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Ko Lipe

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Sunset, Pattaya Beach at Ko Lipe

Ko Lipe (Thai: เกาะหลีเป๊ะ) is an island on the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand.

Understand

Ko Lipe (sometimes spelled Koh Lipe) is outside of the jurisdiction of Tarutao National Park, and as such is exempt from certain laws prohibiting development.

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.

According to a December 2008 report by the Sustainable Tourism Network, Ko Lipe is faced with numerous environmental problems, including destruction of wetlands, waste disposal, and water shortgages.

It is surrounded by uninhabited islands of the Butong Archipelago.

Get in

By Boat

The following companies operate boats in the high season (November to May):

  • Adang Sea Tours [1] operates three daily speedboats from 1 November to 15 May, leaving Pak Bara at 11:30, 12:30, and 14:30. 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 09:00, 10:00, and 13:30 for the return trip.
  • Forra Speedboats [2] operates two daily speedboats from 1 November to 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 09:00 and 10:00 for the return trip.
  • Bundaya Resorts [3] and Lipe Speedboat Company also operates speedboats from Pak Bara, leaving at similar times and costing the same as above.
  • Satun Pakbara Speed Boat Club [4] 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 @ 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 RM 120. The boats leave Ko Lipe for the return journey at 10:30 and 16:30.
  • Tigerline Ferries [5] 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 continuing boat service to Ko Lanta (1,500 baht total, arrives 15:30pm), and Phi Phi (1,800 baht total, arrives 17:00pm). For the journey to Ko Lipe, the boats leave Phi Phi at 08:00 and arrive in Ko Lipe at 15:30pm.

In the low season, there is one boat per day from Pak Bara leaving at 11:30.

Ferries are met by longtail boats offering transfers to anywhere on Ko Lipe for an additional 50 baht/person (non-negotiable).

Health and Safety tip: Speedboats can often bounce off the waves at very high speeds and passengers can get quite strong jolts into the non-sprung seats, so persons with back or neck problems should not travel on the speedboats, but on the ferry. There have been reports of serious back injuries happening on the speedboats.

Get around

All of Ko Lipe can be covered on foot, although its size at first can be a little deceiving. There are few motorcycles around the island, none of which are for rent. There are no cars on the island. Longtail boats will take you from any point on the island to any other point on the island for 50 baht. Small concrete roads link the various beaches.

See

  • Beaches. Ko Lipe's beaches feature clear, calm, and shallow water. There are four main beaches to relax on, Pattaya Beach in the south the most popular beach; Sunrise Beach on the east, near the Chao Ley village; Karma Beach in the North which faces the Adang/Lipe channel, and Sunset Beach in the west, which as the name implies, faces the sunset.
  • Buddhist Temple, (Center of the island). Very Small

Do

Diving

The reefs around Ko Lipe are largely intact; the 2004 tsunami had little impact here. Around Ko Lipe are some Thailand's best reefs all within easy reach:

  • 8 Mile Rock. A true deep sea pinnacle located 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 meters of the surface. Found here: soft corals, schools of pelagic fish, Potato Cod, Manta Rays, Whale shark, Leopard Shark. (Advanced Divers)
  • Between Ko Adang & Ko Rawi. Has excellent diving and snorkelling locations 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 Koh Rawi were the national park have set up ropes along the reef, so that snorkellers can pull then selves easily along and investigate the reef with ease.
  • 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 meters 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 meters sitting on its keel that is at 40 meters.
  • Hin Takorn Dukong. Located right in the center 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 to18 meters deep, we can then swim around the base of the pinnacle, observing what is here in abundance. Such as 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 but we prefer to dive the North and South channels although for deep diving the "Giant's Staircase" on the islands West side has huge natural stone steps going down underwater to 50 meters or more. Also to found on Ko Bu Tang 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 Sawang. This last tiny island is located 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.
  • 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.
  • Currents:. The currents here are predominantly tidal which means certain times of the month we experience 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.
  • Big Stuff:. You can see numerous sharks, whale sharks and manta rays. Sightings of the big guys are more likely on sites around the edge of the marine park, nearer the deeper waters. For the best chance try to visit 8 mile rock, Stonehenge or Koh Pung.

