Visit the Most Gorgeous Island in Thailand also known as the "Maldives of Thailand" for its Crystal Blue Water and Diverse Snorkeling Reefs. Stay in a Pool-Side Villa and Soak Up the Relaxed Island Vibes of this Must-See Island.
SOO when I started researching Thailand for the second half of our honeymoon, I knew I wanted to experience some of the best beaches in Thailand. I mean we were flying to the other side of world, so we might as well try to experience the best right? Our first half of the honeymoon was in Bali, (you can read about that here) where we stayed in the jungle, so going to Thailand we wanted to experience some of the city life and the gorgeous beaches.
To sum it up we did Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Lipe during our stay in Thailand. My husband and I both agreed that Koh Lipe hands down was the coolest part of Thailand and had some of the clearest water we've ever seen. Koh Lipe is a VERY small island that resides in the Andaman Sea. It is one of the most southern parts of Thailand and very close to Malaysia. It is known for its coral reefs, sandy white beaches, and turquoise blue waters.
There are very limited ways to access Koh Lipe as it is a very small island, but it is by no means impossible to get there! You will need to schedule a boat from either Pakbara Pier, Phuket, or Koh Lanta depending on where you are coming from. We were initially coming from Phuket, so we took the Pakbara Speed Boat from Rassada Pier (Phuket) to Koh Lanta and then to Koh Lipe. In total this was about a 5 hour speed boat ride. We were a little nervous leading up to our trip because we had heard some horror stories about boat rides being super choppy and cramped, but our experience was fine. The boat ride is very rudimentary, so do not expect anything luxurious and you'll be fine. The easiest way to get to Koh Lipe from mainland Thailand is to FLY into Hat Yai Airport, take a shuttle to Pakbara Pier and take the speedboat (1.5 hours) from there. We did this on our way out of Koh Lipe and I would recommend this as the best and easiest option. When you book through Pakbara Speed Boat Club you will get shuttle transportation included from the airport. It was very easy and after much research we are happy we chose Pakbara Speed Boat Club.
We stayed at Serendipity Beach Resort, which is on the sunrise side of the island. We went all out for our honeymoon and opted for a Pool Bungalow. Koh Lipe does not have any "5 star luxury resorts" on the island as it more remote (expect eco friendly plumbing), but I would 100% say this was an unbeatable 5 star experience and property! You are cliffside so you have an incredible view of the sea and access to some of the best reefs in the world! The Serendipity Resort is one of the only cliffside resorts on the island so keep that in mind when you are booking your stay. We definitely utilized the snorkeling equipment on site and enjoyed being able to walk right out of our hotel and straight into the turquoise waters. Our room was at the very top of the resort so it was a hike from the bottom to the top, but a great leg workout indeed! Also, do note that this resort gets very breezy towards night time.
The resort will arrange to pick you up via long tail boat from the pier when you arrive to Koh Lipe. Pictured below is the long tail boat which you will be transported in and also the literal HEAVEN of beachfront at Serendipity Resort.
Breakfast is served in your room everyday! You get many choices of breakfast items and a selection of Asian and American style foods. They had a floating tray for us to enjoy an Instagram worthy "in pool" breakfast. This was a cool complimentary perk, considering in Bali they were charging something crazy like $50 dollars to do it.
The beach at our hotel had a grotto style layout. Since the hotel is at the very end of the beach, it was much more private and secluded. We spent many of our days laying out and soaking up the sunshine and good vibes. The resort also supplies towels and beach mats.
They had 1 restaurant/bar on site with sweeping views of the ocean. We enjoyed a few meals on site but we opted to walk into town for most meals since it's so much cheaper. We went during the holidays hence the extra decorations :)
Activities + Restaurants
The island is extremely walkable and there are barely any cars on the streets which is a huge difference from the rest of mainland Thailand. You can walk the whole length of the island in about 30 minutes, which makes it nice for taking a leisurely stroll through town to get to the other side of the island for Sunset. There is a main walking street throughout the island, which is lined with restaurants, massage studios and shopping. We stayed 1 week on Koh Lipe and it was the perfect amount of time to spend. We spent the majority of our days snorkeling in the ocean, hanging out at the beach, and just taking time to slow down and enjoy the island life.
"Sea La Vie" Restaurant
Awesome funky restaurant and beachfront bar on the Sunrise side of the island. Definitely a highlight from our stay in Koh Lipe. They have an enormity of recycled goods and lounge seating that make up the personality of this restaurant. The name of the restaurant "Sea La Vie" is an honest adaptation of the lifestyle in Koh Lipe. Everyone is super friendly and you can spend hours just hanging out and enjoying the scenery. At night time when the sun starts to set, they have a fire dancer who performs for added entertainment.
Walking through town was super safe at all times of the day. They surprisingly have lots of shops and restaurants on this island! We got a massage one day and it cost us $15 each for a full body 60 minute coconut oil massage!
Such a colorful and friendly island! :)
Mmmm you can't wrong with the food here in Thailand. We didn't have one bad meal!!!! Also the food is super cheap so you can order lots of different dishes.
Walk to Sunset Beach and they will be selling cocktails and beers for you on the sand!
Lots of people come and snag a beach spot for Sunset, so come early if you want a good spot.
We had snorkeling gear at our hotel and the most amazing reefs to explore right at our doorstep. I've done lots of snorkeling and diving in my days and the reefs in Koh Lipe on the Sunrise side had the most amount of fish I've seen in one reef. It is known to have 25% of the worlds tropical fish species in these reefs!!!!
Cafe Tropical - Great place to grab healthy lunch and açaí bowls.
Elephant Koh Lipe- Bomb burgers and healthier vegan options for dinner. Also owned by Cafe Tropical!
Bombay Indian- Mmm we love Indian food and I'm still dreaming of this Indian food! The naan baking on the oven drew us in.
Tonkow Restaurant- Delicious authentic Thai food!
Koh Lipe is a special place and based on my research has the clearest water in all of Thailand. Hence why it is dubbed "the Maldives" of Thailand!