Koh Lipe is paradise in the South Andaman Sea where you’ll find beautiful white sand beaches, island vibes, and some of the best diving in the world. After visiting Koh Lipe, it will be easy to see why they call it the “Maldives of Thailand!” Join us for the best things to do on Koh Lipe in this fun and informative travel guide.
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First Impression of Koh Lipe Thailand
After jumping off the main ferry we were transferred to a small longboat that brought us ashore. Upon seeing Koh Lipe’s beaches for the first time, we immediately felt a rush of excitement. The blue water that fades into lush green hills is nothing short of amazing.
From the minute our toes hit the sand we knew we’d officially made it to paradise!! We would soon find out that there are so many amazing things to do on Koh Lipe.
16 Tips for Visiting Koh Lipe Thailand
1. How to Get to Koh Lipe
Since there’s no airport in Koh Lipe Thailand the only way to get there is by boat. The nearest airport to the island is Hat Yai, which is a city on the Malaysian border. If you fly into Hat Yai from Bangkok (or any international airport) your next move will be to take the shuttle bus to Pak Bara Pier.
From there you’ll be on your way via boat to Koh Lipe in Thailand! Our route took us on the ferry from the Malaysian Island of Langkawi to Koh Lipe. Remember that if you’re arriving from a different country you’ll have to go through customs and get your visa.
→ We always use 12Go when comparing times and ferry companies in Thailand. Make sure to book in advance if you are visiting in the high season!
2. Stay Near the Beach
It won’t be hard to find a great place to stay when visiting Koh Lipe because the island just isn’t that big! This means wherever you choose you’ll be a short stroll from the stunning sands and sea.
Sunrise beach is the most popular area for accommodations, but don’t limit yourself to just here. Remember everything is within walking distance, a tuk tuk taxi, or short boat ride away on Koh Lipe in Thailand!
Ultra Luxury – AKIRA Lipe Resort – This luxury hotel is the perfect spot to relax on Koh Lipe. With an amazing pool bar and restaurant right on the water, what more can you ask for on vacation?!
Fun Vacation – Bayview Sunset – We came here planning to spend one night and ended up staying a whole week! These little bungalows are on Sunset Beach which is the most secluded area to stay in Koh Lipe. This was honestly one of our favorite places to stay in all of Thailand!
Budget Hostel – Bloom Cafe & Hostel – Situated right next to Koh Lipe walking street everything will be within reach from Bloom Hostel. You’ll be right in the middle of all the action and can have fun meeting likeminded travelers.
3. Eat On Koh Lipe Walking Street
Unless you’re planning on never leaving your resort, you’ll likely be eating your meals on the walking street. Here you’ll have everything available from seafood to BBQ and amazing traditional Thai food.
Despite such a wide range of options you’ll never believe our favorite place to eat breakfast… The grocery store! Yes, the grocery store in the middle of the walking street has a little food stand in front that serves the good stuff for cheap. Grab a papaya salad and omelette over rice to start your day right!
4. Drink Fresh Coconuts
On almost every corner of Koh Lipe Thailand you’ll find a stand of some shape or form selling coconuts. If you take anything from this Koh Lipe travel guide it should be to stay hydrated! The heat can really get you if you’re not careful, and there’s no better thing you can drink besides water than a refreshing coconut.
5. Take a Tuk Tuk Taxi
As we mentioned above, it’s super easy to get around Koh Lipe Thailand because of how small it is. We stayed on Sunset Beach and it was just a short 15 minute walk into town.
Typically we would walk in for dinner, and take a tuk tuk on the way back if it was dark. The most we’ve ever paid here was $3 USD for a ride so it’s super affordable!
6. Stay Active on Koh Lipe
Another great way to see the island is by enjoying the outdoors and getting some exercise! Some of our favorite things to do on Koh Lipe also double as modes of transportation. Below are some of the most fun ways to get around paradise.
Walking: Everywhere is walkable on the island. You can go to all the best Koh Lipe beaches by foot if you so choose.
Biking: Most hotels offer free bicycles that you should definitely utilize during your stay. They are awesome to peddle around and take in the sights of the town.
Kayaking: Taking a kayak out is one of the most exciting ways to experience Koh Lipe. Nothing is better than paddling out for sunset on the beautiful Andaman Sea!
7. Relax With a Thai Massage
You’re on the islands so it’s time to relax! With that said, getting a Thai massage is a must when visiting Koh Lipe. Massages can be found in abundance on the walking street or near Sunrise Beach.
