Ko Lipe (Thai: เกาะหลีเป๊ะ) is an island off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. It is in Satun Province, close to Langkawi Island (Malaysia), 67 km from Pak Bara. It is part of a large group of over 70 islands, and also part of a smaller cluster of islands called the Butang Islands or Adang Archipelago.
Ko Lipe is known for diving and snorkelling, and for beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere.
Ko Lipe enjoys a great reputation and is spoken of in almost reverential terms by travel writers and on web blogs. Why this is so is difficult to understand. The island is not particularly easy or inexpensive to get to. Worse, the island is in danger of becoming another Patong given the huge number of visitors it receives and the rampant development that has transformed its "Walking Street"—overrun with commercial vehicles—into a mini-Ao Nang. If you're looking for the real "Thailand", Ko Lipe is not the place to do it.
Ko Lipe (also spelled as Koh Lipe) is just outside Tarutao National Park and surrounded by uninhabited islands of the Butong Archipelago.
The island is home to about 500 Chao Ley, or Sea Gypsies, who were given a grant to half of the island and live in small villages, predominantly around the far east side of the island near Sunrise Beach. The name "Ko Lipe" means "Paper Island" in the local Chao Ley language.
The huge tourism business of Ko Lipe results in water shortages, waste disposal issues, and other environmental problems. It is common to see garbage being burnt since there are not many reliable options for waste disposal. The island has a central power plant, fossil fuel-powered, but also has a small solar installation. Solar panels, even passive, are a rarity on this island awash in solar energy. Grey water is captured in cesspools as there is no sewer system. The source of fresh water is a mystery as no wells are evident.
The following companies operate boats in the high season (Nov-May):
- Adang Sea Tours operates three daily speedboats from 1 Nov-15 May, leaving Pak Bara at 09:30, 11:30, and 15:30. The speedboats stop at Ko Tarutao or Ko Bulone. The journey from Pak Bara takes 90 minutes and costs 650 baht one-way, 1,200 baht round trip. The boats leave Ko Lipe at 09:30, 13:30, and 16:00 for the return trip (Feb 2016).
- Bundaya Resorts and Lipe Speedboat Company also operates speedboats from Pak Bara, leaving at similar times and costing the same as above.
- Forra Speedboats [dead link] Operates two daily speedboats from 1 Nov-15 May, leaving Pak Bara at 11:30 and 13:30. The speedboats stop at Ko Tarutao. The journey from Pak Bara takes 90 minutes and costs 650 baht one-way, 1,200 baht round trip. The boats leave Ko Lipe at 09:30 and 13:30 for the return trip.
- Satun Pakbara Speed Boat Club operates a daily boat from Ko Lanta, leaving at 13:00 and stopping at Ko Ngai, Ko Muk, Ko Bulone, before reaching Ko Lipe at 16:00. The boat leaves Ko Lipe at 09:00 for the return trip. The company offers transfers to this boat from Phuket. The company also operates two daily speedboats from Telaga Terminal at Telaga Harbour Marina in Langkawi, Malaysia, 42 km from Ko Lipe. These boats dock at the south end of Pattaya Beach. The boats leave Langkawi at 09:30 and 14:30 for the 60 minute journey, costing approximately 120 ringgit. The boats leave Ko Lipe for the return journey at 10:30 and 16:30.
- Tigerline Ferries operates a daily speedboat to/from Langkawi, leaving Langkawi at 08:00 and arriving at Ko Lipe at 09:00, and returns from Ko Lipe to Langkawi at 16:00. The trip costs 1,200 baht. The company also operates a daily speedboat to/from Hat Yao Pier in Trang, leaving Ko Lipe at 10:00 and arriving in Trang at 12:30. The trip costs 750 baht. The company offers boat service to Ko Lanta (1,500 baht total, arrives 15:30), and Phi Phi (1,800 baht total, arrives 17:00). For the journey to Ko Lipe, the boats leave Phi Phi at 08:00 and arrive in Ko Lipe at 15:30.
