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Ko Lipe: one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand

Table of contents

1. Ko Lipe Island: white sand and turquoise water

2. How to get to Ko Lipe

3. Prices on Ko Lipe

4. Construction of Ko Lipe Island

5. Ko Lipe Map

6. Cost of visiting Ko Lipe

7. Where does the ferry arrive at Ko Lipe?

8. Where to stay in Ko Lipe

9. Beaches Ko Lipe

9.1 Pattaya Beach (Bundhaya Beach)

9.2 Sunrise Beach

9.3 Sunset Beach

9.4 Zodiac Beach and North Point Beach

9.5 Lipe Secret Beach, Pantai Galah Beach and Svedo Beach

9.6 Daya Beach

10. Interesting places in Ko Lipe

10.1 See the sunset

11. Water activities in Ko Lipe

12. Good restaurants and bars in Ko Lipe

12.1 King Crab Restaurant

12.2 Thaidurm Restaurant

12.3 Jaekun Boat rental and Restaurant

13. Islands near Ko Lipe

13.1 Ko Bulon Le

13.2 Ko Sarai

13.3 Koh Khai

13.4 Ko Kra (Kla Island)

13.5 Ko Usen

13.6 Ko Bong Kang

13.7 Ko Adang

13.8 Ko Lek

13.9 Ko Ra Wi and Sai Khao Beach

13.10 Ko Bulu and Ko Hin Ngam

13.11 Koh Ro Khloi (Ko Logoi, Ko Lugoi)

13.12 Ko Dong (Monkey Beach, Monkey Bay)

13.13 Ko Hin Son

13.14 Jabang Dive Site

13.15 Ko Yang

14. Interesting places in Ko Adang

14.1 Beaches Ko Adang

14.2 Viewpoint on Ko Lipe from above

14.3 Pirate Waterfall

15. Excursions from Ko Lipe

16. Jellyfish near Ko Lipe island

17. Is it possible to go around Ko Lipe Island?

Conclusion


Ko Lipe Island: white sand and turquoise water

Ko Lipe Island is located in the Andaman Sea in the southern part of Thailand (Satun Province). Judging by the map, this is the southernmost island of Thailand.

The island is very beautiful, there is clear water and snow-white, very fine sand. There are many corals in this area of the sea. There are many shallow waters around the island where you can go kayaking. This island is not alone in the ocean; there are islands very close to it, which you can reach by kayak or taxi boat. A little further there are also quite a few interesting places that you can visit during a full-day excursion, or by hiring a taxi boat.

In general, this is a piece of paradise on the very edge of Thailand.

The island is not very large, at its longest part it is about 3 km and about 1.7 km wide. Moreover, the non-mountainous and therefore most populated part is an area of approximately 1.7 km by 1 km. Simply put, this is approximately 2 square kilometers of habitable area. Very little.

At the same time, the island is very popular among tourists.

There are many Muslims in Satun province and other southern provinces of Thailand, but this has almost no effect on the island – except for the fact that there are more restaurants with halal food.

How to get to Ko Lipe

Extensive material that reveals how to get to this wonderful place from various places in Thailand and even from other countries is included in a separate article: How to get to Ko Lipe island

In this short video we arrive at Pak Bara Pier and pass Pakbara Viewpoint:

Prices on Ko Lipe

If you have been to other Thai islands, then you should already know that prices on the islands are always slightly higher than on the mainland. This even applies to 7-Eleven, which have uniform prices throughout Thailand.

But at Ko Lipe the prices are much higher! Prices in restaurants and hotels are approximately 2 times higher than for similar services on the mainland.

Even at 7-Eleven the prices are very noticeably higher than on the mainland – be prepared for this.

The high cost of goods on Ko Lipe can be explained by the fact that this island is located at a considerable distance from the mainland. In addition, the island is surrounded by shallow waters, making it impossible for large vessels to dock on the island for unloading (with the exception of one spot on Sunset Beach). During low tide, even small boats (longtail boats) cannot leave or land on the island.

As a result, it turns out that all goods to the island must be transported by water over considerable distances, at certain hours and on small boats. Well, plus the additional work that comes with it: unloading from a longtail boat, carrying goods from the beach to the road, delivery around an island where there are no cars.