Prices are cheap and range from $7-10 USD per hour. Almost every day we got a massage from a friendly women who was setup on the beach outside Bayview Sunset Hotel.
8. Discover the Underwater Paradise
The incredible diving in Koh Lipe Thailand draws travelers from all over the world. This part of the Andaman Sea is home to thousands of species of fish, including dolphins and sea turtles! If you’re looking for a place to get certified, Koh Lipe might be the perfect spot for you.
Not into diving? No worries! The Koh Lipe beaches are just as nice to lounge at. In fact, the water is so unbelievably clear and blue that you might have a hard time getting out.
Most days the water is completely still with little to no waves. Whether you’re looking to go diving with the fishes, snorkeling or just swim around, Koh Lipe has it all!
9. Don’t Miss Sunset Beach
So where can you find the best sunset in Koh Lipe? Yup, you guessed it… Sunset Beach! Flocks of travelers will gather at this beach just before the sun goes down to witness the magical moment.
There’s a nice little snack stand serving cheap cocktails and beer, as well as the Bayview Sunset Bar which we highly recommend. The orange and red colors of a Koh Lipe sunset are hard to beat and it’s one of the best we’ve seen in all of Southeast Asia!
10. Go on a Koh Lipe Snorkeling Tour
While diving is one of the best things to do on Koh Lipe, it’s definitely not for everyone. For us snorkeling is enough of an adventure and it won’t break the bank either! The majority of the diving centers on Koh Lipe also offer snorkeling excursions where you’ll see all the awesome ocean life around the island.
11. Be Careful of Jellyfish & Mosquitos
Although getting in the water is a must, keep your eyes open for the jellyfish! The dangerous sea creatures can be lethal in this part of the world, and that includes Koh Lipe in Thailand. We didn’t see many on our visit but the presence of the jellyfish can come with the tides and weather.
Another thing to watch out for is the mosquitos, especially if you’re staying in the jungle. The first thing we did when we got to the island was to buy mosquito and jellyfish repellant! However, we recommend bringing it with you as it was a lot more expensive once we got to the island.
12. Hang Out on Bulow Beach
There are plenty of mind-blowing Koh Lipe beaches to experience. Yet, one really separates itself from the rest!
From Sunrise Beach, take a left and enjoy a sandy stroll down to the end. Many people take photos on the rocks at the tip of the peninsula, but if you turn around the corner you’ll be at the beautiful Bulow Beach.
The small light blue waves trickle up to the white sandy beach in a way that’s almost indescribable. With the crowds flocking to Sunrise and Pattaya Beach, you should have no problem finding a spot to hang and enjoy Bulow.
13. See a Koh Lipe Fire Show
Once the sun goes down on Pattaya Beach the real show starts! Local fire twirlers will display the entertaining act in front of many popular beach bars for free. While it may seem touristy, it’s actually a real spectacle to see! We highly recommend taking in at least one of these special performances while visiting Koh Lipe.
14. Day Trip to a Nearby Island
Koh Lipe is part of the Butang Islands which makes day trips an awesome activity! Koh Adang is the most popular day trip, and it’s affordable to hire a longboat from any of the Koh Lipe beaches. From Sunset Beach, take a boat over for around 100 Thai Baht and enjoy a scenic hike through the tropical forest.
Once you get to the top you’ll have a breathtaking view of Koh Lipe Thailand and all the surrounding islands. Just make sure to set a pickup time with your driver so they will be there to take you back!
15. Hit the Koh Lipe Beach Bars
Like on many of the Thai islands, beach bars are often the best place to hang out. Most on Koh Lipe are located on Sunrise Beach so it’s easy to find a good spot to hang by the ocean.
Chang beer is the cheapest you’ll find, and they range from just $1-2 USD. As you can tell from the name, Sunrise Beach is also a great place to start your day. So don’t assume you only have to come here to party!
You will find plenty of bars and night life in Koh Lipe, but it really doesn’t compare to the other Thai islands in this way. If you’re looking to go crazy you’re better off going to Koh Phi Phi, or even hit Koh Phangan for a full moon party.
Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a sundowner or two at Sunset Beach every night. Just be aware this isn’t the place for raging parties like you’ll see elsewhere in Thailand.
16. Continue Onto Malaysia
While we took the opposite ferry route from Langkawi to Koh Lipe, it’s just as easy to do it the other way. Getting from this Thai island to Malaysia will only take about one hour by boat! From Langkawi you can quickly connect to Kuala Lumper by flight and many other destinations in Southeast Asia.
→ Check Out All Our Articles on Malaysia!
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do in Koh Lipe Thailand? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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