Travel Guide

Koh Lipe Blog: Travel Guide To Thailand’s Paradise

This up-to-date blog and guide to Koh Lipe is packed with the best tips and travel advice to help you plan and enjoy this amazing piace of paradise. Don’t head there without giving this a read.

I love Koh Lipe. I think it has it all. In fact,
Koh Lipe quickly become my favorite of all the islands in Thailand.

The water is clear and warm, the beaches are paradisiac, the food is cheap and don’t even get me started on the super friendly locals. For some reason it’s known as the Maldives of Thailand.

This guide is packed with the most up-to-date and reliable information of the island to help you plan your trip.

Koh Lipe Guide

2. 📅 Best time to visit Koh Lipe
3. 🗼 Things to do in Koh Lipe
4. 🏖️ Beaches in Koh Lipe
5. 🏨 Where to stay
6. 🥘 Where to eat
7. ↪️ Getting around Koh Lipe
8. 🕺 Nightlife
9. 💰 Cost of things in Koh Lipe

guide koh lipe blog travel guide relax sunrise beach palm trees
Might not be the most accessible place, but it will all be worth it when you’re laying on that sun bed, trust me.

How to get to Koh Lipe

Located about 60km from mainland, Koh Lipe is the southern-most island in Thailand and the only inhabited island in the Adang archipelago. It’s also one of the smallest so many overlook it in their Thailand itinerary trip.

There are many possible routes to reach Koh Lipe .
Let’s go through the more popular ones.

how to get to koh lipe blog travel guide
Location and accessibility of Koh Lipe.

How to get from Bangkok to Koh Lipe

If you’re coming directly from Bangkok to Koh Lipe, you can do the journey by air or train/bus. The easiest way is to buy a all-inclusive ticket package (also called Fly’n’Ferry) which contains:

  • Flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai, the nearest airport to Koh Lipe
  • Shuttle to Pak Bara pier
  • Ferry/Speedboat to Koh Lipe

Alternatively, you can skip the flight to Hat Yai and get there by train or bus.
It might be considerably cheaper, but expect journey times of about 12 to 15 hours.

Check times and prices with 12Go.Asia, a great online service to book tickets in Asia.

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⚠Security concerns in Hat Yai

As a reader pointed out, Hat Yai is considered a no-travel location due to concerns of Islamic terrorism. Your travel insurance might not be eligible for claims in this zone. It’s safer that you arrive Lipe via Langkawi or one of the northern Thai islands.

How to get from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

koh lipe blog langkawi to koh lipe ferry kuah jetty
The ferry that goes to Koh Lipe from Langkawi (Kuah Jetty).

There are two connections from Langkawi running during high season:

  • Kuah Jetty
  • The most common way to get from Langkawi to Lipe. Using the Kuah Jetty, departing from the main ferry pier in Kuah town. Official journey time is 1:30, although in our case it took slightly more 2 hours. You can buy your tickets online (aproximately 800 baht).

    Powered by 12Go Asia system
  • Telaga Ferry
  • This speedboat departs from Telaga Harbour Marina, Since the pier is closer to Lipe, the journey time might take a bit inferior to the Kuah Jatty.

    A standard price would be 120 Malaysian Ringgit (approx 960 baht) per person one-way. You can buy your tickets online

Note that these boats usually only run from late October to May. In both cases, you need to check-in, register and pass through some immigration procedures. Be there at least 1 hour before departure!

My experience from Langkawi to Koh Lipe

I bought my ticket to Koh Lipe in a tour agency in Langkawi, Malaysia. We haggled the price for theKuah Jetty to 400 ringit return (approx 3220 baht) ticket for 2.

The ride was extra fun. Not. The first thing they did when checking-in was to confiscate all the passports and put them on a bag. And well there’s nothing that makes a traveler sweat more than losing hand of his passport…

Then, depending on weather and sea conditions, the ride can be… uncomfortable. There might or might not be people throwing up. On the day we went, the sea was rough and it was raining heavily, so we ended up having a very wobbly 2-hour ride. But to be fair, the way back was far smoother and actually enjoyable!

When we finally reached land, we were escorted to a van and headed to the Immigration Office on Pattaya Beach, right next to Bundhaya Resort. Meanhile, the passport bag was handed over to at least 5 different people until they were FINALLY returned to us in the Immigration office. I’m pretty sure a random local kid had it at some point!

This whole process got everyone a little apprehensive, but apparently it’s a normal practice so don’t panic!

Ferries to Koh Lipe

If you’re island hopping around Thailand, which I highly recommend, you might be interested in knowing only ferries to Koh Lipe. Well, here it is.

Ferries to Koh Lipe during low season (May to October)

The only way you can reach Koh Lipe during the monsoon season is through a daily ferry coming Pak Bara pier in mainland Thailand.

  • Ferry departs daily at 11:30am. Arrives Koh Lipe at around 1pm.
  • If you’re coming in the beginning or end of low season, double check if there are more boats running!

