Koh Lipe (Thailand)

So, why is Ko Lipe such a cool island to visit?  In my book, any tropical island where you can go barefoot all day, even during meals and never have to put on a shirt or change out of your board shorts for your entire stay on the island, has got to be good place.  On laid back Ko Lipe, the Spiccoli Rule most definitely applies ….No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem.

The Thai island of Ko Lipe was not even on my radar during my last RTW in 1996.  It was not even a consideration on many of my subsequent visits to Thailand (post 1996) as it was a bit of a hassle to get to and include on a limited 2-3 week vacation from the USA.

Though it remains tremendously beautiful today, you can tell that mass tourism is pushing Lipe in a worrisome direction.  It is inevitable that eventually it will go in the same direction as the other small Thai islands like Koh Samui.  I was told the pace of development on Koh Lipe really quickened around 2010.  Once again, it appears the backpackers are slowly being flushed out.  Old style backpacker huts still remain but they are slowly being razed to make way for a more upmarket crowd.  Po’ Ole backpackers are just going to have to sniff out a new slice of beach heaven for themselves.

Koh Lipe is almost completely covered in untouched jungle and officially protected as part of Tarutao National Marine Park.  On my walk around this tiny island, I tried to imagine what Koh Lipe looked like 20 years ago when it was not as developed.  Koh Lipe has all the ingredients which make it a vintage Thai beach paradise island.  With incredible white-sand beaches, various shades of crystal-clear blue waters, and vibrant marine life, Ko Lipe delivered big time.  However, with one caveat.  It is absolutely critical to locate the single sweet spot of the island which offers the most secluded isolation from the crowds.  Being the swell guy that I am, Big Doug is here to release ‘THE’ sweet spot.

You can opt to stay on one of 3 beach areas: Pattaya Beach, Sunset Beach or Sunrise Beach.  The first and only choice, in my opinion, would be Sunrise Beach.  More specifically, the semi- isolated beach cove where the 10 Moons Resort lies.  (See pix below of this little paradise resort).  I will not get into specific details how great the location of this resort is but,……”When you see it, you will understand”.

10 Moons Resort is where we parked our butts for 6 absolutely glorious tropical nights in a bungalow right smack on the ocean.  This resort with only 17 bungalows was an old school Thai island escape.  I would go further to say the setup probably could rarely be duplicated on any other Thai island.  10 Moons is like the place you picture in your head before you get there, only this ones better.  It’s the one you see in the movies which doesn’t exist.  We spent all of our days simply chilling in this incredible ocean cove.  Just a really special location and a place I will always remember.

We will miss Koh Lipe but have a feeling we will return to “THE” spot.  We head back to KL Malaysia and then set off to a new country I am really excited to visit……Myanmar (aka Burma).  Note, the internet in Myanmar is supposedly very sketchy so blog posts may be very sporadic.

Restaurants-
La Luna, Papaya Mom, Progress Seafood, Paolo Italian Pizza, 10 Moons Cafe (numerous meals as it was just too difficult to leave campus)

LOOSE STOOLS INDEX – 8  Island seafood and sitting on my ass on the beach has been quite therapeutic for BFD’s bowels.

THRU THE BINOCS –
Whoever said, the best things in life are free?
We really spent no money outside of food and lodging on our 6 days on Koh Lipe. Looking back on this journey and really all of my years of travel, the most fun we had were on the days no money was spent.  Whether isolating in an incredible beach location, like in the secret Lipe cove, hiking thru a National Park or simply spending the day walking thru local villages.  It seems these free activity days are the ones that stand out and prove to be the most enjoyable and memorable.  I guess simplicity is a way to happiness.

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