Koh Lipe is located in the southernmost region of the Thailand Province. Part of the Tarutao National Marine Park, it attracts tourists from all over the world looking for a bit of the Maldives in the Andaman Sea. The crystal-clear water offers amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities and the remote location is sure to provide serious laid-back island vibes!
After spending two weeks in Malaysia, I decided to travel to Koh Lipe since it’s located just a 1.5 hours boat ride from Langkawi. In this Koh Lipe travel guide, I will show you the top things to do in Koh Lipe Thailand and tips to help you plan your island vacation far from the crowds!
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HOW TO GET TO KOH LIPE THAILAND?
FROM LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA
To get from Langkawi to Koh Lipe, take the high-speed Ferry from either Telaga or Kuah Jetty which departs two times a day at 9.30 am and 2.30 pm. The ride takes about 1.5 hours and costs about 850 baht (RM 110 or US$ 25.95).
Tickets can be purchased anywhere along Cenang beach just a few days before departure (even during high season). So, no need to book in advance and do haggle for the best price. Just bear in mind that the Ferry operates only during mid-October to end of May (check the Ferry schedule here).
To travel from Bangkok to Koh Lipe, you can book tickets through Air Asia to Hat Yai airport and from there take a coach and a Ferry to Pakbara Pier to finally arrive on Koh Lipe. Buses and trains are also available to Hai Yai.
When you enter the island, you will have to pay for the National park fee which costs 200 baht (US$ 6.50)and is valid for one week. Keep it with you if you plan to visit the neighboring islands or you will have to pay for the park fee again.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KOH LIPE
The best time to visit Koh Lipe is between November and April for the best weather. December to February is usually very crowded and prices tend to be higher. May to October is the low season, so you can end up with better hotel deals, but do expect some rainfalls.
HOW TO GET AROUND KOH LIPE?
Being a small island, Koh Lipe is very walkable and it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get from Pattaya beach all the way to Sunset beach.
You can get a tuk-tuk for 50 baht (US$ 1.60) per person per trip if you don’t want to drag your luggage around. They are essentially motorbikes with a sidecar that can accommodate up to three people.
Alternatively, scooters are also available for rent for about 500 baht (US$ 16.25) per day.
BEST PLACE TO STAY IN KOH LIPE
Most accommodations are usually fully booked well in advance and tend to be on the pricier side compared to the mainland, so it’s better to come prepared.
You can find some budget to mid-range hotels in Koh Lipe below:
- Sangchan Hostel – About 400 baht (US$ 13) for bed in a dorm room and 1200 baht (US$ 39) for a private room. The hostel is clean and provides free water and coffee.
- Decho Hostel – About 225 baht (US$ 7.30) for a bed in a dorm room.
- Lipe Inn – About 1400 baht (US$ 45.50) for a standard double room.
- Harmony Bed and Bakery – About 1600 baht (US$ 52) for a double room.
- Castaway Resort – About 2400 baht (US$ 78) for a bungalow.
Check out more hotel prices on booking.com
TOP THINGS TO DO IN KOH LIPE THAILAND
Despite being a tiny island there are so many things to do in Koh Lipe! Below you will find all the info on what to do on this tropical paradise!
EXPLORE THE BEACHES
Whether you want to witness the sunrise along the beach or dive into the crystal-clear water or if you’re only looking for a nice relaxing spot, Sunrise beach is the place to be! Less crowded than Pattaya beach, it’s home to some of the higher-end resorts.
The waves can get a bit rough but it gets calmer at the tip of Sunrise beach near Mountain Resort. Here, you can also enjoy the sunset in a larger and less crowded setting.
Pattaya beach is where all the boats drop off their passengers, for that reason it’s the busiest and most crowded. The whole beach is lined with hotels and bars. While the water is almost completely covered with long-tail boats, you can find a few empty spots to swim.
During the evening, the beach becomes even busier with live music and spectacular fire shows. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, it’s better to head over to either Sunrise or Sunset beach.
