Lots to love about Koh Lipe

Travel Ko Lipe, Thailand, SE Asia

Earlier in the year, I had the great fortune to get to Thai island Koh Lipe – and I LOVED it!! I’d go back in a heartbeat. What’s so great about it? And why should you go?

Azure Blue Waters

There is just something about the water here, with the ocean displaying all wondrous shades of blue and green, punctuated here and there with little islands to vary the scene.

Koh Lipe ocean view

We stayed on Sunset Beach, and so had the beautiful view of Ko Adang right across from us, with the aqua blue of our side giving way to the darker water as it neared the bigger island. There was also this lovely little crescent of sand that just set off the blue of the nearby sea. Check out our brekkie view:

Mouantain Resort view

Spectacular Sunsets

One of the best things to do on holidays is simply watch the marvels of nature, noteably the sunsets (or sunrises, if you’re a morning person, which I’m NOT!) Staying on the Sunset side meant we only had to walk a minute from our bungalow to see the sun bid adieu in all its flaming gorgeousness:

beautiful koh lipe sunset

Sunset Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe sunset


Oh, and after the sunset, you only have to turn around to see the lunarscape – it’s a two-fer! We were lucky enough to have a full moon during our stay there.

koh lipe moonscape

Laid Back Vibe

Mercifully, the fact that it’s only accessible by boat means that the island has remained relatively undeveloped. (Those who visited back in the 90’s might disagree, but it’s still a FAR cry from other thai islands). There are only a few roads, and the few that are there are mainly serviced by motorcycles and the occasional pickup ferrying people to and from the resorts.

You can still walk along the beach without encountering fenced off areas just for resorts, and without being hassled by touts. There are no touts in fact; while there are massage lanais here and there, no-one will come up and solicit you, or try to sell you trinkets or braid your hair (hello Bali, I’m looking at you). There is lots of space on the beach too, so you aren’t lying cheek-by-jowl with the other holidaymakers.

Dom at Sunset Beach

Range of Accommodation

You can still get a basic hut on the beach here (which sadly is not the case on many Thai islands, hey, Samui and Phi Phi?), or you can get mid-range or high-end resorts, depending on what your thing is. We stayed at Mountain Resort, which was mid to high, being air-conditioned and furnished with bar fridge and TV (not that you want to spend time on that while you’re here!). The bungalows come with a great balcony for enjoying a sundowner, if you’re not down at the beach catching the sunset there!

Mountain Resort Koh Lipe

Here’s the view from the bungalow balcony:

Mountain Resort view Koh Lipe

I really liked the Andaman Resort; we only had lunch there, but liked the fact it had bamboo bungalows facing the sea, and still was low-key rather than resort-y, if you know what I mean. I’d probably go for this one next time.

Andaman Resort front

This is the view from the restaurant at Andaman Resort; very close to the ocean!

Andaman Resort

Great Food

Each resort of course has their own restaurant, and we dined at our own a few times (but when ordering Thai dishes, ask for mild if you don’t want super fiery!!)

Thai dinner

Pad Thai at the Andaman Resort – delicious!


On “Walking Street”, the main street of the island, there are sooo many options for dining that you’re spoiled for choice.

Walking Street sign

I’m a roti fiend, so for breakfast or actually any time of the day, I highly recommend Roti Mina.

Roti Mina. Koh Lipe

Oh my, the roti was tissuey and light and flaky and delicious, the chicken curry slightly sweet and packed with flavour. The iced Thai tea was also highly addictive. I went back 2 more times for these!

Roti Mina lunch

Roti Mina menu

This is the dish I had every time I went, as seen above, the Roti Kank-Ka-Ri-Kai:

Roti Mina roti menu


They also do other dishes, and the ubiquitous banana pancake – but there are QUITE a few places that do that!

There are so many cuisines, from seafood restaurants, to bistros with french cuisine, to burger joints, to Thai/Italian/Mexican etc places, to bakeries….you just have to walk along and see what takes your fancy. Vegan or gluten intolerant? No problem.

Retail Therapy

I don’t go on island holidays to buy things, myself, but it’s nice to know that if you want a new bikini, sarong, sunglasses, fridge magnets or whatever, you can get it. This is the end of Walking Street, as it nears the beach.

Walking Street, facing the beach

In the heat of the afternoon, however, the shops are best viewed from undercover in a nearby cafe 😉Walking St Koh Lipe

There are also several atm’s on the island, so you don’t have far to go to get out some more dosh if you do indulge 🙂

 Low Key Nightlife

Speaking of Walking Street, while it’s pleasant to go for a stroll and check out the shops during the day, at night it really comes alive with people looking for cafes, restaurants and bars to hang out in.

My fave bar was The Gallery Bar – not only did it have a resident bar dog, but it also played indie hits from the likes of the Killers and Arctic Monkeys.

Gallery Bar, Koh Lipe

Note the sleeping bar dog – aww!!!!The Gallery Bar Koh Lipe

It gets pretty packed at night, and tables at the front ensure you get full view of the passing parade.new friends at Gallery Bar Koh Lipe

There are bars on the smaller streets branching off the main drag as well as some on the beach (see beach bars here), so take the time to check them out too. In town the drinking seems to go to the wee small hours, but on the beach things quiten right down by 10pm.

Friendly wildlife

I’m a dog lover, so I was THRILLED that there were loads of friendly dogs around, as well as some kitties! This was one we fed scraps to and played with at the front of the Gallery Bar:

Dog on Koh Lipe

Dog at Gallery Bar

There are loads on the beach, just playing or having a swim:

boats n dogs

At night, they just lay down wherever, even on Walking Street itself:

dogs at night.

One day we came home to a kitty cat on our balcony – we haz a housecat!


OK they’re not exactly wildlife;)

There are 3 main beaches on Koh Lipe where you can find accommodation: Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach and Pattaya. Pattaya Beach near the ferry port (at the end of Walking Street) gets a LOT of boats, so you might not want to stay here, unless you’re off the beach a ways, or a sound sleeper and don’t mind engine noise and chatter.

Ko Lipe



How Do You Get There?

In high season the simplest way is to fly to Langkawi (Malaysia) and take the boat to Koh Lipe. In low season the only way is via Pak Bara in Thailand. Boats run from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe all year. You can also get the boat down from Phuket to Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, and island hop your way there.

TIP: If you’re coming from Malaysia, leave time before and after the boatride for immigration, getting visa stamped etc. You hand in your passport and stand around or find somewhere to sit until your name is called (with no rhyme, reason or order, so just relax).

So long Koh Lipe, it’s been wonderful – and I’ll be back for sure!

Leanne w sunset at Koh Lipe

2 Comments on Lots to love about Koh Lipe

  1. Natalie
    April 16, 2015 at 1:37 am (9 years ago)

    Ohhh! This looks amazing! I’ve been dying to get back to an island holiday. I spent 2 weeks in Aitutaki (the cook islands) and I would love to get back!

    • trashtastika
      May 3, 2015 at 3:43 pm (9 years ago)

      OOH! I haven’t got to Aitutaki as yet, but it looks incredible! I’ve only heard good things about it 🙂