Ever dreamt of visiting the picturesque waters of the Maldives, where the ocean is so crystal blue it doesn’t seem real?! (If you didn’t know the Maldives ain’t the cheapest destination to holiday to).
Luckily, we’re here to the rescue and when you get a load of Koh Lipe and the surrounding islands – you might just pinch yourself, asking if this is really Thailand or actually the Maldives…
So first things first, Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Park, and there are two other larger islands, Koh Adang and Koh Rawi that surround it. These are the three ‘main’ islands and there’s a lot of island-hopping, snorkelling, diving, and day-trips to be done around them.
Spend your afternoon frolicking among tropical fish, or hiking to glorious viewpoints… Adventure off the beaten path, and you can even stay a night or 2 at some islands if you wish!
Apart from spending a few days on Koh Lipe, which is already paradise in itself – there’s ample opportunity and places for you to discover and spend time island-hopping around! What a bonus!
PS: If you’re looking for affordable island-hopping tours, try Klook! We went on the island-hopping tour where we saw glowing plankton (SGD $39.75 / RM121), and hopped our way to Koh Adang (SGD $31 / RM94) where we trekked up to some incredible viewpoints with Klook too. It was a breeze with our amazing snorkel instructor and boat captain!
1. Trek the mountain and discover not 1, not 2, but 3 amazing viewpoints! – Koh Adang
Being the second biggest island within the Tarutao National Park, this island surely delivers in gigantic heaps of beauty and awe!
Spend the day in these crystal waters, that basically look like a swimming pool, and enjoy hours in the sun, swimming and snorkelling around the area.
This makes it perfect for a day-trip, and there’s even a trek that you can do on the island to three different viewpoints.
The first two viewpoints are very near one another, so if you don’t have the energy to make it all the way to the third – push yourself to the second viewpoint at the very least. From there, you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of beautiful Koh Lipe and admire your horizons.
There are some accommodation options here too, making it an ideal hideaway destination for a night or so, away from the world, on your own tropical island…
PS: If you’re up for an adventure, you can try and make your way through its voluptuous, dense green jungle and try to find its hidden waterfall!
Price:650 Baht / approx. USD $20.35 (Longboat day tour); 100 Baht / approx. USD $3.13 (Taxi boat ticket per person); 200 Baht / approx. USD $6.26 (Compulsory National Park fee) Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 5.8Km (10 mins away by tailboat) Getting there: Head down to one of the main beaches and you can hire a longboat from here. You can also take a taxi-boat from Sunrise beach OR you can even kayak here yourselves!
2. Dare to find out if the legend is true (although we advise you don’t if you don’t want bad luck for the rest of eternity!) – Koh Hin-Ngam
Ever imagined a field of gleaming crystals, stretching out endlessly???
Well this might just be the next best thing to that fantasy, and being crystal obsessed – this isle is covered in black and grey pebbled rocks and stones, giving us all that Fluorite (in its layers) / Tiger’s Eye feels.
Adding to the mystery is a legend; It is believed that the island is guarded by a spirit named Chao Pho Tarutao, and whomever takes any rocks from the island will be cursed by this guardian. But, if you can make a tower out of 12 rocks, your wishes will come true.
Whether you wish to believe it or not…I mean, I ain’t gonna take any chances and don’t wanna upset no spirit world!
Other than that, it’s also in Tarutao Park so you can ask to make a short stop there if you’re on a guided tour already. You won’t need more than 45mins max here for photos, marveling at the rocks, and done. (Unless you want to snorkel around here too!)
Price:Determined by tour packages Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 2.1km Getting there: Tourists can include this stop in the program to visit there in their original diving program or hire a long-tailed boat from Koh Lipe to get there.
3. Ain’t nothing but monkey business all day long when you’re island living – Koh Tong/Batong, also known as Monkey Beach
Maybe you’re a fan of the little furry friends (i.e. monkeys) or maybe you’re an Instagram ninja who goes around the world seeking beautiful locations for that perfect picture. (No joke, I know someone who does this!)
Whatever the case, this teeny tiny little island is perfect for spending some time at whilst you’re visiting the larger island, Koh Rawi on your day-trip.
I personally love a good beach swing, it just screams tropical paradise and it’s a gorgeous photo opportunity!
