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The descendants of Koh Lipe's original residents, Sea Gypsies, now live in small villages close to the east coast of this Andaman Coast island near Thailand's border with Malaysia. A small Buddha statue stands in the middle of Koh Lipe, while it only takes a few steps to reach coral reefs from all of the major beaches. Motorcycle taxis and long-tail boats are the main ways to travel around this small island without cars.Don’t Miss
Koh Lipe's four major beaches are Sunrise on its east coast, Pattaya on its south coast, Karma on its north coast, and Sunset on its west coast. Pattaya is the liveliest and longest of the beaches, while a wide shallow bay protects Sunrise from monsoons and provides refreshing breezes. Buildings constructed from driftwood, bamboo, and thatch add to Sunset's relaxed atmosphere.
Fishing may be banned on Koh Lipe, but diving opportunities are definitely plentiful. A quarter of the world's tropical fish species swim around Koh Lipe's coral reefs, which snorkellers can access most easily from ropes placed on the island's east coast. Schools of colourful fish have also settled around the wreck of the Yong Hua, which sank in 1996.
Kayaking and sailing are other popular things to do in Koh Lipe and a great way to explore Koh Lipe and the smaller surrounding islands. Sailors can even travel as far as the breath-taking Ko Tarutao National Marine Park.Restaurants and Bars
Nightlife in nearby Pattaya Beach's Walking Street hosts most island bars and restaurants. Restaurant options have also increased on Koh Lipe, which now includes Indian and Italian restaurants alongside its Thai and seafood establishments. Most restaurants are linked to Koh Lipe hotels.Shopping
Most of Koh Lipe's limited shopping options are located on Pattaya Beach's Walking Street. A handful of ATMs have only recently arrived on the island, which still lacks a proper shopping centre. Visitors can, however, still stock up on souvenirs, snacks, handmade jewellery, and beach supplies during their Koh Lipe stay.