Dive shops

There are several dive shops on the island:

  • Adang Sea Divers, (Sunrise Beach), +66 807 04 16 33, [6]. Professional, Multilingual & experienced instructors and divemasters. 1 to 3 dives a day from speedboat. Night diving, Live-a-Boards to other destinations, PADI, SDI & Nitrox courses. Small intimate groups. Specialised in Underwater photography.
  • Castaway Divers, (Sunrise Beach), +66 874 781-516 (), [7]. Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI, SDI and freediving courses. Snorkel trips are run separately from the dive boats daily for only 650 baht (including lunch & equipment). Castaway Dive Centre specialises in small intimate groups. 2 dives/2,500+ baht.
  • Davy Jones Locker, (Pattaya Beach), +66 (0)890 465 371 (), [8]. Experienced instructors teaching all PADI courses from beginner to Dive Master level. Daily trips for certified divers to all the best dive sites around Koh Lipe. Free accommodation for divers and students available when you book online. (6.487424906560684,99.30009841918945)
  • Forra Diving, (Sunrise Beach), +66 (0) 89673 1121 or +66 (0) 84407 5691 (), [9]. Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI courses, and live-aboard diving trips. Snorkelers are welcome to tag along on day trips for only 500 baht (including lunch & equipment). Consistently gets great reviews from divers. 2500 baht for 2 dives.
  • Ko Lipe Diving, (Walking Street - 150 meters from Pattaya Beach), +66 (0) 88 39 777 49 or +66 (0) 87 622 6204 (), [10]. Newest PADI dive center on Ko Lipe. Offers daily dive trips for certified divers, PADI courses from absolute beginner to Divemaster, PADI TecRec courses from Discover TEC to TEC50. 25m dive boat Professional instructors with years of experience working on the island. Multilingual team speaks English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Malay, Thai and Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin).
  • Lotus Dive @ Pooh's, (in the middle of the island), (), [11]. Professional. PADI courses, from Discover Scuba all the way up to Divemaster.
  • Ocean Pro, (Pattaya Beach), [12]. Canadian owner. 20m boat the M.V. Chalailai. Rates include all equipment and a buffet lunch. Snorkelers are welcome to tag along for 500 baht. 2600 baht for 2 dives, 3200 baht for three dives.
  • Sabye Diving, (Locations on Sunset Beach), (074) 72 8026, [13]. Highly rated. Diving rates aren't the cheapest. All-inclusive two or three day packages. Specialty PADI courses and underwater photography. PADI open-dive courses: 12,900 Baht; Day trips with two dives: 2,000 baht.
  • Satun Dive, (Locations on Pattaya and Sunrise Beaches), 0869461271, [14]. Excellent snorkeling and diving guides. All PADI courses available. Excellent service and atmosphere.

Other activities

  • Day Trips to Nearby Islands. Pirate Falls and Chado Cliff on Ko Adang, and the dense jungle on Ko Rawi are recommended visits. 800 to 1,000 baht.
  • 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.
  • Snorkeling. The calm, clear water makes the Ko Lipe area ideal for snorkeling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral just 20 metres off all of the the beaches. Koh 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 Koh Lipe are in very good condition, nowhere else on the South-east Asian peninsula will you find so many excellent snorkel sites so easily reached. Several agencies / local Chao Ley or Resorts can arrange snorkeling trips by Longtail.
  • Freediving. Freediving as a recognized activity has only been around for 100 years, but people have been practicing diving deep without equipment for thousands of years. The oldest evidence we have of ancient Freedivers goes back nearly 10,000 years to a civilization beside the Baltic Sea called the ‘Clam Eaters.' Growing in popularity as a recreational sport around the world, on Lipe it's in its early days and so far only one dive operator on the island offers it as a course.
  • Sailing, +66(0)77457002 (), [15]. Sailing around Ko Lipe and within the Butang Group is certainly the most chilled way to explore these natural gem. There are day sailing trips with snorkeling activities or Live aboard sailing cruises within the Butang Group or as far as Ko Tarutao national marine park organized by Adventure Cruises Thailand. 1500 to 6000 Baht.
  • Ocean Hiker Sailing School, +66(0)77457002 (), [16]. Sailing intro courses or 5 day sailing courses on an ocean going sailing yacht leading to a Ocean Hiker Competent Crew Certification, the first step to start your sailing career . 2500 to 29900 Baht.

