Do[edit]

Fishing is illegal near the island, so stay away from fishing trips and do not purchase locally-caught fish.

Beaches[edit]

  • Pattaya Beach (South (leeward) side of the island). The most popular beach and good for children. Lots of bungalows for rent on or near the beach. Ferries dock here during high-season (Nov-Apr).
  • Sunrise Beach (East (windward) side of the island, near the Chao Ley village). Ferries dock here during low-season (May-Oct).
  • Sunset Beach. In the west, which as the name implies, facing the sunset. Not much of a beach, but has bars and tent sites for camping.

Diving[edit]

Around Ko Lipe are some of Thailand's best reefs, all within easy reach. The reefs around Ko Lipe are largely intact; the 2004 tsunami had little impact here. The currents here are predominantly tidal which means certain times of the month there are strong currents and at other times none at all. You can always find somewhere good to dive but the widest selection of dive sites is available twice a month, following the half moon.

You can see numerous sharks, whale sharks and manta rays. Sightings of the big guys are more likely at sites around the edge of the marine park, nearer the deeper waters. For the best chance, visit 8 Mile Rock, Stonehenge, or Ko Pung.

  • Between Ko Adang & Ko Rawi. Has excellent diving and snorkelling between the two islands where the mountains come down to the sea. Underwater there are huge boulders and many types of rare fish and coral species that inhabit the reef in this region. A great spot for drift diving. Snorkellers should head for the east side of Ko Rawi where the national park has set up ropes along the reef, so that snorkellers can pull themselves easily along and investigate the reef with ease.
  • 8 Mile Rock. A true deep sea pinnacle 75 minutes away by boat. The rock can be a tough place to dive due to the strong currents, but the marine and bird life that come here to feed are fantastic. The top of the pinnacle rises to within 14 m of the surface. Found here are soft corals, schools of pelagic fish, potato cod, manta rays, whale sharks, leopard sharks.
  • Hin Takorn Dukong. Right in the centre of the Marine Park, this site is home to just about every species of fish that you can imagine. The site is made up of granite stones shaped similar to building blocks rising up from the seabed into a structure with a series of tall points at its peak. Up to 18 m deep, one can swim around the base of the pinnacle, observing what is here in abundance: hard and soft corals, at least 6 types of eel such as snake eels, different types of lion-fish and stone-fish. Squid and cuttlefish try to hide here and succeed in attracting the larger predators such as sailfish.
  • Ko Bu Tang. Has become one of the most popular islands to dive. One of the largest islands of the group, Ko Bu Tong supports many bird and animal species. Troops of crab eating monkeys called "macaques" live on the island and a colourful type of bee eater bird can often be spotted from the beaches here. Giant corals and shellfish grow everywhere around this island paradise. Dive the north and south channels, although for deep diving the "Giant's Staircase" on the island's west side has huge natural stone steps going down underwater to 50 m or more. Also to found on Ko Bu Tang is Sting Ray City, where the blue spotted stingrays are plentiful. This site is also very good for snorkelling. North side: has Monkey Bay, similar to Sting Ray City but much more steep and dramatic. Expect to see endless rows of tall coral-heads, turtles and rare critters such as the ornamental ghost pipe-fish and sharks sleeping under the corals. East side: has the perfect tiny island of Ko Lokoi. Surrounded by about 90 acres of shallow coral, you could do four dives here and not see it all.
  • Ko Langcha. Between Langcha and Adang is a very nice coral garden really worth the effort both for divers and snorkellers. Near perfect gardens shelter all sorts including rays and eels.
  • Ko Sawang. This last tiny island is on the outer edge of the archipelago. There is not a tree or scrap of vegetation that can grow on this tall smooth stone, but underwater this place is full of life. Fantastic coral gardens growing on the rocky outcrops below and spend time with the millions of fish to be found here.
  • Yong Hua Shipwreck. In 1996 a fish-factory ship anchored near the western end of Ko Lipe caught fire and sank to the bottom of the sea in about 40 m of water. The shipwreck is now completely covered in marine growth and inhabited by schools of fish. The shipwreck has become a very interesting place to dive but does some times have strong currents making it a difficult dive. The top of the wreck is at about 26 m sitting on its keel that is at 40 m.