- Tropical Charters operates ferries from Ko Lipe to Langkawi (Kuah jetty) twice per day during the high season at 11:00 and 16:00 from Ko Lipe and 09:30 and 14:30 from Langkawi. During the low season, the company only has morning trips. Price is RM118 one way (RM100 if you book online), including the longtail boat transfer and Thai custom fee (2015). Registration 90 minutes before departure at the Bundhaya Speed Boat office at Bundhaya Resort. The trip takes 90 minutes. Arrival in Langkawi is at Jetty Point in Kuah.
In the low-season, there is one boat per day from Pak Bara leaving at 11:30.
Boats from the mainland dock at an off-shore pontoon during high-season. During low-season ferries arrive on Sunrise Beach. Before you are allowed to proceed you must pay a 200 baht national park admission fee even though Ko Lipe is not in the national park. From there longtail boats will take you ashore for 50 baht or offer transfers to anywhere on Ko Lipe for negotiated price.
All of Ko Lipe can be covered on foot, although its size at first can be a little deceiving. There are many motorcycles and saleng on the island, none of them for rent. The saleng are motorcycle sidecar taxis (labeled as such with drivers wearing numbered blue vests) that charge 50 baht per person from any point on the island to any other point on the island (or 300 baht per hour), they are typically parked near the 7-Eleven or ordered by phone (phone numbers are displayed on many of the electric poles). There are pickup trucks on the island belonging to resorts and used to transfer their customers' bags on arrival/departure and as shuttles (certain resorts also operate golf carts as shuttles). Small concrete roads link the various beaches.
Fishing is illegal near the island, so stay away from fishing trips and do not purchase locally-caught fish.
- Pattaya Beach (South (leeward) side of the island). The most popular beach and good for children. Lots of bungalows for rent on or near the beach. Ferries dock here during high-season (Nov-Apr).
- Sunrise Beach (East (windward) side of the island, near the Chao Ley village). Ferries dock here during low-season (May-Oct).
- Sunset Beach. In the west, which as the name implies, facing the sunset. Not much of a beach, but has bars and tent sites for camping.
Around Ko Lipe are some of Thailand's best reefs, all within easy reach. The reefs around Ko Lipe are largely intact; the 2004 tsunami had little impact here. The currents here are predominantly tidal which means certain times of the month there are strong currents and at other times none at all. You can always find somewhere good to dive but the widest selection of dive sites is available twice a month, following the half moon.
You can see numerous sharks, whale sharks and manta rays. Sightings of the big guys are more likely at sites around the edge of the marine park, nearer the deeper waters. For the best chance, visit 8 Mile Rock, Stonehenge, or Ko Pung.
- Between Ko Adang & Ko Rawi. Has excellent diving and snorkelling between the two islands where the mountains come down to the sea. Underwater there are huge boulders and many types of rare fish and coral species that inhabit the reef in this region. A great spot for drift diving. Snorkellers should head for the east side of Ko Rawi where the national park has set up ropes along the reef, so that snorkellers can pull themselves easily along and investigate the reef with ease.
- 8 Mile Rock. A true deep sea pinnacle 75 minutes away by boat. The rock can be a tough place to dive due to the strong currents, but the marine and bird life that come here to feed are fantastic. The top of the pinnacle rises to within 14 m of the surface. Found here are soft corals, schools of pelagic fish, potato cod, manta rays, whale sharks, leopard sharks.
- Hin Takorn Dukong. Right in the centre of the Marine Park, this site is home to just about every species of fish that you can imagine. The site is made up of granite stones shaped similar to building blocks rising up from the seabed into a structure with a series of tall points at its peak. Up to 18 m deep, one can swim around the base of the pinnacle, observing what is here in abundance: hard and soft corals, at least 6 types of eel such as snake eels, different types of lion-fish and stone-fish. Squid and cuttlefish try to hide here and succeed in attracting the larger predators such as sailfish.
