Friday, 19 October 2012

Koh Lipe...the jewel of The Andaman Ocean...


Koh Lipe  is a small island in the Adang Rawi Achipelago of the Andaman Ocean, in the Satun Province of southwest Thailand, close to Malaysian border. The Thai name is translated in many different ways into English. The most common names are Koh Lipe, Koh Lipeh, Ko Leepay and Ko Lipe. Koh Lipe is on the border of the Tarautao National Marine Park and is directly south of the larger islands Ko Adang and Ko Rawi and about 50 km from the island of Ko Tarautuo. Koh Lipe was settled by sea gypsies, originally from Malaysia, known as the 'Chao Lei' people.

Long tailing it, to  Pattaya Beach.
I stumbled across this piece of paradise as we were preparing an Island hopping adventure throughout Thailand in 2011, and this comming December will mark our 4th visit, within 18 months, of our first trip to this stunning Island.We never actually left the Island, due to an early trip home when my grandfather passed away, but last year we headed up North to some stunning spots, but nothing compared to Koh Lipe.

Koh Lipe is known as 'The Maldives' of Thaialnd and I can understand why. The beaches are crystal clear and the sand is powder like, so soft, fine and white.

My baby boy William in paradise...xxx
ACCOMODATION

The island has three main beaches: Sunset beach, Sunrise beach and Pattaya beach, we always choose to stay on Pattaya Beach as the snorkelling is wonderful for the children. Accommodation ranges from grass huts to air-conditioned bungalows and can be found on any of these beaches, along with a couple of higher end resorts. If you need any help with finding accommodation Boi at Koh Lipe Travel Shop is amazing!! 



How inviting does this look???

One of the stunning beachfront restaurants...


The Anda Resort in Koh Lipe, just one of the beautiful accomodations to stay at on the Island.





The Island of Koh Lipe is so small that It is possible to walk around the entire island in little over an hour.



If you are into scuba diving and snorkeling around Koh Lipe and its neighbouring islands, there are many dive shops and resorts that rent out snorkel gear or arrange boat trips. The calm, clear water makes the area ideal for snorkeling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral just a few metres straight off all of the beaches.

 Approximately 15 metres from our resort there are a few families of clown fish, and the water is abundant in fish life, my husband has become quite obsessed photographing these little clown fish families, which become very curious and swim up to you, if you get too close to them ( which obviously my husband has been, by the copious amounts of photo's we have of these guys. My children adore finding 'NEMO' and his friends and spend hours in the warm tropical sea. We spend our days on the beach building sandcastles, canoeing around the Island, snorkelling and just chilling out ,relaxing and being massaged ( as only a Thai can do...for as little as 250 THB per hour)...BARGAIN, compared to what we pay in Australia.

The children enjoying the beach activities...



One of the many clown fish families that you find metres from Pattaya Beach

The trip to Koh Lipe is not the easiest of destinations to reach as the Island is too small to have an airport, which I see as an added bonus, as this will hopefully retain it's to keep it's charm, unlike Phi Phi Island, which has become very commercialised. We fly from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, then a domestic flight to Langkawi and then a 50 minute speedboat ride from Telaga Harbour http://www.telagaharbour.com/. The transfers can be booked online and it is a great way to travel to the Island. We are generally on the resort, kicking back and relaxing within 14 hours of leaving Melbourne.

The Children at Telaga Harbour, Langkawi awaiting their speedboat transfer to paradise...Excited much???
I love the fact that this Island is so relaxed and there are no cars or scooters on the Island, with the main shopping strip being 'Walking Street'. It makes it such a relaxing holiday, not having to try and dodge the traffic as you tend to do in Asia! Don't forget to try a fish spa, I screamed during my first one, but I have learnt to relax and enjoy it. The Pee Pee Bakery is another must, their donughts are amazing, filled with an array of vanilla custards, jams and chocolate filling (I'm guessing Nutella) and the chocolate croissants..delish, along with the Pancake lady, that makes her famous Roti based pancakes with your choice of fillings and ice-cream, you certainly will not go hungry in Walking Street.

Daddy and the children enjoying what Walking Street has to offer..xx



The children watch in amazement as 'The Pancake Lady' whips up her famous pancakes.

The Pancake Lady is a must when visiting the Island of Koh Lipe, she is quite famous on the Island. My children always watch in amazement as she whips up her amazing traditional sweet roti style pancakes with an array of fillings, Banana, Nutella and condensed milk seem to be our favourites.

NIGHT LIFE IN KOH LIPE


Nightlife in Koh Lipe is very quiet, if your looking to party, then this is not the spot for you. Nightlife on the island consists of a lot of Reggae beach bars, Bob Marley music in the background and amazing fire dancing, where you can relax on the beach and watch the sunset. Most restaurants set up tables and chairs on the beach for you to have a lovely candlelit dinner if you fancy. The occasional firework and releasing of floating lanterns into the starlit sky, is so very pretty. After dinner we generally spend the evening, chilling out at the resort with the children happily playing pool, the girls in and out of the boutique, having a relaxing massage or chatting with other tourists and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, that our resort has on offer.