Ferries to Koh Lipe during high season (November to April)

During the dry season there are plenty of boats running to Koh Lipe. Apart from the Pak Bara one which gets additional daily ferries, there are other connections from Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket or Langkawi and even other smaller islands like Koh Muk.

Important things to know before coming to Koh Lipe

  • This page might come in handy as it compiles all the ferry schedules.
  • You’ll find many websites selling these ferry tickets, but I strongly recommend you get your ticket on the spot through a tour agency. From my experience you can save at least 10-30%, that’s the commission these websites usually take for themselves.
  • If you still prefer to have your transportation sorted in advance, book your ticket through the official Bundhaya Resort page here
  • There is no pier in Lipe, so you’ll need to switch from the speedboat or ferry to a longtail to disembark on the island. Some fares don’t include the ticket for this short journey (2 minutes), but it’s usually a small fee payable directly to the driver.

Best time to visit Koh Lipe

There are mainly 2 seasons in Koh Lipe:

  • High season, from November to April: you can expect warm sunny weather and little rainfall. Specially if you arrive in the absolute peak season – December and January – I recommended that you book your accommodation in advance.
  • Low season, from May to October: despite the temperatures in Lipe are around a comfortable 26-28C throughout the year, this period might have several rainy days. As a consequence some businesses close for the season. However with a lot less tourists around, you might get great deals on some hotels and resorts.
koh lipe travel blog weather rainfall best time to visit koh lipe
Rainfall in Koh Lipe along the year.

All year round, many Thai and Malay travelers choose Lipe for their weekend getaways. Make sure you take that into account when booking accommodation and transportation and book earlier in these cases.

My experience in Koh Lipe during November

Now for my personal experience. I was in Koh Lipe in early November, what could be considered the shoulder season. I had a previous accommodation reservation, although it was not really needed.

Almost all the shops and restaurants were already running but the volume of tourists was not too much. It never felt overcrowded. Weather was unstable, we had everything from sunny clear days to heavy thunderstorms that flooded some of the paved roads in the island. Altogether, a nice well-rounded tropical experience!

Looking for a dreamy tropical resort?

Getting around Koh Lipe

guide koh lipe blog island map
It’s not that you will get lost – the island is so tiny that’s not even possible! – but it’s good to know where to go. This map was the best I’ve seen and I used it a lot the first days.

It’s such a small island there’s no public transportation available. You can literally walk everywhere.

To give you an idea, you can walk from one end of the island to the other via the main street of Koh Lipe: the Walking Street (why complicate?). This will take you 15-20 minutes.

If that’s too much for you, longtail boats on Pattaya Beach can take you anywhere on the island for 50 THB per person. Inland, there are also moto-taxis with a sidecar available can drive you anywhere for a similar rate. Drivers are identified by a purple vest.

Pro tip: when arriving Koh Lipe, check your accommodation details. Some resorts provide pickup for their guests.

Main Beaches in Koh Lipe

It’s no exaggeration if I say you can expect top-notch beaches in Koh Lipe. I mean, postcard material.

The water is of a bright turquoise – even in the cloudiest of days. It’s clear enough and in several places, you can snorkel right off the beach. The soft white sands and the lush forest of the island complete a picture-perfect scenario.

There are 3 main beaches in Koh Lipe:

  • Sunrise Beach
  • Pattaya Beach
  • Sunset Beach

Sunrise Beach

guide koh lipe blog sunrise beach view
Ready for a swim?

This was my favorite beach of them all. Sunrise Beach faces east and is the largest beach on the island.

I stayed in a bungalow right next to this beach. Even though I hate to wake up early, at 6 am I was there sitting on the beach watching the sunrise show in the sky. When the weather allowed, it was magical and an empowered me to start off my day on a good note!

Sunrise Beach has got the most amount of hotels spreading out across the entire beach, for all budgets. This could be a huge drawback, but I was surprised to find out there are many tranquil spots where you can find a big enough space to relax on the sand.

We walked several times to the northern tip of the beach, right next to the fancy Mountain Resort to set ourselves the base for the day. It was amazing. Fewer crowds, it’s the perfect place to go for a swim or even snorkel, right off the beach!

The only downside is that during the low season, this beach is used to disembark people arriving to Koh Lipe. For some reason, we still got that in early November and the boat traffic at some specific times was higher than we wanted.

Pattaya Beach

pattaya beach travel guide koh lipe blog
Pattaya Beach with some bad weather in the horizon.

Spreading across a bay in the southern coast of the island, Pattaya Beach is the main one in Koh Lipe and the main point of entry for boats during high season.

There are many accommodation, restaurants and bars here and it has got access Walking Street directly. Despite all the movement, somehow it still manages to show off its white sands and the clear warm waters.