- Ko Bu Tang. Has become one of the most popular islands to dive. One of the largest islands of the group, Ko Bu Tong supports many bird and animal species. Troops of crab eating monkeys called "macaques" live on the island and a colourful type of bee eater bird can often be spotted from the beaches here. Giant corals and shellfish grow everywhere around this island paradise. Dive the north and south channels, although for deep diving the "Giant's Staircase" on the island's west side has huge natural stone steps going down underwater to 50 m or more. Also to found on Ko Bu Tang is Sting Ray City, where the blue spotted stingrays are plentiful. This site is also very good for snorkelling. North side: has Monkey Bay, similar to Sting Ray City but much more steep and dramatic. Expect to see endless rows of tall coral-heads, turtles and rare critters such as the ornamental ghost pipe-fish and sharks sleeping under the corals. East side: has the perfect tiny island of Ko Lokoi. Surrounded by about 90 acres of shallow coral, you could do four dives here and not see it all.
- Ko Langcha. Between Langcha and Adang is a very nice coral garden really worth the effort both for divers and snorkellers. Near perfect gardens shelter all sorts including rays and eels.
- Ko Sawang. This last tiny island is on the outer edge of the archipelago. There is not a tree or scrap of vegetation that can grow on this tall smooth stone, but underwater this place is full of life. Fantastic coral gardens growing on the rocky outcrops below and spend time with the millions of fish to be found here.
- Yong Hua Shipwreck. In 1996 a fish-factory ship anchored near the western end of Ko Lipe caught fire and sank to the bottom of the sea in about 40 m of water. The shipwreck is now completely covered in marine growth and inhabited by schools of fish. The shipwreck has become a very interesting place to dive but does some times have strong currents making it a difficult dive. The top of the wreck is at about 26 m sitting on its keel that is at 40 m.
- Adang Sea Divers (email@example.com) (Sunrise Beach), ☎ . Professional, multilingual, and experienced instructors and dive masters. 1 to 3 dives a day from speedboat (the only dive centre on Lipe offering speedboat dives). Night diving, PADI, SDI and Nitrox courses. Small intimate groups. Specialised in underwater photography.
- Castaway Divers (Sunrise Beach), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI, SDI and freediving courses. Snorkelling trips are run separately from the dive boats daily for only 650 baht (including lunch & equipment). Specialises in small intimate groups. 2 dives/2,500+ baht.
- 1 Davy Jones Locker (Pattaya Beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Experienced instructors teaching all PADI courses from beginner to dive master level. Daily trips for certified divers to all the best dive sites around Ko Lipe. Free accommodation for divers and students available when you book on-line.
- Forra Diving (Sunrise Beach), ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI courses, and liveaboard diving trips. Snorkellers are welcome to tag along on day trips for only 500 baht (including lunch & equipment). 3,500 baht for 2 dives.
- 2 Ko Lipe Diving (Walking St, 200 m from Pattaya Beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 08:00-22:00. Ko Lipe Diving is a SSI Diamond Dive Center and Instructor Training Facility. They offer daily fun dive day trips for certified divers, a full range of SSI courses from beginner to pro, introductory dives (you can try Scuba Diving) and a wide range of SSI specialties. PADI courses available as well. Non-divers are welcome to join daily trips for snorkeling or a cruise around the islands. Biggest dive boat on the island, 25 meters long, 3 decks, 2 toilets. They can also arrange private trips for couples, friends and families combining diving, snorkeling and island exploration. You can expect professional diving instruction and services in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Well organised. Experienced, multilingual instructors speak English, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, German, Dutch, Malay and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese).
- Ocean Pro Divers (Pattaya Beach), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. open all year. PADI dive centre and Ko Lipe's First PADI TecRec Center, Poseidon ECCR Rebreather rentals. Canadian owner. 20 m boat, the M.V. Chalailai. Rates include all equipment and a buffet lunch. Snorkellers are welcome to tag along for 500 baht. 2,600 baht for 2 dives, 3,200 baht for three dives.