Buy

There is no ATM on Ko Lipe. The internet cafe along the main street will change travellers cheques at a reasonable exchange rates. You can have your your VISA or Mastercard charged in exchange for cash back at Varin Resorts (7% fee), Pooh's (8% fee), and an internet cafe near Ko Lipe Travel on the small road (5% fee). Bundhaya Resort offers the best exchange rates for Dollars, Euro, Pounds or Ringgit, however, the rate is less than you would receive in a major city.

Eat

Most of the hotels serve food and drinks. In addition, there are several stand-alone restaurants:

  • Elephant Books & Coffee, Walking Street, near Pattaya Beach (accross from Roti Mina, next to Bamboo Tattoo), 0896461082 (from within Thailand) or +66 89 646 1082 (), [17]. 8am to Midnight. An East-meets-West bookstore, selling and buying used books in English as well as other languages, including Swedish, German, Norwegian and Italian, and also selling goods that are hand-made on the island, including beaded necklaces unique to South Thailand, packable beach bags and wristlet-purses made from local batiks, is also a coffee house, offering a bistro menu with full-bar, wine and beer. The owners, transplants from San Francisco, serve up fresh, western-style espresso drinks, hot and iced tea, and fruit shakes to compliment sweet and savory bakery items, western breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads and (aged beef) burgers. The shop is cleverly decorated, and thoughtfully has lots of fans to give you a break from the tropical heat. Picnic takeaway orders can be made for lounging on the beach, or to bring along on snorkel, dive and longtail tours. They also offer internet stations and wi-fi, a private Skype booth, board games, movie nights, late night tv sporting events (happening in other time zones), and if you happen to play guitar, you're invited to share your talents using the shop's guitars, or join in with the Thai staff to learn traditional (and not so traditional) Thai songs. 40-300 baht.
  • Jack's Jungle, Inland between Sunset and Sunrise beaches (Inland). A really lovely spot when you want to get off the beach and eat surrounded by nice 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 great.
  • PeeWee Bakery, Inland on Walking Street just ten meters east from Pattaya beach (Inland). 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.
  • Banana Leaf, (Inland). Serves average food, but drink prices are good and they play movies every night on a big projection screen.
  • Banana Tree. They serve chicken with cashew nut in a whole pineapple.
  • Cafe Lipe. Swiss run. Breakfasts of muesli & yogurt.
  • Flour Power Bakery, (Sunset Beach, next to Sabye Divers). There is absolutely brilliant banana cake in small aluminum 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.
  • Hantalay Seafood.
  • Jumping Monkey Restaurant, (Pattaya Beach).
  • Mama's Seafood.
  • Mits Family Restaurant, (Pattaya Beach).
  • Pancake Lady, (Island Center). The Best Pancakes in Thailand! Choose from fillings like coconut, banana, and chocolate. Delicious smoothies sold in plastic cups.
  • Sunrise restaurant, (sunrise beach). Friendly place, directly on the beach, very good thai food, not expensive.

Drink

Most of the hotels serve food and drinks. In addition, there are several stand-alone bars:

