Koh Lipe – Should You Go? An Honest Review [2024]

Koh Lipe is a beautiful island in Thailand known for its white sand. It is the furthest south of all the Thai islands, near Langkawi, Malaysia. You may have heard it referred to as the ‘Maldives of Thailand’ (it can also be called Ko Lipe, Koh Leepeeh, Koh Leepay, Koh Li Pe, and Koh Li Peh). We visited Koh Lipe in January 2024. Here are our tips if you are planning a visit.

How to Get to Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is located in the far south-west of Thailand on the border with Malaysia. You can go to Koh Lipe either from Thailand or Malaysia.

The island of Koh Lipe

From Thailand

The closest part of mainland Thailand to Koh Lipe is Pak Bara Pier. Speedboats and ferries regularly depart from here, and it takes 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the island. If you are travelling from major Thai cities like Bangkok, Phuket, or Krabi, you can get to Pak Bara by plane, train or car. If you fly into nearby airports such as Hat Yai or Trang, you will need a road transfer to Pak Bara Pier.

You can also travel by ferry or speedboat from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe. There are connecting boats from Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi to Koh Lanta. A direct ferry from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe takes 2.5 hours. However, some boats will stop at islands such as Koh Kradan and Koh Mook on the way. Bad weather and strong winds can mean your journey takes 5-7 hours.

From Malaysia

The most popular way to get to Koh Lipe from Malaysia is through the neighbouring island of Langkawi. The distance between Langkawi and Koh Lipe is only about 57 km or 35 miles. Direct ferries from Langkawi during the high season (November to April) take about 1.5 hours. Kuala Perlis is the nearest ferry port on the Malaysian mainland. Bear in mind that if you go to Koh Lipe from Malaysia, you will be crossing the border and, therefore, will have to go through Immigration.

Speedboat moored to the jetty on Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe, Thailand

Arriving in Koh Lipe

The usual arrival point on Koh Lipe is Pattaya Beach. There is a floating pier that boats tie up to unless the tide is very low. When we arrived in January 2024, the middle section of the jetty was missing. It was high tide both when we arrived and departed, so we could get from the jetty to the boat without difficulty. Apparently, if it isn’t possible to tie up to the jetty, ferries can dock at a floating pontoon further out in the sea. Long-tail boats then ferry you and your luggage to shore, typically charging 50 baht.

If you have experienced the blue floating piers, you will know they are slippery and unstable. Thankfully, the ferry staff will take your luggage to the beach for you. Wear shoes with a good grip if possible. If you are wearing flip-flops or sliders, you might find it easier to take them off and walk barefoot.

Once on dry land, you will be directed to a table with a sign saying Tarutao National Marine Park. You must buy a ticket costing 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children 3-14 years old (January 2024 prices). You are advised to always keep your ticket with you, but we were never asked to show it, even when we went to Ko Adang. The money collected goes to supporting conservation efforts to protect the area. Tarutao is Thailand’s second oldest marine park, covering 51 islands spread over a 1,490 km² area.

If you have arrived from Malaysia, the ferry staff will have given your passport to the Immigration Office. This is near the Bundhaya Beach Resort at the eastern or right-hand end of Pattaya Beach, but you will be directed to the right place. It depends on how busy it is when you arrive, but you shouldn’t have to wait more than an hour to be processed. This Immigration Office is just for arrivals; you can not extend your visa here.

Your arrival point on Pattaya Beach will most likely be right in front of the start of the Walking Street. If you haven’t eaten all day, ‘The Steak House’ is an excellent place to get something to eat or drink if you are starving.

We booked to stay at ‘The Mountain Resort’, and they sent a couple of friendly men to meet our speedboat. They helped us collect our luggage and guided us through the Walking Street to a songthaew (a van with bench seats in the back) that took us to where we were staying. There were lots of people meeting the ferry, as many of the Koh Lipe hotels offer shuttle services.

Getting Around Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is tiny, so walking is popular. However, it isn’t all flat, with a particularly steep slope towards North Point Beach. Even the Walking Street goes slightly uphill. It only takes about 20 minutes to walk from Pattaya Beach along the Walking Street to Sunrise Beach.

