The perfect beach on the best island in Thailand

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, November 23, 2009

The speed boat journey from Ko Bulone to Koh Lipe was thankfully much calmer and took less than an hour. I had promised myself that I would never again travel anywhere on a speed boat, but that was the only way to get off the island ! We arrived in a bay off Pattaya beach and docked on a floating platform so that we could all transfer to a longtail boat run by the sea gypsies. This cost 50 baht each, about a pound, which we didn't really mind as we are invading their island. It was funny to watch our speed boat then back onto the beach to off-load all the groceries it had brought from the main land.

The sea was crystal clear, from the boat we could see the coral a few metres below. The sand was the softest and whitest we've found so far. It has taken a lot of hard work, hours of searching (and a killer speedboat journey), but finally we have found the perfect beach.

There aren't any sights on Koh Lipe, we were content to spend a week snorkelling (finding Nemo and lots of his cousins), reading, walking along the shore and people watching. We got a beach bat and ball high score of 257 hits in a row, but we broke one of the bats. We have cellotaped it up, but we're not sure we'll beat the massive 334 from Koh Bulone. We found an internet cafe too - we've missed being connected, we've admitted to ourselves that we can't live without the internet.

For breakfast we went to Cafe Lipe on the beach - best museli in Southeast Asia - with fresh mango, watermelon, pineapple and banana. We ate at a variety of local restaurants, Thai Thai in a treehouse on the beach was very good and roasted corn on the cob with butter from a street-side stall - yummy!

Our favourite pastime was sitting in deckchairs outside the funky Time to Chill bar, drinking Chang beers and watching the world go by, boats arriving loaded with tourists and beer and best of all, 6 tiny puppies playing around our feet!

There are 3 main beach areas, Sunrise and Sunset beaches, on opposite sides of the island, and Pattaya beach, where we were.  We walked along sunrise beach a few times, the sand was coarser and the sea was less clear with more driftwood and rubbish. But it did have a great view of nearby Ko Adang island. We also walked across the island to get to Sunset beach one morning. The beach wasn't as nice as the others, but the walk there was an eye opener, we saw where the islanders live, in bamboo huts with swept earth yards and chickens scraping around below. It was a lot like being back in Cambodia. They were also putting up new power lines along the road - sunset beach apparently isn't yet connected.

We stayed in Lipe Resort, in a spacious concrete bungalow - quite classy by our recent standards. The guy on recpetion, AJ, took a shine to Paul and liked to touch him lots - much to my amusement. We quickly found a route to our room that didn't pass reception!! The tv had 8 Thai channels and 1 English one that was fed through from the bar. Whenever the staff changed the channel it would change in our room, usually right in the middle of a good film (although we did get to watch a Lethal Weapon marathon).

We think Ko Lipe now is what Ko Phi Phi must have been like 10 years ago, and we're sure the magic will fade as tourism expands. We spoke to a French guy who lives locally who said 60 new hotels have opened in the past 6 months. Laura, a cool hippy chick who worked in our fav bar said that most places along the beach have been bought up by big chain resorts for development. We're glad we made the trip out here, and we will remember our visit to beautiful Ko Lipe for the rest of our lives :)
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