As for the cons, Pattaya might very well be the noisest of them all and the closest you’ll have to island parties very typical of Phi Phi and Phuket. If you’re looking to relax, this might not be your place.

Plus, on the last day when we were waiting for our longtail back to Langkawi, we saw Pattaya is where they put all the trash on a pile before being taken out on longtails. Maybe I’m being too picky, but it was not a pretty sight.

Sunset Beach

guide koh lipe blog sunset beach palm tree tropical
Even in a cloudy day you feel you’re lost in paradise in Sunset Beach.

Smaller and more off the beaten track than the previous two, somehow Sunset Beach gave me a hippie vibe. It’s definitely more secluded and the views to the neighbour islands in the Adang archipelago – specially Koh Adang – are amazing. There are some very chilled restaurants and hotels.

Sunset Beach is the perfect place to spend a lazy late afternoon in Lipe.

Top things to do in Koh Lipe

Go diving

There are numerous dive shops in Koh Lipe and I can see why. The water around the island is shallow and clear, and there’s a ton of reefs to explore in the underworld. Compared to other diving spots in the world, nothing is too expensive here.

Rent a kayak

Sea kayaking around Lipe is a good way to explore hidden snorkeling spots and see the island from a different perspective. Many resorts and diving shops have kayaks to rent. Prices start at 100 baht per hour or 300 baht per day.

You can even adventure yourself to the neighbor Ko Adang – the trip should take you around 1 hour each way. However play it safe and ask around about sea conditions and currents first!

Watch the sunrise and sunset every day

koh lipe guide blog sunrise beach

Don’t miss this in Lipe. If you are on a day with good weather, you’re on to memorable sunrises and sunsets so do it like us and make both a ritual and important parts of the day.

Make sure you pick the right spot. For the sunrise, go to the southern end of Sunrise Beach where the sun appears right next to Koh Usen islet. For the sunset, head to Sunset Beach or the tip of Sunrise Beach next to Mountain Resort are great options. Grab a drink or two while enjoying the show (for the sunset I mean, but if you want it during the sunset, hey, I don’t judge).

Do a Thai massage

Just like in Chiang Mai, massages in Koh Lipe are still super cheap, even for Thai standards. They’re the ideal way to finish off your hard tan-working day. There must be at least 15-20 massage places in the island. They ALL have the same prices, so our only criteria was trying to find the most popular places.

I had a back, head & shoulder massage and several foot massages and I enjoyed every. Single. Moment. Most massage places are open until 10pm in the Walking Street and the price is an incredible 300 baht for a full hour massage.

Pro tip: A Thai massage can be intense, so if you’re going for it, make sure you agree beforehand the level of agressiveness you want them to put in. Also, if you have a sunburn, skip it completely and go for a refreshing Aloe Vera massage. Usually these are a bit more expensive.

Go on a day trip

guide koh lipe blog snorkeling day trips
The two main snorkeling programs in Koh Lipe.

The privileged location of Koh Lipe makes it a great hub to explore many other islands nearby. Apart from private longtail tours that can take you wherever, travel agents in the island will offer you the same 2 tours: Program 1 and Program 2.

Both are full-day tours and aside from water and sometimes snacks, they include a lot of beach, snorkeling and hiking time.

  • Program 1: goes to the nearby islands like Koh Rawi, Koh Jabaang, Koh Hin-Ngam, Koh Yang and Koh Adang. There are shorter boat trips involved which means more snorkeling time. The price is 550 baht.
  • Program 2: goes to the farthest islands in the Adang archipelago like Koh Lok Goi, Koh Hin Saun, Koh Dong and Koh Pung– where the snorkel is even better. Price: 650 baht.

In both of these you need to add the National Park fee – 200 baht. This is paid once and valid for one week.

After stressful experiences in the island hopping tour in Langkawi and in the Kuah Jetty, we were a bit fed up of boat rides so we skipped this tour. Next time!

Walk the Walking Street

guide koh lipe blog walking street food restaurants shops
Walking Street on a lazy morning.

The Walking Street that connects the Pattaya and Sunset beaches is the beating heart of Koh Lipe.

You’ll find everything you need here: pharmacies, vintage clothes, relaxing massages and all kind of food specialties. Due to its remoteness, I was expecting Koh Lipe to have high prices but nope. Everything is fairly cheap here!


Seriously. One of the best things to do in Koh Lipe is… nothing. Nada. Niente. The island will quickly win you over to a laid-back lifestyle, so just let it go. The soft white sands – like I never seen before! – and the swimmable warm pristine waters are an open invitation to relax. Just lie on a hammock, read a book or simply float on the water. Whatever you do, keep working on that tan.

Where to stay In Koh Lipe

koh lipe guide zanom sunrise resort
This is all I need!

There is already a decent range of accommodation in Koh Lipe, from luxury resorts to backpackers dorms. Yet during the high season the demand is so high that is really convenient to book your stay in advance.