Dive shops[edit]

  • Adang Sea Divers (info@adangseadivers.com) (Sunrise Beach), +66 90 070 0233. Professional, multilingual, and experienced instructors and dive masters. 1 to 3 dives a day from speedboat (the only dive centre on Lipe offering speedboat dives). Night diving, PADI, SDI and Nitrox courses. Small intimate groups. Specialised in underwater photography.
  • Castaway Divers (Sunrise Beach), +66 87 4781516, . Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI, SDI and freediving courses. Snorkelling trips are run separately from the dive boats daily for only 650 baht (including lunch & equipment). Specialises in small intimate groups.2 dives from 2,500 baht.
  • 1 Davy Jones Locker (Pattaya Beach), +66 89 0465371, . Experienced instructors teaching all PADI courses from beginner to dive master level. Daily trips for certified divers to all the best dive sites around Ko Lipe. Free accommodation for divers and students available when you book on-line.
  • Forra Diving (Sunrise Beach), +66 89 6731121, +66 84 4075691, . Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI courses, and liveaboard diving trips. Snorkellers are welcome to tag along on day trips for only 500 baht (including lunch & equipment).3,500 baht for 2 dives.
  • 2 Ko Lipe Diving (Walking St, 200 m from Pattaya Beach), +66 88 3977749, . 08:00-22:00. Ko Lipe Diving is a SSI Diamond Dive Center and Instructor Training Facility. They offer daily fun dive day trips for certified divers, a full range of SSI courses from beginner to pro, introductory dives (you can try Scuba Diving) and a wide range of SSI specialties. PADI courses available as well. Non-divers are welcome to join daily trips for snorkeling or a cruise around the islands. Biggest dive boat on the island, 25 meters long, 3 decks, 2 toilets. They can also arrange private trips for couples, friends and families combining diving, snorkeling and island exploration. You can expect professional diving instruction and services in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Well organised. Experienced, multilingual instructors speak English, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, German, Dutch, Malay and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese).
  • Ocean Pro Divers (Pattaya Beach), +66 89 7338068, . open all year. PADI dive centre and Ko Lipe's First PADI TecRec Center, Poseidon ECCR Rebreather rentals. Canadian owner. 20 m boat, the M.V. Chalailai. Rates include all equipment and a buffet lunch. Snorkellers are welcome to tag along for 500 baht.2,600 baht for 2 dives, 3,200 baht for three dives.
  • Sabye Diving (On Sunset Beach), +66 74 728026. Diving rates aren't the cheapest. All-inclusive two or three day packages. Specialties are PADI courses and underwater photography.PADI open-dive courses: 12,900 baht.
  • Satun Dive (Sunrise Beach Blvd), +66 86 9461271. Open all year. Excellent diving and snorkelling guides. All PADI courses available. The best service, price, and atmosphere on the island.

Other activities[edit]

  • Day trips to nearby islands. Pirate Falls and Chado Cliff on Ko Adang, and the dense jungle on Ko Rawi are recommended.800-1,000 baht.
  • Freediving. Freediving as a recognized activity has only been around for 100 years, but people have been practising diving deep without equipment for thousands of years. On Lipe it's in its early days and so far only one dive operator on the island offers it as a course.
  • Kayaking. Rent a kayak from various spots on the beach and spend the day or two seeing the island and reef.
  • Massages. There are plenty of places to get a massage, including an offshoot of the Wat Po massage school in the centre of the island. Also Castaway Resort has a lovely little spa with sea views. Figure on each massage costing 100 baht more than the same massage on the mainland.
  • Ocean Hiker Sailing School, +66 77 457002, . Sailing intro courses or five-day sailing courses on an ocean-going sailing yacht leading to an Ocean Hiker Competent Crew Certification, the first step to start your sailing career.2,500 to 29,900 baht.
  • Sailing, +66 77 457002, . Sailing around Ko Lipe and within the Butang Group is certainly the most chilled way to explore these natural gems. There are day sailing trips with snorkelling activities or liveaboard sailing cruises within the Butang Group or as far as Ko Tarutao National Marine Park.1,500 to 6,000 baht.
  • Snorkelling. The calm, clear water makes the Ko Lipe area ideal for snorkelling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral 20 m off all of the beaches. Ko Lipe is surrounded by over 30 islands and hundreds of reefs all within easy reach of the island. Tarutao National Park is one of Asia’s oldest marine parks thus the reefs and the islands surrounding Ko Lipe are in very good condition. Nowhere else on the Southeast Asian peninsula will you find so many excellent snorkel sites so easily reached.