- Sabye Diving (On Sunset Beach), ☎ . Diving rates aren't the cheapest. All-inclusive two or three day packages. Specialties are PADI courses and underwater photography. PADI open-dive courses: 12,900 baht.
- Satun Dive (Sunrise Beach Blvd), ☎ . Open all year. Excellent diving and snorkelling guides. All PADI courses available. The best service, price, and atmosphere on the island.
- Day trips to nearby islands. Pirate Falls and Chado Cliff on Ko Adang, and the dense jungle on Ko Rawi are recommended. 800-1,000 baht.
- Freediving. Freediving as a recognized activity has only been around for 100 years, but people have been practising diving deep without equipment for thousands of years. On Lipe it's in its early days and so far only one dive operator on the island offers it as a course.
- Kayaking. Rent a kayak from various spots on the beach and spend the day or two seeing the island and reef.
- Massages. There are plenty of places to get a massage, including an offshoot of the Wat Po massage school, located in the centre of the island. Also Castaway Resort has a lovely little spa with sea views. Figure on each massage costing 100 baht more than the same massage on the mainland.
- Ocean Hiker Sailing School, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Sailing intro courses or five day sailing courses on an ocean-going sailing yacht leading to an Ocean Hiker Competent Crew Certification, the first step to start your sailing career. 2,500 to 29,900 baht.
- Sailing, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sailing around Ko Lipe and within the Butang Group is certainly the most chilled way to explore these natural gems. There are day sailing trips with snorkelling activities or liveaboard sailing cruises within the Butang Group or as far as Ko Tarutao National Marine Park. 1,500 to 6,000 baht.
- Snorkelling. The calm, clear water makes the Ko Lipe area ideal for snorkelling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral just 20 m off all of the beaches. Ko Lipe is surrounded by over 30 islands and hundreds of reefs all within easy reach of the island. Tarutao National Park is one of Asia’s oldest marine parks thus the reefs and the islands surrounding Ko Lipe are in very good condition. Nowhere else on the Southeast Asian peninsula will you find so many excellent snorkel sites so easily reached.
There are currently three ATMs on the island. One is at 7-Eleven on Walking Street. Another is across from Pooh's Restaurant at the Sunrise end of Walking Street, and the third is in front of Harmony Bed and Breakfast.
Many travel agencies or hotels will offer to charge your debit/credit card and give you the cash in exchange for a 5-8 percent fee.
For currency exchange, Bundhaya Resort offers the best exchange rates for dollars, euros, pounds. or ringgit, but the rate is less than you would receive in a major city.
- Banana Leaf (Inland). Serves average food, but drink prices are good and they play movies every night on a big projection screen.
- Elephant American Coffee House (formerly Elephant Books & Coffee) (Walking Street, near Pattaya Beach, across from the Pink Market), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 07:30-01:00. An East-meets-West American-style coffee house (owners are from America and Thailand), with coffee drinks, homemade bakery, breakfasts, including homemade toasted muesli and lots of crispy bacon. Other menu items include American burgers made with imported beef, sandwiches, a large selection of fresh salads, fresh baked bread, and even a smoked pulled pork sandwich. Dinner options include imported Australian strip loin steaks, pan seared salmon and pork chops with sauteed apples. There is a bar built into a 10-metre longtail boat, which offers a selection of Thai and imported wines, cocktails, high-end imported liquor and American craft beer. Every night starting at about 21:30, the now infamous Banana Band serves up Thai and English music in a relaxed setting. The band's motto is "if you're in the bar, you're in the band", meaning everyone can join. Kitchen open until 00:30. 40-800 baht.
- Flour Power Bakery (Sunset Beach, next to Sabye Divers). There is a brilliant banana cake in small aluminium box shapes. The seats are somewhat hidden behind the house. Western breakfasts and sandwiches are served with their hearty whole-grain bread. cinnamon buns: 60 baht, brownies: 40 baht; pies: 80 baht.
