Koh Lipe is miles from anywhere and as off the beaten path as you are likely to get in Thailand today. The longer journey will reward you with a beautiful, peaceful location with some excellent diving options.
Diving here is around the many islands that make up the Adang Archipelago. This archipelago is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park, which, including Adang, comprises of 50 islands in total. This offers a tremendous diving opportunity; there are at least 20 different dive sites that are regularly visited by the islands dive operators. You’ll dive sites around Koh Lipe plus Koh Adang, Koh Rawi, Koh Tong, Koh Lek and their surrounding smaller islands. Diving here is mainly by boat, but there are a few shore options that might better suit your schedule particularly if you like night diving. Apart from 8 Mile Rock, the dive sites are mostly within 25 mins of Koh Lipe.
Rocky formations, pinnacles and boulders are the back drop to Koh Lipe’s reefs where you will see colourful soft coral and much more. There is diving here suitable for all levels with some mind blowing options for the more advanced. There are fewer divers here compared to other locations, so the underwater experience on the sought after dives is much less of a crowded affair.
See whale sharks and manta rays at 8 Mile Rock and possibly a few other deeper sites too. Tuna, mackerel and barracuda are the reefs stalkers, and there are plenty of batfish to entertain you. You’ll see plenty of trevallies, snapper and fusiliers. Devil and eagle rays swim passed, and you might be lucky to spot a coral cat shark hiding in a nook. There’s plenty of shrimp, pipefish, nudibranch and seahorse to spot. Stonefish and scorpionfish are there to be discovered by those with keen eyes.
For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.
Most likely sightingsPossible sightings
Koh Lipe is a small island on the west coast of Thailand. It’s nearly 40 miles (60km) from the mainland and so far south you can see Langkawi in Malaysia on a bright day. Koh Lipe is one many islands that make up the Adang Archipelago and the only one that is inhabited.
Its remote location makes the journey to get here a little longer, and this is what has kept it relatively quieter than other island destinations. There are no cars; you can walk everywhere, and this adds to the peace. If you don’t want to walk, there are motorbike taxis with or without sidecars. The islands development is fast catching up, and although it is still beautiful, it’s not the castaway rustic island retreat that it once was. There are some great eating options and some good nightlife but not the glare you will find in Phuket.
If you’ve chosen Koh Lipe, it’s likely you are happy to simply get away from it all. Trips into Tarutao National Park will get you even further away from it all. You can arrange anything from half-day cruises to 4-day trekking, and camping trips.
The closest airport is in Hat Yai and connections run daily from Suvarnabhumi Airport although there are more services from Don Muang Airport. From Hat Yai Airport, the best to the pier in Pak Bara way is a private taxi. However do note that if you land after 11.30am you will miss the last ferry and need to stay overnight.