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If you want to visit one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, you should definitely visit Koh Lipe. There are a number of fun things to do in Koh Lipe to keep you busy during your time there, most of them are pretty lowkey and relaxed – here are the best…
Turns out I was about 15-20 years too late to see a Thailand untouched by tourism. With a lot of beaches being overcrowded, dirty, and developed to within an inch of their lives, I didn’t know if I would be able to find the beach paradise I was searching for.
Luckily beach paradises do still exist in Thailand and I found mine on a small island in the South Andaman Sea: Koh Lipe.
The islands are one of the things that Thailand is famous for, and I sure picked an incredible one to start me off.
I first heard about Koh Lipe by reading about it on a travel blog and once I saw the gorgeous photos of calm turquoise waters and incredible white sand beaches, I knew that I was definitely going to be adding it to my Thailand itinerary.
My friend Kerry and I spent five days there and apart from a day trip snorkeling and island hopping, we really didn’t do a whole lot. It was perfection.
But there are a few things to do in Koh Lipe that you shouldn’t miss during your time there. Here are my favorite things to do in Koh Lipe.
The Best Things To Do in Koh Lipe
Explore the Island
Koh Lipe is a tiny L-shaped island that is only 3.5 km by 2.5km in size making it very walkable. The island is made up of three beaches: Sunset Beach, Sunrise Beach, and Pattaya Beach with Walking Street, a blue paved road lined with restaurants, tour operators, and bars, linking Sunrise and Pattaya beaches.
Another dirt road led the short distance to Sunset Beach. I enjoyed checking out the shops and restaurants along Walking Street and just generally wandering around and exploring the sandy pathways and beaches of the island.
Get Banana Pancakes From the Thai Lady Pancake Shop
Every morning we would walk along Walking Street, stopping for coconut and banana pancakes at the Thai Lady Pancake Shop. There is a large and diverse selection of pancakes to choose from and the pancakes here are some of the best I have ever had. My favorite concoction is coconut and banana but go wild!
Swim and Relax at the Different Beaches
One of the very best things to do in Koh Lipe is to hit the stunning beaches.
Pattaya Beach was my favorite for swimming as the water was so clear and calm and there was a large, wide crescent of sandy beach to find a spot to lay down our towels.
There was also a small resort with a pool right by the beach where the staff didn’t mind if we swam so we would usually go between the sea and the beach for a couple of hours.
In the afternoons we would head back to Sunrise Beach, stopping for lunch along the way.
Sunrise Beach is quieter than Pattaya with slightly choppy water and soft, powdery sand. I loved reading in the beach huts or just watching the ocean as storm clouds darkened the afternoon sky. Long tail boats with brightly colored ribbons lined the shoreline.
Watch the Sunset at Sunset Beach
Funnily enough, Sunset Beach was best for sunsets. Who knew?! We only made it there once but swimming in the warm waters of the protected beach and sipping mojitos at the small popup beach bar was an excellent way to celebrate another perfect day in paradise.
Enjoy Live Music at Pooh Bar
In the evenings we would usually head to Walking Street to see live music and have a couple of drinks at Pooh Bar. The band is pretty good and it was a fun way to spend a relaxed evening.
Get a Thai Massage
There are numerous places you can get a traditional Thai massage on Koh Lipe but my favorite place to get a massage is on the beach. I had a couple of massages outside Lipe Power Resort and they were fabulous.
Go on a Snorkeling and Island-Hopping Tour
Don’t miss doing one of the snorkeling tours – it is one of the must-do things to do in Koh Lipe.
I did a half-day snorkeling and island-hopping tour to a couple of nearby islands and I was really impressed. The coral was vibrant and colorful and I saw a lot of different types of tropical fish. The best bit though was swimming with phosphorescent plankton when it got dark. Such an amazing experience!
Our days at Koh Lipe weren’t incredibly exciting but not all travel needs to be. Sometimes having a form of routine for even five days is a welcome change from the constant moving around that is the norm of life on the road.
Just giving into relaxation was so good for me, although hard to do for a girl who finds it near impossible to sit still for more than a couple of hours at a time. I felt like there were enough things to do in Koh Lipe to stop me from feeling bored but not so much that I didn’t have time to just relax. It was the perfect balance.
Koh Lipe was exactly what I needed at a time when I needed to slow down. Sometimes you just need to stop for a while, and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to do it than Koh Lipe.
How to Plan Your Koh Lipe Trip
I recommend packing a LARQ self-cleaning and purifying water bottle with you for your Koh Lipe trip – I love mine. It is insulated to keep your water cold, it cleans itself, and, best of all, you can drink out of a tap – it kills 99% of bacteria and viruses.
How to Get to Koh Lipe
The most common way to reach Koh Lipe is by flying to Hat Yai from Bangkok or other points in Thailand, then booking a bus and ferry combo to get you from Hat Yai to Koh Lipe.
You can also reach Koh Lipe from Koh Lanta by ferry, and you can travel from Krabi to Koh Lipe by bus and ferry.
Where to Stay on Koh Lipe
If you are looking for a solid hostel that is clean, beautifully designed, centrally located and affordable, you can’t go past Bloom Cafe and Hostel which offers dorm and private rooms.
For a mid-range option, stay in a bungalow at Lipe Power Beach Resort right on Sunrise Beach. I stayed in their SeaBreeze Bungalow a little off the sand and it was simple but had everything I needed.
If you really want to splurge, stay at the award-winning Idyllic Concept Resort on Sunrise Beach. Perfect for honeymooners or travelers who want to treat themselves to a luxury stay, this gorgeous resort boasts a stunning pool, an in-house spa, and beautifully appointed rooms with a peaceful vibe.
The Best Time To Visit Koh Lipe
We visited in mid-November before the full brunt of tourist season began in December which meant there weren’t a lot of people around. There were still a few short storms coming in for about an hour a day but they quickly passed over. I think it was the best time to be there.
The high season is from December through February and this is when the island will be most crowded but the weather is the best.
The Best Travel and Health Insurance for Your Koh Lipe Trip
Make sure you get travel and health insurance before your trip. Safety Wing is my go-to and they are cheap and easy to claim with.
Safety Wing also allows you to sign up when you are already traveling, unlike a lot of other travel insurance providers.
If you liked this post, why not check out some more of my Thailand posts:
- Fun Things To Do in Koh Lanta For Budget Travelers
- Why I Didn’t Love Koh Tao
- A Fun Thai Adventure: Exploring and Rock Climbing in Railay Bay
- Thong Nai Pan: A Quieter Side to Koh Phangan
- One Week Koh Lanta Guide: The Imperfect Island of my Dreams
- Koh Lipe Snorkeling and Island-Hopping Tour
- Falling in Love with Pai
- Temple Hopping and Stuffing my Face in Chiang Mai
- Koh Phi Phi Island Tour: A Day at ‘The Beach’