Koh Lipe – Maldives of Thailand

Koh Lipe is an island on the edge of South West Thailand. It is also called Maldives of Thailand. We have already been on Maldives, exploring Greek Maldives, why not Thailand Maldives as well?

To be honest, real Maldives are much more beautiful, but Koh Lipe is wonderful. What resembles real Maldives is great coral color of the sea, and that is something really special. The island is part of Tarutao national park and together with Adang archipelago islands represent true underwater paradise. I just couldn´t believe that snorkeling in Thailand can be so beautiful 🙂 .

When you arrive to Koh Lipe, you have to pay 200 baht of environmental tax, for kids it is 50% discount. It is important to keep the receipt until the end of your staying as you will need it if you will go on trip to other islands.

Koh Lipe is small island and you can easily walk around it. It has two mail beaches (Sunrise and Pattaya beach) and Walking Street that connects them. In 15 minutes you can be from one beach to the other and everything is near.

Where to stay and which part of the island is the most beautiful?

Most travelers agree that the most beautiful part of the island is Sunrise beach area, but we found Pattaya just as beautiful. Maybe because we were there in low season and there were not a lot of tourists. Pattaya is starting point when you come to the island and it can be crowded in high season. But if you are located on the west side of Pattaya, you are distant of mini ships and boats and you can enjoy your peace. On North West side of the island is Sunset Beach, which we advise against because there is trash allover – unfortunately locals leave their garbage everywhere.
We stayed in Cabana Lipe beach resort in Sunrise Beach where we really indulge. As we were on the island for a week, it was our vacation, our relax time with a lot of free time without running from one spot to another as travelers often do. Our accommodation and breakfasts were great. The only thing that bothered us was not so tidy surrounding of the hotel.

We could also recommend Zanom Sunrise beach resort. But if we would make the decision about accommodation again, we would choose Salisa resort (nearby is Satun Dive resort which is cheaper), as we liked the surroundings and beach access more. But as I said, the island is small and in 5 o 15 minutes you can be anywhere.

This is how Pattaya beach looks like, where you should sit in the shade of Cafe Lipe (that offers also basic accommodation in idyllic surroundings for really cheap prices).

And Walking Street:

What to do on the island for a week?

We were not bored and could easily stay longer 🙂 .

Besides delicious Thai and sea food (more about that in additional article, as it was really that good), are there cheap and quality massages, where you pay 7 eur for an hour of indulgence. Pure luxury. And then there are nearby islands of Adang archipelago that offer great snorkeling and diving.

All agencies (that are mostly on Walking Street) offer tour A and tour B.

We took both. On tour A we were in a boat with another family of three and paid 40 eur for two adults and two kids and it included lunch, fruit, water and diving masks. It was great.

We decided to go on tour B (that is a bit longer) alone, so we hired private boat and paid 60 eur (lunch included). Both tours were great. If you have time and/or money only for one, take tour B, we found it a bit more beautiful. When you have private boat you have the advantage to decide where you will go and how much time you will stay there, so you can avoid other boats and can be alone on the beach, which is great plus.

We also recommend hiring kayak (on Sunrise beach) and go around nearby islands to the edge of cape on the North and watch sunset. We paid 10 eur for two kayaks for two hours.

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Prices on Koh Lipe

Even though Koh Lipe is more expansive of Thailand islands, we didn´t find the prices so high. We traveled in low season that is true, but nevertheless. I already write about trips and prices which are really cheap considering other parts of the world and experience that you get. We paid around 16 eur for lunches for four persons, water and coconuts included. If we ate fish and sea fruits for dinner, we paid 30 eur for four persons. There was always soup, fried vegetables, curry and so on. But you can eat cheaper, if you want, as you can get Pad Thai on Walking Street for only 2 eur. And I am not even talking about Thai pancakes, fresh juices and similar snacks. You can also get “western” food, but I cannot advise you on that as we never ordered it . I notices pizza slices for 100 baht and whole big pizzas for 300 baht. As Peter and I both love good Italian cappuccino, we were trying to find it some time, and we did, together with the best waffles, ice-cream and local fruits. You can get all that in Bloom bar on Walking Street (opposite of 7Eleven). Well, cappuccino weren´t the cheapest (2 eur) but we thought it was worth its price.

What we didn´t like on Koh Lipe?

It is Asia. And in Asia (in main part) locals don´t have any environmental knowledge, sadly. I don´t say that everything in west world is perfect, far from that. But there were a lot of trash and it bothered us. We could go to super deluxe resort and be separated of outside world, but that is not the real thing for us. So we were trying to accept their ignorance towards trash, but it bothered us anyway. In monsoon time the garbage that was thrown in the sea is brought by sea current to the north part of the island Koh Lipe. Not nice to see. But sadly locals don´t mind and I have no idea when – if – they will decide to clean that up. But this is Asia. I believe that in high season you don´t see that much trash, but then there is crowded.

Nevertheless Koh Lipe is wonderful island and we are really happy that we choose it as our vacation.