Koh Lipe, an island off the southwest coast of Thailand, is considered a tropical island paradise: jungles, secluded beaches, swaying palm trees and calm waters. The island has some of the best reefs in Thailand, so you can go snorkelling and diving. It lies on the outskirts of Tarutao National Park and surrounded by uninhabited islands of the Butong Archipelago.
Since Koh Lipe is an hour’s boat ride from mainland Thailand and Langkawi (Malaysia), it is a popular destination for tourists from both places. If you are looking for a deserted Thai island, Koh Lipe is not the right place. However, if you go in the low season, which runs from May to October, you can enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches without the crowds, although some hotels may be closed. However, at any time of the year you can snorkel and enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Koh Lipe Map
1. Pattaya beach
Pattaya Beach is the largest and most visited on Koh Lipe; it is located in the southern part of the island. Picturesque Pattaya Beach is where ferries disembark during peak season and where you go through immigration on your way from Langkawi.
This beach is in a large bay which is usually full of fishing boats, so swimming is not always a good option. Among the activities that can be practiced on the sandy beaches are volleyball and frisbee. You can also go kayaking in the bay. Pattaya Beach is where most of Koh Lipe’s parties and nightlife take place.
2. Sunset beach
Sunset Beach, or Hat Pramong in local jargon, lives up to its name. It’s the smallest of Koh Lipe’s main beaches, and it’s the place to see when the sun goes down in a truly spectacular way, with beautiful reds and oranges reflecting in the water. What a way to end a day at the beach!
Sunset Beach is located on a secluded lagoon west of Koh Lipe and is therefore considered a good place to relax, bask on a beach towel or swim in the small bay. There aren’t many accommodation options on Sunset Beach, but there are some cute wooden bungalows.
3. Sunrise beach
If Sunset Beach is a good place to watch sunsets, it makes sense for early risers to head to Sunrise Beach to start the day. Sunrise Beach, also known as Hat Chao Ley Beach, is located on the east side of Koh Lipe, just a five-minute walk from the town of Chao Ley, where mainly sea gypsies live.
The beach is popular with snorkelers as they can practice the sport directly on the shore to see the exotic marine life. The refreshing breezes of the day keep swimmers cool.
4. Billa Beach
Billa Beach is a small secluded beach facing the Andaman Sea. There aren’t the hordes of tourists that other Koh Lipe beaches get, so if you’re in the mood for some peace and quiet, this could be the ticket for you.
It’s a rocky beach, which could be one of the reasons it’s not so crowded. Still, you can find decent places to sunbathe or stroll along the beach. However, the isolation doesn’t stop Billa Beach from being a great place to go snorkelling or kayaking. Billa Beach is located between Sunset and Pattaya beaches south of Koh Lipe.
5. Sanom Beach
The water at Small Sanom Beach is different shades of turquoise, from clear to dark, but it is so clear that you can see the rocks under the water. This secluded beach has white sand if you want to sunbathe, and the water is calm enough for swimming. You can see small parrots, hornbills and mynah birds come to visit the nearby jungle.
The main draw to this beach, however, is the excellent diving opportunities, which some describe as world class. Sanom is a short walk up a wooden boardwalk from Pattaya Beach. There is a seasonal resort that offers beachfront bungalows and a dive center.