7th February
written by Hope

As I mentioned in the previous post, we really didn’t have a plan in place for SE Asia…which in many ways is really good for us (or at least, me)—to learn how to be comfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing where we are going to sleep or even what city we are going to be in the next day. BUT, this also means we spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out what the heck we’re going to do next. We had originally planned to go diving in Ko Phi Phi, but we found out from some people on Ton Sai that (1) Ko Phi Phi is a big, noisy scene full of kids getting drunk and foreign men and their “Thai wives,” and (2) that the diving is better in Sipadan (in Malaysian Borneo)—actually, rumor is that it is the best diving in the world. So, we decided to check out another island in Southern Thailand (island hopping is a big thing here), and save our diving dollars for Sipadan.

Oh, but what island to go to?!? I know, I’m not expecting anyone to throw us a pity party for this quandary…but we really spent a lot of time changing our plans back and forth. For a while, we were heading to Loh Liang, a tiny island with one resort where a lot of climbers go from Krabi. Then we thought maybe we should dive in the Similan Islands. Finally, we decided (after hearing rave reviews from several people we met on Ton Sai) to head to Ko Lipe, a small island at the very southwestern tip of Thailand in Ko Tarutao National Park. And we were sooo glad we came.

We took a long tail boat from Ton Sai to Ao Nang, a bus from Ao Nang to Pakbara, and a speed boat from Pakbara to Ko Lipe. There are three main beaches in Ko Lipe: Sunrise beach, Sunset beach, and Pattaya, with the last beach being the busiest. One of the gals in Ton Sai said we should stay at Coco Resort on Sunrise beach, and it didn’t take us long to realize that we basically had the best spot on the island.

sunrise beach

The strip of Sunrise beach right in front of Coco Resort was quiet, pristine (look at that water!!!), and peaceful; even a few meters down the beach was more crowded and noisy. Plus, Coco Resort was a lovely little place run by a Thai family…we negotiated a bamboo bungalow for 900 baht per night (approx. US$26) the first night, and it seems like this might be one of the cheaper places on the island to stay. The bamboo room was very atmospheric but the floor felt like you could fall right through it. Later we would see that half the posts supposedly supporting the bungalow were several inches too short and didn’t reach the ground (scary!!!).

bamboo bungalow at coco resort

So the following day we moved to a concrete bungalow (700 baht/US$20 per night), which felt a little more solid. :)

concrete bungalow at coco resort

We spent three days here swimming, reading on the beach, and generally enjoying the beauty that is Ko Lipe. And, on one particularly inspired day, we watched the sunrise on Sunrise Beach:

sunrise over sunrise beach

And the sunset on Sunset Beach:

sunset over sunset beach

We had some great dinners here too…there is a place at the very end of Pattaya beach where you can walk up and choose your fish from a huge platter of iced seafood treats. They weigh it, grill it, and serve it to you at your table on the beach. YUM!

fresh fish bbq

We LOVED Ko Lipe!

sunrise beach


  1. eddo

    sunrise, sunset! sunrise, sunset!

  2. phizzy

    quick question is it possible to walk around the whole island? or from one beach area to another?

  3. 31/03/2009

    Hi Phizzy- Yes, Ko Lipe is small enough to walk around (though I don’t think there is a path around the island…but there are paths through the center of the island to Sunrise, Sunset, and Pattaya beach). It is a good walk from Sunrise to Sunset beach (about 25 minutes?). Have fun in Ko Lipe!

  4. Hello Hope and Jeremy, lovely post on this. I am really missing Lipe esp Mountain Resort. Thanks for sharing.


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