Sign for Taxi Boat, Koh Lipe
Sign for Taxi Boat, Koh Lipe

If you don’t feel like walking, you could get a tuk-tuk. On Koh Lipe, the price for a tuk-tuk ride is 100 baht. Most tuk-tuks have a sidecar with a sideways bench, so you sit looking at the driver. We took a tuk-tuk from ‘The Castaway Resort’ at the south end of Sunrise Beach to ‘The Mountain Resort’ at North Point Beach at about 7 pm. It was a fun ride! Our driver weaved in and out of the pedestrians, occasionally sounding his little horn to warn them. I wasn’t sure about sitting sideways, but it was a comfortable trip. There are motorbikes zipping around, but they belong to the locals; tourists can’t hire them. There are no cars for hire on Koh Lipe either.

You can also take a long-tail boat to travel around Koh Lipe. There are a ridiculous amount of long-tail boats on Koh Lipe! Many are used for day trips, but there are also a lot of water taxis. It costs 100 baht per person to travel around the island by long-tail boat. You can usually call to the man on the boat and ask him to take you where you want to go. There are taxi stands as well. There will be a sign stuck in the sand and nearby a group of men sat at tables in the shade. The main taxi stands are halfway down Sunrise Beach and in the middle of Pattaya Beach. The water taxis stop running when the sun sets. You may also find that if you are solo, they will only take you once they can combine your journey with other passengers.

If you are feeling very energetic you can hire a bicycle. The roads are pretty narrow, with bumpy sections and potholes. Most are just sandy tracks, although there are a few tarmacked ones. The Walking Street is closed to vehicles after 6 pm, including bikes. I personally don’t think cycling around Koh Lipe would be very enjoyable.

Koh Lipe Resorts

Koh Lipe has a wide range of places to stay, from hostels to spas. We stayed at ‘The Mountain Resort’ on North Point Beach. It is a mid-range hotel and more than we would usually pay. However, we thought it was worth it and enjoyed our stay there. We were in the quietest part of the island, and the room and staff were great.

Mountain Resort on Koh Lipe,Thailand

We considered staying at ‘The Castaway Resort’ on the southern end of Sunrise Beach. This is a popular place to stay on Koh Lipe, and it is easy to see why. It is located in one of the quieter areas of Sunrise Beach and has a friendly vibe. The rooms are basic with fans but no air conditioning. Next door are the ‘Coco Beach Bungalows’ that do have air conditioning and are a bit cheaper. We also looked at the ‘Sanom Beach Lipe Resort’, just to the left or west end of Pattaya Beach. If you are looking for a touch of luxury, ‘The Serendipity Beach Resort’ is located on a hill overlooking a private beach. On the other hand, if you are looking for somewhere cheap, ‘The Chic Lipe’ and ‘The Nest Hostel’ have excellent reviews.

What to Do in Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a small island with few tourist attractions or activities. These are the main things to do in Koh Lipe:

Enjoy the Beach

The unique thing about Koh Lipe is its fine, white sand and clear turquoise waters. So, unsurprisingly, the main thing to do is find a comfortable spot and admire the view. Sunbeds and deck chairs are scattered along the beaches, most of which you must pay for. You will never be far from a beach bar; thankfully, most of them play their music at a low volume. Nearly all the beaches are public, so you can spread your towel wherever you choose.

Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe

Pattaya Beach

This is the beach you will probably arrive on. It is a beautiful curved bay with rocky promontories on each end and a broad stretch of white sand in the middle. It is the busiest beach on Koh Lipe, with boats constantly arriving and departing. There are beach bars and hotels of all kinds, and the Walking Street starts in the middle of the beach. This is one of the few areas of Koh Lipe you will find any kind of nightlife. The Immigration Office and the Police Station are located at this beach’s left or east end.

Sunrise Beach (Hat Chao Ley)

Sunrise Beach runs along the east coast of Koh Lipe for over a mile. It is a beautiful stretch of white sand with shallow turquoise water. Even if you don’t get up early for the sunrise, it is still a beautiful view. Just offshore are two small islands, Koh Kra and Koh Usen. There is a range of hotels and bars located along the beach to suit all budgets. The main downside to Sunrise Beach is that the prevailing wind blows onto the beach during the high season, which can be pretty strong. There are a lot of long-tail boats, and although there are designated swimming and snorkelling areas, you would still need to be careful. The boats are very noisy, especially noticeable first thing in the morning and in the evening.

South end of Sunrise Beach
South end of Sunrise Beach

North Point Beach (Karma Beach or Bulow Beach)

There are several different names for this beach, which is actually the top end of Sunrise Beach. As the beach curves around to the north end of the island, there is a headland jutting out into the sea. Close to this, there is a sandbank that emerges during low tide. The curve of the headland means you can get one of the best views of the sun setting on Koh Lipe and an even better view if the tide is low and you can wade out to the sandbank. This is one of the quietest parts of Koh Lipe, with very few long-tail boats.

