Looking for the best things to do in Koh Lipe?
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Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe) is a relatively undiscovered paradise, situated in the Andaman sea, 60 km from the Thai mainland and only 30 km from Langkawi, Malaysia. It’s the southernmost Thai island and one of more than fifty that form the Adang archipelago.
Located in the Andaman Sea, this small island is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere.
The island is covered with lush vegetation, has beautiful quiet sandy beaches that are surrounded by crystal clear, calm turquoise water – the perfect place for snorkeling and diving.
And it’s no wonder as Koh Lipe is right on the border of the Tarutao National Marine Park, one of the first National Parks created in Thailand in 1974.
Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe) isn’t as easily accessible as some other popular islands in Thailand, and therefore also not as crowded as Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, for example making the perfect island getaway!
Keep on reading our full travel guide to Koh Lipe.
- How to Get to Koh Lipe, Thailand
- Map of Koh Lipe
- How to Get Around Koh Lipe
- Best Time to Visit Koh Lipe
- Best Beaches in Koh Lipe
- Best Things to Do in Koh Lipe
- 1. Explore the Island by Foot
- 2. Take a Boat Trip Around Koh Lipe
- 3.Go on a Day Trip to Koh Adang (Hike Koh Lipe Viewpoint)
- 4. Enjoy a Few Water Activities
- 5. Explore the Bars in Walking Street!
- 6. Grab a Drink in one of the Beach Bars and Restaurants
- 7. Eat Your Way Around Koh Lipe
- 8. Join a Yoga or Meditation Class
- 9. Try Out Scuba Diving in Koh Lipe
- 10. Rent a Kayak
- 11. Fishing in Koh Lipe
- Facilities on Koh Lipe Island
- Where to Stay in Koh Lipe
- FAQ on Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe)
How to Get to Koh Lipe, Thailand
To get to Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe), the nearest airport is located in the city of Hat Yai, which is a long bus ride from Bangkok. From there, you can catch a ferry or speedboat to the island.
The journey takes about an hour, and the scenery along the way is breathtaking, with stunning views of the surrounding islands and turquoise waters.
Another option is to take a bus from Hat Yai to the town of Pak Bara, where you can catch a ferry to Koh Lipe. Here’s a link to the ferry options from Pak Bara.
Bangkok to Koh Lipe by Air (Hat Yai)
Fly from Bangkok to Hat Yai (Air Asia or Nok Air are great options)
From Hat Yai, you can take any of these van + ferry combinations. Please note that some airlines like Air Asia have packages which include a flight, plus all ferry connections!
Bangkok to Koh Lipe by Train or Bus
From Bangkok, you can either take a train or a bus straight to Hat Yai, once you arrive there, you can make your way to the pier to catch a van / ferry.
Once you arrive in Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe), you’ll be greeted by the friendly locals and immediately feel the relaxed and laid-back atmosphere of the island. In conclusion, getting to Koh Lipe is a bit of a mission but there are several transportation options to choose from, making the entire process easier.
If you’re coming from from Langkawi, Malaysia, there is a ferry which takes around 1h30min – 2h, arriving at Pattaya Beach, in the middle of the island.
Overall, to get here can be a long journey but it’s totally worthwhile though.
Koh Lipe is definitely one of the best islands in Thailand and the ideal place for those who love outstanding beaches without the crowds.
Whether you book a tour or package, take a bus and ferry, or arrange your own transportation, you’ll be able to experience the beauty and tranquility of this amazing island destination.
Map of Koh Lipe
The photo of the map below showcases the layout of Koh Lipe Island and its three main beaches: Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach, and Sunset Beach. Each of these beaches offers a unique experience for visitors, ranging from bustling activity to secluded tranquility.
Map of Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe) showing Pattaya Beach, Sunset Beach, and Sunrise Beach
How to Get Around Koh Lipe
As mentioned, Koh Lipe is a tiny island located in the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Thailand. It has a total area of about 4.6 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest inhabited islands in Thailand.
Despite its small size, Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe) is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere. Quite frankly, it is an island paradise and is one of our favorite places in Thailand.
To get around the island, there are several transportation options available. The most popular way to explore Koh Lipe is by walking, as the island is relatively small and easy to navigate. Many of the main attractions, such as the beaches and shops, are within walking distance of each other.
Another option is to rent a bicycle, which can be a fun and convenient way to get around the island. You can easily rent a bicycle from the many rental shops, or better yet, ask your resort as they might have some for you to use.