  • Mom's Tattoo Bar, Walking Street, near Pattaya Beach, (). An intimate bar, where anyone can be a "regular" on their first visit. Tasty drinks mix well with good conversation and crazy-good music. Best place to loose an hour or five while making new friends or just hanging out with the bar's namesake owner, "Mom" (who is also a legendary tattoo artist) Find Mom on facebook: "Lipe Tattoobar". 60-180 baht.
  • Mia LunA, Sunset Beach (Pirate Beach), [18]. Djs from all around the World are playing their music at Mia LunA. If u like electronic music, that s the place to go. Mia LunA are organizing Parties like Fullmoon, Halfmoon and Blackmoon.
  • Ayunan Bar, Pattaya Beach.
  • Barracuda Bar, (Pattaya Beach). Popular with young males, can get rowdy.
  • Beach Side Bar, Pattaya Beach.
  • Cozy Cove, North end of Sunset Beach. Great views and good tunes.
  • Focus Bar, (Inland). Live Thai band every night. Can get crowded with people dancing on the sand. Random fire crackers.
  • Jack's Jungle Bar, [19]. Beer costs 60-70 baht and food costs 70-150 baht. otherwise known as JJ's, is inland and is a must visit due to Jack's friendly personality. Jack also organizes parties every Saturday in the high season, some with live music.
  • Mellow Mango, Pattaya Beach, [20]. Chill out, and rare groove tunes. English spoken staff.
  • Monkey Bar, Pattaya Beach.
  • Peace & Love, Pattaya Beach (facing the ocean at the entrance of Walking Street, 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 (best on the island!). 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 February 6 celebrates Bob Marley's birthday with a 3-day music and culture festival.
  • Time to Chill, (Pattaya Beach). Mellow scene.
  • Bila Beach cafe, (Bila beach). This is the only bar/restarant on the little but sweet Bila beach. Worth a visit and a great place to hang about with a group of friends for the day.
  • Oh My God, (50 meters from the intersection, at the end of Walking Street (near Sunrise Beach) toward Chao Lay Village). A locals favourite: Oh My God! (used to be called Oh's Pooh Bar) moved to a new location 50 meters from the intersection, at the end of Walking Street (near Sunrise Beach) and shakes up the best cocktails on the island. There are pool tables and TV's (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.

Sleep

Pattaya Beach

  • Sita Beach Resort, 3.5 star hotel situated right on Pattaya beach, with 12 acres. New and modern rooms are offered ranging from 100 - 500 USD per night.
  • Peach & Love Bungalows, Pattaya Beach (Behind Peace & Love Bar). Three fan bamboo bungalows, just steps from Pattaya Beach and the water. 1000 to 1500 baht.
  • Baan Kasirin 1, (on the path from Pattaya Beach to Sunrise Beach, 100 metres from the beach), +66 84 396-3567. Open November to May. Laundry service, Satellite TV, a mini mart. Fan room: 850 to 1,250 baht.


  • Baan Porn Guesthouse, (Located behind Varin Resort), (084) 396 3567. Open November to May. Two rows of concrete rooms looking onto an open dirt lot. Rooms are clean, with comfortable beds and wooden cupboards. The showers are cold water only. Fan room: 500 baht. Air-con room: 700 baht.


  • Barracuda Bar and Bungalows, (089) 654 4720, (074) 712 144. Open all 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 grungy toilets. The management is friendly enough, with broken English spoken. Noisy. Fan bungalow: 300 baht; Tent: 200 baht.