I highly recommend the place I stayed: Zanom Sunrise Resort. Offering comfy rustic bungalows, they’re the right kind of accommodation in the island: not too frugal but not too fancy either. And the price is very reasonable. You can read my full experience in Zanom Resort here.

Find your accommodation in Koh Lipe

I usually use to find accommodations. I’ve prepared a shortlist of the best resorts in Koh Lipe. They include only the best-rated hotels, with WiFi and with breakfast included in the top location of the island: Sunrise Beach.

Where to eat in Koh Lipe

After the mouth-watering food in Chiang Mai and the disappointing food experience in Koh Lanta, I honestly didn’t know what to expect in Koh Lipe.

When I first put my feet in the Walking Street, I smiled. There is a wide range of affordable food from Indian to Thai, including more western influences like Italian. Although made for tourists, everything looked delicious and authentic.

We’ve tried many of these places, so let me suggest my top places to eat in Koh Lipe.

Fresh Seafood BBQ

guide koh lipe blog seafood where to eat lipe
One of my orders: Grilled prawns and a fish kebab. YAM!

Let me put it out there: this is not the cheapest of options to eat. But if you can allow yourself to splurge on a meal, this is it. Along the Walking Street there at least two places where you can pick all the fresh fish and seafood you want and choose how you want it cooked. The tropical version of “All you can eat” places.

The place we went also had other already cooked specialities and I couldn’t get enough of the prawns in tamarind sauce and the coconut & curry fresh crab. Prepare yourself for some shell-cracking finger-licking action!

Price for all this for two was slightly over 1,000 baht.

Bamboo Restaurant

This place was recommended to us by two brazilian backpackers we met back in Langkawi and despite I don’t like to repeat places when I travel we did go back several times. Right in the middle of Walking Street between Pattaya Beach and Sunrise Beach, it has got everything – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is an area specialised in coffee which is absolute gold in Koh Lipe.

Service can be slow, but it’s for a good reason. Everything is freshly made at the time – it was here I had one of the best Pad Thai I had in my life. The prices were the best we saw in the island.

Sunrise Beach Restaurant

travel guide koh lipe sunrise beach restaraunt view
Taken while having breakfast @ Sunrise Beach Restaurant.

Like you might have guessed already, this restaurant is right on Sunrise Beach and is definitely one of the most scenic places to eat in Koh Lipe. They are open from early in the morning to late in the evening and even get a very good western breakfast (cheaper than other places in the island). Overall, prices were more than fair given the outstanding views!

Ice Cream Place

guide koh lipe blog coconut ice cream walking street
This, ladies and gentlemen, is perfection in my hand.

Sorry but I don’t remember the name of this place. If you’re coming from Sunrise Beach, it’s in the beginning of the Walking Street, in the first curve to the right just in front of the hospital. You’ll find a small stall specialising in fruit juices and ice creams.

Everything is good quality but the key message here is: TRY THE COCONUT ICE CREAM. It comes inside a real coconut and it’s refreshing, delicious and I’ll be craving it for a long time!

Yoo-Hoo Pancakes

How can you not love a place that has its name due to a lovely old lady who screams “Yoo-Hoo pancake Yoo-Hoo” to everyone passing by? And this is not only a gimmick.

I can confirm the banana pancakes here are the ultimate dessert in Lipe. There are dozens of possible add-ons and sadly I never tried what it seemed the best-seller: Nutella. In any case, everything is made fresh in front of you – it’s delicious.

PS: This almost wins the prize for the most creative name of a business in Lipe. My #1 spot goes to a bakery called Flour Power. Genius.

Nightlife in Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is pretty chilled – don’t expect huge parties like in other Thai islands such as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Phangan. Most of the bars and nightlife spots you can find here are utterly relaxing. Most things are closing by 1am. The music I heard the most playing was a reggae version of “Paradise” by Coldplay which shows you the mood you can expect.

Cocktails usually come with a 200 baht price tag, while the beer is a lot cheaper. Expect to pay around 80 baht for a Chang beer.

Although they have cheaper drinks, I personally didn’t see the appeal on the bars in the Walking Street. I much rather head to one of the beaches for a drink by the sea.

These are the best bars we found in the island for each one of the main beaches in Lipe . They should be open at least until midnight every day.

Best Beach Bars in Koh Lipe

  • Reggae Bar, Pattaya Beach: loved the vibe here, although the smell to illegal (?) substances can be intense. There are fire performances every night by 10pm.
  • Bila Beach Bar, Sunset Beach: probably the beach bar with the best views I’ve ever been. It’s just below The Hut right on the western end of the beach. Aim to go just before the sunset.
  • Sea La Vie, Sunrise Beach: very chilled vibe and cool interesting music playing (we had to use Shazam plenty of times!).

Cost of things in Koh Lipe

If you’re coming from other places in Thailand , specially Bangkok or Chiang Mai, you will find things in Koh Lipe slightly more expensive. Remember that goods need to travel a long way to come to the island.

