Tourist’s guide to Koh Lipe: practical information and how to reach

The Adang archipelago, located in the southern part of the Andaman Sea, near the mainland of Thailand and Malaysia, is often called the “Thai Maldives”, primarily for snow-white sand. Koh Lipe (Thailand) is the only inhabited island in this archipelago. Tourists come here to enjoy serenity and tranquility. In addition, the island attracts divers, because many marine inhabitants live on the coast – almost a quarter of all existing in nature. The island is the southernmost point of Thailand and many tourists are scared by the question – how to get to Koh Lipe. However, the number of travelers is increasing annually. We have prepared detailed information for those planning a trip to the island.

Koh Lipe

general information

Koh Lipe island in Thailand

Koh Lipe Island in Thailand is located in the southern Andaman Sea and belongs to the province of Satun. This is the southernmost point of the country. On a sunny, cloudless day from the island you can see the coast of Malaysia, namely the Langkawi archipelago, located at a distance of 30 km.

The distance to Phuket is 250 km, to Krabi is about 220 km, and 70 km to the mainland of Thailand.

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The length of the island is only 3 km, it is easy to get around on foot, the indigenous people on Koh Lipe about 800 people. The main source of income is fishing, tourism.

Interesting fact! The indigenous population belongs to the sea gypsies – immigrants from Malaysia, who arrived on the island about a century ago.

In Koh Lipe, there is the Tarutao Theme Marine Park, which has been given national status; at the end of the 20th century it was called the second largest in Thailand.

Tourism infrastructure and leisure features

Every year, the number of tourists on the island of Koh Lipe in Thailand is increasing, despite the fact that you can only get here by water. The infrastructure is developing rapidly, the resort is flourishing and attracting more and more vacationers. The first and main reason why tourists come here is the beaches where you can enjoy a relaxing holiday or make an exciting dive, go in for snorkeling.

Interesting fact! Not far from Koh Lipe there are several uninhabited islets where they leave with a guided tour or stay for a few days in a tent.

Walking Street Walking Street
Walking Street

Koh Lipe Island in Thailand boasts a walking street – Walking Street, where souvenir shops, a pharmacy, travel agencies, a cafe and an exchange office work. The prices on the main street of the island are quite high, and the rate is unprofitable, so it is better to stock up on the mainland with everything necessary. The local attraction begins at Pattaya Beach and stretches to Sunrise Beach. The signs indicate that the street is open from 6-00 to midnight, but Walking Street does not close, many cafes, restaurants and bars open in the afternoon. Of course, most of the establishments empty and close by midnight, but still, you can find several bars that invite tourists.

You can pay for the room and services with a plastic card

Relatively recently, there were no bank branches and banks on the island, but today it is not difficult to withdraw money. It should be noted that for withdrawing money you will have to pay a commission, and the rate is unprofitable. Also, in some hotels you can pay for the room and services with a plastic card, but a fee is charged for this. At exchange offices you can exchange dollars and the currency of Malaysia – ringgit.

Koh Lipe has Wi-Fi

Koh Lipe in Thailand has Wi-Fi, Internet access points are available in hotels and Internet cafes.

Most cafes and bars are located on the coastline, the maximum distance to the sea is 200 meters. There are no discotheques and other entertainment establishments, however, like the sights.

Interesting fact! The maximum distance between the beaches on the island is 1 km, so during your vacation you can easily visit everyone. A walk from one to another takes about a quarter of an hour. Do not like to walk – rent a bike.

What is worth getting to Koh Lipe for what
  1. Seascapes. Already on the way to the island, on the ferry, you can take beautiful photos.
  2. Bright underwater world. There are a lot of fish and marine inhabitants off the coast of the island; even tourists who cannot swim can take beautiful photographs. For this, you do not need to wear special equipment, just masks and tubes are enough.
  3. Large selection of sightseeing tours. Most of them are on deserted islands, it is easy to stay here for a few days. There are tours with night swimming, which flickers from the abundance of plankton, a trip with a barbecue on the background of sea sunset. The cost of the tour is about $ 17-19.
  4. Snow-white beaches and clear turquoise water. Despite the fact that getting to the island is not so easy, and there are minor flaws on Koh Lipe in Thailand, the beaches attract with beauty and allow you to ignore minor inconveniences. Here you can meet fabulous sunrises and sunsets, numerous bars offer drinks, delicious treats right on the beach.
  5. Large selection of seafood dishes. Each restaurant and bar offers delicious treats from such marine inhabitants that you have not even heard of. Some dishes are prepared right in front of tourists.

Good to know! In addition to the traditional restaurants on Walking Street, buffets work, for a certain amount you can try at least the entire range of dishes. The cost is about $ 15-17.

