1/9/2016 — with edits.
It’s my first full day in Koh Lipe. It’s brilliant here. Turquoise water, clear to the depths. Ivory sand, soft to the underfoot. And no crazy party scene; just a handful of fun little bars to choose from after 11 pm.
Confession: I had to rip myself from swiping on Tinder to write this post.
Solo Travel Tip: Tinder morphs into a friend-meeting app while traveling!
Of course, you can still use it for casual sex if that’s what you are into I suppose, but it’s a handy way to meet buddies for trekking, drinking, or just to grab a bite.
I hesitate to write this post because this island ought to remain a secret, particularly from my fellow Americans. I’d be very disappointed to find a Starfucks here when I return.
The best thing about Koh Lipe is how small it is! You can walk the whole island easily although motorcycle taxis are available for the burdened or lazy.
The natives could be a tiny bit friendlier but perhaps I’m used to more outgoing personalities in the States and in the places I visit. Or perhaps my resting bitch face may be giving people the wrong idea? Wouldn’t be the first time.
Solo Travel Check In
I’m writing in a beach bar with a Chang beer by my side. Life is simple, and I am content.
It’s true, there haven’t been any uproarious laughs in the last 5 days. So far, I feel okay about that because the freedom to create my own agenda is amazing! Making decisions feels less burdensome because I don’t have to compromise with anyone.
The main challenge I face daily is how much to push myself out of my comfort zone versus how much I want to stay comfortable.
I’m in this island paradise alone, an act that most people would never realistically undertake. This cohort includes me up until the last 1 or 2 years.
I’m proud of myself. Between quitting my job and taking this trip, my decisions are more aligned with who I am.
Koh Lipe Beaches
The other best thing about Lipe are the beaches! There are 3 main beaches on this gorgeous 3.5 km island in the South Andaman sea and IMO, Pattaya Beach is the best. Shallow, clear turquoise water for several meters means that all you need is a snorkeling mask to see some cool fish!
I was too busy snorkeling and frolicking in the ocean to get a great picture of the beach, but that’s what happens when you are living life! Sunrise Beach is beautiful too. Sunset Beach is quieter with almost no longboats to disturb the view of Koh Adang.
When to Go
High Season is November through April. This is also dry season however the islands were unseasonably rainy this year this January. Low season is cheaper and less crowded but based on fellow travelers’ reports, its still a blast!
I plan to return during low season because #introvert. High season was great though because all though there are a lot of tourists, it never gets too crowded on the beach or in town.
Hotels, Hostels and Guesthouses
(Disclosure: Below are affiliate links for the hotels I genuinely enjoyed. The reviews are honest and unbiased. If you clink the links, I may get a few coins. Thanks! Read on!)
Koh Lipe runs the gamut from high end resorts on Sunrise beach ideal for a honeymoon to beach bungalows with a fan on Pattaya Beach to hostels on Walking Street and everything in between. A Plus hotel/hostel is a great option for those seeking to be social, as they have a common room for tv viewing. I opted
for a basic but well-appointed private room with daily housekeeping.
The Green Hotel with its petite pool and extra large king beds is an affordable option for those seeking a bit more luxury. Breakfast included.
Noi Guesthouse is a cute but somewhat claustrophobic option for those with a tight budget who want to skip the dorm hostel. Breakfast Included. I loved it.
What to Eat
Delicious Thai food! It’s everywhere on Walking Street and along Pattaya Beach and the south part of Sunrise beach. Thai places are very affordable. Western food and resort restaurants are pricier.
I’ve told you enough about this secret paradise. You’ll have to go see it for yourself.