- Jack's Jungle (Inland between Sunset and Sunrise beaches). A lovely spot when you want to get off the beach and eat surrounded by cool, green jungle. The Thai food is fantastic (especially the coconut soups) and you can order to mild to Thai-style spicy. The banana-lime pancakes are especially good.
- Pancake Lady (Island centre). Choose from fillings like coconut, banana, and chocolate. Delicious smoothies sold in plastic cups.
- PeeWee Bakery (Inland on Walking St, 10 m east of Pattaya Beach). A popular breakfast spot that has a good bakery adjoining that serves bagels and cinnamon rolls. The service can be rude and unhelpful, but still worth it.
- Sunrise Restaurant (Sunrise Beach). Friendly place, directly on the beach, very good Thai food, inexpensive.
Beers are surprisingly cheap on Ko Lipe, given that everything else seems jacked up in price. Beers on the beach can be had for 60 baht (Feb 2016). A can of Leo in a mom-and-pop shop costs 40 baht (Feb 2016).
- Bila Beach Cafe (Bila Beach). This is the only bar/restaurant on the little, but sweet, Bila Beach. Worth a visit and a good place to hang out for the day.
- Cozy Cove, north end of Sunset Beach. Great views and good tunes.
- Jack's Jungle Bar. Otherwise known as JJ's, is inland and is a recommended because Of Jack's friendly personality. Jack also organises parties every Saturday in the high season, some with live music. Beer costs 60-70 baht and food costs 70-150 baht.
- [dead link] Mia LunA, Sunset Beach (Pirate Beach). With DJs from various countries. If you like electronic music, it's the place to go. Mia LunA organise parties such as full moon, half moon and black moon.
- Mom's Tattoo Bar, Walking St, near Pattaya Beach, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An intimate bar, where anyone can be a "regular" on their first visit. Tasty drinks mix well with good conversation and music. Best place to lose an hour or five while making new friends or just hanging out with the bar's namesake owner, "Mom" who is also a tattoo artist. 60-180 baht.
- Oh My God! (50 m from the intersection, at the end of Walking St (near Sunrise Beach) toward Chao Lay Village). A locals favourite. It used to be called Oh's Pooh Bar, and moved to a new location 50 m from the intersection, at the end of Walking St(near Sunrise Beach) and shakes up the best cocktails on the island. There are pool tables and TVs (for watching big sports events), and there are usually a few local divers hanging out there. They also serve some delicious food and bar snacks. Open late. Also sells Swedish snus.
- Peace & Love, Pattaya Beach (facing the ocean at the entrance of Walking St, go left past Time to Chill, Tiger Bar/Massage). if you're still drinking, they're still open. A Lipe institution, offering a great beach vibe, well-made drinks, and nightly fire shows. Hang out and talk to the bar's Muslim owners Chai and Yaad and learn about the island and the history of the South Andaman, or just take in the amazing beach views from your beach mat. Three bamboo bungalows available for rent behind the bar. 20-120 baht.
- Reggae Bar (Pattaya Beach). Mellow scene. On 6 Feb celebrates Bob Marley's birthday with a 3-day music and culture festival.
There are over 60 guesthouses on the island. While some places may charge as little as 500 baht for very basic accommodation in the high season, these guesthouses sell out quickly. Most places will charge 1,000 baht+. Some hotels will have a sign advertising cheaper rates, but when you go inside to enquire, those rooms will inevitably be unavailable.
- Akira. One of the nicest places to stay on the island. From 6,800 baht.
- Baan Kasirin 1 (On the path from Pattaya Beach to Sunrise Beach, 100 m from the beach), ☎ . Open Nov-May. Laundry service, satellite TV, mini-mart. Fan room: 850-1,250 baht.
- Barracuda Bar and Bungalows, ☎ , . Open year round. Cheapest bungalows on Pattaya Beach. Chao Ley-run. Bare-bones bungalows right on Pattaya Beach. The bungalows are rustic with hard mattresses on the floor and grotty toilets. The management is friendly enough, with broken English spoken. Noisy. Fan bungalow: 300 baht; tent: 200 baht.
