Koh Lipe – My Little Secret Paradise

Whenever I mentioned to a friend about Koh Lipe, the reaction that I get most of the time is ‘Koh what?’ It’s pronounced “koe lee-pay” – a small paradise island on the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. What you may not know, that it is situated just about 30km or a 45 minutes boat ride from the Malaysian island, Langkawi. The only way to reach this small island is either by land (through Satun or Hatyai, Thailand) or sea. There are no direct flights to the island, so if you’re seasick, you might want to reconsider coming here.

Shallow clear waters of Pattaya beach, Koh Lipe. This is what I woke up to for 2 days. Wish I can stay longer...
Shallow clear waters of Pattaya beach, Koh Lipe. This is what I woke up to for 2 days.

Getting there

It takes about 45 to 50 minutes of speedboat ride to reach this magnificent little paradise from Langkawi island. Boat rides from Langkawi will cost around RM100 per person per way, so if you’re on a budget, keep an eye on AirAsia cheap flights promotion to Langkawi to ease your pockets. Speedboats are met by long-tail wooden boats offering transfers to anywhere on Koh Lipe.

What I love about the island – is the peaceful atmosphere as there are no cars on the island! (also the superb pristine clear blue waters. ) Basically everything you might possibly need is within walking distance (chalets, convenience store, diving shops, cheap massage huts, restaurants, cafes etc.) and you don’t have to spend more on transfer or public transport like cabs or tuk-tuk.

The coastline of Pattaya beach, Koh Lipe

There are 4 major beaches here :

  1. Pattaya Beach – most popular beach, where I stayed, easy access to everything you possibly need
  2. Sunrise Beach – on the east, near the Chao Ley village
  3. Karma Beach – in the North which faces the Adang/Lipe channel
  4. Sunset Beach – obviously facing the sunset on the west side

 

The best map of Koh Lipe I have found so far.
The best map of Koh Lipe I have found so far.
Walking Street Lipe - it is what the name say it is. Walking Street is about 5-10 minutes walk if you're at staying at Pattaya beach and it stretches until Sunrise Beach. You will find restaurants, quaint cozy cafes with tons of books and wifi, massage huts or even an Italian Ice cream shop.
Walking Street Lipe – it is what the name say it is. Walking Street is about 5-10 minutes walk if you’re at staying at Pattaya beach and it stretches until Sunrise Beach. You will find restaurants, quaint cozy cafes with tons of books and wifi, massage huts or even an Italian Ice cream shop.
For Muslims, there are also a few halal Thai restaurants here so finding food is not an issue. They're delicious and cheap!
For Muslims, there are also a few halal Thai restaurants here so finding food is not an issue. They’re delicious and cheap!
One of the little cafe's on Walking Street. Perfect place to chill after burning in the hot sun.
One of the little cafe’s on Walking Street. Perfect place to chill after burning in the hot sun.
Burn baby burn!
Burn baby burn!
Oh did I mention that taking a PADI course here or fun diving is cheaper then the ones in Malaysia? Well yes it is! There are a few professional diving shops here at Lipe, operated by mostly foreigners. Make sure you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before you decide on which. I 'tried' to conquer my fear of putting my head underwater by taking up a fun dive course with this lovely instructor here, but I only lasted like 20 minutes before I freaked out. Newfound respect to all divers out there. It's not easy for sure. Better luck next time.
Oh did I mention that taking a PADI course here or fun diving is cheaper then the ones in Malaysia? Well yes it is! There are a few professional diving shops here at Lipe, operated by mostly foreigners. Make sure you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before you decide on which. I ‘tried’ to conquer my fear of putting my head underwater by taking up a fun dive course with this lovely instructor here, but I only lasted like 20 minutes before I freaked out. Newfound respect to all divers out there. It’s not easy for sure. Better luck next time.

WHERE TO STAY

The best place to stay in Lipe if you want easy access to everything is on the Pattaya Beach. However if you want someplace more private (and if you really don’t mind walking), maybe the Sunrise and Sunset beach is for you.

Since this is going to be a relax-chill-no-frill holiday, this is where I stayed - Bundhaya Resort. They have similar villas directly on the beach but its a bit expensive compared to this one on the 2nd row. Thai food at the restaurant was great, but breakfast was just so-so. Not a budget place to stay but you may get good rates if visiting on the low season.
This is where I stayed for my relax-chill-no-frill-holiday: Bundhaya Villas. They have beachfront villas too but its a bit expensive compared to this one on the 2nd row. Thai food at the restaurant was great, but breakfast was just so-so. Not a budget place to stay but you may get good rates if visiting on the low season and book early.
What else do you need really? Outdoor shower and bath tub with candles on the side ready to be lit up. Nuff said.
What else do you need really? Outdoor shower and a huge bath tub with candles on the side ready to be lit up. Nuff said.

Bundhaya Resort

Click to view Bundhaya Villas current rates

Will I come back to Lipe again? Definitely.
Will I come back to Lipe again? Definitely.

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