Koh Lipe The Maldives of Thailand
Koh Lipe is located 60 km from the Thai Mainland, the closest pier is in Pak Bara. It is the most Southern island in Thailand and on a clear day you can see Langkawi Island in Malaysia, which is just 30 km away.
The island is part of the Adang Archipelago, a cluster of about 10 uninhabited islands (Koh Lipe being the exception). Day trips to the surrounding islands are popular and highly recommend as they are the best way to explore the marine park.
This cluster of islands is part of the much larger Tarutao National Marine Park, a nature reserve established in 1974 as Thailand’s second National Park. It consists of about 50 islands and covers 1500 km².
Everything you need for the perfect holiday!
Koh Lipe’s white sandy beaches are perfect for relaxing and you can snorkel right of all them. Several top dive sites are close by for the more adventurous underwater explorers. There are plenty of other things to do too!
You can sleep in anything from simple bamboo huts to plush luxury resorts with a swimming pool. There is a great variety of restaurants on the island ranging from tasty Thai street food to delicious international cuisine. Several coffee shops and bars are there to keep you caffeinated and hydrated.
The main transport hub for Koh Lipe is Pak Bara with daily boats running all year. Minibuses and taxi’s are available to the closest airport in Hat Yai, or to other destinations in the south like Krabi and Ao Nang.
In high season daily boats connect Koh Lipe to Langkawi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket and other islands in the Andaman Sea.
Koh Lipe is a small and relatively flat island, it’s name means ‘Paper Island’ in the local Sea Gypsy (Chao Ley) language.
There are 3 main beaches on Koh Lipe and a handful of smaller, sometimes private beaches. Koh Lipe’s main street is called ‘Walking Street’ and closes down for motorbikes from 18:00 until 24:00 in high season.
Everything is connected by concrete roads, and it usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes to walk between 2 of the main beaches.
In the night time most roads are lit by streetlights but it’s a good idea to take a torch if you go out and explore in the dark.Since 2013 there are official motorbike taxi’s (with sidecar) that can take a couple of people for a fixed price per person. You can spot the taxi drivers by their purple jacket and their colourful motorbikes.
When to go?
Koh Lipe has seen a large increase in visitors in the last decade and has now become an all year destination. The island can be reached year around from Pak Bara. In high season boats also connect to Langkawi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket and several small islands in the Andaman Sea.
Weekends tend to be more busy all year on Koh Lipe as Thai and Malaysian tourists flock to the island for a weekend break. Transport and hotel reservations are highly recommended on friday, saturday and sunday, especially when there is a national holiday.
High season is from November until early May: reservations for transport and hotels is recommended.
Peak season is around 15 December until the end of February: most rooms and transport tickets are fully booked months in advance and arriving on Koh Lipe without a reservation can be a very stressful experience.
Low season, or green season as the locals call it, is from May to October. There are a lot less tourists and it isn’t difficult to find a quiet spot on the beach. Although the island is now open all year with 2 boats running to and from Pak Bara every day, some of the hotels and other businesses still close down. It’s a great time to go if you enjoy quiet time on the beach and there a great hotel deals to be had.