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Published: February 11th 2020
Th speedboat from Ko Muk arrived about half an hour late. There were lots of people waiting as 2 boats were due in at more or less the same time. Of course the Ko Lanta one arrived first and the majority got on. Mr Yai, bless him waited until he knew I wouldn’t get on the wrong one! I wouldn’t have. I sat right at the back on the boat, loads of leg room and less bump. We went to Ko Kradan first, then Ko Bulon Le and finally Ko Lipe, by which time the boat was only a third full. It took over 2 hours. I was expecting to offload onto a longtail (not looking forward to that much) as there is no pier but as the tide was up we went right into shore and we got off onto a bouncy plastic pontoon and walked onto shore. It looked gorgeous, transparent sea. They brought all the bags onto the sand for us and we were directed to buy a national park ticket for 200B and keep it with us at all times. Then, disappointingly, there was no sign of a guy with a Noi Guesthouse sign. Nor were any
taxis hanging around by the beach. My buddies were also staying there and we had to carry our stuff quite a way down a sandy lane. People with wheeled luggage, you will not be able to trundle your bags along here! Halfway along there were taxis but the road was then concrete and google said a 7 minute walk so we did just that. It wasn’t too bad.
The location of Noi is good, dead in the centre of the island and walkable to all the beaches, but the surroundings aren’t pretty. It‘s on a road with no view and constant traffic. The rooms are very small, as expected, but the photos suggested that there was a sitting area outside each. There is, but it is all very enclosed and dark. They face inwards. I saw one room was free right next to the road. That would have been disastrous. I asked for a quiet one and the sweet little guy took us to rooms at the back, my buddies‘ was right in the corner, pitch black, mone has a view down to reception. There are floor to ceiling glass doors so you have to close the curtains for
any privacy but the rooms are so cute, especially for one person, spotless, towel art on the bed, and for me my very own attached bathroom, fridge, aircon and WiFi. After the Cashewnut experience I was in heaven! Upstairs there’s a hangout place with hammocks but no comfy chairs, only stools. There are beach mats and snorkel stuff to borrow. The cost is nearly 2000B a night with breakfast. You can hear everything from the rooms next to you. Everything! The guy next door was snoring really loudly and then he farted and woke himself up. It was hilarious! Then they started to watch Friends on the TV. Not a fan, but it could have been worse......
After unpacking and making the most of the space available we took a free lift to Sunset Beach, it was low tide, so no good for swimming. We sat in the Mojito Bar at the far end, which was no good for actually watching the sunset. You need to sit on a mat in front of one of the drinks stalls for a good view of it, and across to the very big Adang Island. There was a mass exodus when it
was over, with loads of taxis waiting at the road at the top of the slope. In the evening we went out to Walking Street in the evening. what a contrast to Ko Muk! Very commercialised and heaving with people, loads of atms and 7-11s, barbecue restaurants, nail places. It was quite a shock! Things are double the price of elsewhere, which I was prepared for. Laundry, taxis, bottles of water. But you can still eat cheaply enough. We spotted baked potatoes in one place, Papaya Mom, had these with chicken/beef skewers. They were so delicious.
I googled best beaches on Ko Lipe so the next morning went to Sanom. Every time you appear in reception the guys ask ‘Where you go?’ and you can have a free lift there, which is super useful. Except when I only was going to breakfast..... I dropped my laundry off at the next hotel, 60B a kilo, ready in 24 hours.
Sanom is at the far end of Pattaya Beach and then you have to look for a wooden walkway. Follow this round the corner and you come to a little resort with bungalows. In the past there was a chained
gate but now anyone can go through. The snorkelling isn’t the best but you can rent deckchairs and parasols for 300B or sit under the trees at the back. I was there at 9am and it was very quiet. It got busier later on. Gorgeous sea and rocks and a restaurant if you arrive with no supplies. There was the distraction of a fight amongst the monkeys in the trees behind. They didn’t come down onto the beach but there were some dogs around. This seems to be the case everywhere but they look well cared for and belong to people who let them roam free in the day. Apparently also parakeets and hornbills in the trees but I forget about this until I was walking home.
I walked back all along Pattaya Beach, which has resorts all along it with sun beds in front. There are so many boats and at low tide dead coral, so it’s not the best place to swim, although people were trying. In the evening I went and had my nails done, 200B, cheaper than Krabi, then went and found my buddies who had moved to the Chic Lipe Hostel. It is very
smart, very high ceilings, masses of luxurious comfy chairs, a library, and the beds in the dorms have a big locker each, curtains and you can nearly stand up in them. The top bunk is very high up. We went out to eat and the back road across the top of Walking Street is much nicer, local market stalls and simple places to eat.
The island is hillier than I expected, busier, but you can still find quiet places. There don’t seem to be any tourists hiring scooters but taxis are everywhere. Will find a different beach tomorrow.
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