As for the cost of hotels, let me remind you that the island is tiny, and the habitable area is even smaller. Therefore, everything on the island is very compact. For example, the hotel where we lived was combined with a hospital… That is, on the ground floor there was a “hospital” (in fact, it was something like a pharmacy, but judging by the sign it was almost an international hospital), and on the second floor it is a hotel.

And, what is very important, there are a LOT of tourists – mostly Europeans. This island is very popular among foreigners (at least in high season).

In general, be prepared for high prices for Ko Lipe.

Structure of Ko Lipe Island

Ko Lipe Island has two large beaches and several smaller beaches, some accessible only from the water.

There is a main street, Walking Street, which has the largest concentration of shops, restaurants and hotels.

There are no cars on the island. Motorcycles (usually with trolleys) are used to deliver goods and passengers. There is no public transport.

Speedboats arrive at Pattaya Beach, and many excursions and tours start from here.

There are large islands in the vicinity of Ko Lipe, but they are less inhabited because they are mainly mountains in the sea.

Ko Lipe Map

First, a couple of maps that I found at the stand.

This “globe” of Ko Lipe depicts the island very schematically, but it conveys the essence: the main thing in the life of all tourists is Walking Street and the two beaches that it connects. If you do walk the other streets, it will most likely only be once to explore the island.

This map is more accurate. But still it is very schematic and does not respect proportions.

On this interactive map, I have marked interesting places on Ko Lipe, as well as nearby islands and other important places, which will be described below.

Cost of visiting Ko Lipe

In addition to transportation costs to get to the island (as well as other costs for hotel and food), you need to know that Ko Lipe island, as well as neighboring islands, belong to Tarutao National Park. This means that there is a fee to visit these islands.

The ticket price is as follows:

  • foreigners – 200 baht
  • Thais – 40 baht

The ticket is valid for 5 days. If you are on the island longer, then you need to buy a new ticket (and so on every 5 days).

Tickets can be checked on any of the islands, but no one checked our tickets anywhere.

Tickets are sold both at offices on each of the islands and at Pak Bara Pier (pier in Satun from where the boat goes to Ko Lipe).

By the way, entrance to the Pak Bara Pier is also paid and is 20 baht per person.

As for national park entrance tickets, you must have them with you at all times, otherwise if the park staff wants to check your tickets, you will have to buy new ones. As I already said, our tickets were not checked.

Where does the ferry arrive at Ko Lipe?

All passenger boats arrive at Pattaya Beach (Bundhaya Beach). From here boats depart to all directions, including the mainland and the islands of Ko Lanta and Phuket. Longtail boats depart from Pattaya Beach for day tours.

From Sunrise Beach there are water taxis (longtail boats) to nearby islands.

Where to stay in Ko Lipe

In short, choose housing in the Walking Street area – you definitely won’t go wrong.

It may seem that the island is tiny and everything is close there. By and large this is true, but still, the places in the Sunset Beach area are much less attractive – there are few interesting places there and for any leisure or food you will need to go towards Walking Street. Of course, there is no public transport there. The roads are virtually without sidewalks. Hot. That is, you will either need to pay for a taxi, or experience the inconvenience of walking. By the way, not far from the Sunset Beach area there is something like a waste recycling plant.

If high prices don’t bother you and the main thing for you is the impression and views from the window, then Ko Lipe has plenty of chic places on the beach and with sea views.

Beaches Ko Lipe

Ko Lipe has two huge and very beautiful beaches, as well as several smaller beaches.

Both main beaches are easily accessible (no need to go through private land).

Pattaya Beach (Bundhaya Beach)

This is the first place you will see on Ko Lipe as all the boats arrive here.

It is very beautiful here, magnificent sea and snow-white sand.

Since there is a lot of water transport here, it is better to choose places for relaxation away from the places where ships moor.

In the evenings, there are restaurants almost right next to the water. Fire shows are also held here.

By the way, the name “Pattaya Beach”, which became official, is a distortion of the original name “Bundhaya Beach”.

