Aaaand it’s Thursday! It only means one thing; it’s time for another Throwback Thursday Treat! For the past posts, I took you to known places like Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei & El Nido, Palawan. Today, I am taking you to a place you might not have heard before – to the Maldives of Thailand, Koh Lipe.
I bet most of you would ask where in Thailand is Koh Lipe or if that place even exists. Fair enough, my friends & I had the same reactions when Carl, the English guy we met at Slumber Party Hostel, Ao Nang in August 2015, told us about this very beautiful island. He advised us not to miss it because it is truly a paradise. I immediately added the island to my place-to-go list.
GoogleMaps screenshot of Koh Lipe – click here to locate the island in the map!
Koh Lipe is a small island in the Andaman Sea. It is one of the southernmost islands of Thailand, already near the Malaysian borders. The island is characterized by crystal clear waters, hard & soft corals & abundant seawater creatures. It was one of the islands that were heavily destructed during the December 2004 tsunami. The island has already recovered from the tragic incident & is now catering to all types of travelers.
Why Koh Lipe?
Let me tell you the story of how I decided (after weeks & months of planning) to visit Koh Lipe. It all started with a cheap round-trip ticket to Kuala Lumpur. Yes, it was so cheap I only used 20 Air Asia Big Points & paid ₱1,345.80. Super duper good deal, right? It’s by far the cheapest international round-trip ticket I’ve booked in my entire life.
The plane ticket that started it all. Hi, Air Asia! 😉
Having a ticket to Kuala Lumpur opened up to a lot of possible onward travel destinations. Initial plans included a trip to the beaches in the Gilis, to the forests of Luang Prabang, to the peaceful beaches of Langkawi, to the beautiful temples & terraces of Bali, to the scenic landscapes of Colombo & to the historic temples of Kathmandu. I immediately added the pristine beaches of Koh Lipe when Carl showed pictures to us. I kept all options open & tracked all possible onward flights up until 3 weeks before the trip.
Prices of onward airfare for all destinations became more expensive except for that of Langkawi. I booked the tickets to Langkawi before prices surge. That narrowed down the options to two – a trip to the peaceful beaches of Langkawi or another boat ride to the pristine beaches of Koh Lipe. I went for the latter option.
How I went to Koh Lipe
It took me 2 flights, 1 taxi ride, 1 short walk & 1 ferry to reach Koh Lipe. I left Manila 1:00 pm on the first day & arrived Kuala Lumpur a little past 4 in the afternoon. I went through the domestic transfer immigration counter & headed to the boarding date for my onward flight to Langkawi International Airport.
At KLIA 2 while waiting for my onward flight to Langkawi ✈️
I arrived the island of Langkawi at around 8:30 pm. I immediately went to the taxi booth to get a coupon taxi to the city. Hostels located in Langkawi city center were fully booked & the other hostels were far so I opted to stay in an affordable accommodation – GeoPark Inn Langkawi – just for the night.
Walked all the way from GeoPark Inn to Kuah Jetty
I woke up the following morning, checked out of the inn & walked my way to the Kuah Jetty Port. I took the morning ferry trip of Tropical Charters Langkawi to Koh Lipe. The ferry ride took 1.5 hours. After arriving on the floating deck near the island, we transferred to the small long tail boats that took us to the shores of the island.
I cleared immigration upon arriving at the island. Since I am a Filipino passport holder & I arrived via ferry, I got a 15-day visa-free stamp. It took me almost 24 hours from Manila to Koh Lipe but, I tell you, the long trip & transfers were super worth it.
View upon arrival in Koh Lipe.. Paradise! 🌴☀️🇹🇭
There aren’t many budget accommodations available in Koh Lipe when I went there last year. Most available places to stay are beach resorts, luxury inns & hotels. I was lucky that A Plus Hotel Lipe opened a few months before my trip.
I booked a bunk bed in a dormitory room for my whole stay in Koh Lipe. The curtained bunk beds included air conditioned room, spacious locker, common bathroom & toilet, towels, free shampoo & soap, free coffee & tea & access to the common lounge area on the ground floor. I paid ฿600 per night stay.