If you prefer not to cycle, you can also take a tuk-tuk to get around Koh Lipe. The taxis and tuk-tuks on the island are plentiful and relatively inexpensive, and you can easily flag one down on the street or book one in advance.
Overall, despite its small size, Koh Lipe offers plenty of things to see and do, and there are several transportation options available to help you explore the island.
Whether you choose to walk, rent a bike, or take a tuk-tuk, you’ll be able to experience the beauty and charm of Koh Lipe at your own pace.
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Best Time to Visit Koh Lipe
The best time to visit the stunning island of Koh Lipe is during the dry season, which runs from November to May. During this time, we recommend you book your hotels in advance to get the best deals.
From November to May, the weather is sunny and warm, with temperatures averaging between 80 and 90°F. The sea is also calm and clear, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.
In addition to the great weather, please note that this is peak tourist season. This means that there are plenty of activities and events to enjoy!
One of the highlights of visiting Koh Lipe during the dry season is the chance to participate in the annual Lipe Festival, which takes place in March. The festival celebrates the island’s unique culture and history, and features traditional music, dance, and food.
It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the local way of life and immerse yourself in the island’s vibrant culture.
Overall, the dry season is the best time to go to Koh Lipe due to the ideal weather, the range of activities and events, and the opportunity to experience the island’s culture and history.
If you don’t mind traveling off season, this runs from from May to October. During this time in Koh Lipe, there are fewer tourists. Most hotels use this time to do renovations so expect some construction work.
Make note that during the off season, ferries run from Pak Bara pier to Koh Lipe.
Best Beaches in Koh Lipe
In general, Koh Lipe has three main beaches. Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach, and Pattaya Beach. While there are a handful of smaller beaches, these are the three main hotspots. Check out the breakdown of each beach below.
1. Sunrise Beach (Hat Chao Ley)
Located on the eastern side of the island, Sunrise Beach is a beautiful beach known for its stunning views of the sunrise over the Andaman Sea. It is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, and there are several restaurants and shops nearby.
If you’re planning a trip to Koh Lipe, we recommend staying in Sunrise beach! It is the best beach on the island and has a variety of hotels and restaurants for a convenient stay.
For me, Sunrise Beach is the most beautiful and quiet beach in Koh Lipe. There is a pleasant breeze during the whole day and it’s a great spot for snorkeling and water sports.
I loved the fact that I didn’t have to rent a motorbike or car to move around Koh Lipe and could easily explore the whole island by foot.
From Sunrise Beach to Pattaya Beach, is an easy 15-20 minute stroll. As mentioned, we recommend choosing a hotel in Sunrise Beach as you get the best of both worlds. Gorgeous beaches while still being close to all the hustle and bustle.
Sunrise Beach is Koh Lipe’s longest beach, stretching for almost 1.5 km and if you’re lucky, during low tide, you can walk all the way to Sunset beach, following the coast line.
Right in front of Sunrise Beach, there are 2 small islands that are fantastic for snorkelling and exploring with kayaks. The islands Koh Kra and Koh Usen are the perfect kayak excursion from Sunrise Beach in our opinion!
From Ten Moons Lipe Resort, there is also a small secret beach worth visiting!
2. Pattaya Beach
Pattaya Beach is the main beach on Koh Lipe, and it is located in the center of the island. Pattaya Beach is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, and there are several bars and restaurants nearby.
During the months of May-October, all the tourist boats arrive in Pattaya beach so expect some hustle and bustle. It is also easily accessible from Walking street which is lined with bars and restaurants.
Some of our favorite Thai restaurants are located in Walking street!
You’ll find lots of places to stay in Koh Lipe in this area. Pattaya Beach is considered one of Koh Lipe’s best beaches due to its clear blue waters and powder soft sand.
However, since Pattaya Beach is considered the main port for boats, swimming and snorkeling here isn’t advisable.
From Pattaya Beach, you can easily walk to Sunrise Beach which is only 15 minutes away. Koh Lipe’s Walking Street is right by the main entrance of Pattaya Beach and extends all the way to the bottom corner of Koh Lipe to Sunrise Beach.
Since some people enter from Malaysia, there is also an immigration office located right by Pattaya Beach.
3. Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong)
As the name suggests, Sunset Beach is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the horizon. It is located on the western side of the island and offers beautiful views of the sunset, as well as a range of water sports and other activities.
From the main town/ walking street, sunset beach is only a 15-20 minute walk! Sunset Beach has some rocks, tranquil water, and a few low-key bars and restaurants.
There is also a camping area, which gives it a slightly hippy atmosphere and, as the name suggests, it’s the perfect spot from which to watch the sunset.