It would be wrong to tell only about the positive aspects of the island in Thailand. If you decide to travel and get to Koh Lipe, be prepared for the following unpleasant surprises:

Dogs on the island of Koh Lipe
  • garbage, the island’s authorities simply do not have time to take it out;
  • boats are the real scourge of the island, they are moored on all beaches;
  • cats and dogs, some of them annoying;
  • food prices are higher than in stores on mainland Thailand.

Natural deficiency – strong ebbs and flows. During high tide, the coast renders under water, there is simply no place for tanning. At low tide, the sea is so small that only children can swim in the sea.

Interesting fact! The only place on the island where there is no ebb and flow is the northern edge of Sunrise Beach.

There are no large stores on the island; small grocery stores operate. Be sure to try pancakes – they are sold in street tents.

Boats regularly run between the beaches

Getting to the island is not so simple, but on Koh Lipe we solve the issue of movement. There are no cars, few bikes, public transport does not go. Travelers are offered several ways to travel around the island:

  • on foot;
  • motobike taxi;
  • bike rental;
  • boats regularly run between the beaches.

Island Accommodation

Every year, new hotels open in Koh Lipe in Thailand, however, in the high tourist season, finding free accommodation is not so easy, so it is better to book a room a few months before the trip. Most hotels are built right on the beach, many look like bungalows, but you can also find a traditional hotel.

Hotels in Koh Lipe

In the tourist season, prices for accommodation in a three-star hotel are about 3 thousand baht, and bungalows can be rented for 1 thousand baht. In the low season, prices are halved.

Hotel Features of Koh Lipe (Thailand):

  • a swimming pool in a hotel is a rarity;
  • the price policy of hotels depends on the season, on average, the difference between the rates for accommodation in high and low seasons is doubled;
  • The closer the hotel is to the sea, the more expensive
  • some hotels close during low season;
  • accommodation rates also vary depending on the location of the hotel – the closer to the sea, the more expensive;
  • on the weekend in Koh Lipe, the Chinese and Thais come to Thailand, so on the beaches it becomes quite crowded;
  • choose a hotel based on reviews on Booking, subject to booking a room on the service, the cost of the room will be cheaper.

Good to know! In addition to hotels on the island, there is also a budget option for accommodation – camping tents. Most of them are on Sunset Beach.

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Island beaches

The first and main advantage of the island of Koh Lipe – beaches, which are considered the best in Thailand. The coastline is better only on the Similans. A few decades ago, the beaches of the island were deserted, but today the situation has changed – infrastructure has appeared, but at the same time, exotic nature has been preserved. It is for the sake of the beaches that many tourists decide to get to Koh Lipe. We have made for you a selection of the best places to stay on the island.

Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach is located in the south of Koh Lipe and is a long coastline with a length of almost 1.5 km. The coast is covered with white and very fine sand. In sunny weather, the water acquires a turquoise hue, but in the low season, strong waves appear due to the wind, which bring garbage to the shore. The descent into the water is gentle and smooth. Pattaya Beach has strong ebbs and flows, and given the smooth entrance to the sea, it is difficult to find a place for swimming.

Pattaya Beach

There is a reef near the shore, so be sure to bring a mask and snorkel with you. Unfortunately, there are many boats off the coast, but they moor in an orderly manner, leaving areas for swimming. In the evening, a fire show is held on the shore. On the first line there are a lot of hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Good to know! Pattaya Beach has a tourist office for visitors from Malaysia and mainland Thailand. In addition, representative offices of all shipping companies work here.

Sunrise beach

The east coast of the island is Sunrise Beach, there is large and fairly loose sand, and the descent into the sea is sharp. On the right side there are corals and many different fish.

Sunrise beach

The coastline stretches for 1.5 km, and the width varies depending on the tides. The widest part in the northern part, and the narrowest in the central part.

Good to know! There are no entertainment establishments and discotheques here, by 22-00 the coast is empty. To get to Walking Street, you need to go past the local slums.

On the shore there are hotels, cafes and restaurants, you can buy an excursion to the mainland of Thailand, to the uninhabited islands of the archipelago and rent a kayak. There are also diving schools.

Chaotic Moored Boats

The only thing that obscures the rest on Sairaz Beach is the chaotically moored boats.

Interesting fact! It is believed that the most beautiful sunrises on the beach, which is why the place was named Sunrise Beach.

Sunset beach

The western part of the island of Koh Lipe. This is a small, cozy beach, where the most beautiful sunsets, which is why they called the beach – Sunset Beach. The coast is covered with stones, in some places there are large stones in the water. The sand is large, heterogeneous in color – white with a splash of gray and dark color. The sea is rather small, there are fish in the water, but there are not many of them. This place is calm, not crowded, in the central part of the beach there are many boats.