Interestingly, prices seem to be consistent around the island: almost everything is exactly the same price everywhere. This happened for everything from massages to snorkeling day trips. Ah and don’t bother trying to haggle prices, they will politely refuse to lower the price even a single baht.

To give you a good grasp of the budget you can expect, I’ll break down our average costs for a day in Koh Lipe. Remember this was for 2 people in November, the beginning of high season and please don’t judge the amount of food we ate.

Koh Lipe Daily Cost Breakdown

  • Breakfast: we opted for western breakfast (sorry, can’t eat curry at 9 in the morning!). Average total price was around 300 baht.
  • Water: don’t forget to hydrate. A big water bottle (1,5L) in 7/11 was 26 baht.
  • Ice Cream: two coconut ice creams served inside a coconut (inception!) costed us 140 baht.
  • Lunch: a typical lunch would be sweet & sour chicken, a chicken & garlic, two plain rice portions and two fruit juices. Total 310 baht.
  • Banana pancakes: two banana pancakes from Yoo-hoo Pancakes – 60 baht
  • Massage: the price for a foot massage + full body massage was 600 baht
  • Pad Thai Dinner: Pad Thai in Bamboo restaurant was our most frequent dinner. Together with drinks, the cost was 260 baht for both.
  • Beers: for two beers in either Reggae Bar or Sea La Vie we paid 160 baht.

Regarding accommodation, you can expect to pay somewhere between 800 and 1,800 baht for a day for a double room in most resorts. There are cheaper and more expensive rooms than this, but for the sake of simplicity let’s average it at 1,300 baht.

Doing all the math, this means a very comfortable daily budget for two in Koh Lipe during high season is estimated at 3,156 baht. Or less than 90USD/EUR a day for two people.

If you are coming in Christmas or New Years, you most likely see these prices inflated. But you also can pay a lot less if you keep your mouth shut and don’t eat as much as we do!

guide koh lipe paradise sunrise beach
*wishing to go back*

Koh Lipe Review

Koh Lipe works both as a standalone relax trip or as a fantastic addition to add to your island hopping itinerary in Thailand.

When I visited Koh Lanta I thought I had encountered my perfect tropical island in Thailand. Just hitting the sweet spot between commodities and remoteness, turns out Koh Lipe is even more my cup of tea.

Koh Lipe is the tropical version of Koufonisia in Greece and has a fantastic sense of getaway to it.

While Koh Lipe does not get too “Pukhetized”, it has got the minimal amount of infrastructure for travelers to feel like they got everything they needed. At the same time, it still provides the experience of a remote tropical island.

I felt I was in a dream the whole time. From waking up in a tropical bungalow, to a paradisiac beach just a few steps in one direction and a wide selection of delicious homemade food on the other. Massage spots and stylish beach bars are also there to unwind. And the best of it all: everyone will greet you with a big smile like only Thai people can do.

Hard to not leave Lipe with a big smile on your face.

Koh Lipe Travel Review

β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜†β˜† – nhec!
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – wow!

  • Accessibility: β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜†
  • Accommodation: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Activities/Things to do: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†
  • Cost (Overall): β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†
  • Food: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†
  • Getting Around: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†
  • People and Culture: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†
  • Safety: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Scenery and Environment: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • Uniqueness: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

Looking for a dreamy tropical resort?

Koh Lipe Guide – Other Useful Links

You can find more articles about Thailand here.

guide koh lipe thailand island hopping
If you’re looking to do a bit of island hopping in Thailand, this can help.

Have you been to Koh Lipe?
What other tips or questions do you have? Share your experience below!

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93 comments πŸ’¬

  1. What a great and complete guide from you. I’m plan to visit koh lipe this December with my little family. Thanks a lot

  2. Very good article – I know exactly what to expect, very useful, thank you!! Off there this weekend via Langkawi !

  3. Nice travel guide u provide us,summer is coming… this is very interesting topic, thanks for sharing…more post plz..

  4. Thanks so much for the info, really useful for my upcoming trip.
    I do have a question though about immigration entry requirements. I’d like to go to Koh Lipe from Langkawi (arriving directly there on international fight), spend a few days on Lipe and return to Langkawi. Is there such a thing as applying for an entry permit to Thailand, and does returning to Langkawi qualify as multiple entries to Malaysia with a special visa/permit to do so?
    Planned travel in February 2020. Cheers

  5. hi, we booked trip in Dec and would like you to recommend the tour agency for the ferry ticket.
    your info is appreciated. thanks.

  6. Hi guys really want to book this for next year.
    I have a couple of questions would you recommend a package ie flights and hotel of getting them separate thanks in advance

  7. i love Koh Lipe too & i will come back end of this April via Langkawi. Its kinda hard travel from Hatyai, Satun via Pak Bara pier on Mac 2017.
    i plan to explore the island itself (Sunrise & Sunset Beach) since last trip i went for island hopping & don’t have enough time to explore all places. Better skip island hopping and explore more at sunrise beach until mountain resort. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Great guide. My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip in 2017, although as others have mentioned, there is a waste disposal problem on the island. This is not deal-breaker however, not by a long way. Koh Lipe is far and away my favourite Thai destination (and possibly my favourite SE Asia destination overall).

