Dates: Dec 26-28, 2016
Route: Ferry from Phuket, Thailand.
Koh Lipe is an island in the middle of the Andaman Sea that is closer to Malaysia and Langkawi than Thailand. We were going here from Phuket and knew that the journey was going to be long as it started with a 1.5hr van transfer from our hotel to the dock and a 7hr boat ride which required a change of boats in the middle. We spent the day gazing at the beautiful sea and the many small, lush jungle covered islands that went by.
The island itself is everything pictures and blogs on the Internet promised it would be; Far enough away and tranquil but not without a decent amount of restaurants and bars. And bordered by white sand beaches kissed by the warm aquamarine waters of the Andaman Sea. We stayed at The Mountain Resort which was nice enough and on a quieter part of the island. Our first day was spent photographing the many Thai longboats and just lounging on the beach. We recommend the excellent Happy Vibe Bar for lunch and chillout. Night found us on ‘Walking Street’, a lively , bustling street that cuts from the beach on the south end of the island to the east. There are no cars on the island and only a few tuk-tuks. We highly recommend ‘Hello India’ as the food there was fantastic. For seafood lovers, this is heaven as there are many restaurants that have all their daily catch on offer over ice and grilled and cooked to your order.
The next day we took a longboat to a private island that was about an hour away. This was a great experience as the island was just a small atoll with a rock arch and a deserted white sand beach with emerald waters. We spend a few hours swimming and lounging by ourselves until a boat full of tourists showed up later in the afternoon. For our second night, we went to a beach shack on Pattaya Beach called Reggae Bar. Sitting on the sand and sipping cold beers, we watched some local performers dance to chilled reggae.
If you want to be on an island with just the right balance of ‘postcard views’, nightlife, and the ability to get away to a private island, Koh Lipe is a must do. It is far away from the mainland, and there are other islands like Phi-Phi and Ko Lanta that offer similar experiences but are closer to Phuket and Krabi.