  • Blue Tribes, (Western end of Pattaya Beach), [21]. Open November to May. 13 spacious bungalows set around a garden. Some bungalows are right 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 to 1,500 baht; Fan cottage: 1,200 to 2,500 baht.
  • Brothers Seaview Resort, (Located on a hill above it's own private beach on the Western end of Pattaya Beach.), [22]. Open November to May. 5 Fantastic Seaviews. Fan room: 900 to 1,100 baht;.
  • Bonus Resort, (Located in the middle of the island, about 400 meters from Pattaya Beach and 200 meters from Sunrise Beach.). Open November to May.Cheap bangalows in middle of the island. There are about 20 Fan Bungalows and 3 familyroom set amongst the garden-like jungle.Balcony,mosquito nets,bed,bathroom in side.Electricity 24 h. Fan room: 500 to 800 baht; Fan cottage family room 4 p : 1,000 to 1,500 baht.
  • Bundhaya Resort, (Southernmost resort on Pattaya Beach), (074) 750 248, [23]. Open all year. 80 bungalows. Fan rooms are in the back of the site and are grotty. Resort services include: snorkel and dive trips, minimart, 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 available. Fan room: 600 to 1,300 baht; Fan cottage: 900 to 1,900 baht; Air-con room: 750 to 1,700 baht; Air-con cottage: 1,800 to 9,000 baht.
  • Cafe Lipe, (Center of Pattaya Beach). 5 cute all-Bamboo Bungalos 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, musli, yogurt as well as thai food. and the best coffee and muesli/yogurt for breakfast with shaded tables right off the beach. Bungalows: 500-1500 baht.
  • Daya Resort, (Located at the Western end of Pattaya Beach), (080) 508 2087. Open November to May. Several fan bungalows close to the beach. Exteriors are painted in bright, sunny colours and have verandahs 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 and 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 is a cool young guy, very helpful inspite of his laidback way. Fan room: 1,000 to 1,200 baht (low season price 350 baht); Fan cottage: 1,200 to 1,400 baht.
  • Handicraft Bar & Guesthouse, (Pattaya Beach.). Open from November to May. Bungalows are covered with psychedelic shapes in bright neon colours. Roomy beds, and outdoor showers. Rooms are open to the elements, but there is mosquito netting. Fan bungalow: 500 baht.
  • Leepae Resort, (Located a few minutes walk West of the footpath to the center and East side of the island.), (086) 940 7339, [24]. The sign out front says "Lee Pae Resort." Attractively designed, with wooden clap-board siding and glass doors. Fan rooms are cramped, basic, and pretty grimy. air-con rooms are more spacious. Most units shaded by trees, which helps with the heat. Room rates include breakfast for two. All air-con rooms have hot showers & cable TV. Fan bungalow: 700 to 900 baht; Air-con bungalow: 1400 to 1800 baht; Air-con beachfront: 2300 to 2900 baht; Air-con beachfront family: 2800 to 3600 baht.
  • Paradise Cottage Resort, (Located on Pattaya Beach). Open November to May. 15 spacious Bamboo Bungalows with private bathroom, some directly on the beach. Fan room: 500 to 1,800 baht.
  • Pattaya Song, (Set on the side of a cliff at the far western end of Pattaya Beach), (086) 960 0418. Open November to May. Incredible views. The concrete bungalows are particularly unattractive -- musty and damp, with splotches of mold on the walls. The bamboo huts are quite a bit brighter and tidier. To get to your room, you'll have to clamber over a maze of steps, stairs, and muddy paths. Open during the high season only. Fan bungalow: 300 baht.


  • Sita Beach Resort, (Located on Pattaya Beach.), [25]. 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 to 20,900 baht.
  • Thai Hut Resort, (300 meters from Pattaya Beach.), (081) 608 1134. Open from November to May. 10 nicely kept bungalows with well sized rooms and small decks out front. No view. Air condition and Fan room. Restaurant on site. Fan room: 800 to 1,290 baht.
  • Varin Beach Resort, (Located in the middle of Pattaya Beach, next to the path to Sunrise Beach and the village), (074) 728 080, [26]. From 2012 open all year. 100 bungalows in many different sizes. All rooms have 24 hour electricity, big windows, en-suite bathrooms, 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 whatsoever. The Aircon 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 to 700 baht; Fan cottage: 800 to 900 baht, Air-con room: 1300 to 1500 baht; air con cottage: 1500 to 1800 baht; air con villas: 2000 to 3500 baht, family 4-bed room: 5000 to 5500 baht.

