Koh Lipe (Lipe Island)

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Koh Lipe -Lipe Island in Satun Andaman sea, Thailand

Koh lipe ; “maldives of thailand”

Renowned as “Maldives of Thailand”, Koh Lipe is the dream destination for both Thai and foreign tourists to have a chance to feel and indulge with its stunning beauty of the azure sea, crystal-clear water, and white powdery sand. The heart-taking gorgeous of the place lures to numerous of visitors to dive into the underwater world at this heaven-like island of Andaman. What to make this island to be listed as one of the dream destinations in worldwide. Here, we brought you the details which will cause you to fall for the island even not yet to visit.    

Lipe island is a tourist attraction nestles in the area of the UNESCO ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserves “Tarutao Islands National Marine Park”, Satun province in the south of Thailand. The island sits near the southern borderline around the Adang – Ravi island or about 45 km to the west from Tarutao island. And it is about 62 km distance from Pak Bara Pier. 

Background of Koh Lipe Island

Wood bridge with sunset at pattaya beach

“Lipe” means board or flat which is the Urak Lawoi, the residents of Lipe. They migrated from Malaysia and Indonesia. In the old days, Lipe island is a quiet island that was distant from any civilisation. The dwellers lived their lives by the fishery. In 1971, Princess Mother Srinagarindra (the mother of King Bhumibol) graciously visited the site and acknowledged that the people on this island have no any family name. Therefore, she bestowed the family name “Harntalay” to the villagers. Presently, there are plenty of Urak Lawoi’s offspring use this family name.    

Koh Lipe had grown its reputation from the divers and the Malaysian tourists who ride on the ferry from Langkawi island. Until in 2004 when the Tsunami wiped out the Andaman space, luckily the Lipe island rarely destroyed from this disaster resulted in the island became popular with a numerous of the tourists since the place is secured.

Lipe island sites within the National Marine Park area, nonetheless, all properties on the island belong to the villagers who have lived here for over hundred years which is before the setting of the park. So that, the property management in the island is out of the authority of the park office. Instead, the community manages their own and the park office assists in safety and security for the tourists only.

There are many households on the island of which most living on the fishery. Every 13th -15th waxing moon of the 6th and 12th lunar month, the native villagers will gather at the island to make the ship from wintergreen including the floating ceremony during these 3 days and 3 nights. The villagers believe that it is predestination for the fishery. Unfortunately, the Urak Lawoi on Koh Lipe island nowadays decreases rapidly because the lands were sold to many real estate developers to build hotels and resorts.

Koh Lipe in general

“Koh Lipe” is plentiful in coral reef resource, beautiful bay, and perfect powdery white sand beaches. The island consists of 4 beaches which are Pattaya Beach, Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach, and Karma Beach. It is about 15-20 minutes’ walk to transit to each beach.

1. Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach in Koh Lipe, Thailand

The most vibrant location on this isle where is the paradise for one who loves to be in the fun and active ambience. The Pattaya Beach or Bandaya Beach locates in the west of the island and so-called the best place to spot the sunset of Satun. The name of the beach “Pattaya” distorted from its original name “Bandaya”. This beach is ideal for any water playing on its beautiful beach and clear water. Pattaya Beach is the closest shore to the pier resulting in numerous of ferries to this beach all through the time.

There are many restaurants on the beach which mostly open in the evening. The facilities providing here are more than other beaches including convenient shop, diving tour, restaurant, etc. Also, it is the beginning point of the Lipe Island Walking Street, as well. In the morning, the people taking the one-day trip to tour around the island and the best place to swim is at the origin or end of the beach.     

2. Sunrise Beach

sunrise beach in Lipe Island

If you are a fan to watch the sunrise, we proud to present you the most beautiful sunrise spot of Andaman and one of the best viewpoints in Thailand that is “Chao Lay Beach” or “Sunrise Beach”. The beach features the lovely crystal-clear water and smooth, pearly sand beach with the cuddling of pine trees all along the way. It is a tranquil beach that why we can spot a lot of foreign visitors come here for sunbathing.

Moreover, it is a perfect location for water playing and snorkelling. There are various species of under-water world beings –  corals, sea anemone, clownfish, etc. The clownfish spot starts from Cast Away Resort to Ban Adang School. There are a lot of resorts and restaurants on the Sunrise Beach. And the Walking Street is not too far from this place, also.   

