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Published: March 17th 2015
Sunset at Langkawi Tengah Beach
Being the beach lover that I am, I finally made my journey to Koh Lipe with my friend, Lela. Heard about its beauty being equivalent to Maldives but without the commercialization but experiencing it in reality was magnificent. Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Park in south-west Thailand. We stayed at Song Family Bungalow on Pattaya Beach. The bamboo bungalow was clean, quiet, rustic and just a 2 mins walk to the beautiful Pattaya beach. It was an awesome back to basics experience. How ironical that despite living in the world's most expensive city, I feel a longing to return to the heart of nature sometimes. The immigration on Koh Lipe is just a little shack 5 mins walk from where we stayed. Basically, the ferry arrives at a floating pontoon about 100m from the shore. Thereafter, we had to transfer to a long-tail boat which took us directly to the beach area.
I discovered Song Family Bungalow by chance when I was browsing through booking.com while doing my research on Koh Lipe. Initially, I had made two different reservations and was forced to cancel the other resort due to terms and conditions of the reservation for this
Dusky leaf monkey (Lutung) at Telaga Harbour Langkawi
bungalow. I'm pretty happy that I chose this place though as it was here that I was re-united with a friend of mine named Marco whom I last saw 8 years ago! Talk about what a coincidence! Or could this be the hand of destiny?
Moving on with my exploration of Koh Lipe:
There are 3 beaches on Koh Lipe namely Pattaya, Sunrise and Sunset. I explored all 3 together with Lela and I must say there are all lovely. Pattaya beach is beautiful with clear sky blue water and white sand as well as a few reggae bars and massage parlours lining the beach. Sunrise beach was right off any bungalows or resorts on that beach. Lovely baby blue clear waters but stronger currents and lesser white sand area to sunbathe on. There were many long-tail boats here too. Sunset beach is an unspoilt beach that was a gem in terms of the beautiful unspoilt scenery. The water at Sunset beach is clear but not blue. Snorkelling was best here followed by Pattaya beach then Sunrise beach. We had an awesome spot on Sunset beach at the beachfront Flour Bakery and Restaurant. Lela was enjoying her fresh
Pattaya Beach Koh Lipe
coconut while I had the best Mojito of my trip here.
Walking Street was 5 mins walk from our bungalow and all 3 beaches are connected to Walking Street. There are many shops, cafes and bars on Walking Street but certainly much lesser than Phuket. The whole island can be explored on foot. Just need a whole day. I learnt that the main religion of the people on this island are Animism and Buddhism. The island is mainly inhabited by Chao Ley villagers who originated from Banda Aceh decades ago. They speak mainly Thai and some of them can speak Malay as well due to its proximity to Malaysia.
We took the opportunity to visit the neighbouring islands such as Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Nang, Koh Adang, Koh Rawi and Jabang that make up the Tarutao National Park. You can book a scheduled tour or just book a whole personal long-tail boat for 1500 baht. We chose the latter as Marco agreed to be our guide. That gave us ample time to stay on any nice island as long as we liked. There were some good snorkelling spots but the variety of marine life was lesser than what
Magnificent Pattaya Beach
I saw off Nalusuan island in the Philippines. Koh Rawi has a beautiful unspoilt beach with a hidden small natural spring in the forested area. We had a lovely picnic on this beach. I was feeling serene listening to the sounds of the tiny waves coming in to the shore. The songs of the sea soothes the soul indeed. Remember to bring a sarong along for sunbathing. Koh Adang was lovely as well with a small stream that flows into the sea. I encountered soft sand here and sunk right in to the knee level. Thankfully, it wasn't quicksand or I wouldn't get to write this blog. On the other end of Koh Adang, you can observe the small population of island inhabitants going about their daily life. Koh Nang, Koh Hin Ngam and Jabang were good for snorkelling. I felt like I was swimming in an aquarium at Jabang. Imagine a pinnacle that rises 16m from the seabed covered with multi-coloured beautiful soft corals and various marine life. Oh well, at least I got to feel like Ariel for a day!😊
Overall, I had an excellent holiday and would certainly recommend any beach lover to visit this island
crystal-clear blue water at Pattaya Beach
at least once. It is worth the many transfers that you have to make. I chose to go via Langkawi which was nearer than going from Satun. However, do note that the ferry from Langkawi runs only between October to April due to sea conditions. Once again, Koh Lipe is truly magnificent and lives up to its reputation as the Maldives of the far east but without the commercialization.
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