Sunrise Beach

  • Andaman Beach Resort, (Northern end of Sunrise Beach), [27]. Open all year. Simple bungalows to exceptional with views. Quiet semi-private beach with gorgeous sunrises Bungalows 800+ baht.
  • Lipe Beach Resort, Sunrise Beach (next to the school and clinic, near the Chao Lae village), 0868951508 (from within Thailand) or +66 86 895 1508 (). Open all year. This resort offers beachfront (like, right on the beach, steps from the water) bamboo bungalows, and has cheaper bungalows going back for several well-spaced rows. The bungalows are roomy and well-kept, and the bathrooms are semi-outdoors, giving them that sought-after tropical island feel. Mosquito nets are provided, and all rooms are fan rooms. The resort is very well maintained, including the beach area, and has been charmingly appointed with lots of flowers and plants. It has a restaurant serving tasty Thai dishes (and western breakfasts like eggs and toast or museli and fruit with yogurt), and is also home to Elephant Bar & Beach Lounge (see Drink section above). Wi-Fi is available, as well as kayak and snorkel equipment rental. Longtail trips to see the surrounding islands can be arranged through the resort. (Updated Oct. 2011) 500-1800 baht.
  • Adang Sea Divers, (behind Sunrise Restaurant, next to Varin Village), [28]. Open all year. Brand new bungalows: 5 small cosy double fan rooms, decorate with taste. Private fully equiped bathroom with hot/cold shower, kettle for tea and coffee in the room, terrasse on the garden side. Bungalows are cleaned and towels are provided. The resort is recycling the grey water and most of its wastes. Packages for accomodation and dives. Bungalows 1200 baht.
  • Castaway Resort & Restaurant, (at the southern part of Sunrise Beach), +66 831 387-472, [29]. 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 & Western food. It's a nice place to chill out day or night with a cocktail. Also available are daily yoga sessions at 07:30 and 16:00. Bungalows 1,000 to 5,000 baht; house: 2,000 to 6,000 baht.
  • Zanom Sunrise, (southern part of Sunrise Beach), +66 8 7475-0494. Spacious and comfortable bungalows with fans (no air-conditioning) and private bathrooms (cold water only). The friendly local owners are also running a restaurant there, that is only opened in high season (mid November 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 480 baht in mid-season.
  • Forra Bamboo Resort & Restaurant, (Sunrise Beach), +66 089 673-1121, [30]. 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 8.00-10.30 and 17.30-24.00). Bungalows to sleep 1-4 people available. Advance reservations only accepted from divers. Restaurant serves homemade pizzas and cool drinks. Staff were indifferent and weren't interested in doing their job. Bungalows: 800 to 1600 baht with a 25% discount available on the bungalow on the days that you dive with Forra..
  • Gypsy Bungalows, (Just next to the Forra dive resort), (080) 597 6618 (). Open November to 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. It can be a little difficult to track down management. Half-concrete/half-bamboo bungalow: 550 baht, Concrete bungalow: 650 baht (Jan 2009).
  • Idyllic Resort, (Southern part of Sunrise Beach), [31]. Open all year. Contemporary concept resort. All rooms are nicely decorated and have a luxury finish. Resort services include a health spa, wireless internet, restaurant and bar. Bungalows 3,950-6,200 baht.
  • Tarutao Cabana, (074) 732 510. Open all year round. Managed by by Tigerline Travel -- the operators of the ferry service between Lipe and Langkawi, Malaysia. The bungalows are well-constructed and there is 24 hour electricity and all bungalows have a private porch, all with daily towel service and Western breakfast at the restaurant. The air-con bungalows have hot water and satellite TV. The on-site Chao Lay Coffee Shop serves only halal food to accommodate Malaysian Muslim visitors. Fan bungalow: 300 to 750 baht; Air-con bungalow: 600 to 1,750 baht; Family room: 800 to 2,400 baht; Tent: 500 baht.
  • Viewpoint Resort, (Sunrise Beach), (083) 193 3362. Open all year. one of the few Chao Lay-run resorts on Ko Lipe. Bungalows are built on a hill overlooking the bay, and some are a steep climb uphill and up stairs. The bungalows are pretty rustic and many have wide cracks between floorboards that can let in crawling creatures. Bungalows are outfitted with big beds with decent mattresses, fans, mosquito nets, and have western bathrooms. Fan bungalow: 500 to 700 baht.

Karma Beach

  • Mountain Resort, (On the hill at the eastern end of Sunset Beach - Northern tip of Lipe Island, facing the Ko Lipe/Adang channel), (), [32]. 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 at the resort