3. Sunset Beach

sunset beach in Lipe Island

Sunset Beach or Pramong Beach situate opposite to the Adang Island. This beach connects to the Sunrise Beach at the Mountain Resort. This is a peaceful and quiet beach with a few tourists. The beach features the lovely reef, fantastic view, and beautiful water. The popular accommodation of the beach is Mountain Resort which is a significant resort provides the accommodation lines from the shore ascending to the hill.

Any tourist who prefers hideaway spot, the Sunset Beach is the right choice. Furthermore, it is one of the best locations to watch the sunset, as well. And if you would like to take a trip to the Adang Island that locates on the opposite side, you can hire the long-tail boat to the island with THB50 / head of the charge.  

4. Karma Beach

Karma beach in tropical sea at Lipe island

This beach is not well-known among the tourist. It locates in the north of Lipe Island and faces to the Adang Island.

Neighbouring islands around Lipe Island

Apart from the 3 main beaches of Lipe, the island also has other attractions around the area such as Koh Tarutao, Koh Kai, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Hin Son, Koh Adang, Koh Rawi, Koh Kra for instance. And those islands open seasoning between November 16 –  May 15 annually. However, Lipe island is out of the operation of the marine office resulting in the island opens throughout the year. But checking the weather before the trip is a must recommendation.   

1. Koh Tarutao

Tarutao National Park, Satun Province, Thailand

Koh Tarutao: Taking the trip to Lipe Island, the tourist needs to get the speedboat from Pak Bara Pier that will stop at the Tarutao Island before. So, it is a good idea to stop by for some stroll.  

2. Koh Khai

Kho Khai near Tarutao national park

Koh Khai (the Rock Arch): Next stop of the speedboat is Khai Island where is close to the Lipe Island. The isle features white and smooth sand beach. There is a rock arch as a photo point for the tourist. And it believes that anyone who passes through the rock arch will get marry soon ^^.  

3. Koh Rawi

Koh Rawi in Satun Thailand

Koh Rawi: The powdery white sand beach is a symbol of this beautiful island. 

4. Koh Hin Ngam

Black Rock Ko Hin Ngam

Koh Hin Ngam: A small island nearby the Adang Island. However, this island has no any beach, but the rounded black rocks fill all the space. There is a myth that the Tarutao guardian spirit cursed to anyone who picks the stone from the island will be disastrous. The favourite activity for the visitors is to pile up 13 rocks then make a wish which influenced from the Japanese.  

5. Koh Kra

Koh Kra island in Thailand

Koh Kra: It situates in the sea at the front of Chao Lay Bay of Lipe Isle with 200 meters distance. This small isle is abundant with the under the sea creatures and is an ideal snorkelling spot. And just 200 m from Lipe, the tourist can walk from Lipe to Ko Kra during the tide is low. More than that, at the peak of the island, is an unseen viewpoint that you should not miss.     

6. Koh Hin Son

Beautiful rock at Koh Hin Son in Thailand

Koh Hin Son: The island contains the large size of stones, and it is fantastic of which they piled up stably. The site features the snorkelling spot to see young coral and lovely fish.

What More at Koh Lipe

Beautiful sunset on white sand beach and Clear water

Walking Street Lipe is another attraction on Koh Lipe that is very popular among the tourists. The street begins at Pattaya Beach and destines at Sunrise Beach with about 1 km in total. The road features a lot of restaurants serving an array of food – cooked to order, seafood, international cuisine, grilled and BBQ, diving tour package, gift shop, internet cafe, pharmacy, and more. So, the tourists can enjoy shopping and eatery on the street. The walking street opens from 6.00AM to midnight.   

Talk about the eating, the food served at Lipe Island is second to none for its taste. There are many interesting restaurants such as Rak Lay the famous Thai cuisine and seafood, The Cove Bistro the 5-star dining place, Ter Bi Lang the original Roti & Tea Tarik of Lipe, and more. 

The facilities providing on the island are entire including the convenient shop, although the price is slightly more high caused by the surcharge of transportation. The mobile service and internet are available from all providers. 

Taking Trip at the Island

Taking Trip at the Island

Since Koh Lipe is not ample of space, so it is possible for the tourists to stroll around the area of islands within a day. And for one who doesn’t want to walk, instead of hiring the pick-up truck is an alternative option.  