North Point Beach, Koh Lipe
North Point Beach, Koh Lipe

Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong)

Sunset Beach is on the west side of Koh Lipe. This is much smaller and narrower than the other beaches. Many visitors claim it is their favourite beach on the island. There are only a few resorts in the area and just one beach bar. When we visited, we found the beach stained with diesel, rubbish discarded all along the tree line and flies constantly bombarded us. Even though it is a small beach, about twenty long-tail boats were tied up, with more coming and going. It was noisy, smelly and grotty. We couldn’t wait to leave! It gets very busy at sunset as it’s the only easily accessible beach on the island’s west side. If you want to watch the sun go down here, don’t forget your repellent, as the mosquitos are notorious in this spot.

Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe
Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe

Secret Beaches

You may hear people talk about Koh Lipe’s secret beaches where you can get away from the crowds. One of these beaches is Sanom Beach, to the left or west of Pattaya Beach. There is one small hotel on this beach, and you can reach it either by going through the resort or walking along a wooden boardwalk from Pattaya Beach.

Another hard-to-spot beach is to the left or west end of North Point Beach. Past the steps leading up to Mountain Resort, some boulders jut out into the sea. However, if you go past these, you will find a stretch of sand. Be aware that it gets quite narrow when the tide is high.

You will find a couple of small coves at the south end of Sunrise Beach. These have resorts set on them, such as the Serendipity Resort and the Ten Moons Beach Resort. While they are not technically private beaches, they are difficult to access without going through the resorts, and they tend to be busy with people who are staying there. Around the south-west coast, there are a number of small coves that are only accessible from the sea. You can either kayak to these or get a water taxi to drop you off, but remember to arrange to be picked up again. It would be sensible to check the tide times before settling down on one of these beaches.

Although the views are gorgeous, we found the sand on Koh Lipe quite uncomfortable to walk on. There is a band of fine sand about six feet deep, just above the high tide line. On either side, the sand is a mixture of broken shells, lumps of coral, and coarse sand grains, especially on Sunrise Beach and North Point Beach. There is no real shade on most of the beaches apart from umbrellas.

All the main beaches have numerous long-tail boats tied up on the beach or anchored just offshore. As well as day trips and taxis, these are also used for fishing, deliveries and rubbish collection. Boats constantly come and go, especially first thing in the morning and just before sunset. We are familiar with long-tail boats on Koh Lanta, but the ones on Koh Lipe were much louder and frequently followed by a cloud of black smoke. Even on North Point Beach, which seemed to be the quietest beach on the island, the noise of long-tail boats was constant.


One of the big attractions of Koh Lipe is the snorkelling. There are coral reefs close to the shore that you can easily swim to. Pattaya Beach and Sunrise Beach have designated snorkelling areas that are roped off. However, you need to be aware of your surroundings and look out for long-tail boats and kayaks. Visibility is better at low tide, but then the coral is close to the surface, and it is easy to cut yourself.

People snorkelling in the sea, Koh Lipe
People snorkelling in the sea, Koh Lipe

You can also take day trips to go snorkeling. You can either join an organised group trip or hire a private long-tail boat to go where you choose. On a group trip, everything will be provided, including lunch, drinks, lifejackets and snorkelling gear. If you hire a boat, you will have to arrange all those things yourself, but you can choose where to go and how long to spend at each location.

Two snorkelling day trips from Koh Lipe are offered everywhere. One goes to the inner islands and the other to the outer islands. There is less travelling to the inner isles but more to see around the outer islands. You are guaranteed to see fantastic healthy coral and plenty of tropical fish, including ‘Nemo’ clownfish. It is claimed that 25 per cent of the world’s tropical fish species can be found around Koh Lipe. If you are lucky, you may encounter turtles. The inner island trip typically includes stops at Jabang, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Rawi, Koh Adang and Koh Yang. The other trip to the outer islands usually stops at Koh Hon Sorn, Koh Lugoi, Koh Dong, Koh Pung, Koh Bulu, Jabang, and Koh Hin Ngam. Prices vary between 550 and 900 baht, so shop around and haggle a bit to get a good deal.