Pattaya Beach, view from the water:

Sunrise Beach

This is the best beach for relaxation. The beach is huge, and the only water transport here is longtail boats.

Here you can rent kayaking and snorkeling equipment. The waters are shallow here, so you can explore the corals or just take a boat ride.

Along the shore you will find restaurants and bars where you can eat and relax with stunning views of the sea.

By the way, despite the huge size of the beach, there is only one public entrance (and exit) to it. This place on the map is indicated by the point “Entrance to Sunrise Beach”.

A short video from Sunrise Beach – you can see how a boat with cargo arriving from the mainland is unloaded:

And another very short video from Sunrise Beach:

Northern end of Sunrise Beach (sunny weather):

North end of Sunrise Beach (almost sunset):

Sunset Beach

The beach is not very big; to get here you need to go through a restaurant or resort.

This is the only place on the island where a ship larger than a boat can moor. Therefore, this place is also used for unloading and loading cargo.

From a recreation point of view, I didn’t really like it here – the previous two beaches are much better.

Zodiac Beach and North Point Beach

This is part of Sunrise Beach next to the Zodiac Resort.

North Point Beach is the northernmost part of the island and belongs to Zodiac Beach and Sunrise Beach.

That is, this is approximately the same place. This video is North Point Beach:

And this video from Zodiac Beach:

Lipe Secret Beach, Pantai Galah Beach and Svedo Beach

Pantai Galah Beach is a very small beach that can be reached by a path through the forest or by water.

Lipe Secret Beach and Svedo Beach are two more small beaches that can only be reached by water.

I would like to warn you against trying to reach these places by kayak. The path from the kayak sites to here is not close; in some places there are many underwater reefs off the coast. This is more likely for professionals who understand very clearly what they are doing and understand all the risks. If you have little experience kayaking on the open sea, including in bad weather, against the wind and with underwater reefs, do not take risks – these places are not worth it. I sailed past these places – there are usually already people there, meaning a secluded vacation is unlikely. And given the size of these places, if there are more than two people there, it’s not very comfortable.

This video is Lipe Secret Beach:

And this is a video of Svedo Beach and Pantai Galah Beach:

Daya Beach

Daya Beach is the very end of Pattaya Beach. It is comfortable to relax here, since this place is far from boats.

Interesting places in Ko Lipe

Ko Lipe itself is one big interesting place where every sea view is like something out of a greeting card.

It is difficult to single out any special places here due to the small size of the island. There is only one place in this section – if you have ideas on what to add here, write in the comments.

See the sunset

This is the northernmost part of the island. There is a big beach and a lot of people. In the evenings, even more people gather here, almost completely occupying this part of the beach, since from here you can see the sunset.

Ko Lipe sunset video:

Water activities in Ko Lipe

On Ko Lipe you can:

  • swim on a small boat (kayak)
  • look at the corals using a mask and snorkel for scuba diving (snorkeling)
  • explore neighboring islands on excursions or by hiring a water taxi

You will find the most kayaks and equipment for water activities at Sunrise Beach.

Approximate prices for a kayak (1-2 people):

  • 1 hour – 200 baht
  • 3 hours – 550 baht
  • 1 day – 700 baht

Mask and snorkel for scuba diving – 100 baht per day

Fins – 100 baht per day.

All items must be returned before 18:00.

The cost of the deposit is 500 baht.

Trip around Ko Lipe on a longtail boat – 1000 baht.

From here you can negotiate with the boat owners to take you to one or another island.

When it comes to purchasing excursions, small agencies selling excursions are scattered throughout the island. There are especially many of them on Walking Street.

You don't have to sail anywhere to see marine life. You can see a lot of interesting things right off the coast of Ko Lipe. I saw many people who went quite far into the shallow water and looked at something below. Apparently, it’s quite interesting there – I didn’t do it myself, because I got burned very quickly and preferred to spend time in the shade.

Ko Lipe shore at low tide:

Sea cucumber at low tide:

Good restaurants and bars in Ko Lipe

During the four days I spent on Ko Lipe, I visited different restaurants. To be honest, many of them disappointed me and I won’t talk about them here.