So-called the peak season to travel to Lipe is summer (between November – May). The trip to the island during the rainy season is possible and can save your pocket since the price of accommodation is lower. And if there is not any severe monsoon the tourists can still enjoy the diving. (as mentioned previously to check the weather before the trip is a good idea).

One day trip for Diving at Koh Lipe

snorkel diving at Koh Lipe of Andaman sea, Thailand

Besides its stunning landscape of beaches, Lipe island and the neighbouring islands – Adang, Ravi, Hin Ngam, Mai Pai, etc. are one of the best diving locations in Thailand weather snorkelling and scuba. The site features the abundant coral reef and various sea fish. The visitors can make a trip both long-tail boat or package tour provided by the resorts and tour agent at the Walking Street and Pak Bara Pier.

One day trip of Diving divided into 3 zones are;  

1. Inner zone: Tour 5 spots – Jabang Pinnacle, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Yang, Sai Khao Beach (Koh Rawi). The price for hiring long-tail boat is THB1,200 estimate for 8 passengers in maximum or joined tour with THB550 per head.

2. Outer zone: Tour 5 spots – Jabang Pinnacle, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Hin Son, Koh Mai Pai, Koh Rok Loi. The price for hiring long-tail boat is THB1,700 estimate for 8 passengers in maximum or joined tour with THB650 per head.

3. East zone: Tour 5 spots – Koh Kra, Kong Hin Khao, Koh Adang, Widow Bay, Tapien Bay. The price for hiring long-tail boat is THB1,200 estimate for 8 passengers in maximum.

The popular tours are inner and outer zone tours since they have more beautiful coral site than the east area. The tourist who would like to take the trip to inner + outer zones within one day is possible. The one-day trip is from 8.00am – 4.30pm, however, it is short duration for each spot.

How to get to Koh Lipe

How to get to Koh Lipe

There are many options to travel to Lipe Island as by following;

By car:

Drives on the Petchakasem road from Bangkok drives along the Rama 2 road – Pak Tho – Petchaburi. And heads towards to Surat Thani – Tung Song. Then, takes heads to Trang and Yan Ta Khao – Pak Bara. From Surat Thani to Pak Bara pier takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes. Later, takes the boat to Lipe island. 

By Bus:

From Songkhla

  • From Bangkok, gets the bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Boromarajonani Road) to Songkhla (Had Yai).  
  • Gets taxi or pick-up truck service (THB20) and gets off at Old Kaset Market. This is the transportation hub of van services to travel to many locations in the Southern region.
  • The van service ticket booth locates in the terminal with the signage Had Yai – Pak Bara Pier. The price is THB100 with the duration of the trip about 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

from Satun

  • From Bangkok, gets the bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Boromarajonani Road) to Satun (La-Ngu). Gets off at La-Ngu and takes the pick-up truck service available in front of La-Ngu Hospital to go to Pak Bara Pier with THB20 for the fee. In case of travel as a group can request the boat service agent to pick up at the station. And the tourist should grab some food and drink at the market before leaving the terminal as the price on the island is more expensive especially drinking water.

By Train:

Can get the train route Bangkok – Yala or Bangkok – Had Yai and gets off at Had Yai station. Then, takes the taxi from flyover bridge in front of the post office, Rattakarn branch. Or taking the public van service to go to Satun with 97 km of the distance. For more information, please call 223-7010, 223-7020 or www.railway.co.th

By Plane:

  • There is no any direct flight to Satun; however, you can take the trip Bangkok – Had Yai, instead.
  • Then, gets the taxi or pick-up truck service that charges about THB20 to the transportation hub at Old Kaset market.
  • The van service ticket booth locates in the terminal with the signage Had Yai – Pak Bara Pier. The price is THB100 with the duration of the trip about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

From Pak Bara Pier / Satun

Speedboat: It takes time to Lipe Island about 1 hour and 30 minutes approximate. The boat departs from the pier daily between 11.30am – 1.30pm. the price is THB900 per person (roundtrip Pak Bara Pier – Lipe Island).  

Ferry: It takes times about 3 hours. The price is THB800 per person (roundtrip Pak Bara Pier – Lipe Island).

When arriving at Koh Lipe, the speedboat / Ferry park at the pontoon in the sea at Pattaya beach. Then, the tourist has to pay for administration fee which is THB20 per person and THB50 per person for the long-tail boat to access the island. Then, the tourist can get the boat to go to other beaches including Lipe Island.  

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