The emerald-blue green waters around here are calm and shallow, if you’re keen to do some around snorkelling or diving around here.
Now about them monkeys. Apparently they are quite interactive and aren’t afraid to walk up to you (a lot of people have said it’s an amazing experience being able to be so up close with wild monkeys).
But please do remember to not feed the monkeys or harm these animals in any way! Animals are our friends and don’t deserve to be treated otherwise! 🐒
Price:1800 Baht / approx. USD $56.37 (Private longboat for the entire day). Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 10.3Km Getting there: Hire a private longtail boat
4. Untouched, natural, raw beauty, yet to be discovered by the masses, this is a treat of a way to spend the day! – Koh Rawi
Completely untouched, raw, and exquisitely beautiful, you just have to check out this piece of paradise – also located within the National Park and is neighbours with Koh Adang (they’re 1Km apart and Rawi is just slightly smaller).
However, unlike Adang, this isle is pretty much uninhibited and there’s nothing and no one around for well, miles.
It’s epic for a day-trip and the pristine white sand (so white the glare off of it actually burns your eyes) stretches on, so you have plenty of options for where to plonk your bottom.
This is also a gorgeous spot for snorkelling, with large coral reefs offshore, and just an easy swim away from the beach, you can spot GIGANTIC clams, hard coral and schools of tropical fish.
Price:1500 Baht (Longtail boat ) / approx. USD $49.96 Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 12.8Km Getting there: You can book a day tour with a tour office in Koh Lipe. A full day tour usually lasts from 9am to 4pm
5. Ever seen an Orange-Spine Unicorn fish? – Koh Usen
This is such a great choice if you feel like doing a bit of kayaking/canoeing yourselves and are not feeling the whole boat/day-tour vibes. It’s located just 15 minutes from Sunrise Beach on Koh Lipe itself.
It’s a small island, and it’s waters around here are a little rocky (just FYI), and if you get to the real rocky side of the island, it might be a bit of a mission to paddle and maneuver, but the different types and species of marine life will be totally worth it.
If you don’t feel like treading these waters, there are some shallow parts around the shores with soft sands that you can paddle around too.
And remember folks, don’t do anything you’re uncertain of, i.e. if you’ve never kayaked/canoed in the ocean before, I suggest you don’t go head-on towards the rocks.
Price:From 150 Baht per hour / approx. USD $4.69 (Kayak rental) Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 15mins Getting there: Rent a kayak at Castaway Resort or Mali Resort for about 150 THB per hour and then paddle out there yourself.
6. This is proof that we really have no idea just how much life and crazy creatures live under the sea – Koh Yang
If you’re maybe not such a strong swimmer, but still want the thrill of snorkelling on a tropical island surrounded by gorgeous waters…ya know what I’m sayin’?!…then this might be the Ying to your Yang.
The bay here is protected, which means no heavy swell and winds passing through, and the waters are shallow here too.
If you’ve come to dive, but you’re not yet comfortable in deep waters, here the coral reef is just 3-4m below, and you can easily see the bottom of the ocean from above for reassurance.
Diving wise, sites are split into two sides: East and West, where you can expect gentle waters making it a super pleasant and easy dive.
It’s actually part of the Far Islands, a cluster of isles and dive sites that boast absolutely incredible and lively marine life so you’re in for a real treat! There’s schools of Snapper, Peacock Mantis Shrimp scurrying about, as well as Ornate Ghost Pipefish (which could be mistaken for a spikey, sharp sort of coral). Amazingggg.
PS: The Far Islands are known to boast some bigger marine life, including rays and sharks, but don’t panic, you won’t find any them close to shore!
Price:500 Baht / approx. USD $15.65 Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 30mins Getting there: Tourists can include this stop in the program to visit there in their original diving program or hire a long-tailed boat from Koh Lipe to get there.
7. Small, unique and deserted, it’s actually got some cool natural backdrops along the way – Koh Bulu
This is usually one of the snorkelling stops along the way if you’ve booked a day tour prior, and is absolutely awesome for snorkelling in a little cove among bouldering rocks.
If you’ve booked your own private longtail boat and are looking for places in particular, this is close to Koh Tong, as well as Koh Pung, Koh Ngam and Koh Hin Sorn – so do make a stop-over.