- Blue Tribes (W end of Pattaya Beach). Open Nov-May. 13 spacious bungalows set around a garden. Some bungalows are on the beach. There is a restaurant that serves Mediterranean "family style" cuisine and a nice reception/coffee lounge area that features chill music and serves fruit smoothies. Fan room: 1,000-1,500 baht; Fan cottage: 1,200-2,500 baht.
- Bonus Resort (Mid-island, about 400 m from Pattaya Beach and 200 m from Sunrise Beach.). Open Nov-May. Cheap bungalows in middle of the island. There are about 20 fan bungalows and 3 family rooms set among the garden-like jungle. Balcony, mosquito nets, bed, bathroom inside. Electricity 24/7. Fan room: 500-800 baht; Fan cottage family room, 4 persons: 1,000-1,500 baht.
- Bundhaya Resort (Southernmost resort on Pattaya Beach), ☎ . Open all year. 80 bungalows. Fan rooms are in the back of the site and are grotty. Resort services include: snorkel and dive trips, mini mart, Internet, and laundry. There is a large open air restaurant and bar with a fantastic view of the beach. Breakfast is included. Decent exchange rates for major currencies. Fan room: 600-1,300 baht; Fan cottage: 900-1,900 baht; Air-con room: 750-1,700 baht; Air-con cottage: 1,800-9,000 baht.
- Cafe Lipe (Centre of Pattaya Beach). 5 cute all-bamboo bungalows with fans, mosquito nets, and verandas. Run by Bee and Darius. Homely atmosphere, friendly people. Restaurant features shaded tables right off the beach and serves healthy food like home-made bread, muesli, yoghurt as well as Thai food, and the best coffee, with shaded tables right off the beach. Bungalows: 500-1,500 baht.
- Daya Resort (W end of Pattaya Beach), ☎ . Open Nov-May. Several fan bungalows close to the beach. Exteriors are painted in bright, sunny colours and have verandas looking out onto lovely gardens. Bathrooms have cold water only. There is a very popular seafood restaurant. It's run by a local family, the Chao Ley fishermen who bring their daily catch up the beach and serve it in the evenings. Its quite a large resort with at least 20 bungalows or more. The family live at the top and bottom entrances so there is some security including the guard dogs. From this resort you can walk into the next one run by an Italian and have a great breakfast and pizza for lunch. One of the staff is called Bing, and he is a very helpful. Fan room: 1,000-1,200 baht (low season price 350 baht); Fan cottage: 1,200-1,400 baht.
- Paradise Cottage Resort (Pattaya Beach). Open Nov-May. 15 spacious bamboo bungalows with private bathroom, some on the beach. Fan room: 500-1,800 baht.
- Seaside Resort & Family Restaurant. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 1,700-2,300 baht, with significant discounts available.
- Sita Beach Resort (Pattaya Beach). Open all year. Lots of bungalows around a pool and more going up the hillside, a huge luxury development that is quite flash compared with the others. Air-con cottage: 3,800-20,900 baht.
- Varin Beach Resort (Mid-Pattaya Beach, next to the path to Sunrise Beach and the village), ☎ . Open all year. 100 bungalows in many different sizes. All rooms have 24 hour electricity, big windows, en suite baths, towels, and a private terrace with chairs. The beds are reasonably comfortable and the pillows are divine. Longhouse rooms are the cheapest, but there's no soundproofing. The air conditioned villa has fridge and a TV with satellite channels. Resort services include Internet, massage, bar and restaurant. Air-con room rates include breakfast of fried rice, eggs, fried noodles, fruit. Villas have hot showers. Fan room: 600-700 baht; fan cottage: 800-900 baht: air-con room: 1,300-1,500 baht; air-con cottage: 1,500-1,800 baht; air con villas: 2,000-3,500 baht; family 4-bed room: 5,000-5,500 baht.
- Anda Resort. 3,800+ baht.