Sunset beach

Good to know! Sand is unpleasant to the touch due to fragments of shells, so take your shoes with you.

On the left side of the coast there are cafes and deck chairs. On the first line there are hotels. Walking Street can be reached on foot in a quarter of an hour.

Sun beach

A sheltered, quiet beach, it is often called a secret. To get here, you need to go to the right along Pattaya Beach, get to the wooden bridge and go along it. Not all tourists come to this part of the island, so not everyone knows about the beach.

Sun beach

Good to know! The only bungalow built on the shore.

Cross the bridge with caution, it seems fragile in appearance, creaking boards do not give confidence. Huge boulders lie under the bridge, and turquoise water splashes quietly.

Cross the bridge with caution

A peaceful, relaxing atmosphere reigns on the shore – someone bathes in the calm sea, someone drinks a cocktail on the beach, and someone takes pictures of beautiful views.

The beach is perfect for swimming – the water is clear, the sea is calm, the slope is gentle. The seabed is soft, covered with sand, without stones.

Weather and climate when it’s best to come

The rainy season begins in mid spring

Koh Lipe is an island of two seasons:

  • dry – begins in late autumn and lasts until mid-spring;
  • rainy – begins in mid-spring and lasts until the second half of autumn.

Today, island communication with mainland Thailand remains open throughout the year. Earlier in the summer, in the low season, when the sea was stormy, Koh Lipe was closed, hotel staff went on vacation. In recent years, the climate on the island is so changeable that even in low season there is good, sunny and clear weather.

As for pricing in hotels, there are three seasons here:

  • low – three summer months;
  • high season – two autumn months – October and November, two spring months – March and April;
  • peak – from December to February.
When is the best time to ride Koh Lipe

The best time to travel with currents of weather is when the houses are winter and cold – from December to February, but during these months the prices for accommodation are very high, food prices also increase significantly. In summer, you can get into the rainy season. The best time for a trip is November or from March to April.

When is the best time to ride Koh Lipe

How to get to Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe (Thailand) – How to get from Bangkok.
By boat to Koh Lipe

To get to the island, you must:

  • come to Trang or Hat Yai;
  • get to Pakbara pier;
  • get a ticket for the boat that goes to Koh Lipe.

You can get to Trang or Hat Yai in several ways.

  • by plane;
  • by bus – flights depart from the southern bus station, the schedule is from 6-00 to 20-00, the journey takes 13-14 hours, the cost of tickets is about 1000 baht;
  • by train – flights depart from Bangkok to Hat Yai, the route is designed for 13-17 hours, to get to the island on the day of departure from Bangkok, you need to leave no later than 15-30, the fare is from 400 to 900 baht;
  • complex ticket – provides travel by plane, minibus (to the pier) and in a boat (to Koh Lipe), flights are provided only in the morning.
Koh Lipe (Thailand) – How to get yourself from Phuket.

By the sea.

In high season, it is most convenient to get to the island by water. Yellow boats regularly run between Phuket and Koh Lipe. Departure from Seedling Pier. On the road, the tourist spend 4 hours. The fare is about 2100 baht.

On speed boats to Koh Lipe

On speed boats you can get to Koh Lipe – the route involves stops in Phi Phi, Ngai, Muk, Kradan and Boulogne. The road takes 5 hours, the fare is 3,500 baht.

Another way to get to Koh Lipe is via Lanta. Departure from the Seedling pier at 8-30 and already at 10-30 tourists landed on the island. Ticket price is about 4000 baht.

Through Hat Yai and Pakbara.

Plane Phuket - Hat Yai

Route one – by bus. The algorithm is as follows – by bus to get from Phuket to Hat Yai. The most comfortable way to go is VIP 24 night flight. Departure is at 21-45, transport arrives at 06-00 at the destination. Then you need to get to the pier and from there in a boat to the island – departure at 9-30, and arrival at 11-30.

Another route is by plane. There are direct flights from Phuket to Hat Yai – departure at 7-25, arrival 8-30. Ticket price is about 1700 baht. Online transfer can be purchased – from the airport to the pier, then to the island. Transfer tickets are stopped three days before the trip. A comprehensive ticket is also sold by travel agencies.

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How to get to Koh Lipe in Thailand from Krabi
Minibus from Krabi via Hat Yai

The only way to get from Krabi (Ao Nang) to the island is via Hat Yai. There is no direct air traffic, so you can choose the following method:

  • by bus;
  • minibar;
  • Taxi.

The cost of a complex ticket is about 1200 baht

Prices on the page are for September 2018.

The lack of attractions in Koh Lipe (Thailand) is more than offset by beautiful beaches. To fully enjoy nature and spend your vacation in a bungalow by the sea, get ready for the trip in advance – choose a hotel, book tickets.

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