Southeast Asia is home to some of my favorite islands in the world - Gili Trawangan, Panglao and Coron. And now I can add Thai darling Koh Lipe to that list. It's actually the first Thai island I've really fallen for. Not sure if it was the laidback vibes? The ridiculously clear water? Or that it felt completely off the tourist radar? Small and rustic with a clientele made up of divers and backpackers, I could have easily spent two weeks living as a beach bum on the Andaman gem. Koh Lipe was small without a ton to do, but that was part of its charm. I spent four days perfectly happy repeating the vicious cycle of sunrises, beaches, dives and sunsets. Island bliss!
All smiles on colorful Koh Lipe, my favorite island in Thailand.
Pups are the best part of traveling.
I loved the sleek design of the idyllic Concept Resort, one of the only upscale properties on the island.
Sunrise Beach was my favorite spot on the island.
One of many colorful beach bars for sunset views on Sunset Beach.
I found the cutest beach swing ever!
Everyone getting ready for another island sunset.
10 AM-1 PM was the best time to visit Sunrise Beach for bright turquoise waters.
Afternoon vibes at the resort pool.
My favorite spot on the island's Walking Street.
Views of the island from the dive boat.
Fresh fish for lunch!
Loved the island's laid back, chill vibes.
Morning glow over the resort.
Pineapples in paradise.
Koh Lipe beach bars.
Pool time at the idyllic Concept Resort.
Grabbed a lounger at the resort's gorgeous stretch of beach.
Koh Lipe was not an easy island to reach, and I think its South Andaman location near the Malaysia border has kept it largely off the tourist radar. Unlike the ease of access to Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, getting to Koh Lipe from the Krabi region of Thailand was a bit trickier. No journey was direct, and every route involved several hours of travel. I opted for the four hour shuttle bus from Krabi to Pak Bara, followed by a two hour boat ride from Pak Bara to Koh Lipe. It was a full day's work to get to the tiny island, but worth the effort the moment I stepped off the ferry onto Pattaya Beach.
As much as I loved Koh Lipe, it's off-the-radar status translated to very few upscale lodging options on the island. Really, the only property for anyone looking for modern amenities and creature comforts was the beautiful idyllic Concept Resort. The property was kind enough to host my stay, so I was able to secure a room months in advance. Unlike anywhere else on Koh Lipe, the boutique property's design was ultra modern, featuring 16 gorgeous bungalows, infinity pools, restaurant and the dreamiest location on Sunrise Beach.
I stayed in one of the resort's i-Green rooms, located on the top floor of a bungalow just steps from the beach. Such a treat to return to a room with A/C every afternoon (a luxury on the island), after a day of sun, sand and sweat. I loved the turquoise design cues of my modern adobe where me spacious room opened up to a private balcony overlooking views of swaying island palms.
At the rate I was moving through Thailand, it was tough to find time to do any diving, one of my favorite activities in Southeast Asia. I'd heard about the rockstar dive sites around Koh Lipe, so I budgeted extra time on the island for a morning of underwater adventure. There were a few dive shops to choose from; I went with Adang Sea Divers, located on Sunrise Beach. The dive shop was efficient, knowledgeable and I loved the small size of the dive groups. My two dives were out at Talang Steps and Talang Wall, maybe a 15 minute boat ride from the beach. I'm a sucker for wall dives, so I absolutely loved the Talang Wall that was riddled with colorful schools of fish, eels, nudis, shrimp, frogfish and my first-ever seahorse!
Located just steps from my bungalow at idyllic Concept Resort, Sunrise Beach was the prettiest beach on the island, and one of the loveliest in Thailand. The crystal clear waters sparkled all shades of turquoise with just a handful of longboats dotting the shoreline. Compared to the overrun beaches of Phuket, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi, this was an island goer's dream. The beach was located on Koh Lipe's east coast, backed by swaying palms, PADI dive shops, little hotels and funky beach bars. A few of my favorite colorful gems were Happy Vibes Beach Bar, Sea la Vie and the Salisa Resort Beach Swing.
And at the heart of the tiny island was Walking Street, the main pedestrian boulevard lined with shops, bars, juice stands and restaurants. I absolutely adored ending my days cruising up and town the little street, shopping the boutiques with a passion fruit shake and Nutella Thai pancake in-hand. ♡
Big thanks to the Idyllic Concept Resort for hosting my stay and sponsoring this post. xx
All honest opinions are my own.
Photos by myself and Anh-Thi Nguyen (@leftietraveler on Instagram).