Koh Lipe, a “tiny little remote island south of Thailand. The beaches are breathtaking and there are lots of pirate style beach bars you can hang out at. It’s quite chill and there are diving monkeys that swim towards you. It’s actually really hard to reach as you have to jump off a fisher‘s boat and walk on shore though the water while you hold your backpack up in the air…“
Awesome, but wait … that was 6 years ago …
When I reached the island by one of the many speedboat ferries that run several times a day I walked along the pier with about 20 people of all countries, but mostly China, and we waited for our bags to be dropped off.
Krabi – Koh Lipe (Van 4h + Boat 1h) starts at 6am (hotel pickup) for 900THB
The sun was burning hot and the red shirt of the Chinese dude, who could neither talk nor smile was soaking wet. My backpack was not as it had been carefully carried by one of the many employees.
I could see a lot of food stands with fresh juices and taxi boats were floating in the water as I passed one resort after another. Fat people with sunglasses were lingering on lounge chairs when I walked past them with my backpacks and sweaty hair.
What the fuck.
Where are the diving monkeys? Maybe they were diving below the many taxi boats. Most likely not. Most likely the only thing floating down there would be some dead sunburned Chinese with too much booze the night before.
But wait … being packed with holiday people there must be some party somewhere on the island….
….it is not. You could probably wake someone up by throwing cotton balls at their windows after 10pm.
So what is there to do?
HANG OUT AT SUNRISE BEACH
Sunrise beach is a beautiful beach east of the pier when you arrive on Koh Lipe. I walked there, it took me 30 minutes and I almost died from dehydration. It’s quiet and has some nice little bars and restaurants you can spend your day at. There are also some trees to be found, where you can get a little bit tanned in the shade and won’t sweat as much.
GO ON A SNORKELING TRIP
There are several snorkeling packages on Koh Lipe you can choose from. They either last half a day starting at around 2pm until 6pm or last a full day (9am until 6pm). I chose half day, because it bores me to do the same thing all day long.
I paid 500THB for the “half day sunset snorkeling” and it was alright.
WATCH THE SUNSET AT SUNSET BEACH
Some snorkeling trips end at sunset beach. There’s also a nice bar if you walk left (facing the water). Get a seat outside and set your camera to timelapse mode while you sip on a coconut.
This place has a transport to the “city“ center where you pay 50THB per cart and not 50THB per person (on the streets).
Ask the staff for directions to that office and save some money.
EAT OUT AT TROPICANA
This place is expensive (for Thai food), but worth every penny. It’s healthy and delicious and my mouth drools while I write this. You can easily spend 400THB on a breakfast wanting to shout out “that’s all I have!! I order everything!!! Feed me more!”
But you most likely won’t.
SLEEP AT “THE CHIC LIPE“ HOSTEL
I changed into this hostel on Koh Lipe. It’s around 18€ per night for a dorm bed. And yes there are cheaper options (7-9€/ night), but sometimes you don’t want to stand in sand when you shower … and this one is very clean! The restaurant is cheaper than most places you can eat out (except for the street food) and it’s alright.
Your bag is carried upstairs and they even drive you to the pier when you leave. Dorm beds have big lockers right next to the bed, you get a fresh towel every day, water and coffee is free. I liked it a lot.
Koh Lipe has changed a lot in the past 7 years and I’m not sure if its reputation lives up to reality. Snorkeling is alright as long as you don’t swim into a jelly fish and the beaches are beautiful when they’re empty.
But note: I sometimes get up at 5am to get the good pictures. It might look different later that day.
I guess there are nicer places for backpackers to travel to, but I have to admit that it’s been getting harder and harder to actually find them.