But I really liked some places. Since Ko Lipe prices aren't cheap, you might find some recommendations for restaurants and bars that will give you the most bang for your buck. All these places have also been added to the map.

King Crab Restaurant

Great place with delicious BBQ and other dishes. You can order both pork and seafood barbecue.

The restaurant is quite large, but in the evenings all the tables are occupied sometimes.

Thaidurm Restaurant

Delicious dishes made from very fresh seafood. The prices are very reasonable, even a little lower than in other places.

Jaekun Boat rental and Restaurant

Stunning restaurant and bar with a great view. The food is delicious, the view is amazing.

The downside is that this place closes towards sunset. That is, you can have a great time here for breakfast, lunch or the whole day. But you won’t be able to spend an evening here on the seashore.

By the way, if you are not a fan of alcohol, the shakes there are also very tasty.

Islands near Ko Lipe

Ko Bulon Le

A beautiful island, but small. There is no electricity on it. There are several simple hotels (resorts) where you can spend the night. This island is closer to the mainland than Ko Lipe. That is, it is more convenient to visit it from the mainland, or on the way back from Ko Lipe.

This island deserves a separate article, which you can read on pattaya-pages.com.

Ko Sarai

A very large but very rocky island. Boats that follow the route Pak Bara Pier → Ko Lipe make a short stop on this island for a photo shoot. There is a beautiful snow-white beach here.

Koh Khai

Tiny island half way to Ko Lipe.

Boats that follow the route Pak Bara Pier → Ko Lipe make a short stop on this island for a photo shoot. There is a beautiful snow-white beach and an excellent sea for swimming.

Ko Kra (Kla Island)

A very small island very close to Ko Lipe. It's easy to get here by kayak. There is a very small but beautiful beach here.

Ko Usen

Another tiny island very close to Ko Lipe. At low tide you can walk here, but be careful not to damage the corals!

The island is rocky and there is absolutely nothing to do here.

Ko Bong Kang

A very small island, almost a stone in the water on the way to Ko Adang.

Ko Adang

This is a very large island that is clearly visible from the northern part of Ko Lipe.

The island is very rocky and sparsely populated. However, there are houses here.

Prices here are even higher than in Ko Lipe (at least for food and drinks). I did not find out the cost of renting a house.

There is a very interesting hiking route, at the end of which you can see the entire Ko Lipe from a great height.

There are also several waterfalls here.

There are many corals and snorkeling (scuba diving) spots near Ko Adang.

Ko Adang is easily accessible by taxi boat for 100 baht.

The beaches of Ko Adang are less crowded than the beaches of Ko Lipe.

Ko Adang has several very large beaches that can only be reached by boat.

Ko Adang Beach:

The beaches look very beautiful from the water. If there are people on them, then only those who got here by water. Huge and beautiful beaches of Ko Adang:

The island of Ko Adang is practically uninhabited, since it is mostly cliffs and mountains covered with forest.

Sailing from Ko Adang Island to Ko Lipe Island:

Ko Lek

Small rocky island near Ko Adang.

Ko Ra Wi and Sai Khao Beach

Large but very rocky island.

There are several beaches here, the most popular of which is Sai Khao Beach – a very beautiful place.

In this video we arrive at the island of Ko Ra Wi:

Sai Khao Beach on Ko Ra Wi Island:

The water is very clean and the sand is very white:

Sai Khao Beach is not that long.

The little crab found a shell and uses it as a home for protection.

This is already the end of Sai Khao Beach. There are other beaches on the island of Ko Ra Wi, but I have not been there.

Departure from Ko Ra Wi island:

Ko Bulu and Ko Hin Ngam

Ko Bulu is a rocky island. Ko Hin Ngam is a part of this island that is noticeably different.

The surface of Ko Hin Ngam is flatter and allows you to disembark from a boat (although not without difficulty). There are a large number of unusual stones – black and smooth oval-shaped stones. According to legend, if you take a stone from Ko Hin Ngam, it will entail a curse.

Video of Ko Bulu (rocky part of the island):

And this is Ko Hin Ngam – the flatter part of the island.