    I do have one major criticism of the travel route advice, however. Hat Yai as a jumping-off point is in Songkhla province which is a “Do Not Travel” location if you are British, Australian or a US citizen (due to Islamic terrorism in southern Thailand). This means even the slightest incident en route to Pak Bara pier (lost luggage, illness, broken leg) your travel insurance will be void – they simply won’t pay any claim. This should not be overlooked.

    Do yourself a favour. Always, always travel from Langkawi in Malaysia, or via one of the Thai Islands further north from Phuket. Never enter or spend any time in Songkhla, unless you want to render your travel insurance policy worthless.

    1. Hi
      We’re going in March from Australia, everything booked but not sure about changing money to THB here, Langkawi or Koh Lipe for the best deal. Any advice would be appreciated

  9. Hi Bruno,

    Thanks for all of the tips. My boyfriend and I are planning to head to Koh Lipe in May. We’ll be flying into Hat Yai from Phuket (I opted not to do the Air Asia package from Bangkok) and I’m wondering if you recommend we book the shuttle/ferry ahead of time or when we get to Hat Yai. Our flight will be landing at 8:30 am, would that give us enough time to find someone at the airport and book it before 11:30 am, which is when I believe the last shuttle leaves for Pak Bara? Any input is appreciated.


    1. Hard to tell as I didn’t go this route.
      I’d advise reaching Koh Lipe via another way, as the above reader pointed out, Hat Yai is not the safest of travel destinations. Personally I’d book everything beforehand to avoid any issues.

  10. Wow, that is very interesting! I was wondering when off season is in Koh Lipe but still not sure if it is worth it to go then. We went in February, it was great. Touristy, but great. Few friends went in August and they had a quite disappointing experience due to rains and such.

    1. Hard to predict weather these days – more so in tropical destinations! – all you can do is make the probability game benefit you!

  11. Just departed today. An update on my last comment, plastic and other rubbish is now everywhere, stayed at sunset beach, a very average beach, clean enough, the fast boat was during the first 25 minutes out of Ko lipe was dangerous due to weather conditions, traveling to fast for the conditions,(I have worked in North Sea and hold fast rescue coxswains ticket). Some how I seem to have been on a different island to the one you write about, I have photos of the garbage if you want , lucky for me I was clear of pot smoking Shite bars, this is already a Shite hole ,

  12. Very over the top your report, just another Nise island . Definitely nothing special.

  13. Lipe WAS a paradise.
    Now inflated with too many tourists, bars, lights, noise, pot heads ect.
    When I first came, there was quarter of the resorts and only few restaurants. Not to mention the impacr of all the speedboats now with dwelling masses of tourists coming in and out the island and views obstructed with endless lines of longtails. Before there were practicly no attention deficit teens, no screaming kids. Just silence, darkness, space with only few people even in Pattaya beach. Without the inescapable, numbing reggaebeat your’ re forced ro listen.
    Now THAT was paradise!
    Yes, unfortunarely Lipe is heading towards its PhiPhiness. All the faster the more people like yourself write about it.

    1. I’m sad you had this experience and you should feel grateful for visiting Lipe when it was still off the beaten track.
      I still had a great experience nevertheless and I don’t think I should refrain myself for writing about it.

  14. Hi. We’re travelling to Thailand next month total of 8 days. We’re spending 4 days at Koh Lipe (you convinced me from your Blog). Now, I just encountered a dilemma, our flight arrives at 1:45 pm at Hat Yai airport. Bus or taxi takes 1.5 or 2 hours to get to Pak Bara pier. I checked every website for ferry or speed boat to Koh Lipe and the last boat leaves at 3:30 p.m. so, we’re not going to make it. Do you have any suggestion? Thanks.

  15. Hi, as mention, it is best if we buy the ferry ticket on the spot? You mean i can buy the ferry ticket at the ferry terminal on the day we are taking the ferries?

    I try to check online and the price is quite expensive for 2 adults. Around RM300

  16. Me and my girlfriend Visit Koh Lipe on February 2018, Is the most beautiful place on our trip in Thailand.
    Went there for few days and spent one month.
    This is our Tips:
    Thai: Nee Papaya, Fino, Barracuda (best for BBQ fish)
    Western: Capriccio (best restaurant in the island), Elephant (good burgers), The Box (good Paella). Bombay (indian food).

    Budget: Gecko Lipe Resort (eco-friendly resort, very clean, nice staff) For us the best in our stay in Thailand.
    Medum price: Cast Away, The box.
    Luxury: Ten Moon, Serendipity, Mali (we didn’t sleep in these Luxury hotels but we visit).