Best Things to Do in Koh Lipe
1. Explore the Island by Foot
As mentioned, Koh Lipe is tiny, only 2 km long and 1 km wide, and to walk from one beach to another, it won’t take more than 30 mins, so I would urge you to do it.
The main street is called “Walking Street”. Along the Walking Street, you will find many restaurants, massage parlors, and shops.
2. Take a Boat Trip Around Koh Lipe
While in Koh Lipe, you should not miss the opportunity to do an island-hopping tour by boat. You will visit a few stunning islands with interesting rock formations, see wildlife, including lizards and monkeys, see the extraordinary bioluminescent planktons as you find incredible spots for snorkeling and swimming.
If you’re lucky enough, you can even stumble upon your own private beach. Yes, it is still possible in Thailand!
There are four island hopping itineraries from Koh Lipe (Program A, B, Sunset Trip and Plankton Trip) and programs A and B are by far the most popular ones.
My favorite was Tour B which turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The islands, beaches, and sea life are spectacular and will leave you in awe!
This Koh Lipe snorkeling tour takes you to the best parts without the hassle of arranging it all yourself.
3.Go on a Day Trip to Koh Adang (Hike Koh Lipe Viewpoint)
If you like spectacular vistas and want to get some exercise, you can climb the mountain on Koh Adang, the island in front of Koh Lipe, to get a birds-eye view of the “Maldives of Thailand”.
The boat ride to Koh Adang takes about 20 mins. From the arrival point, you can easily find the trail that leads up to three viewpoints. Hiking Koh Adang takes between 30 and 40 mins each way, is suitable for everyone, and for the most part, the trail is in shadow.
The vistas from the viewpoints are spectacular, and once you’re here, you will immediately see why it is called Koh Lipe viewpoint-
But I’d recommend that you start the hike early in the morning, as it can get very hot later on, and bring plenty of water, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, suitable shoes and, of course, your camera.
4. Enjoy a Few Water Activities
If you’re done lazing around the beautiful Koh Lipe beaches, it’s time to check out the underwater world.
With crystal-clear balmy blue water which features 25 percent of the world’s tropical fish species, Koh Lipe is undoubtedly one of the best places in Thailand for diving and snorkeling.
You snorkel everywhere in Koh Lipe, but close to the two tiny islands on Sunrise beach are some of the best spots, especially at low tide when the water gets very calm, shallow and transparent.
However, be aware that the coral reef is protected, so you have to be careful when snorkeling, especially at low tide. Kayaking is also another perfect activity to do in Koh Lipe, as the water is so calm, and some hotels offer free kayaks and snorkeling masks for its guests.
5. Explore the Bars in Walking Street!
Koh Lipe’s nightlife is relatively quiet with most of the bars closing around midnight. However, if you want to meet people, listen to good music and dance, head down to Koh Lipe Walking Street.
Make note that compared to other Thai islands like Koh Phangan or Phuket, Koh Lipe isn’t a party island.
With that being said, in most bars, you will find a diverse crowd with some bars even hosting live music. Happy Hour is between 5:00 and 8:00 pm so make sure you make the most out of the promotions!
A few bars that we recommend are Happy Vibe Bar, Corner Bar & Rainforest, or Peace & Love Bar or Reggae Bar.
6. Grab a Drink in one of the Beach Bars and Restaurants
There are some really nice beach bars and restaurants all over Koh Lipe but, for me, the best ones are located on Sunrise Beach. In my opinion, Sea la Vie is the place to go.
The ambiance is super cool, with chairs on the sand, and even a swing that looks out over the ocean. Happy Vibe Bar is another great option!
Added to that, the music is good, the crowd friendly, the food and drink reasonably priced and the view amazing.
It’s easy to see why, after spending the whole day swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing, grabbing a drink at a bar like this and feeling the ocean breeze on my face made me feel like the happiest person on Earth.
7. Eat Your Way Around Koh Lipe
Thai cuisine is renowned as one of the best in the world, and when you visit the islands, the food is usually fresher and even better than on the mainland. Koh Lipe isn’t any different and its restaurants do not disappoint.
From the great variety of fruits to incredible combinations to exotic dishes made with curry and coconut milk (my personal favorites), you should absolutely indulge yourself and have plenty of Thai food during your stay in Koh Lipe.
There are good restaurants scattered throughout the island, with most of them located on the “Walking Street”. Some of the dishes to try while in Koh Lipe is the outrageous Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup) served at Nee Papaya and an authentic Thai grilled fish at Papaya Mom.