For more information, there is a detailed guide on this website – snorkelverse.com

We had initially planned to go on a snorkelling trip, but after a horrendous journey to Koh Lipe, the last thing we wanted to do was get on a boat. We brought our masks with us, and we had hoped to do some snorkelling from the beach. However, we found the water around the coral was too cloudy to see much. The waves were quite strong and constantly pushing us around, especially when long-tail boats went by. Some of the coral was sharp, and I cut my hand when I got caught by a wave. Compared to Koh Lanta, we found the snorkelling quite disappointing. We saw a small stingray and several shoals of fish while we were swimming, but not when snorkelling. We saw a lot of sea urchins! Aidan was also bitten by a fish. It was probably a rockfish protecting its eggs. The bite was enough to draw blood and leave clear teeth marks on Aidan’s leg. Unless Marvel and DC have been lying to us, he should get special powers, shouldn’t he? I have been calling him AquaAidan while we wait to see what kind of superhero he turns into.

If you hope to enjoy snorkelling while on Koh Lipe, plan to go on a day trip. Maybe the conditions weren’t great when we were there, but although lots of people were snorkelling off the beaches, no one saw anything that interesting. The day trips are good value; you are guaranteed to see some unique coral, lots of tropical fish and maybe even turtles.


There are many places to hire kayaks on the beaches of Koh Lipe, and some resorts supply them for free. There are a few glass-bottomed kayaks and some paddleboards available, too. You can rent a kayak by the hour (150 – 250 baht in January 2024) or for the whole day. Two small islands close to Sunrise Beach – Koh Usen and Koh Kra – are popular to kayak to.

If you hire a kayak on Pattaya Beach and head west (to the left), you will find small coves and tiny beaches accessible only from the sea. It is also possible to kayak all the way around Koh Lipe. Kayaking to Ko Adang from the north end of Sunrise Beach looks like it should be easy. However, it is much further than it appears, and there are some big waves when you get to the deeper channel in the middle.


Koh Lipe is located in Tarutao National Marine Park, and the conservation work they do means there are some fantastic dive sites around Koh Lipe. The coral is healthy, and you can see diverse marine life, colourful coral and all kinds of tropical fish. Popular dive sites include Stonehenge, Yong Hua Wreck and 8 Mile Rock, and they provide excellent scuba diving for all levels of experience. There are a lot of good diving companies on Koh Lipe with years of experience.


Koh Lipe is so small that you can stroll from Sunrise Beach to Sunset Beach in under half an hour. If you are looking for more of a hike, there are paths in the less developed south-west of the islands that will take a couple of hours to walk around.

The most popular hikes in Koh Lipe are actually on the neighbouring island of Koh Adang. A short water taxi ride from Sunrise Beach to Ko Adang Visitor Centre and Campground costs 100 baht each way. You can take the path to the east or right of the campsite and hike up Chado Cliff. There are three viewpoints as you scramble up the path, giving you better and better views of Koh Lipe as you get higher. The route is clearly signposted, and you should get to the top viewpoint in about an hour. There is also a hike starting to the west or left of the Visitor Centre that goes to the Pirate Waterfall. This path is not very well signposted or used much, so it isn’t easy to find, but there are water pipes you can follow most of the way. It’s about 3km, and you should reach the waterfall in less than an hour. You will need shoes with good grip for both these hikes, not flip-flops!

The beach on Koh Adang
Koh Adang beach

Island Hop

Koh Lipe is surrounded by bigger, mostly undeveloped and sparsely populated islands. Koh Lipe’s popularity has dramatically increased over the last few years, and it can be difficult to find a peaceful spot away from the crowds. Exploring the surrounding islands can give you that desert island feeling you may have been hoping for on Koh Lipe.

  • Koh Adang is the nearest and easiest to get to. You can take a water taxi to the Visitor Centre and Campground. There is a beautiful stretch of white sand that you will be sharing with only a couple of people and the occasional water taxi arriving to drop off hikers. If you want somewhere even more isolated, you could get a long-tail boat to take you further west along Koh Adang’s coast to find a beach with no one else on it.
  • Koh Hin Ngam has a unique pebble beach that is fascinating to visit. The smooth black stones cover the beach but are not found anywhere else in the archipelago. Local traditions say that if you balance twelve pebbles on top of each other in a tower, your wish will come true. However, if you take a pebble away from the beach, you will have bad luck until you return it.
  • Koh Tong is also known as Monkey Island. As you might expect, the island’s principal inhabitants are monkeys. There’s a short hike up to a viewpoint, but there’s not much else to do except enjoy the beach and watch the monkeys. If you have ever wanted to see monkeys playing in the waves, this is the place to go.