  17. Hi great info,i will be staying in koh tao until the 3rd of jan and traveling to koh lipe booked to stay there for 4 nights and now realized its not so easy to get to from tao have I made a blunder and have to change things or could you help with a good affordable route thanks

  18. Thanks for sharing such useful information. I really like that ICE Cream bowl its unique. Keep sharing memories and helping out the community.

  19. Hi,

    Great blog thank you for all the details. We’re travelling to Thailand in November for a two week honeymoon and can’t decide the best itinerary so we’re not spending too much time travelling and have the right balance of relaxation and activities. We’re thinking of starting the trip with 2-3 nights in Bangkok, then heading down to Koh Lipe for 5 nights but not sure if we should try to do another island like Trang or Koh Lanta or if we should round our trip with 3-4 nights in Chiang Mai. Or should we just stay in Koh Lipe for a week – is there enough to do there?

    1. It all depends on what you mean by “enough to do”. If you want to just “see” the island, you can do that in a day. If you want to take some days to chill and relax, a week is great.

      Personally, I’d pick Chiang Mai instead of another island to have a better idea of all the places in the country – but all depends on much are you willing to get around. I have to say if convenience is an issue, Koh Lipe might not be the best island to pick.

  20. Love how detailed your post is, plus your pictures of the beaches are amazing! Now I can finally fill up my itinerary for my trip next month. πŸ™‚

  21. Hi,
    Such a great post <3 Hope that one day I could have a chance to visit Thailand. I`m sure that my experience in there will be one of the most memorable moments in my life. Thank you

  22. Hi! I love your blog so much and I’m so excited to be at koh lipe! U mentioned its best to get the grey tickets from your agents. Can I know is there any specific tour agents that we can purchase? Plus, can 8 get a clearer information. Because I’ll be traveling from Singapore. So do I get flight tickets to Langkawi then take ferry to lipe better? In total how long will the journey takes from Singapore to lope? Thanks in advance!

    1. I’m sorry, I have no idea how long it will take you from Singapore. All tour agents basically sell the same tour, for the same price. Very tight room to haggle there.

  23. I just got back from koh Lipe. You paint koh Lipe as a perfect paradise to visit. All photos you post leave out the trash littered on nearly every corner of the island. The beaches are overcrowded with polluting long tail boats. Did you see the insane amounts of litter EVERYWHERE? You must have. You would do all travelers a service to at least mention the lack of rule and maintenance of the island. Yes, is it beautiful, but it is being ruined quickly.

    1. First of all thanks for your feedback I’m sorry you had that experience.

      When I was there in 2017 I couldn’t see the level of pollution and trash you talk about. If I did, I wouldn’t hesitate to mention it in this article. Personally, I had a couple of friends visiting just 3 months ago and they had the same experience as me and they absolutely loved it.

      Nevertheless, I trust you and it makes me sad the idea of such a beautiful island is being ruined!

  24. Hi lv yr guide to koh lipe awesome pics we’ll be doing some island hopping in mid November including ko lipe definitely gonna eat some coconut ice cream and banana pancake Awesome Can’t wait LOL Thank u for yr blog

  25. Excellent Article, I lived on Koh Lipe for over a year and this is a well written review, As an underwater photographer, if your thinking of diving here check out my post.

  26. Brilliant blog,we are going in April to Thailand for 6 weeks,we are starting off in ko samui and have nothing planned after!,so looking for ideas

  27. THANK YOUUU! very useful info for Malaysian hehe. Anyway are they all halal?

  28. Hi Bruno, a great read of your blog, thank you. We are going to Lipi in a few days and have arranged ferry and accomodation already. Any advice for same sex couples?

  29. Hello!

    I am going to Koh Lipe from 28th Feb to 3rd March. I would like to book the snorkel package.

    Do you know who can I contact directly for the snorkel package at Koh Lipe?

    Aaron Lim

  30. Enjoyed reading your amazing review,we’re off to Thailand next week and one of the places were heading for is lipe it definitely looks like paradise can’t wait to lie on the beach and sample the banana pancakes….

  31. Hi Thank you so much ! I am planning to go Koh Lipe on a solo trip via Langkawi Island, around 14-19th this month, this is my first solo trip. Excited!

  32. Hi. I’m going to Koh Lipe via Langkawi this April. But my main intention is stay in Koh Lipe and take a day tour to Koh Tarutao because I’m a big Survivor fan. Can you recommend a good ferry for Lipe-Tarutao-Lipe for the day trip? Thanks for this. Enjoyed reading about the blog, very informative.

    1. Huge Survivor fan here as well! πŸ˜€

      I recommend getting a speedboat, just ask around in 2-3 travel agencies in Lipe. Normally the most expensive – even by a dozen baht – is better. In sea trips, I feel it’s worth to spend a bit extra.