DAY TOURS

On our most recent stay on Koh Lipe we did a half day snorkelling and Island tour comprising of four different snorkelling spots, in a long tail boat. The resort pre packs lunch and drinks and the first stop is at Koh Hin Ngam, known as Beautiful rock or black pebble Island, this Island is absolutely divine and has been formed gradually from the large waves hitting the shores over the years, the result is the most beautiful smooth, shiny surfaced stones of various shapes and sizes, mainly black but a few sandstone coloured rocks also.




We really enjoyed this Island and built little stone towers along with all of the other tour groups...but beware of 'The Curse Of The God Of Tarutao'......

Enjoying these beautiful smooth stones created by nature....AMAZING.


Louis and William get into the swing of things and start building their own stone tower...leaving their mark on the Island.


The next stop on our tour was for some good old snorkelling in the ocean, the children were a little dubious at the beginning, and I wasn't that keen, I still find it hard to jump off a boat in the middle of the ocean, so whilst Mum sat in the boat, feeling a little sea sick, my four very brave children hit the ocean with Dad, but not for long, as  Isabella very quickly spotted a jelly fish, and that was the end!!! Being Aussies and spending a lot of time in tropical Far North Queensland, my children are aware of how deadly these sea creatures are.....scream and run or literally scream and swim back to the boat.

So that ended the start of the snorkelling tour ( for the children and myself...anyway) with my hubbie continuously snorkelling whilst we braved it out in the long tail boat, quite happily soaking up the vitamin D. The next stop was hilarious....not for my husband but the group jumped in for a snorkel and we took off to the beautiful long beach where we were to have lunch...so, it was kind of meet you over at the Island...it wasn't long before they realised they were being eaten by sea lice (haha) and swam as fast as possible back to the shore, the poor guys, all red and stinging, the children and I couldn't help giggling!!!

Lunch was at this beautiful spot where each visitor made a coral chain and tied it to a tree, we had lots of fun being creative.














SONGKRAN

We were fortunate to be able to plan our first trip to Lipe around Songkran or 'Thai New Year. 'Songkran Shenanigan's'...the children had a ball welcoming the 'Thai' New Year. What started as a water fight tourists vs the locals, our awesome foursome soon teamed up with the local children and declared war on the tourist's. An absolute highlight of their holiday....





Songkran Festival is the traditional Thai New Year celebrated on April 13th. Families and friends gather to celebrate by visiting temples, sprinkling water on Buddha images in reverence, and sprinkling water on each other's hands as an act of wishing good luck.

In recent years, the tradition of sprinkling water has been interpreted by youngsters as a great excuse for a water fight, and our experience was more of a massive water fight with water guns, water pumps and hoses , shaving cream and talcum powder.What Fun.....


BEACH FUN

I love spending hours on the beach with the children just chilling out and spending quality time together as a family. We love to snorkel, canoe, play beach frisbee with the resorts pet dog, build sandcastles which is relaxing, creative and also super fun, just like being a child again!! We always try to create different designs, but we always end up with at least one mermaid stranded on the beautiful beach.





Floating in the warm Andaman Ocean



Canoeing fun





Under the sea, Under the sea, darling it's better , down where it's wetter....take it from me....xx



Careful of the sea urchins.....

Have you ever seen water like this in Thailand???



Mermaids on the beach





Sandcastle fun





SUNSCREEN

As us Aussie's say SLIP..SLOP...SLAP!!! Slip on a shirt (or a rashie vest), slop on the sunscreen and slap on a hat. As our country has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, this is not negotiable in our family, this is a fabulous protection barrier for your face and will last 4 hours in the water!! I LOVE it......xxx






Make sure you pack your sunscreen. I always use Skin toned sun zapper zinc sticks on my children as it has a broad spectrum, protects against UVA and UVB. I find that this protects my children's delicate skin from the extreme elements as it is a barrier .It will also protect the whole family from wind burn and harmful ultra-violet radiation from the sun. I always come well stocked with theses and have given a few away to intrigued visitors of the Island.








FAREWELL KOH LIPE.....FOR NOW, ANYWAY......

Lucie, Louis, Isabella andWill say goodbye to their friend 'GIGI ROSA' who has been at the resort each time we visit and they love the fact that the staff remember them....xxx
Another Farewell from the gorgeous staff @ Bundhaya Resort during 'SONGKRAN'
All packed...Koh Ngai, here we come...xxx







Boarding the Longtail boat....Goodbye Koh Lipe...we will see you soon...xxx

For any further assistance on Koh Lipe go to http://www.facebook.com/KohLipeThai and any questions you have will be answered by the very knowledgable Ulf and team.....ENJOY OUR PARADISE.....xxx http://www.kohlipethailand.com/ or follow him on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KohLipeThai

9 comments:

  1. A great blog Elizabeth!
    Thanks for sharing :-)

    //Ulf

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Jens. I think our families are both very passionate about this magnificent little gem..:)

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  3. Woww!!! nice trip. If you can’t decide for your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Phuket This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Phuket sounds great. I will keep it in mind for a future visit. Thank you...:)

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  5. Hello, This post is really nice and informative. The explanation given is really comprehensive and informative. I am feeling happy to comment on this post.
    Andaman Resort Booking Online

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for this blog, found it whilst searching for info on Koh Lipe. You've confirmed what I thought and we are going to book.

    Thanks from the UK

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  7. Fantastic blog. I concur with the experience. I was a Koh Lipe for 2 days last month. It's an amazing place indeed.

    ReplyDelete