Dave in Thailand
Koh Lipe (Lipe Island) March 29-April 1 2007

'Koh' means 'island' in Thai, and Lipe is two syllables - Li-pay (short i sound, as in 'in'). So first - where are we going? Well, Lipe is part of Tarutao Marine Park of Thailand, which is in the southeastern Andaman Sea, which I have come to love very much, the beautiful water and islands and corals - Andaman Sea map
more detail of Andaman Sea and Tarutao Marine Park - and getting a closer view - here you can see the relation to Hat Yai, and also Langkawi, which is Malaysian, and I have been to a couple of times, but before having the little magical digital camera (not really as good as the Thai stuff anyway, although the aquarium is quite good) - the ferry goes from the place called Pak Ba Ra which is north and a bit east of the main Tarutaro Island ...
- tarutao park map - - and here a location map of Tarutao Marine Park of Satun Province, showing the main islands - you can get more info about it all here if you want - it's about 30 km to Lipe, with a short stop at the Tarutao park office - in the speedboat, the trip was between 90 minutes - 2 hours. (Note the two little nameless islands about halfway between Tarutao and Lipe, mentioned soon)
- well, here was our transportation to and from, a 'speedboat' as these things are called rather than the larger ferries - I booked tickets for a ferry specifically rather than a speedboat because I generally don't trust the speedboat drivers or businesses, every year you hear of at least one accident somewhere around the islands of southern Thailand where one of these things crashes because of some idiot driver doing some idiotic thing and many people get killed (max speed no matter the wave conditions is one of the favorite idiotic tricks, which I used to love doing in small boats as a kid when I was driving, but is really not acceptable with a boatload of passengers), but when we got to Pakbara we were informed the ferry was having problems or something so they had transferred us to the speedboat - this is common in Thailand, treating travellers like 'do as you're told!' cattle, you just learn to live with it, as you cannot change anything here (the Thais never complain, they are much better trained in accepting the edicts of anyone in charge, but that's part of a different book) - but it turned out ok, the water was not too rough and the driver not too crazy - but not very comfortable, they pack people in like sardines basically, with no thought for comfort (common to any form of cheaper travel here - again, you can accept it, or not go, or pay big money for something more comfortable). I stayed up front in the sun - fortunately I had good sun block, but forgot to put some on one part of my foot, which caused a bit of grief whilst getting into and out of my swim fins the next few days, although it was ok once I got them on ...

the speedboat to Lipe my sunburned foot!
- a well known island we passed on the way called Koh Kai, the natural stone arch on the beach you can see to the left is quite famous as a 'must see' thing when visiting here, and it is a beautiful small uninhabited island and beach (this is the nameless island about halfway between Tarutao and Adang on the last map above)- on this day, there was apparently some movie being shot there, with the actor and actress on the beach and film crew in the water and the support stuff under the tents, so we didn't get out for a walk around - Koh Kai, with the film shoot
the longtail boats getting their fares - and of course we soon arrived at Lipe - there is coral around most of the island so the speedboat cannot beach in most places, depending on the tide, so it stops and anchors out in front of Sunlight Beach, and all of these longtail boats take the visitors to their various resorts or bungalows - 50 baht per person (about something under 2 bucks Cdn)
- the map, and the 'official' Lipe site is here if you want a look - there's a bit of stuff on the net about Lipe, but it is still one of the less travelled islands here, and was quite peaceful and quiet overall (but bloody hot in the middle of the day!) - of the many islands I have visited here, this is probably the best, in most ways -
Lipe Island map

- and here we are arriving at Mountain Resort, behind us on the small hill (located pretty much at the very top of the Lipe map above - the 'Karma Bar' is actually just under the white flag on the beach, and the view is straight across to Adang Island) - you can see a longtail unloading people to the right of the pic - this is really one of the best and most beautiful stretches of beach on the whole island, more pics later ....
arriving at Mountain View resort
The one small drawback of the Mountain resort was that it actually was on a small mountain, the steps of which had to be negotiated every time you wanted to get to the beach. Many people liked this, of course, as it was tsunami-proof as well (the locals said the tsunami did not actually have much impact here).
the stairs up to the Mountain resort

- it was quite worth it, though, to get to the top - the bungalows were pretty nice for $20 Cdn (there were pricier ones but they were all full) - here's Ann lining up a picture looking out over the view from the front of the resort -
Ann lining up a picture, bungalows in background

- and here is the view, very beautiful altogether - that's the large Adang Island in the background -
view from Mountain resort

- and the view from the porch of our bungalow, the place was very booked up and we could not get a front row bungalow, but all of them had some sort of sea view, even back in the third row -
view from the bungalow

- and the amazingly beautiful sunset over the Andaman Sea again - many people gathered here each evening to watch -
sunset over the beach

- and after a swim a bit of a relax before eating and turning in - equator area, the sun sets all year long around 6:30 pm, no DST or anything, at least in Thailand - but that was ok, it had been a long day, and we were both tired. sunset over the beach

And that was most of the first day in Koh Lipe -

the other pages in this little tropical island paradise near home photo album are
Day 2, around Koh Lipe
Day 3, the main thing - snorkelling

Other Dave in Thailand stuff:

Wien Tien
PSU AG Fair 2004
Loy Gratong at PSU 2004
Kuching 2004
Luang Prabang page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4
Phnom Penh, Day 1 Arrival, Day 2, the CamTESOL conference,
Day 3, the Killing Fields and S-21, and Days 4-6, touring around a bit

this site is mostly sort of a photo album for some friends and family, but if you have stumbled across it somehow on the net and want to contact me, siamdave at yahoo dot ca should get to me ....