Koh Lipe is a small, paradise island in the very south of Thailand just north of Malaysia on the Andaman Sea. It's seen as a part of the Tarutao National Park which is a group of undeveloped islands famous for their turquoise waters and rich coral. One of these islands, Koh Adang, is very close to Koh Lipe and offers hiking trails to viewpoints, waterfalls, empty beaches and dream snorkelling.
I've wanted to visit Koh Lipe for a long time. I'd heard travelling tales of a magical island with the whitest of sand and bluest of waters. That's exactly what I found there. I was living out a tropical island fantasy of waking up to the sounds of the sea, eating breakfast with views people would happily pay thousands for, swimming in the warm crystal water and exploring the reef finding fish. What a beautiful place! I had expected it to be quite flashy as I'd heard of people naming it the 'Maldives of Thailand' but it's actually still quite rustic and hipster and reminded me of a mini Koh Pha Ngan.
Here is my Ultimate Koh Lipe Travel Guide so you can plan your trip to be as perfect as mines was.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest airport in Thailand to Koh Lipe is Hat Yai. Here you can easily book your transfer minivan to Pak Bara Pier which is the main hub for boat transfers to the island. During High Season, there are multiple boat times per day and it's also possible to island hop to Koh Lipe from other islands on the Andaman Sea such as Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket as well as Trang and Krabi on the mainland.
Alternatively, an even quicker way to reach the island is flying to Langkawi in Malaysia and getting a boat from there. Once on land you will be escorted to the immigration office on Pattaya Beach (Koh Lipe) to be stamped into the country.
However, during Low Season, transfer to Koh Lipe only runs from Pak Bara Pier. This time of year, the boats just run in the morning (11.30) so you will have to make it to the pier by then or spend the night in Satun.
We used the company Akira. They got us to the pier very smoothly from the airport and the staff were lovely. On arrival to check in at the pier, we had to pay a fee to enter the Tarutao National Park area and to use the pier itself. Our speedboat stopped at Koh Tarutao and Koh Khai on the way to Koh Lipe which was nice to see but then the journey took a lot longer than expected.
HAT YAI AIRPORT TO PAK BARA: 300 BAHT
NATIONAL PARK FEE: 200 BAHT
PIER FEE: 20 BAHT
SPEEDBOAT TO KOH LIPE: 600 BAHT
The only mode of transport on the island are motorbike taxi's which are attached to little side carts making it easier for multiple passengers and luggage. Any ride should cost 50 BAHT per person. The island is honestly that small though we just walked everywhere as anywhere on the island can be reached within 5-20 minutes. I loved walking through the little village areas getting an insight of the locals lives and real living!
You can also get long tail taxi boats if you wish.
There are multiple laundry service shops on the island all charging 60 BAHT per kilo.
There are several cash machines on the island.
There are two 7/11's on the island situated on the busy Walking Street. There is also a decent mini supermarket as well as plenty of mini-marts and 'Mom & Pop Shops'.