In the high season, you can get to Koh Lipe from Koh Lanta via speedboat. It can get quite complicated depending on where you are, as there’s no “best route”. For example, you can fly to Hat Yai Airport and catch a taxi/bus to Pak Bara, then ferry to Koh Lipe. Or you can get to Langkawi from wherever you are, taxi to Telega Harbour, then get a ferry to Koh Lipe (note: Read our guide to getting to Koh Lipe for more information).

Getting around – The main street of the island is called Walking Street, spanning most of the island and connecting to Pattaya Beach. To describe Walking Street as ‘bustling’ would be a serious understatement, with over 80 strip joints and innumerable bars and clubs. Learning how to survive Walking Street deserves its own guide, but if a little R’n’R is more your thing, this is also where you can hire mopeds or taxis to travel between the variety of beaches and vistas on the island.

The Beaches

Pattaya Beach is the most popular beach on the island, extending for over four kilometres and featuring a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and resorts, making it great for those who want to a more traditional holiday experience while making the most of the comforts of the well-developed nearby Walking Street. The beach is well maintained during the tourist season, but rubbish washing up on the beach can be a bit of a mood killer in the off-season. The great thing about Pattaya Beach is that easy accessibility means there are many more services available – watersports, snorkelling, diving, beach BBQs, and generally enjoyable activities abound.

On The Rocks Restaurant

Sunrise Beach (also known as Haad Chao Ley) adorns the east side of the island and features comparatively shallow waters (unless you’re heading out to the nearby islands).  Sunrise Beach provides a welcome break from boozed up tourists, is more about chilled island lifestyle. There’s great food here, make sure you check out On The Rocks Restaurant at Serendipity Beach resort. It’s at the South end of Sunrise Beach, but the amazingly fresh seafood is worth the trip. The whole beach runs around 1000 metres, so it’s likely you’re less than fifteen minutes away.

Sunset Beach is a small beach located at the North Western edge of the island. Its distance from the rest of the island’s infrastructure makes for a much more peaceful environment but means that this side of the island has much less to offer in terms of activities. It can also be quite dirty due to this – we recommend you snap a few sunsets and make tracks.

Things to do

  • Catch the ‘Golden Hour’ – The island is best known for its excellent sunsets, which means amazing photo opportunities. The best place to observe these sunsets is aptly named Sunset Beach, but bear in mind that the beach can be a little dirty due to night after night of tourists visiting and leaving their trash. There’s also very little to do at this beach other than to watch the sun fall below the horizon, so make sure you have other plans for the evening post-sunset. You can also get the glimpse of the excellent sunset from the end of the Sunrise beach. Take a sip of the beer or cocktail to enjoy one of the best sunsets in the world.
  • Get wet & wild – The water activities are famous on this island. The crystal-clear waters of the ocean invite you to jump in there and discover the depth of the underwater world. Snorkelling is very popular on this island, although one must remain inside the buoyed area to be safe. The area in front of the Ten Moons Resort is best for this beach activity.
  • Explore the islands – Apart from snorkelling, you can also try Kayaking at Koh Lipe. This island is surrounded by some deserted islands, where you can reach by kayaks. The islands in front of the Sunrise Beach is excellent for kayaking.
  • Party ’til the sun comes up – You’d be remiss to visit Koh Lipe without sampling the nightlife, and if the neon chaos of Walking Street is too much, Pattaya Beach has several chilled out bars where you can dance the night away.

Places to Stay

Mali Resort, Pattaya Beach

balinese beach bungalow lipe

Located on Pattaya beach, this property gives you the chance of living on the beach and among nature.

Leelawadee Lipe Resort, Walking Street

Located in Walking Street, this Leelawadee features a modern eco-chic atmosphere and puts you only 200 metres away from Pattaya Beach.

Bayview Sunset, Pattaya Beach

These budget guesthouses are in an amazing location overlooking Pattaya Beach, just bear in mind that the ‘cheap and cheerful’ pricing often means ‘no aircon’, and there’s nothing romantic about sweating yourselves silly after an exhilarating but exhausting day of watersports.

Overall, Koh Lipe is a great place to visit if you don’t feel wild enough to take on the Phi Phi islands but still want some fun in the sun – with pleasant weather pretty much all year round. where you can take the blissful holiday calm, quiet yet full of adventures.

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