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Ko Lipe (Thai: เกาะหลีเป๊ะ) is a small island in the Adang-Rawi Archipelago of the Andaman Sea, in Satun Province of southwest Thailand, close to the Malaysian border. The Thai name is transliterated in many different ways into English. The most common names are "Koh Lipe", "Koh Lipeh", "Ko Lipey", and "Ko Lipe". Ko Lipe is on the border of the Tarutao National Marine Park and is directly south of the larger islands Ko Adang and Ko Rawi, and about 50 km from the island of Ko Tarutao. It was originally settled by a group of sea gypsies (chao leh in Thai), originally from Malaysia, known as the Urak Lawoi’ people.
In high season (November to May) there are several locations from which you can take a ferry or speedboat to Ko Lipe, including: Pak Bara, Langkawi, Phi Phi, Ko Lanta, and Trang. In low season (May to October) the only way to get to Ko Lipe is by speedboat from Pak Bara.
From Langkawi, Malaysia there are two speedboats per day (from November until May). These boats dock at the south end of Pattaya Beach. Ferry services are also available but as there is no pier in Ko Lipe, you may be transferred by local longtail boats to the beach. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is also recommended for travelers to book accommodation prior to travelling to Ko Lipe as it can be very crowded especially during the holiday periods and it will be difficult for travelers to go in and out of Ko Lipe.
Ko Lipe has three main beaches: Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong), Sunrise Beach (Hat Chao Ley), and Pattaya Beach. The calm, clear water makes Ko Lipe ideal for snorkeling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral just a few meters deep straight off all of the beaches.
There is a wide range of accommodation, from campgrounds to air-conditioned bungalows. Although, there has been growing trends in an upmarket resort, especially on Pattaya Beach, the island is being preserved at its most natural state.
Regarding activities, there are many sites for scuba diving and snorkeling around Ko Lipe and its neighbouring islands. On Ko Lipe, there are many dive shops and resorts with equipment rental service. Taking boats trip is also popular among tourists, who have alternatives of choosing between private or joined boat trips. The calm, clear water makes Ko Lipe ideal for snorkeling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral just a few meters deep straight off all of the beaches.
Ko Lipe is outside of Tarutao National Park jurisdiction, and as such is exempt from the laws and legislation that protect the rest of the national park. The island is rapidly growing to meet the demands of increase in tourism, and is facing quite a few issues with rubbish and animal conservation. There are projects currently in place to keep Ko Lipe clean.
- Ko Lipe travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Ko Tarutao National Park, Department of National Parks