8. Join a Yoga or Meditation Class
Koh Lipe is a popular destination for wellness and relaxation, and you can find many yoga and meditation classes on the island. You can join a class and unwind in the peaceful surroundings of Koh Lipe.
9. Try Out Scuba Diving in Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is a great place for scuba diving, with its rich marine life and colorful coral reefs. If you’re not certified, there are professional dive schools which you can take your open water certification.
Alternatively, you can also do a 1-day scuba diving course to give you an overall feel of the marine life in Koh Lipe. As mentioned, Koh Lipe is right by Koh Tarutao which is one of Asia’s oldest marine parks which means the reefs are very well protected.
If you’re looking for dive schools, you can check out Forra Dive Resort which offers lessons as well as beach bungalows.
Other dive schools worth checking out are Pura Vida Diving Koh Lipe as well as Ko Lipe Diving school.
10. Rent a Kayak
You can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the island’s beautiful bays and coves. You can even paddle over to nearby islands which are located right in front of sunrise beach for a secluded beach day.
Kayaks are as cheap as 350 baht a day or 150 an hour. If you’re staying in a resort in Sunrise beach, they might have kayaks for rent. Alternatively, head on over to Sunrise Beach restaurant to inquire!
11. Fishing in Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is a popular destination for fishing, and you can join a fishing tour or rent equipment and go fishing on your own. You can catch a variety of fish, such as snapper and grouper, and have them cooked at a local restaurant.
The best way to arrange a fishing trip is to go straight to the boatmen. They will be happy to take you out to sea! If you want something a little more professional, the tour agents in town close to walking street can help you.
Facilities on Koh Lipe Island
Koh Lipe is a small island, but it has all the facilities and amenities you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are some of the facilities you can expect to find on Koh Lipe:
- ATMs: There are several ATMs on Koh Lipe, and you can find them in the main areas of the island, such as the Walking Street and the Pier.
- Stores: There are many stores on Koh Lipe where you can buy groceries, souvenirs, and other items. You can find stores in the main areas of the island, such as the Walking Street, where you can also find local handicrafts and souvenirs. The most popular store on Koh Lipe is 711. Here you can buy all sorts of items from snacks to booze!
- Restaurants: There are many restaurants on Koh Lipe that serve a variety of dishes, from local seafood to international cuisine. The majority of restaurants can be found on Koh Lipe Walking street which is a stone throw away from Pattaya Beach.
- Bars: Koh Lipe has a vibrant nightlife, and you can find many bars and clubs on the island. You can find bars in the main areas of the island, such as the Walking Street, as well as on Pattaya Beach.
- Hospitals: There is a small clinic on Koh Lipe that can provide basic medical care. For more serious medical issues, you may need to be transported to the mainland. It was said that a private hospital was recently built near walking street.
- Internet and Wi-Fi: There is internet and Wi-Fi available on Koh Lipe, but the connectivity can be unreliable at times due to the island’s location. You can find Wi-Fi in most hotels and restaurants, but the speeds may be slow. We suggest getting a local sim card + mobile data!
Where to Stay in Koh Lipe
Given that the island is small, surprisingly, there are still loads of options on where to stay, depending on your budget. From hostels to resorts in Koh Lanta, you have a few options. Here are a few recommendations on where to stay.
- Budget: A Plus Hostel | Check via Hostel World
- Mid-Range: Salisa Resort | Check via Booking.com
- Luxury Hotels: Ten Moons Resort | Check via Booking.com
FAQ on Koh Lipe (Ko Lipe)
The best months to go to Koh Lipe is from November to May. During this time, the temperatures are not too hot and there is little to no rain. This is also peak season for Koh Lipe so we recommend booking your accommodations ahead of time!
If you ask us if Koh Lipe is worth visiting, our answer will always be a resounding YES! It is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand and has some of the best beaches. If you’re looking for the perfect beach getaway, head to Ko Lipe and you won’t be disappointed.
It isn’t easy to get to Koh Lipe so we recommend staying for at least 4-5 days on the island. While it is relatively quiet compared to the other Thai Islands, this is part of Koh Lipe’s allure. You can spend hours just walking around it’s many beautiful beaches or swimming and snorkeling in its clear blue waters.
There is no airport in Koh Lipe. If you want to fly here, your best bet is to fly to Hat Yai or Langkawi, Malaysia Airport. From there, you can get van and ferry transfers to Koh Lipe.
This article was originally written by Pericles Rosa but has since been edited and updated by the Adventure in You team.