The easiest way to visit the islands around Koh Lipe is to hire a long-tail boat for the day (about 1,200 baht in January 2024). If this is out of your price range, there are group day trips you could join.

Walking Street

As soon as you get off the jetty on Pattaya Beach, you will see the entrance to Walking Street. This is the main commercial area of Koh Lipe. As well as bars and restaurants, there are shops, pharmacies, massage places, tattoo studios, travel agents, dive centres, hostels, hotels, and resorts. While some places are open during the day, after 6 pm, it is pedestrian-only, and the Walking Street comes alive. The street is about half a mile long and slopes slightly uphill. It’s not very wide, so expect to stroll slowly with frequent stops to allow room for people coming the other way. It’s a fun walk with something new to see at every step. Most places, including restaurants, start to close around 10 pm, with only a few bars open later.

Walking Street, Koh Lipe
Walking Street, Koh Lipe


As is typical of Thailand, there are lots of places to get a massage, both traditional Thai massages and relaxing oil massages. Prices vary between 300 and 700 baht for an hour (in January 2024). They are cheaper on the Walking Street and more expensive in the resorts. There are a few on the beaches. We would recommend the place attached to the Castaway Resort at the southern end of Sunrise Beach. It is right on the beach, in one of Koh Lipe’s quieter areas, so you can hear the waves. It is very clean and has a nice vibe. The staff are friendly and have trained in Bangkok in the Wat Pho style of Traditional Thai Medicine.

Yoga and Meditation

There are several places on Koh Lipe where you can take a yoga class or a meditation session. The island as a whole has a relaxed atmosphere, and it’s not unusual to see someone on a beach getting in touch with their spiritual side. There is a small Buddhist Temple northwest of Pattaya Beach if you are looking for somewhere peaceful for meditation. Keirita’s Yoga and Castaway Yoga are well-established, with professional instructors for all experience levels. They are both located on Sunrise Beach and offer sessions that coincide with the sun coming up.

Massage on the beach at The Castway Resort, Koh Lipe
Massage on the beach at The Castway Resort, Koh Lipe


Koh Lipe is not a party island. The Walking Street is the main place to go for food and drink in the evening, but most places shut down around 10 pm. Popular bars on Walking Street that stay open later include ‘The Corner Bar’, ‘The Living Room’, and ‘Maya Bar’. They all serve good cocktails and play music. Pattaya Beach is the liveliest of the beaches. Several resorts and beach bars have Happy Hours and Fire Shows. These are usually scheduled quite early, with many of the beach bars closed by 8 pm. ‘Zodiac Bar’ at the north end of Sunrise Beach usually has Full Moon Parties and DJs playing music until later. However, all the bars have a very chilled vibe with beanbags and low lighting. Koh Lipe is not the place to go if you want to dance the night away.

Trash Hero

Like many Thai islands, Koh Lipe has a Trash Hero initiative that gives visitors an opportunity to help protect the local environment. They usually meet on Pattaya Beach at 10 am on Mondays. For further information, inquire at Café Lipe or Castaway Resort.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Koh Lipe?

The easiest time to visit Koh Lipe is during the high season – November to April. There are plenty of ways to get to Koh Lipe, with several ferries a day. Temperatures are between 25 – 30 degrees with lots of sunshine and little cloud or rain. The sea is calm and clear, making boat trips more pleasant and providing good visibility for snorkelling and diving. However, this is also the busiest time for the island.

The low season is from May to October. The weather is much more variable, with rain on most days, sometimes lasting for hours. A lot of the resorts, restaurants and bars are closed. There will be few, if any, boat trips. Fewer ferries are arriving, and the rougher sea conditions can make it a longer and more uncomfortable trip. As a result, the island is less crowded.

The best time to visit Koh Lipe is probably during ‘Shoulder Season’. This is at the beginning or end of the High Season in October or April when the island is less busy. The weather will be variable, but you are as likely to get sunshine as rain, and the showers will be shorter. While some places will be closed, the majority will be open.

Koh Lipe is becoming increasingly popular, so whenever you choose to go, prebook both transport and a place to stay.

