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Ko Lipe


Destination: KoLipe


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The small, mostly flat island Ko Lipe is located opposite  the larger Ko Adang. It looks like a curved triangle and measures some 3 km at its longest point and only 400 m at its narrowest. The highest elevations are on the western and southern end.
Blessed with white fine sandy beaches and crystal clear water Ko Lipe offers great snorkeling opportunities and therefore, the island is very popular among individual travelers, particularly German, Italian, French and Russian travelers of all ages who come here to relax. Recently many families with small children spend their holidays here - Thais are happy about this as they are very fond of children.
In 2011 there are 35 resorts with more than 900 bungalows on Ko Lipe. During the European and Thai holidays it is advisable to book a room in advance.
Three beaches have been developed for tourism:
Pattaya Beach on the southern side of the island, Sunrise Beach in the east (also called Village Beach) and Porn Beach in the north (also  called Sunset Beach). Pattaya Beach and Sunrise Beach are connected by an asphalt walkway, all other footpaths and motorcycle tracks are sand and earth.  
Many years ago, the Thai government donated Ko Lipe to the Chao Leh (sea nomads). Their village with 1250 inhabitants stretches along the whole eastern beach. There is a school and several small shops. It is quite interesting to watch the village people plaiting mats and doing the preparation work.
Chao Leh are excellent seafarers, especially with small boats. Traditionally they live from catching fish and diving for mussels and black corals. Unfortunately even the Chao Leh could not resist the temptation of dynamite fishing, therefore some coral reefs now show signs of destruction.
Nowadays many people on Ko Lipe earn their living from the tourism industry. Only a handful of bungalow resorts are owned by the Chao Leh and it seems that they do not develop the right business attitude.
As there are only a few tourists from June to October, the Chao Leh can get back to themselves.
Some resorts do open year-round, though.

Chao Leh preparing food

Lipe Island (Ko Lipe) is sometimes referred to as Koh Lipe, Koh Leepeeh, Koh Leepay and Koh Lipeh.

The English transcription Koh for island derives from the Cambodian spelling and was introduced by American soldiers but is nevertheless incorrect in Thai. We stick to Ko

Lipe Island is also nicknamed “Maldives of Thailand”.
This is quite justified as clear crystal water surrounds the whole island and there are plenty of soft and hard coral reefs and numerous types of colorful fish.

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