Koh Lipe, an enchanting island nestled off the southwestern coast of Thailand, epitomizes the allure of a tropical paradise with its lush jungles, secluded beaches, swaying palm trees, and serene waters. Renowned for hosting some of Thailand’s finest reefs, the island offers exceptional opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Positioned just beyond the periphery of the Tarutao National Park, Koh Lipe is encircled by the uninhabited islands of the Butong Archipelago.
A mere hour by boat from both mainland Thailand and Langkawi, Malaysia, Koh Lipe has become a sought-after destination for tourists from these regions. While it may not be the ideal choice for those seeking a completely deserted Thai island, the months of May to October, considered the low season, present an opportunity to relish the exquisite sandy beaches with fewer crowds, although some hotels may be closed during this period. Regardless of the time of year, Koh Lipe guarantees exceptional snorkeling experiences, along with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
Now, let’s delve into the top five beaches that contribute to the island’s allure:
1. Pattaya Beach:
Situated on the southern part of Koh Lipe, Pattaya Beach stands out as the largest and most frequented beach on the island. Serving as the landing site for ferry boats during the high season, this scenic bay witnesses the immigration process for those arriving from Langkawi. Although fishing boats often populate the bay, limiting swimming options, the powdery sand beaches offer diverse activities such as volleyball, Frisbee, and kayaking. Pattaya Beach is also the epicenter of the island’s vibrant nightlife and party scene.
2. Sunrise Beach (Hat Chao Ley Beach):
Located on the east side of Koh Lipe, just a brief walk from the Chao Ley town predominantly inhabited by sea gypsies, Sunrise Beach lives up to its name as the perfect spot to commence the day. Renowned for its stunning sunrise views, this beach attracts early risers and snorkelers who can explore the exotic marine life directly from the shore. Refreshing breezes throughout the day ensure a comfortable environment for sunbathing.
3. Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong):
The smallest among Koh Lipe’s major beaches, Sunset Beach is a secluded haven in western Koh Lipe. True to its name, this beach offers a breathtaking spectacle as the sun sets, casting vibrant reds and oranges across the water. Nestled on a secluded lagoon, Sunset Beach provides a tranquil escape, inviting visitors to relax on the sandy shores or take a refreshing swim in the small bay.
4. Sanom Beach:
Situated a short walk along a wooden sidewalk from Pattaya Beach, Sanom Beach is characterized by its varying shades of turquoise water and clear visibility of rocks underwater. This secluded beach boasts pristine white sand for sunbathing and calm waters suitable for swimming. Sanom Beach is particularly renowned for its world-class diving opportunities, attracting enthusiasts to explore the underwater wonders.
5. Billa Beach:
Tucked between Sunset and Pattaya beaches on southern Koh Lipe, Billa Beach offers a small and secluded retreat facing the Andaman Sea. With rocky shores keeping tourist numbers in check, this beach is an excellent choice for those seeking peace and quiet. Despite its seclusion, Billa Beach remains a great location for snorkeling and kayaking, ensuring a tranquil yet adventurous experience.