Koh Lipe - Thailand's secret paradise island

While Koh Lipe is known for its quaint bamboo bungalows, you can choose the comforts of a soft bed and room service at one of several quality resorts. Some people may claim that to truly experience the wonders of the island, you need to become one with nature. That's not an entirely false statement, but it certainly doesn't mean you need to enclose yourself in a mosquito net at night or lock up your snacks to evade thieving little jungle mice.

The three main beaches on the island are second to none. Each offers the serenity of the ocean song, the breathtaking views of white sand and turquoise shores, and the perfect balance of warm sunshine and cooling breezes. If you're so inclined, an afternoon snorkeling among the coral reefs or kayaking around the island is a great way to explore the fascinating haven of Koh Lipe. End a day with a massage or book some time at a local spa for some well-deserved pampering.

A convenient paved path leads to each of the primary beaches and to a little business district where you can enjoy shopping and dining, or a little nightlife at a local bar.

If you're feeling social, the people of the island known as the Chao Lay (or "Sea Gypsies") are familiar with tourists, despite the island's isolation that keeps it from becoming overcrowded, and are generally very friendly.

Be prepared to do some walking to get from one place to another - there are no cars on the island. You can, however, pay for a boat to take you around the shore, closer to your intended destination.

As a year-round tourist destination, you can always hop a ferry to the island, and businesses don't close down for the season. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday, the low season is from May to November (this is also the best time to go if you're looking to save some money).

If a day away from the island interests you, there are day trips you can book to explore the other islands in the archipelago, including the volcanic jungle island of Koh Adang and Koh Tong, which has a healthy population of fun-loving monkeys.

Koh Lipe holds a little magic for anyone who steps upon the shores of this shy little island. The simple fact is that you can't visit without bonding and pulling yourself away at the end of your vacation might just prove to be a difficult thing.

by Colleen Ludgate on 12/18/2013 in Rest & Relaxation