There’s no real beach per say here, however there are patches of sand and rock here and there – as well as the odd old wooden bircher branch plonked in the sand, with a swing and a natural rock archway (again people, photo opportunities!).
Try to spot the beautiful pink anemones whilst you’re there (they look like a flowering plant/succulent vibe and are actually classified as predators – bad boys!) and they’re really superrrr pretty!!!
Price:1800 Baht / approx. USD $56.37 (Private longboat for the entire day). Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 2.1km Getting there: You can organise with your tour to stop here. It’s really tiny so you can make it part of your tour
8. If you don’t want to venture out very far… – Koh Kra
Another idyllic choice that’s right next to Koh Lipe itself, again a mere 15 mins away, and is just off of Sunrise Beach on Koh Lipe.
In fact, a lot of people choose to kayak from Koh Usen across to Koh Kra – if you’re up for an active morning/afternoon – but make sure you check your currents and tides beforehand!
There’s absolutely nothing around you here, so it truly makes for an idyllic spot to spend some time away from the crowds, chilling out privately and there’s the most perfect sandy bay to relax out on.
The island is seriously minute, but there is a sanded area that runs around almost all of the island, and when the tides are low, there’s of course more sandy spots showing.
This is an ultimate choice to spend the day doing some outdoor activities surrounded by stunning waters and tropical fish.
Price:From 150 Baht per hour / approx. USD $4.69 (Kayak rental) Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 15mins Getting there: Rent a kayak at Salisa Resort for about 150 THB per hour and then paddle out there yourself.
9. Utter bliss for a 1 or 2 night escape away from the crowds – Koh Bulon
This entire area just screams tropical beauty wonder and is seriously off the beaten track (of course it’s going to naturally be secluded too!) – and this is my type of island destination paradise!
It’s a little further out past all the islands surrounding Koh Lipe and is actually just past Adang Island, closer to Satun. However, you can catch a speedboat from Koh Lipe here in just an hour.
It’s also absolutely gorgeous we couldn’t not include it! This is also another perfect option if you’re looking to spend a night or two off the island of Lipe itself.
There’s a lovely resort, Bulone Viewpoint and they provide basic, rustic beach bungalows – plus you can expect fresh seafood BBQs every night, with your feet in the sand!
Price:From 510 Baht Baht / approx. USD $15.96 (Speedboat) Address: Coordinates here Distance from Koh Lipe: 1 hour away via speedboat Getting there: You can catch a speedboat directly from Koh Lipe to Koh Bulon
I mean, isn’t it all just dreamy? I think you’ll catch me on the next speedboat outta here and straight into those magnificent waters. My tropical heart strings are just dancing thinking about the beauty and magic that surrounds Koh Lipe.
If you’ve ever visited the Maldives of Thailand, or are heading there soon, please do share your experiences, we love hearing travel stories!
Leave your comments below, or tag #TripCanvas on your socials! <3
*** Travel with Heart: Sustainable Tourism*** This is the first time we’ve ever seen a destination in Thailand that’s so mindful of the impact of people and travel on the environment. Eco-friendliness is something that the locals in Koh Lipe strongly believe in, and they are doing their part to protect their precious island.
No plastic bags are offered at 7-Elevens, for example. Instead, you could opt to purchase a recyclable bag to put your items in. In all the washrooms on the island, there’s no toilet paper available, and instead, they promote the use of the ‘Bum Gum’ (bidet toilet spray) for hygiene.
Photo Via TripCanvas
Photo Via Splashpacker.com_
Every Monday, Trash Hero is held where people gather to pick trash off the beaches and in the ocean. When you’re on the island, you’ll see locals picking trash off the beach anytime. And if you go on snorkelling tours, if your instructor spots a piece of trash on the ocean floor, they’ll make sure to retrieve it too.
Photo Via Adangseadivers.com_
When travelling here, let’s do our part to protect this gem of an island along with the locals, and be mindful of our impact on the environment. Thank you!
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PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! Tell us
I live to travel and I travel to live. I'm a traveling Gypsy with a passion for the English word, being inspired daily by the different cultures and colours, scents and scenic overloads, sensory explosions and mind-awakening experiences. The ones that take your breathe away. Walking along the earth, one country at a time, it's what I live for; a life full of adventure, sharing my thoughts and experiences through literature