Ko Lipe Travel Guide
Located in southern Thailand, this semi-off the map island is one of my favorite places in the world. Here on Ko Lipe, the super friendly locals bring in the daily catch for amazing seafood. The beaches are beautiful, the water warm, and the island cheap. I came for three days and then lived here for a month. It has become a lot more developed in the past few years, and it’s not the sleepy little island it used to be. However, it’s still way less developed than many other destinations in Thailand, making it still one of the best in the country.
Accommodation – You can find cheap, basic bungalows for around $20 USD per night. For a nicer room with air-con, expect to pay $2- USD per night. Larger hotels start at around $30 USD per night.
Food – Food is really cheap on Ko Lipe, except during peak end of the year holiday season. You can find cheap meals for $1 USD, whole fish for $3 USD, and other meals for around $1.75-2.50 USD.
Transportation – There’s no transport on the island. It’s small, so you can simply walk everywhere. From the ferry to the island, you need to take separate boat, a ride that costs around $3 USD.
Money Saving Tips
Avoid the holidays – Prices triple around Christmas and New Year’s. Avoid this time of the year.
Top Things to See and Do
Visit the National Park – Taking a day trip, or even a multi-day trip, around the islands is super fun and relaxing. There are various companies, all offering different trips and packages. Most of them offer great day trips with snorkeling, beach time, a beautiful sunset sail, and endless fruit, snacks, and drinks.
Go hiking – This beautiful island paradise is a great place for some light to medium hiking. The forest-seascape combination is beautiful and there is lots of wildlife on which to spy. The hike to Cha Doa cliff is great
Hit the bars – In a place like this, it’s hard to anything more than lay in a hammock, take daily naps, and drag your feet into a local bar. Everyone is so laid-back though, so take your time. Jack’s Jungle Bar and Karma Bar are the places to be.
Relax on the beach – The beaches here are the largest and most sought-after attraction. The sand here is unlike anywhere else and the sunsets are often amazing, especially during midspring through early summer. Pattaya Beach is the most well-known, however, there are also Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach and Karma Beach to consider.
Go on the Ko Adang Excursion – Taking a boat over to this nearby island is a lot of fun. You get to sit back, throw down a drink or two, and enjoy the ocean scenery. The island itself is home to Pirate Falls and Chado Cliff—both of which are great, moderate hikes. Boat rides are usually around $13 USD.
Go diving & snorkeling – Since you are bound to get into the water anyway, you might as well strap on a bit of equipment and really explore what’s below the surface. The water along the beaches is often calm, clear, and shallow—and there are reefs to explore as well. There are a ton of dive shops on the island and nothing is too expensive.
Get a massage – There are several places throughout the island to get massages. In the center of the island, there is even an offshoot of the well-known Wat Po Massage School. The massages here are much cheaper than other parts of Thailand.
Take a batik course – The Lipe Resort offers a unique course in Batik painting. Batik is a cloth which uses a particular wax-resistant dying technique. Research has shown that this method dates back to the 4th century in Egypt. It is really neat to learn and a fun way to spend some time.
Eat your heart out – There are lots of delicious little places all over the island. PeeWee Bakery, Flour Power, and Pancake Lady are really popular breakfast spots. Banana Leaf is a great dinner spot; the drink prices are super cheap and on some nights, they play movies projected onto a screen.
Check out the Buddhist Temple – In the centre of the island, lies a very small Buddhist temple. If you’re out for a walk, take a quick peek.
Go kayaking – You can rent sea kayaks from some of the dive shops. It will take a couple of hours to kayak around the island. Do play it smart and ask locals about the water conditions before heading out.
Spend time fishing – If you’re an avid fisher, this is a good place to do it because the fishing regulations here are lax. Even along the shore you have a chance of making a small catch, but for bigger fish, like sailfish and tuna, arrange for a boating trip.
Go sailing – Whether you’re a beginner or experienced sailor, the island can cater to your needs. Sign up for a sailing course, or simply enjoy a day trip out around the islands.