Koh Lipe: Thailand’s Uncrowded Island Paradise – Beaches and more

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There is no shortage of beautiful islands to visit in Thailand.

However, one hidden gem located off Thailand’s west coast is a place you should definitely add to your travels.

Close to the border between Thailand and Malaysia, Koh Lipe is a common stopover for those crossing between the two countries. There is a direct ferry between Langkawi and Koh Lipe.

Compare to Phuket, Lipe is far less crowded because people tend not to travel that far south. It is the only inhabited island in the Adang Archipelago.

Slower paced and beautiful, Koh Lipe offers a glimpse into traditional Thai island living, with lots of activities and all the modern day amenities to enjoy.

Pattaya Beach


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Koh Lipe has no pier or jetty, so getting to the shore is an interesting experience. Longtail boats pick visitors up from the ferry and drop them at one of the island’s three main beaches. Pattaya is the most popular beach, as most people prefer staying on Pattaya’s south coast.

The stretch of pure, unspoiled sandy beaches is home to most of the island’s accommodation. Here you will find a wide selection of residences, from plush resorts to budget bungalows.

The main street of cafes shops and restaurants cuts across this beach, so if prefer to be near all amenities, Pattaya is the place to be.

Sunrise Beach

Sunrise Beach

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Sunrise beach stands out from the other beaches of Koh Lipe.

It is definitely a gorgeous stretch of shoreline. Dazzling white sand covers the eastern side of the island, circling round to the northern edge.

The beaches are lapped by clear azure waters. In what seems like a postcard from paradise, traditional longtail boats dot the coastline, with views of rocky islands, and, to the north, Koh Adang. It is the kind of beach you only see in holiday advertisements for Thailand.

Main Street

Main Street

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Lipe is less developed than other islands, however, there is a lot to keep you busy. The main street in Pattaya is dotted with cafes and restaurants serving affordable and delicious Thai food, as well as international favorites like pizza and pasta. There are also several bakeries where you can enjoy sweet and savory baked goods.

The street food experience in Koh Lipe is also something you need to enjoy.

Street stalls churn out refreshing fruit shakes and the famous banana pancakes of the southeast Asian circuit.

If you need some retail therapy or just happened to forget to pack your swimming trunks, the clothes shops will provide all your beachwear essentials.

For an indulgent pampering session, you will also find beauty salons. All the services offered at your favorite salon are available in Koh Lipe. Get bikini-ready with a soothing body scrub, pedicures, waxing, and massages.

Koh Lipe’s nightlife is unique and extremely laid back. The beach bars play relaxed music. There are more lounging and sipping of cocktails than there is all night raving and neon lights.

Exploring the ocean


Diving in Koh Lipe is a given.

It’s one of those things you have to try, whether you are dive certified or not. There are many dive shops to choose from, and you can choose the right one for you based on your needs.

Important points to consider are their price points, the depth of knowledge of the dive sites and what you might see. Other things to check out are their diving equipment and their times of operation. Check out the Castaway Resort Dive shop, Adang Sea divers, and Satun dive shop.

Lipe is located in the Koh Tarutao National Marine Park, so apart from diving, you can enjoy some snorkeling. There is great snorkeling right off Sunrise beach, but you can also head out on a scheduled boat trip from Pattaya. For 500 baht, you will receive a trip that is well worth the money.

The day trips allow you to visit many different snorkeling spots. You will also get to stop on some nearby uninhabited islands to do some exploring. Get a guided tour of untouched pristine beaches, forests, and waterfalls.

Quirky activities to do

  1. Enjoy sunset at the beach bar and order a couple of delicious beers or mojitos.
  2. Hike to the Koh Adang Viewpoint. Take a longtail boat over to Koh Adang, from Sunrise Beach. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the viewpoint with the best views. Make sure to carry at least three liters of water.
  3. Rent a kayak and paddle 10 minutes to the tiny islands right in front of Sunrise beach.
  4. Get a beach massage. It is almost a crime not to get a Thai massage while you are in Thailand.
  5. Participate in the Trash Hero Project. Collecting trash that washes up on the beaches is actually a fun activity and it is a good cause too. Koh Lipe is one of the cleanest Thai islands.
  6. Take a fishing trip. Join a local fisherman and learn his craft in the traditional way. You can arrange trips with the boatmen at the water taxi stands.
  7. Get a traditional bamboo tattoo. Sit down with the traditional bamboo tattoo artists on Koh Lipe’s walking street.


It is important to purchase travel insurance to safeguard against possible risks whilst traveling and doing various activities. Although Thailand is not a dangerous place to visit, it is necessary to exercise caution, especially when it comes to dealing with strangers (both Thai and foreigners) and diving.

Be extra careful if at all you are traveling alone. You should also exercise the necessary caution when you are and going out drinking. Rather than being physically harmed, there is a bigger chance of being ripped off in Thailand, so learn the going rates of different services and activities. It is also important to note that motorcycle and road accidents are the most frequent causes of injury.

Comprehensive travel insurance covers theft, loss and medical problems. Be careful when choosing policies because some intentionally exclude dangerous activities such as scuba diving and surfing. Koh Lipe is a hidden paradise with amazing sights, and an abundance of opportunities to just kick back and relax. Have fun exploring!