Fri 23rd – Tue 27th Nov
Leaving Koh Lanta is a much quieter affair than coming in. Check in, get stickered up with ur island destination and sit in a cafe until it’s time to board.
The speedboat is all under cover so I sit at the back in the hope I can get some rays for the 3 hour journey. Good choice as whilst everyone else looks into the heads of those in front of them, I can look out the rear and have beautiful views all around me. I do love being on the water. Must look into my Crew Competency course next year!
These islands we pass by and stop at look beautiful with nothing more than a few chalets and rustic restaurants. A quick look in booking.com thou and it’s evident that these idyllic little islands are out of most backpacker budgets!
Finally in Koh Lipe and the heat gets me straight away. Not helped by the fact my hostel is new and neither Google or Maps Me can pick it up at all. I finally find it after traipsing around and asking a few people. The air con is most welcome by the time I’ve checked in. Cool and refreshed, it’s time to go for a bit of a rekkie and a spot of lunch. The first thing to strike me is this place is bloody expensive. Using 7-11 as my benchmark, it’s 2-3 times more expensive than Chiang Mai in the north. At first glance, there isn’t much in the way of cheap food either.
Koh Lipe is a small island located in the far south of Thailand. It is one of the 51 islands in the archipelago which makes up the Tarutao Marine National Park.
Koh Lipe is Mecca for snorkelling and diving. The calm, clear water makes Ko Lipe ideal for snorkeling, with 25 percent of the world’s tropical fish species found in the area. As it’s protected by marine conservation laws, it has lots of amazing coral reefs to explore. As I have a fear of fish, I’m happy just to wander around and laze in the sun.
Saturday morning and the sun is shining brightly. It’s bloody hot here on Koh Lipe and the beach is calling. I take a wander down Walking Street and find some cheaper places to eat – look out for the red and yellow sign places – baguettes, pancakes and local food at much cheaper prices.
I walk the length of Pattaya beach before finding somewhere to park myself for the day.
Taking a cooling dip in the beautiful blue sea, I get talking to a lovely couple that are here on a day trip from Langkawi and they’re only from Swansea! Again, such a small world. It is funny talking about the brisk cold wet weather conditions at home whilst we’re basking in this
Here again you can see why the prices are so high, not just because it’s an island but it attracts people who stay in and can afford beach side villas rather than cash strapped backpackers! Not so much the British, but older Europeans are definitely independently travelling farther and wider these days.
This evening I take a stroll up to Sunset beach. It’s much smaller but full of people heading there for the same thing. There’s a bar who have mats and cushions on the sand. I treat myself to a Chang and more than content as I watch the sun go down listening to some South American rhythms from the bar behind me.
Sunday is by far the hottest day yet and I’m on the beach baking at the crack of dawn. Koh Lipe, especially before the masses descend on the beach is pure paradise. The sea, the sand, the blue skies. If it wasn’t for it being quite so expensive it would be near perfect. It is one of my fave places thou.
Monday I decide to take a walk along Sunrise Beach. I’m not quite early enough for sunrise but it’s again before the beach fills up. This side is actually much quieter than Pattaya Beach. I would also say a bit more exclusive too as the beach bungalows this end look awesome. I walk for miles along white sandy shores and in beautiful blue waters
loving all the long boats that are moored here and there along the way
There isn’t much here at all and little in the way of places to eat which just adds to the tranquility. It’s beautiful. Once I reach the upper most point it’s time to turn around and walk back, stopping for a few photo opportunities along the way.
This evening I go to watch the sunset again
before treating myself to a glass of wine in Passion, a Spanish owned bar.
I meet Sirie, a girl from Barcelona working there and it’s great to be speaking Spanish again. Because if this, one glass turns into another and I meet a group of Spanish guys and so join them. I have a fab evening with these guys but that one glass definitely turned into one too many!
Tuesday and my last day in this part of paradise, I really want to spend it in the sun but the sun is just so strong I can’t cope with it today. Feeling a bit worse for wear, I nap in the comfort of my air conditioned room and pack to get myself ready to leave tomorrow.