The whole of Ko Hin Ngam is small, but very unusual.

Literally everything is beautiful here – the unusual island itself, views of the sea in any direction where the neighboring islands rise like mountains, a small “bay” in the shape of a crescent.

In this video we sail from Ko Hin Ngam:

Koh Ro Khloi (Ko Logoi, Ko Lugoi)

Stunning views of snow-white sand and clear water. I would advise you to go up the hill to enjoy the scenery from above. The climb is easy, but be sure to wear shoes. Scuba diving is prohibited in this area.

One of the places that is recommended to visit is either as part of an excursion or by renting a boat to come here.

If you are not very interested in other places in the package excursion, then it is better to hire a boat – this will allow you to arrive here at a less crowded time.

Ko Dong (Monkey Beach, Monkey Bay)

Beautiful views, a wonderful shore for observing underwater life. The special thing about this place is that there are a lot of monkeys.

Ko Hin Son

Huge stones, some of which are on top of each other – quite unusual. This place is included in one of the excursions; usually people just drive past it.

Jabang Dive Site

Jabang Dive Site is an offshore location near the islands of Ko Cha Bang and Ko Hin Ngam. This place is designed for scuba diving and snorkeling. This place is fenced with ropes that are held on the water with the help of buoys.

Ko Yang

Ko Yang Island has snorkeling spot with corals of varying sizes. Judging by the reviews, snorkeling here is quite interesting, but during our tour we did not stop here, we just sailed past.

As for the island itself, it is just a rock in the sea.

In addition to those listed, there are other islands, as well as places for snorkelling.

Interesting places in Ko Adang

Ko Adang, as mentioned above, is one of the closest islands to Ko Lipe. Ko Adang is quite large, but mostly covered with rocks. Ko Adang has a camp with a restaurant and cabins for rent. There are also a couple of waterfalls.

Beaches Ko Adang

Ko Adang has beaches that, in my opinion, are still inferior to the beaches of Ko Lipe.

To be more precise, I mean the beaches opposite the island of Ko Lipe, where I went and swam. But Ko Adang also has more remote beaches, which can only be reached by boat.

These beaches are quite extensive and look very beautiful from the water.

I have passed by but not visited these remote beaches of Ko Adang.

Viewpoint on Ko Lipe from above

If you are a hiking enthusiast, then be sure to visit Ko Adang. There is a route to the top of one of the cliffs, which offers stunning views of the whole of Ko Lipe.

The entrance to the trail is located near the national park office (by the way, they can check your tickets – so bring them with you). To find the entrance to the path, when you are facing the office (and therefore your back to the sea), then move to the right. Several signs will indicate the path to the trail (on the map this place is marked as “Hiking trail entrance”). At first you will move parallel to the coastline, and then the sign will direct you to the left where the ascent will begin.

Overall the route is not very difficult, but be sure to take water with you. Some places are quite steep and scary. We met a family there with 3 (!) children, one of whom the mother carried in her arms. If I was carrying a child in my arms, I would not have completed this route…

Along the way you will come across three viewpoints.

This photo was taken from the second viewpoint (click on the link for a high-resolution photo).

And this photo is from the third viewpoint – it is very difficult to see any difference, since the height is approximately the same.

Between the second and third viewpoints in one of the places you will be able to enjoy views of the neighboring mountain, which is much higher.

The ascent and descent, including rest and photography at viewpoints, took about 3 hours.

Several short videos from the mountain route along Ko Adang.

This is Viewpoint 1, looking at Ko Lipe from Ko Adang taken with a wide angle lens:

This is Viewpoint 1, a view of Ko Lipe from Ko Adang in 8K resolution:

View of Ko Lipe from Ko Adang Island from Viewpoint 2:

View of Ko Lipe from Ko Adang Island from Viewpoint 3 (8K):

Mountain of Ko Adang island, view from the mountain route:

Pirate Waterfall

The entrance to the trail to the falls is to the left of the park offices.

I also saw a sign indicating the entrance to the trail on the beach (indicated by the “Waterfall trail entrance” on the map).

During the dry season there is little water in the waterfall. The path is not short, it goes through a forest, and in places it is quite steep.