  33. Wow, this guide is really great. In fact, I visited Koh Lipe with my family this year and I also wrote my blog about Lipe as well. However, having read your guide, I think I have missed a lot of things in Lipe due to my short-term visit. Frankly speaking, you did make me want to get back there again. I’ll be back to Thailand in Chinese New Year. Perhaps, a 3-days stay in Sunrise beach would be a smart choice this time.

  34. Hi, Zanom Sunrise or Mountain Resort? and quick why? ps. thank you for your Blog and if I may ask…what’s your age.

    1. Depends on your budget I would say. Zanom is closer to restaurants and bars, Mountain is a more secluded option.

  35. have you been to Koh Tao? If so how does it compare? We went last year and are debating going back or going to Koh Lipe. Is the water truly as blue and clear and clean as the photos? We struggled finding pristine beaches in Thailand (we are used to the immaculate water of the Philippines) and really want to find a good spot in Thailand for going to the beach!

    1. Never been to Koh Tao sadly, but the water was clear for the most areas. The time I was there were some debris, but normal since 2 days before a huge storm hit the island.

      How did you find Koh Tao? Is it safe even all that mafia stuff on the media?

  36. This guide is amazing. I would love to travel to Thailand it seems like such an amazing place.
    The pictures you posted are absolutely incredible. I can’t believe how clear the water is.

    1. Sadly in some areas the water is not crystal clear anymore due to high traffic of boats, but the color is still incredible!

  37. Such a useful post we love to visit every time thanks to share the best ultimate guide for Thailand trip

  38. Thanks for sharing your travel guide. it was amazing in koh lipe and make me prepare myself for the trip to koh lipe in 2 months. your describe your pics is easily understand and beautiful pics thank you so much you do it great πŸ™‚

  39. hi we are staying in langkawi from 26th december -for 2 weeks i would really love to spend a night in kho lipe in a beach hut to see the island. is this possible

    1. I would recommend to stay longer than 1 night. Not sure which kind of hut you’re looking for, I mostly saw bungalows.

  40. Great article, thanks for the tips! Also known as the land of smiles, Thailand is a fascinating place to visit. However, there are also quite a number of crooks who target tourists in the country.

    Do be wary of the grand palace/place is closed scam, jet ski scam, tailor scam, gem scam, bar/cafΓ© scam, sombondee seafood market scam, patpong sex show scam, tuk tuk scam, gang at hua lamphong train station scam and many more!

    1. It’s true there are lot of scams in Thailand, but sadly that’s true for any touristy country. If you take standard precautions and be aware of your belongings all the time and most of all keep a positive attitude, you should be fine.

  41. Wow! Such an awesom and thorough article. Thank you so much for all the guidance. That was a huge help. I’ve read that the cheapest and easiest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Lipe is to fly to the Hat Yai airport. Then take a shuttle bus to Pak Bara pier for 250 baht, and then at Pak Bara pier, you can get on a ferry to Koh Lipe for 650 baht. There are only a few ferries that make a stop at a few islands in the Tarutao National Park as opposed to a direct ferry to Koh Lipe.

  42. Thank you so much for this thorough review. I’d really like to go to Koh Lipe. I’ve been hesitating though due to reports that the coral that can be reached by snorkeling has been damaged and the boats can make things crowded. I’d like to go in February of next year. What was your take on the quality of snorkeling and crowds/boats? Specific snorkeling spots you’d recommend? Thank you!

    1. Don’t trust anything you hear. Yes, there is some trash, some boats – specially on Sunrise Beach – and crowds but nothing compared to other places in Thailand. I’m sure there are more remote places where the visibility is much better, but I don’t think is that bad. Pick your spots and you’ll have decent snorkeling. Plus, there are many day trips to nearby islands where it’s supposed to be even better.

  43. I love this article very much and I have to planning visit this place next month alone LOL.

  44. Great comprehensive guide to Koh Lipe. I’m traveling to Thailand next year and have never been to Koh Lipe although I have been to Thailand many times. I have bookmarked this page for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Best review of Koh Lipe out there! I had read tons of reviews but none can compare with your!
    Thoroughly detailed with an exquisite touch of personal experience plus the budget calculation! Awesome bro! Keep up the awesome work! I’m going there next week! πŸ˜€

  46. Thanks for your guide to Koh Lipe! And the photos you took are beautiful~! It’s so interesting that make me wanna go there right away! Anyway, I’ll be there on mid March. Hope that I could find the places you recommeded hehe!
    Thanks and Cheers!

  47. I love your guide to Koh Lipe!! I’m planning to visit Thailand next month on a solo trip. So confused about which island to visit. How many days did you spend in Koh Lipe?

    1. I know, so many islands, so much to choose from, it can get really overwhelming. I stayed in Lipe for a total of 5 days, more than enough to “see” everything, but I went seeking some days of relaxation…

      Have you had a look at my Thailand island hopping post? Might shed some light!