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 lived here for a month. In the last few years, it has become very developed and it’s not the sleepy little island it used to be but it’s still way less developed than many other destinations in Thailand. Moreover, you’re near a pristine and undeveloped national marine park where you can snorkel and enjoy some beaches to yourself!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Ko Lipe
1. Go on the Ko Adang Excursion
2. Go diving and snorkeling
3. Get a massage
4. Visit the National Park
5. Relax on the beach
Other Things to See and Do
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1. 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.
2. Hit the bars
In a place like this, it’s hard to anything more than lie 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. There are plenty to choose from- you won’t go thirsty!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Check out the Buddhist temple
In the center of the island, lies the very small Hantaly Buddhist temple. It is located on a hill in the jungle on the road from Sunrise Beach to Sunset Beach. It is small- not like some of the grand and gleaming gold temples you might find in other parts of Thailand. A few monks live here, along with a bunch of dogs and cats. There is a donation box, which helps keep up the temple as well as take care of the animals.
6. 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. Many of the resorts also offer kayaks to take out. You can get around the entire island in about 3 hours, or kayak to Ko Adang in less than an hour. One-hour rental from 200 baht; daily rentals from 400 baht.
7. Spend time fishing
If you’re an avid fisher, you can arrange for fishing trips along Ko Lipe. If you are in Taratuo National Park, fishing is prohibited- so make sure you find a guide that takes you to where fishing is permitted. There is great deep-sea fishing not too far from Ko Lipe.
8. 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. There are many options available for getting out on the water.
9. Island hop
Ko Lipe is a great destination for your first or last stop in Thailand, due to its close proximity to many other smaller islands. You can take a boat to Pak Bara, Phuket, Phi Phi Island, and even Malaysia. There are several ferry and speedboat options to reach any of them. Taratup adventure tours also offers several trips that stop for diving or snorkeling along your route!
10. Stroll down the Walking Street
The Walking Street is the center of town, and where you can find lots of restaurants, or grab a massage. It also has a large selection of shops to check out. Everything here is fairly cheap, and you can find everything from a lavish meal to a quick bite at a street stall vendor.