13 Jan 2014

Island Living On Beautiful Koh Lipe

When we caught our first glimpse of Koh Lipe from our crowded speedboat it was love at first sight and we were very excited to be back in Thailand. The bright turquoise sea, ribbon adorned longboats and white sand soon made us forget the uncomfortable 75 minute journey we'd just endured. We'd been crammed into the back of a small speedboat along with 28 other passengers (plus luggage) and grimaced to a relentless rhythm of "1, 2, 3, BANG! 1, 2, 3, BANG!" all the way from Langkawi to Koh Lipe.

speedboat langkawi koh lipe
"Land Ahoy!"

Our boat was definitely over capacity and we were only minutes away from Vicky's sensitive sea belly erupting!

koh lipe thailand

We jumped ashore and were led to the immigration office which was in fact a bar(!), smiling to ourselves we filled out our landing cards and handed our passports to the barman aka immigration officer.  

forra bar and immigration koh lipe
"Would you like a Chang with your visa?"

We were casually advised that they are open until 1am and to return anytime to collect our documents. So, we left in search of Thai Baht and our room for the night. There are no ATM's on Koh Lipe but the tour agencies sell currency and charge 5% commission each time. 

walking street koh pipe

Our first accommodation was a colourful (and overpriced) room at Mamas Bungalows, again it was New Year so everywhere was full and this was the only place offering rooms via Agoda.com. It was perfectly fine but we really wanted to stay at the beach. 

sunset pattaya beach koh pipe
"Our first sunset on Koh Lipe - beautiful!"

Later that evening we headed to Pattaya beach for sunset and cocktails to the sounds of the original Mr Lover Lover, Shaggy! We also collected our passports safely and were ecstatic we'd been given a 30 day tourist visa, usually you only get 15 days if you arrive into Thailand over land or by sea (we'd been reluctantly formulating a border crossing plan in our minds) - we were quickly learning that Koh Lipe is a special kind of island!

Satun dive resort beach huts koh lipe
"Some serious bangs on these huts at Satun Dive Resort!"

After a couple of days getting our bearings we found some cute bamboo huts on Sunrise beach. First up we stayed a couple of nights at the new Satun Dive Resort - nice huts but lots of ducking and banging of heads even for Vicky! So, we moved to the very in-demand Varin Village (not Varin Beach). Steve was the first person in the queue at 8.30am and scored us a beach front hut for just 1,000 Baht a night!

Varin village koh lipe sunrise beach thailand
"Varin Village THE best huts on the island!"

It was perfect, we enjoyed the most fabulous views from our veranda and were just steps from the sea! 

sunrise beach koh lipe
"Our view to the right #nofilter!"

sunrise beach koh lipe thailand
"An equally gorgeous view to our left!"

We're sure you know by now, when Sticky are at the beach we get lazy so, yeah, we didn't really do 'that much' except drink, eat, read, sleep, swim and tan (we didn't even go snorkelling or learn to dive). Our inquisitive minds and stomachs were very happy spending time getting to know the eclectic array of bars and restaurants that Koh Lipe has to offer. Five days here soon turned into ten and each was pure bliss!

koh lipe thailand

Koh Lipe has three beaches: Pattaya (where you arrive), Sunrise and Sunset. Walking Street connects the Pattaya and Sunrise beaches and is just a 15 minute walk end to end. The only traffic you'll see on Koh Lipe are mopeds or the moped plus sidecar taxis and you won't even see that many. If you need a taxi it's just 50 Baht per person to anywhere on the island. 

We spent most of our days on Sunrise beach and enjoyed sunset the most on Pattaya beach, Sunset beach is quite a trek to get to and there is not much happening there. We think you can get a Penis Colada at the Porn Resort but we didn't verify this!

sunset beach koh lipe thailand

So back to what we know best: eating and drinking! Our favourite places on Walking Street were Thai Pancake Lady (takeaway coffee, juices, sweet and savoury pancakes), La Cantina (delicious al dente pasta), Pooh's (cocktails and amazing barbecued King mackerel and T-bone steak) and, Banana Tree (healthy breakfast and Thai food). OMG! Sports bar served delicous Thai food and the best burgers on the island, you can sit much more comfortably here watching the evening film than at Pooh's. Nee Papaya also became one of favourites for Thai food especially their spicy papaya salad and Massaman curry. Luckily we didn't really have many disappointing meals and service was always with a smile. 

Steve enthusiastically took on a self appointed mission to find the best Massaman curry on the island and *drumroll please* the winner was... the restaurant next to Satun Dive office! It was so good he forget the name. Part two of this mission is to master his own so watch this space.

fresh thai food
"No excuses not to have your five a day here."

We really enjoyed our visit to Koh Lipe and can't recommend it enough, it's a stunning island and the perfect place to just chill out. We'll definitely be back soon!

koh lipe thailand
"We heart Koh Lipe!"


  1. Thanks for the write-up. I head to Koh Lipe next week and am counting down the days until I get there. I love Thai beaches and this one looks like it is the best on Thailand.

  2. hey drew, do u have varin village contact ? kinda hard to find it on web.. thanks

  3. No sorry. You kind of have to turn up and hope they have a hut available. Good luck and enjoy :)