- Adang Sea Divers (Behind Sunrise Restaurant, next to Varin Village), ☎ . Open all year. Bungalows: 5 small cosy double fan rooms. Private fully equipped bathroom with hot/cold shower, kettle for tea and coffee in the room, terrace on the garden side. Bungalows are cleaned and towels are provided. The resort recycles its grey water and most of its wastes. Packages for accommodation and dives. Bungalows 1,200 baht.
- Castaway Resort & Restaurant (S end of Sunrise Beach), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. Open all year, Castaway is a stylish and comfortable accommodation on Ko Lipe. It has 43 wooden stilt bungalows with large decks with hammocks, some directly on the beach. Hmong blankets drape over the roomy beds, and fabric lanterns hang in the corner of the rooms. Cold water showers only. The bar and restaurant serves BBQ, Thai, and Western food. It's a nice place to chill out day or night with a cocktail. Daily yoga sessions at 07:00 and 16:30. Bungalows 1,000-5,000 baht; house: 2,000-6,000 baht.
- Forra Diving, Bamboo Resort & Restaurant (Sunrise Beach), ☎ . Open all year. 18 well-designed, spacious bungalows, built from natural materials. Every bungalow has one four-poster bamboo double bed or two platform-raised bunk beds with mosquito net and a large terrace and sea view. Some bungalows have a mezzanine floor with an upper window for a good view. and the option of a second bed. Each bungalow has a fan (electricity 08:00-10:30 and 17:30-24:00). Bungalows to sleep 1-4 people available. Advance reservations only accepted from divers. Restaurant serves home-made pizzas and cool drinks. Bungalows: 800-1,600 baht with a 25% discount on the bungalow on the days that you dive with Forra..
- Gipsy Resort (Next to Forra Dive Resort), ☎ . Open Nov-May. Two rows of thatched huts running off of the beach. Rooms are compact but attractive, with bamboo walls, big beds draped in mosquito netting, sunny open-air bathrooms. Can be a little difficult to find the managers. Half-concrete/half-bamboo bungalow: 550 baht; Concrete bungalow: 650 baht.
- Idyllic Resort (South Sunrise Beach). Open all year. Contemporary concept resort. All rooms are nicely decorated and have a luxury finish. Health spa, Wi-Fi, restaurant and bar. Bungalows 3,950-6,200 baht.
- 1 Koh Lipe Beach Resort, Sunrise Beach, Moo 7, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 41 stand-alone bungalows in a tropical setting. Accommodations range from bamboo and wooden bungalows to rooms. Majority of the bungalows offer sea view. 1,000+ baht.
- 2 Ten Moons Lipe Resort (S end of Sunrise Beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. Open all year. Bungalows are built at the beachfront and on a hill with views of the sea and the surrounding islands, set on its own private beach. Bungalows are outfitted with king sized beds with aircon and fan, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, fridge, mosquito screened windows and sliding doors, and have Western baths with hot water. Bar and restaurant on the premises. 3,000 - 7,000 baht.
- Wapi Resort. From 1,200 baht.
- Zanom Sunrise (S Sunrise Beach), ☎ . Spacious and comfortable bungalows with fans (no air conditioning) and private baths (cold water only). The friendly local owners also run a restaurant there that is only open in high season (mid-Nov to mid-May). They serve breakfast, coffee, drinks, seafood, and Thai-style fried fish. A few plastic tables are set up on the sand. Bungalows from 750 baht in low-season.
- Mountain Resort (E end of Sunset Beach, N tip of Lipe Island, facing the Ko Lipe/Adang channel), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Most rooms feature hot water, satellite TV, a private deck, and spectacular views of the bay. 24 hour electricity. Breakfast included. Mountain Beach Bar offers drinks & massages on the beach. Discounted rates available for on-line reservations. Credit cards accepted.