Sunset on Koh Lipe
Sunset on Koh Lipe

Travel Tips for Going to Koh Lipe

After spending some time on Koh Lipe, these are our travel tips:


We have already mentioned this, but it is worth repeating. Koh Lipe is very busy during the high season, and it is becoming more popular and well-known. The hotels vary in quality and price, and it is worth doing some research to ensure you are happy with where you will be staying. While there are more ferries during the high season, there are still a limited number of seats. People were waiting to see if there were any spare seats on our boat, but it was completely full, and they were told they would have to wait and see if there were any on the next boat or wait until the next day. When we compared prices, we found that it was usually cheaper to pay online in advance.


There are some ATMs on Koh Lipe, but they charge high fees and often run out of cash. Some places took cards with a fee of 3%, but the majority didn’t. We found Koh Lipe very expensive, especially for food. The prices were higher than in Phuket!


We would strongly suggest wearing swimming shoes in the sea. We saw a lot of sea urchins, and there are warning notices and advice on what to do if you step on one posted in lots of the resorts. The sand is also quite coarse with lumps of coral and broken shells, so it isn’t pleasant to walk on.

If you plan to do either of the hikes on Koh Adang or much walking around the island, you will need shoes, not flip-flops or sliders.


There are lots of stray dogs running around Koh Lipe. They are often in packs of four, five or more. It can be unnerving to suddenly find yourself surrounded by dogs. All the ones we encountered seemed to be in good health and well cared for. There are signs asking you not to feed the dogs. It can be off-putting when you are trying to eat, and a couple of dogs are watching every bite. If you would like to help the dogs, there are charities you can donate to, for example, Help 4 Strays.

Sun Screen

You will need sunscreen in Koh Lipe, and it would be advisable to bring plenty with you as it is expensive to buy on the island. There’s not much shade on the beaches, and the island is only 5 degrees north of the Equator, so it’s easy to get burnt. However, please bear in mind that Koh Lipe is in a Marine Park and make sure your sunscreen is reef-safe. There are some beautiful and unusual coral formations in the seas around Koh Lipe, and the majority of the coral is healthy. Most people think paying a little extra for a sunscreen that won’t contaminate the ocean is worth it.


It was very windy when we visited Koh Lipe in January 2024. Especially on an evening after sunset, when the wind really picked up. We thought it might have been because we were staying on one of the higher parts of the island. However, after talking to other travellers and doing some investigation, we discovered that Koh Lipe is known for being windy during the high season. The prevailing wind comes from the east and is noticeable at the top of Sunrise Beach and on North Point Beach. While it can be nice to have a breeze after a hot day, it is something to be aware of. We soon learned that if we left towels outside to dry, they would be blown away by morning.

Our Recommendations

The standard of accommodation and food on Koh Lipe varies a lot. It would pay to do some research, especially as everything is quite expensive. From our short visit, these are our recommendations:

Best Place to Stay

We think ‘The Mountain Resort’ was a good choice. The rooms were spacious, comfortable and quiet. The staff were lovely, and the included breakfast had lots of options. To get to the beach, you had to go down several sets of steps, which was much easier going down than coming back up. There are deck chairs available to sit in and a beach bar for drinks and food. Most nights, there was a fire show. They have a free shuttle that takes you to and from the ferry, and every evening between 6 pm and 10 pm, it runs between the resort and the Walking Street.

Best Place to Eat for Local Food

We found most of the food on Koh Lipe over-priced for small portions and basic flavours. Some places had appealing menus, such as Boketto Sunset and On the Rocks, but they were too expensive for our budget. The best meal we had was at the Coco Beach restaurant. I had green curry fried rice, which was amazing – fragrant, with just enough spice to give it a kick and a huge portion. Aidan doesn’t particularly like Thai green curry, and even he thought it was delicious. Aidan had Penang fried rice, and we shared fish cakes and chicken tempura. They were happy to give us a takeaway bag for the bits we couldn’t finish. The portions were very generous, the prices were reasonable, the staff were friendly, and everything tasted delicious. They closed at 6 pm when we were there so don’t go too late.

Coco Beach Bungalows, Koh Lipe
Coco Beach Bungalows, Koh Lipe

Best Place to Eat on Walking Street

We tried a few places on Walking Street and were disappointed with all of them. The best meal we had was at La Luna. It is Italian, and they import some of their ingredients so you get authentic Italian flavours and textures. Aidan’s pizza had a perfectly cooked thin base and good toppings. My pasta was freshly made and cooked perfectly. The wine was very drinkable, and the tiramisu was better than some I have eaten in Italy.

