Thailand has always been well known for their beautiful beaches. But not many know about their best kept secret – Ko Lipe, a pristine tiny island located southernmost of Thailand. Here’s our take on why you should consider Ko Lipe for your next beach holiday.
1. Soft white sand and crystal clear waters
The water is so clear that when we took a photo of our feet in the water, it looked as though we were just stepping on sand! No joke! Despite the number of longtail boats, we were very impressed that they managed to keep their waters so clean!
Tip: Stay at Sunrise Beach if you prefer a quieter experience away from all the buzz and noise.
2. Less commercialised than the other Thai beaches
We went in early Nov which is supposedly the best time to visit Ko Lipe, and also its peak season. But surprisingly, it’s still not that crowded!
3. Delicious & affordable local food
One of the top reasons why people love visiting Thailand is because of the delectable local cuisine! And the food here at Ko Lipe definitely did not let their name down. Not super cheap though, since after all it’s still a tourist place. An average dish costs probably around 80 to 100 baht (SGD3-4)? Our favourites include pad thai, yummy fruit shakes, thai milk tea, nutella banana CREPES, coconut ice cream, tom yum and more! Salivating as I’m typing this…..
4. Cheap and good massages
Where else can you get quality massages at $12 for an hour long massage?! Of course don’t expect a luxurious spa treatment and service at such a price, but for the massage alone, it’s seriously worth it. We didn’t expect much, judging from the shop’s facade. But since it was cheap and we had time to kill, we decided to pop in to try it out. And boy were we both pleasantly surprised! In fact the massage that we had here was better than the ones that we usually get in Bangkok for the same price.
5. Colourful coral reefs teeming with life
This place wins hands down for being one of the best snorkelling sites in Thailand. Unfortunately due to a tight schedule, we didn’t manage to dive. But we heard that diving here is awesome too! Especially if you appreciate beautiful corals, you will love it here.
There are 2 standard packages A & B for snorkelling. Package A is cheaper (550baht) and they bring you to nearer sites for snorkelling. Package B (650baht) brings you to further sites.
BUT there’s a 3rd package that’s offered by a few vendors only (Thai beach travellers and Paradise Tours) which offers snorkelling plus plankton tour! We did that package with Thai Beach Travellers (they were the cheapest) and no regrets, highly recommended! The package consists of half a day of snorkelling during the day, followed by dinner on the beach as your eyes feast on the sunset, and then off to find the glowing planktons. More on the planktons in the next point.
6. Experience seeing millions of glowing stars underwater!
Definitely highlight of our trip! This is a MUST-DO! After the sun has set and our tummies were full, we set off on our longtail boat to a really dark area near Ko Adang. The boat soon came to a stop and our boatman excitedly told us to jump into the water, which we did! The moment there was movement in the water, the bioluminescent plankton started glowing like fireflies underwater! It was INCREDIBLE and MIND BLOWING! Too bad it was extremely difficult to take a nice photo as it was too dark and the camera can’t focus properly 🙁
Snorkelling+Glowing Plankton tour (highly recommended!): 800 baht per pax, 1.30-8pm. Includes all snorkel equipment and a simple dinner too!
Did you know? Bioluminescent plankton squirt globs of glowing chemicals into the water as a defense mechanism against predators! The glow will distract and confuse the predator, giving them time to escape! :O
7. Breathtaking view of Ko Lipe from Chadoe Cliff
As always, no trip is complete for us without a trek. This trek is highly recommended even for beginners! The entire trek up and down won’t take you longer than 2 hours! We took about 1.5 hours with some time spent taking photos and flying the drone. The terrain is challenging no doubt but the spectacular view at the summit makes it all worthwhile. The path is relatively well marked with yellow arrows pointing you in the right direction. You don’t need a guide for this trek.
For more details, check out our detailed guide on how to get to Chadoe Cliff at Ko Adang!
8. Beautiful resorts with amazing views of the sea
We stayed at 2 different beach facing resorts at Ko Lipe. The first resort that we stayed at was Serendipity Resort which was nestled amongst the greens at the edge of Sunrise Beach. The overall feel was very cozy with wooden furniture and flooring. Some rooms even have their own private pool! They even serve you breakfast in your room! If you like a more tranquil and relaxing experience, you will love it here!
Our second night was spent at Idyllic Concept Resort which had a very different overall feel as compared to Serendipity. We were pleasantly surprised when they upgraded our room to a beach front room! The view was amazinggggg! Only thing was that there was a lack of privacy as everyone below can see you in your room :/
9. More convenient now with direct flights via Jetstar from Sg to Hat Yai!
How to get to Ko Lipe:
1. Fly direct to Hat Yai via Jetstar (~1.5 hours)
Good news is that Jetstar now flies to Hat Yai four times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays) with one-way fares starting at S$43!
2. Book a land transfer from Hat Yai airport to Pak Bara Ferry Terminal (~2 hours)
You can get your tickets online. It’ll cost around 1,700 baht (2 way) per pax for the mini van transfer from Hat Yai to Pak Bara, and speedboat ticket from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe.
3. Take a speed boat from Pak Bara Ferry Terminal to Ko Lipe (~1.5 hours)
Jetstar only just launched their flights to Hat Yai on 3rd Nov 2017 and we were one of the lucky few who were on this inaugural flight to Hat Yai! Before Jetstar launched direct flights from Singapore to Hat Yai, you’ll have to fly to Bangkok first followed by a domestic flight to Hat Yai. So we’re really glad that we managed to skip a step by flying direct to Hat Yai instead!
Thank you Jetstar for the seamless experience from checking in to the flight experience!