Recovery on Koh Lipe

My time in New Zealand had been more than a little chaotic. Two months of fast-paced travel, changing destinations every 3 days, driving long hours. When you couple that with New Zealand’s horrible internet I really did have a lot more stress than I originally anticipated.

It was because of New Zealand that I needed a break from travel. 

I needed to head back to Southeast Asia in search of the perfect beach. I originally thought that would be in Malaysia, the glaring omission from my Asia travels. I’d long wanted to visit Malaysia but it had never fitted in with my plans. Now, I had months ahead of me with nowhere I needed to be — it was the perfect time to visit Malaysia.

… And then I didn’t fall as hard for it as I thought I would. I was wandering around thinking to myself “well, yeah… it’s alright…” but I didn’t love it as much as the other Southeast Asian countries I’ve visited. It was in a guesthouse in Penang, when I was absolutely fed up with trying to find accommodation for the Perhentian Islands, that my change of plan came to me.

I could go to Thailand! 

I’d tried Malaysia, and I’d tried to love it… but it just wasn’t working for me. Thailand was a place I’d visited every few months and knew incredibly well. I’d visited in 2011, 2012, 2013 and I’m pretty certain I’ll be visiting Thailand in 2014 too.

All it took was a quick glance at a map and I was off to the Thai embassy to get a visa. I booked myself on a bus to Thailand for the following day and then I was off.

I was going to Koh Lipe. 

Koh Lipe Beach Resort heart

I’ve been to quite a few islands in Thailand now — Koh Chang, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Noi… and Koh Lipe was definitely the priciest of these islands.

I would have freaked out if I’d come straight from elsewhere in Thailand, but I’d recently been in New Zealand, where it’s common to spend $50 a night on a dorm bed, so paying $40 a night between Dave and I seemed not so bad.

The higher costs attracted a different kind of crowd too. There weren’t as many backpackers, and it was more a mid-range type crowd. Young couples, families, that sort of crowd. It wasn’t a bad thing, especially as the last thing on my mind was partying, it was actually rather enjoyable.

Koh Lipe longtails

My time in Koh Lipe was definitely spent recovering from too much movement.

There was surprisingly fast wifi for an isolated island so I was able to catch up with writing on Never Ending Footsteps.

There were several beaches within walking distance (in fact, the whole island is pretty much within walking distance) so I often would head to a quiet patch of sand to sunbathe.

The ocean surrounding Koh Lipe was the clearest I’ve ever seen on Thailand — and that’s really saying something! I was able to swim out quite deep and still see my feet treading water below.

Koh Lipe beach

Koh Lipe was perfect for me — it was quiet, peaceful and beautiful. I’ll definitely be back.


Which is your favourite Thai island? Have you ever been to Koh Lipe?



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  1. Phuong
    April 11, 2015

    Since you went during low season. Can you expand on the transportation options. I think it’s a flight to Hat Yai then bus to Pak Bara then boat to Koh Lipe, from what I’ve read but no more details other than from destination to destination. Thanks! :)

    • April 11, 2015

      It was more shoulder season than low season. I took a minivan from Malaysia to Pak Bara and caught a ferry from there. What other information are you looking for?

  2. November 13, 2016

    I certainly can’t say I had fast WiFi in Koh Lipe – on the contrary, struggled a lot! – but everything else was a delight. Along with Chiang Mai, a completely different destination, it was probably my favorite place in Thailand. Can’t wait to go back!

  3. Amy
    August 5, 2018

    We’re planning a trip to thailand and trying to decide on which island to see. We want quiet and relaxing remote but also want to “experience” thailand as this is probably our one and only visit. Should we do Koh Yao Noi ( and do some day trips to the more touristy places) or just do Koh Lipe?

    • August 10, 2018

      Koh Yao Noi, definitely. Koh Lipe is pretty crowded and filled with trash these days, whereas Koh Yao Noi is still pretty untouched. And it’s far easier to access the touristy parts of Thailand from there.

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