Sunset, Bila & Sanom Beaches (Northwest Coast)
- Bila Beach (Bila Beach, near Sunset Beach), ☎ . Bila Beach is a secluded bungalow bar and bistro in the jungle on the sunset side of Ko Lipe. Accommodation includes 3 private bamboo bungalows and 1 dormitory. Free Wi-Fi and unlimited use of snorkelling gear is included in the bungalow tariff. Open year round. Fan bungalow: 1,000-1,500 baht.
- Fisheries Department Bungalows (Rocky end of Sunset Beach), ☎ . Open all year. Snorkelling masks and fins can be hired for 100 baht. Six bungalows on the beach overlooking Ko Adang with attached bathrooms. Bungalow #1 has the most panoramic view. The bungalows are run by a talkative government employee who speaks good English. The restaurant operates only during the low season. Fan bungalow: 250-500 baht.
- Sanom Beach Lipe Resort (Up the hill at Sanom Beach, a short walk from Pattaya Beach). Chao Ley-owned and operated. On the hillside of Sanom Beach, with panoramic views of Pattaya Beach and the Andaman Sea. Open year round. Credit cards and paypal accepted. Fan, sea view: 900-1,100 baht.
- Baan Kasirin 2 (Mid-island near the intersection, about 400 m from Sunrise Beach and 600 m from Pattaya Beach). Open Nov-May. Laundry service, satellite TV, Internet. Air-con room: 1,350-1,650 baht.
- Chao Ley Resort (Chawlay Resort Koh Lipe) (Walk inland on Walking Street. At the Progress Restaurant (on your right), turn left. Resort is at the top of the hill), ☎ . Bungalows spread over a large area set in a lunar landscape. Each has bath with warm water and good pressure, TV, air-con, but no fridge. Free breakfast at restaurant which doubles as the resort office. Free Wi-Fi. 2,500 baht high-season.
- Gecko Lipe Resort (In the Chao Ley Village). One of the best values on the island. Bungalows: 800 baht.
- Pooh's Bungalows, ☎ . Open all year. Features popular bar and restaurant. Only 6 bungalows available. Accepts MasterCard, Visa & AmEx for 3% fee. Wi-Fi, Internet (3 baht/minute), pool table, dive shop, massages available. 15% discount for divers on the day they dive. Bungalows: 800 baht in low season; 1,400 baht in high season.
- The Reef (Near Sunrise Beach, easily found on the hill in the centre of the island, adjacent to Chao Ley Resort). Open 1 Nov-15 May. 12 modern rooms are set around a garden courtyard and have access to a terrace overlooking the mountains of Ko Adang, the Chao Ley village and Sunrise Beach. All rooms have air-con and hot showers. Bicycle rental, 150 baht per day. Air-con room: 1,200-2,100 baht.
- Serene Resort. This resort does not live up to its name—rooms near the bar are noisy—but the prices are good. From 1,200 baht.
- Shanti (Near the 7-Eleven on Wwalking Street, 30mt behind Maya bar), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com}. The cheapest dorm in Ko Lipe Dorm bed from 400 baht. }
Stonefish have been spotted and photographed in the waters of Ko Lipe. While the chances of getting stung are slim, you may want to consider protective footwear when swimming in the water.
There is a hospital next to the school on Sunrise Beach, with an English-speaking doctor. There is a clinic next to Pooh Restaurant, with an English-speaking doctor.
Free Wi-Fi is available at almost all resorts and bars/restaurants. Don't expect breathtaking throughput.
Agencies abound on the island who can book the speedboat/ferry and train/bus tickets to anywhere in Thailand. It's best to buy tickets before 18:00, since the agencies won't be able to book and confirm certain bus/train tickets later in the day. If you reserve the ticket at a late hour, they will try to buy it the next day, but the train may be fully booked. It's better to insist on them reserving the ticket when you are at the agency.
For the trains it's best to book at least three days in advance. For most buses one day ahead is enough. Buses are less comfortable and more expensive compared with the 2nd air-com sleeper class trains.
Feel free to bargain. Travel agencies can't do anything about the train/bus price, but they are able to lower the ferry/speedboat price as well as the minibus transfer from the port to the city.