Sunset Beach and Bila & Sanom Beaches

  • Fisheries Department Bungalows, (On the rocky end of Sunset beach), (087) 478-7958. Open all year. Snorkelling masks and fins can be hired for 100B. Six bungalows right 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 to 500 baht.
  • Porn Resort, (Sunset beach), (089) 464 5765, [33]. Open from November to May. The only resort on Sunset Beach. One of the more quiet sleeping options on Ko Lipe. 29 fan bungalows in different sizes. Electricity from 18.00-10.00. All bungalows have thin mattresses on wooden platforms and a fan. Tent renters get use of bathrooms. Popular restaurant. Visa & Mastercard accepted for a 5% fee. Porn means "blessing" in Thai. Fan bungalow: 400 to 700 baht; Tent: 150 baht.
  • Bila Beach, (Bila Beach, near Sunset Beach), 0805392056, [34]. Bila Beach is a secluded Boutique Bungalow Bar & Bistro nestled in the jungle on the sunset side of Ko Lipe. Accommodation includes 3 private bamboo bungalows and 1 dormitory. Free wifi and unlimited use of snorkeling gear is included in the bungalow tariff. Open year round. Fan bungalow: 1000 to 1500 baht;.
  • Brothers Seaview Resort, Sanom Beach, (Up the hill at Sanom Beach, a short walk from Pattay Beach), [35]. Chao Ley owned and operated, and located on the hillside of Sanom Beach, with panoramic views of Pattaya Beach & The Andaman Sea. Brothers Seaview Resort is quickly becoming known as Ko Lipe's secret little gem. Open year round. Fan Seaview Rows 1 & 2: 900 to 1100 baht;.

Inland

  • The Reef, (Center of the Island), [36]. Open November 1. until May 15. The Reef was opened in December 2009 and is located near Sunrise beach and is easy found on the hill in the center of the island. 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 aircon and hot showers. Aircon Room : 1200 to 2100 baht.
  • Baan Kasirin 2, (Located in the middle of the island near the intersection, about 400 meters from Sunrise Beach and 600 meters from Pattaya Beach). Open November to May. Laundry service, Satellite TV, internet. Air-con room: 1,350 to 1,650 baht.
  • Chao Ley Resort, (In the Chao Ley Village), +66 74 728-111(-2). Dive center. Popular with Asian tour groups. Bungalows: 300 baht to 700 baht.
  • Jack's Jungle Bar & Resort, [37]. Open November thru April. Hidden in the forest, a tranquil alternative to some of the overdeveloped resorts on Ko Lipe. Bar, restaurants and just 10 bungalows blend in well with their natural surroundings. Bungalows are set in private jungle, just 120 meters from Sunset Beach and about the same to the very lovely Western side of Sunrise beach. Very quiet, tranquil place. Laundry service available. Bar & Restaurant. fan bungalows: 1,200 to 1,500 baht.
  • Pooh's Bungalows, (074) 750 345, [38]. Open all year. Features popular bar and restaurant. Only 6 bungalows available. Accepts Mastercard, Visa & AmEx for 3% fee. Wifi, 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.

Respect

Fishing is illegal near the island so stay away from fishing trips and do not purchase locally-caught fish.

Stay safe

The Chao Lay village has a small medical clinic. Since beginning 2011 there are now 4 doctors at the hospital and can treath all of the diseases. For emergency they will provide first aid and organize transport to the mainland hospital. The phone number of the hospital is 0854543814 (english speakting doctor).

Please also note that stonefish have been spotted and photographed in the waters of Koh Lipe. Whilst the chances of getting stung are slim, you may want to consider protective footwear when swimming in the water.

Get out

Sometimes Lipe seems to be trying to hold onto you. Consider this - especially if you have a flight to catch.

There are quite a few travel agencies on the island, all offering you to book the speedboat/ferry and train/bus tickets, that can get you literally anywhere in Thailand. They operate in collaboration with mainland agencies in Hat Yai or Trang, two usual places to take the bus or train from. The mainland agencies are buying the tickets right on the railway stations, and those close at 6PM. It's best to come to travel agency at the island before that time, since they won't be able to book your ticket later. If you reserve the ticket afterwards, they will try to buy it the other day, but the train may be fully booked. It's better to insist on them reserving the ticket as you are at the agency, as they happen to postpone it at times, which may result in not getting the ticket again.

For the trains it's better to book at least 3 days in advance, for most buses one day ahead is enough. Buses are less comfy and more expensive though (comparing to the 2nd AC 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 port to the city.






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