Excursions from Ko Lipe

Excursions are carried out on small boats with a motor. Here they are called Longtail boat.

Longtail boat in the Andaman Sea:

With all the huge number of places selling excursions, there are three main options for tours.

Below are the names of the programs and the places that are included in the program are listed – a description of almost all of these islands is given above.

Program A, costs 600 baht per person, includes:

  • Jabang
  • Ko Hin Ngam
  • Ko Yang
  • Ko Rawi
  • Ko Adang

Program B, costs 700 baht per person, includes:

  • Ko Hin Son (Ko Hin Sorn)
  • Koh Ro Khloi (Koh, Ro Kroy, Ko Logoi, Ko Lugoi)
  • Ko Dong (Monkey Beach, Monkey Bay)
  • Ko Pung (Koh Pueng)
  • Ko Bulu (Koh Buluh)
  • Ko Hin Ngam
  • Jabang

Sunset trip, costs 500 per person, includes:

  • Sunset
  • Jabang
  • Ko Hin Ngam
  • Ko Yang
  • Ko Adang

In one place I saw a “Full Day” program, perhaps this is just a variant of Program B:

  • Ko Hin Son (Ko Hin Sorn)
  • Ko Bulu (Koh Buluh)
  • Kamman Bay
  • Koh Ro Khloi (Koh, Ro Kroy, Ko Logoi, Ko Lugoi)
  • Ko Rawi
  • Ko Hin Ngam
  • Jabang

Prices are quite low for this island. Overall, I recommend taking at least one of these tours. I like not all the places for one reason or another: for example, on Jabang it was impossible to see anything in the water due to the choppy sea, and besides, another participant in the excursion there was stung quite badly by a jellyfish. So, although you may not like all the places, each of the programs includes at least one very beautiful place and at least one good place for scuba diving. And given the extremely low cost, you should be satisfied with the tour.

Another good option is to choose the places that interest you the most and visit them by taxi boat. It may not be cheaper than a full-fledged tour, but you will fully enjoy the views of this or that place.

We take a boat to the snorkeling spot near Ko Adang:

Snorkeling near Ko Adang. The shooting quality is not very good (most of the video is out of focus) because I tried to shoot with a regular phone in a simple waterproof case, and I don’t have an action camera yet.

Jellyfish near Ko Lipe island

In the clear water next to the island, in addition to fish and corals, you can see a huge number of small jellyfish. As the locals said, small jellyfish are not dangerous. But nevertheless, they cannot be called absolutely invisible – if you swim among small jellyfish, you will feel multiple tingling sensations in different parts of the body. There are no traces left after this, but it is distracting.

Slightly larger jellyfish, the size of a palm, are felt as a stronger tingling sensation, the skin itches for some time after this, and the skin may turn red at the point of contact with the jellyfish (sometimes not immediately). In general, not dangerous.

And finally, large jellyfish, which can cause real problems – they are not particularly found in shallow water, but given the number of small and medium-sized jellyfish, a collision with them is quite possible. Especially during various natural events, when large jellyfish not only end up near the shore, but can also be washed ashore.

So, if you are going to go scuba diving, be sure to bring with you (or buy on the island) special swimming clothing that completely covers your body. This will greatly improve your comfort in the water.

In addition, such clothes will help you not get sunburned.

In general, for boat trips and island hopping, be sure to get a swimming suit with long sleeves and pants – this is the best and main advice in this article!

Is it possible to go around Ko Lipe Island?

A significant part of the perimeter of Ko Lipe island is beaches and shallow waters. During low tide, you can walk from Ko Lipe to the neighboring islands. It would seem that with such introductory information, Ko Lipe itself is quite possible to get around on foot, isn’t it?

In fact, the southwestern and southeastern parts of the island are quite rocky. In this video we go around the southeastern edge of the island. In my opinion, it is impossible to pass here on foot – the island here is an impenetrable cliff, the bottom of the sea is also covered with large stones and there is not yet shallow water here – there is enough depth here for boats to sail through.

Conclusion

I'm just waiting for the next opportunity to come back here. Ko Lipe is great!


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