Best Place to Have a Drink

The bar at The Castaway Resort was our favourite place for a drink. They have an interesting and creative cocktail list, with Happy Hour between 4 and 6 pm making drinks affordable. Their Thaijito was an interesting twist on a mojito. The bar has several different levels with a range of seating and is interestingly decorated with a relaxed atmosphere. The staff were friendly and efficient. Although you couldn’t see the sunset as it is on the east coast, you could hear (and see) the waves, and it was a pleasant way to end a day.

Cocktails at the Castway Resort, Koh Lipe
Cocktails at the Castway Resort, Koh Lipe

Best Place to Drink on Walking Street

We didn’t find anywhere to enjoy a drink on the Walking Street. Many of the bars had beanbags on the floor instead of chairs, which didn’t look comfortable. They all seemed to be open to the street, with people constantly walking by staring in at you. The main problem was the prices were so expensive. In the end, we got a bottle of wine from the Patt Market and drank it back in our room. Maybe we are getting old?

Conclusion – Would We Go Back to Koh Lipe?

We enjoyed our time on Koh Lipe, but I don’t think we will return. It is stunningly beautiful, but so are most Thai islands. When you factor in the expense and the difficulties of getting there, it just doesn’t seem worth it. If we did take another trip to Koh Lipe, we would travel by land as far as possible to reduce the time on a speedboat. The main reason I would go back is to take a trip around the islands and to do some snorkeling.

North Point Beach, Koh Lipe
North Point Beach, Koh Lipe


You can find key information for your Koh Lipe adventure in our FAQ section. These are the queries most travellers ask when planning a trip to Koh Lipe.

Can I travel to Koh Lipe outside the high season (November to April)?

Yes, but options are more limited. You can travel to Pak Bara Pier from various locations year-round and then take a speedboat to Koh Lipe. Check the timetable; the ferries don’t go as often in the low season (May to October).

Is Koh Lipe still worth visiting?

Yes, it is worth making the trip to Koh Lipe. It is different to the more accessible Thai islands. The stunning scenery and chilled vibe offer a unique experience. However, it isn’t easy to get to, and the journey can be long and uncomfortable.

Is Koh Lipe expensive?

Yes! We found the prices on Koh Lipe more expensive than Phuket and much pricier than Koh Lanta and Koh Libong. The prices for water taxis seem to be fixed at 100 baht per person, and a tuk-tuk ride is 100 baht per journey. Food, drink and hotels all cost more than anywhere else we have been in Thailand.

What is the best month to visit Koh Lipe?

October or April are probably the best months to visit Koh Lipe. During the high season, it can get crowded, and prices are higher. During the low season, the weather is unreliable, and little is open. The weather isn’t too bad between the two seasons in October and March, and most places are open.

How many days should I spend on Koh Lipe?

We would say four days is the minimum to spend on Koh Lipe, and if you can afford it, stay a few days more. You are going to lose most of one day travelling there and most of another day travelling back. Our journey there was awful, so it took us a day to recover! If you want to go on a snorkelling trip, you probably won’t want to get on a boat your first day there. If you also want to fit in visiting Ko Adang, that will take up most of another day.

What are the transportation options from Bangkok to Koh Lipe?

To reach Koh Lipe from Bangkok, you have the option to fly to Hat Yai or Trang, followed by a road transfer to Pak Bara Pier, and then a ferry or speedboat to the island. Bus or train services to Pak Bara are also available.
Is there a direct connection from Langkawi to Koh Lipe?
Yes, during the high season from November to April, you can take a direct ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe, with the journey lasting about 1.5 hours. You will need to allow time to go through the immigration process before you depart Malaysia and when you arrive in Thailand.

Which airports are closest to Koh Lipe?

The closest airports to Koh Lipe are Hat Yai International Airport and Trang Airport, both located in Thailand and Langkawi International Airport, Malaysia.

Are direct ferries available from Phuket to Koh Lipe?

Ferry and speedboat services from Phuket to Koh Lipe operate in the high season, taking around 5-7 hours to complete the trip. You will usually stop in Koh Lanta and maybe other islands and change boats along the way.

What is the National Park fee for Koh Lipe, and why do I have to pay it?

The National Park fee, required for the Tarutao National Marine Park, supports conservation efforts. It costs 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children 3-14 years old, and you pay on Pattaya Beach when you arrive. It covers you for anywhere you travel within Tarutao National Marine Park, not just Koh Lipe.