3 Nights Backpacking in Koh Lipe

Backpacking in Koh Lipe Thailand

Sah wah dee khrap! After almost a month in Malaysia, I decided to continue my solo travel backpacking adventure entering Thailand by Koh Lipe after Hiking in Langkawi for a couple of days.

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I didn’t really know what to expect from it as I didn’t research anything in advance but surely I could plan a couple of adventures!

The Speedboat Langkawi-Koh Lipe

The ferry from Langkawi takes about 60-90 minutes and prices start from Rm115, if you don’t book them online you will be able to negotiate a bit at Kuah Ferry terminal, I got mine for Rm100 (about US$25)

Arriving to Thailand
Thai Visa on arrival

During my stay in Malaysia I heard some people talking about some restrictions with the visas depending on the transportation you use to enter Thailand, with some saying that only when entering by air you get 30 days and by land/sea only 15 days.

This sounded very strange to me when I first heard of it, and can confirm 100% that is BS, the immigration arrival at Koh Lipe was the easiest I’ve ever had in my life.

Border control posts tend to be dodgy places, this was easy going, no pressure, no long queues and no “agents” trying to sort out your visa.

The Island of Koh Lipe

After having the last rains of monsoon in Malaysia, I was super happy to arrive to a sunny Island with no signs of storm clouds.

Quickly I found Koh Lipe nicely walkable as it’s relatively small. I didn’t have anything booked and my first intention was to pitch my tent somewhere by the beach.

Looking for this, I walked towards sunset beach and a guy that was working at a bar discouraged me of pitching there because of the tides, so instead I went a bit inland to Lipe Camping Zone, as soon as I started pitching my tent a zillion mosquitoes came to my hunt.

Backpacking in Koh Lipe Thailand

Almost as a Murphy’s Law, when I started looking for my mosquito repellent I couldn’t find it anywhere(!!), growing desperate, the lady from the camping managed to understand that I had lost my repellent and she kindly found some for me.

Desperate times gone, I was ready to go for dinner and walk around town. Little did I know the night I had ahead.


Back in my tent, it was one of the hottest camping nights I remember in my life, there was simply no wind and I had to keep both doors of my tent open even if that meant that the mosquitoes (still present!) and other insects had free reign to invade my fortress. I even went for a shower around 1am as I couldn’t stand more sweat and no sleep.

Worst of all, I wanted to be fresh as early in the morning I was going scuba diving!

I may have slept about 2 hours in total, as soon as I woke up I packed my tent ready to embrace a diving day and sort out accommodation in the evening.

Backpacking in Koh Lipe Thailand
Scuba Diving in Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park and that means it’s full of diving agencies.

I spoke with quite a few of them and of course they all said they were the best in class. At the end, I decided to go with Ko Lipe Diving as the guys there were very friendly and honest in what to expect.

On the day we were 7 divers and 4 instructors, so it was quite personal. As usual, on the boat we got a brief onto where we were going – we attempted to go to the renown Stonehenge but the waves were too big so we had to head towards other areas – what we should keep an eye on and a quick review of all safety measures.

Overall I think the dive masters were not only very approachable and knowledgeable but also very professional on their tasks.

Scuba Diving Koh Lipe

The two dives went pretty well, the first one with a little bit of current but both of them with relatively good visibility.

These spots are not really for big fishes, but instead I found both dives super colourful, the coral and the shoal of small fishes were definitely worth the adventure.

We came back around 4pm and I quickly managed to sort out accommodation at Shanti Backpackers Hostel, this is the cheapest place in the island (which, as usual with islands, it’s a little bit more expensive than what you would normally expect) so you cannot expect anything really special, although as I was so tired from the previous night I slept like a baby!

A day at Koh Adang

On the following day I teamed up with a friend and we took a long-tail taxi boat to the island of Koh Adang from sunrise beach. This costs 100thb each way.

Backpacking in Koh Lipe Thailand

This island, I later found out, is what Koh Lipe used to be 15 years ago. Still unspoilt by the masses and relatively virgin.

This is “the place” for camping! I wish I knew it before hand! there’s a camping area, serviced with toilets and showers and a couple of places to buy provisions, although it’ll be much better if you bring them with you (and take the rubbish back to mainland)

I fell in love with Koh Adang at first sight.

Backpacking in Koh Lipe Thailand
Camping area

Koh Adang is much bigger than Koh Lipe, so sadly we couldn’t explore much of it in only one day.

The most common thing to do there is to hike towards the viewpoints, this is a steady climb which does not take more than 30 minutes to reach the third and final viewpoint, you do need to bring water and come with shoes, otherwise it can easily take you an hour or more as we saw quite a few people struggling with the short hike.

On the way down a bit of swimming and snorkelling was as refreshing as badly needed as the day was getting pretty hot.

There is another path to go to a waterfall, but silly of us, we told the boat driver to pick us up earlier than we should have asked him thinking that it was going to be plenty of time initially, sadly we didn’t have time to hike there, although looking at photos of it on google it doesn’t seem to be a mind-blowing one.

Instead of doing this second hike, we just ventured roughing it by the shore (rocky path) and stayed the rest of the time we had left at a little secluded mini beach we found.

Monkeying around

As the island was a bit expensive and I was only starting my time in Thailand, I decided to moved on after three nights and took a speed boat towards Krabi, where I went hiking with high expectations on the destination from feedback I got from friends and other travellers, but that’s a story for another post!

Koh Lipe is certainly famous for it’s nightlife but as I like to prove in certain destinations, it’s super doable to be in contact with nature and explore its beauty.

Backpacking in Koh Lipe Thailand

Feel free to drop any questions or comments! 🙂

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