Just before the sun goes out | Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe
Given the limited choices & high prices in the island, the capsule accommodation I got was all worth it.
What I did in Koh Lipe
I was in Koh Lipe for 3 days & 2 nights; plenty of time in such a small island. I just made sure I enjoyed every minute of my stay. Here are the things that I did during my stay:
Walk, walk & walk
The island is really small, so the best way to explore it is by walking. The island has 3 beach frontages- Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach & Sunset Beach. I went to these 3 beaches in the afternoon of my 1st day. You can walk from one beach to the other in less than 30 minutes. You also pass by almost everything (houses, schools, halls, etc) along the way.
Koh Lipe’s one & only meeting point
Make sure to bring a bottle of water while walking around because it is really hot during the day.
Swim, swim & swim
The island has one of the clearest waters I’ve seen in my life so far. The best way to enjoy the place is to swim, basically the story of my stay in Koh Lipe. I had fun swimming with some random seawater creatures.
I only planned to walk along Sunrise beach but I ended up swimming 😂
Pattaya Beach invites you to swim. Would you dare to say no? 😉
Sunrise & sunset watching
I witnessed amazing sunrises & sunsets on the island. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
Sunrise beach every morning 🌅
View from the sunset beach 🌇
On my 2nd day, I took a tour that went around the nearby islands. The tour left Koh Lipe at 9:00 am & first went snorkeling in Jabang. Then we went to Koh Hin Ngam, the island made of polished black stones.
Koh Hin Ngam – an island full of polished stones
We went snorkeling again in Koh Yang then headed to Koh Rawi for lunch. This island provided some spectacular views. The sands were very fine & the beach had the clearest waters. The photo header of my website was actually taken in Koh Rawi.
View while having lunch in Koh Rawi 😍
Someone had so much fun exploring the pristine beaches of Koh Rawi 😍
We went snorkeling again on the other side of Koh Rawi then went back to Koh Lipe. The island tour was a fun experience! I had too much of snorkeling & sun exposure that day.
The clearest waters of Koh Lipe 😍
Thai Food Indulgence
I ate a lot of Thai food during my stay – pad thai, chicken & pork fried rice, satay, curry, tom yum, etc. I didn’t even bother looking for any other cuisine. Most restaurants can be found along the Walking Street. Ahhhhh, it’s definitely one of my favorite cuisines.
Koh Lipe Walking Street – it’s where you will find everything you need!
Drink Chang.. Lots of Chang!
A trip will never be complete without drinking. Yes, I had drinks with the people I met at the hostel. We had some good times over bottles of Chang beer. At midnight, we transferred from the bar to the shores of Pattaya Beach. We even saw some bio-luminescent plankton in the waters. Good times! Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos because I left both my phone & camera at the hostel.
As mentioned in my 2016 Recap Blog, this was my first solo international trip last year. I’m glad I pushed through with this Koh Lipe trip. I had the most relaxing 3 days of my life there. I enjoyed some quiet time in paradise & got sun-kissed in the scenic beaches.
Koh Lipe is indeed a paradise, it’s a place I will definitely go back to in the future!
Oh Koh Lipe, you are so beautiful. I will be back soon.. I promise!
Kuala Lumpur Stopover
On the same week of my trip, my sister flew to Kuala Lumpur for work. She was assigned there to work for a project for 5 weeks. I had to cut my Koh Lipe trip by 1 day to visit her. I spent the last night of the trip at her place, heard mass the next day & had lunch together in Suria KLCC. We also made a quick visit to the grounds of the Petronas Twin Towers.
Obligatory Petronas Twin Towers photo with my sister
Do you have any questions about Koh Lipe? Is there anything you want to know about the island? Feel free to comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send me a message on Facebook, drop a comment on Instagram or send me a tweet on Twitter. Suggestions for future topics are also welcome.
Thank you very much! (ขอบคุณมาก) 🇹🇭 😃
PS. All photos above were shot using my HTC Re & HTC One M8.