I was on Ko Lipe 22 years ago, in 1996, on a sailing holiday with my parents, and I can’t describe to you how much the place has changed. There was no tourism back then. Just a few yachts and a few backpacker-type places. Just a couple of shacks on the beach offering simple but delicious Thai food. Just one path through the jungle and one village school.
Now, the island is all ‘hippy-chique-ecofriendly-trendy-relaxed’. There are several resorts and a busy main street called ‘Walking Street’ with plenty of cool restaurants, coffee shops, bars, tattoo places, massage salons, etc. But… it is still a lovely small island, only reachable by yacht or by ferry. And it has some of the best corals and fish we’ve seen in Thailand.
Ko Lipe is only a short hop away from Langkawi (25 nautical miles) and great for a quick visa-run if necessary. Southern Thailand has a lot to offer: plenty of gorgeous islands, clear turquoise water, great snorkelling, lovely beaches, … The wet season hasn’t yet arrived but the tourist stream has slowed down so it’s just the perfect time to visit.