Sunset beach is quite under-developed but still features a few hotels. As its name suggests, it’s the main spot to watch the sunset but unfortunately, the bay is small and it can get crowded.
Since the path leading to the beach goes through the jungle, there are many mosquitoes in the area. Your best bet is to either watch the sunset at the tip of Sunrise beach or bring enough mosquito repellant!
DAY TRIP TO KOH ADANG
For 100 baht (US$ 3.25) one way, per person, you can take a taxi boat to the deserted beaches of Koh Adang. You’ll find only one resort and a park ranger station on the island. Camping grounds are also available with bathroom facilities. So, it’s the perfect getaway from the busy beaches of Koh Lipe.
Koh Adang Beaches
There are a few beaches on the island and most of them are nearly empty. The boat will drop you off at the main beach where the park ranger station is found. To get to the other beaches you’ll have to charter a boat or it’s usually included as the last stop of most snorkeling tours in Koh Lipe.
Koh Adang Viewpoint (Chado Cliff)
One of the main activities do to on Koh Adang is hiking to the three viewpoints for incredible views of Koh Lipe and the Andaman sea. Go to the park ranger station to take a picture of the map for directions. The trail starts on the right side of the camping grounds, just behind the bathrooms.
The hike takes about 45 minutes and you’ll find several signs pointing to the different viewpoints. Make sure you bring enough water since you’ll have to pay 40 baht (US$ 1.30) for one big bottle at the restaurant on Koh Adang compared to 26 baht (US$ 0.85) on Koh Lipe.
The trail entrance to Pirate waterfall is located on the left side of the park ranger station. Look carefully for the signs and follow the black pipes all the way to the waterfall.
The hike takes about an hour one-way and at some point, near the end of the trail, you’ll have to jump over a set of big boulders and walk over a fallen trunk. There are ropes to help you out but I would not recommend relying too much on them.
The island has some other waterfalls, but they seem quite hard to reach. You can download the Maps.me app for an offline map of the hiking trails.
GO ON A SNORKELING TOUR
Most boat companies will offer more or less similar snorkeling tours in Koh Lipe. The most popular ones are programs A and B which include lunch, fruit, water and snorkeling equipment.
- Time: 9.30 am – 3.30 pm
- Islands visited: Japang, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Yang, Koh Rawi and Koh Agang
- Price: 600 baht (US$ 19.50)
- Time: 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
- Islands visited: Koh Hin Sorn, Koh Bulu, Koh Lugoi, Koh Tong, Koh Pung, Koh Hin Ngam, and Jabang
- Price: 700 baht (US$ 22.75)
There are also half-day tours of programs A and B with visits to fewer islands which cost 450 baht (US$ 14.60) and 550 baht (US$ 17.90) respectively as well as sunset tours and fishing trips. Again, make sure you bring your national park ticket.
YOGA CLASS AT CASTAWAY RESORT
Castaway Resort offers yoga classes three times a day except on Sundays for 400 baht (US$ 13). They run
BEACH CLEAN-UP WITH TRASH HERO PROJECT
If you want to travel more sustainably and give your time for a good cause, you can join the Trash Hero Project every Monday on Pattaya beach at 10 am.
WANDER AROUND KOH LIPE WALKING STREET
There is one main road on the island which starts from Pattaya beach that connects to the other two beaches. The road is filled with restaurants, massage parlors, hotels and shops selling everything from souvenirs to beachwear and accessories.
FINALLY, GET LOST!
Although it’s almost hard to get lost in Koh Lipe due to its small size, it’s nice to sometimes wander a bit from the walking street and the main attractions to uncover some secluded beaches and viewpoints.
KOH LIPE TRAVEL TIPS
- Food to try: Tom Yum, Green Curry, Pad Thai, coconut ice cream, Thai pancake, coconut donut.
- Book hotels well in advance if you’re traveling during high season.
- There are three ATMs on the island, all located along the walking street.
- Scout out the bioluminescent planktons at the more secluded and darker beaches during nighttime.
- You can now get a visa on arrival on Koh Lipe.