My Top 5 Islands in South East Asia

There’s something about a South East Asian beach that conjures up images of white sand, clear water, delicious cocktails, friendly locals and massages on the beach.

I absolutely love South East Asia and it’s beaches, choosing only 5 of my favorites was a tough call!

But alas, here are my top 5 islands in South East Asia:

5. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (Islands just off of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo)kk1

Kota Kinabalu is such a great city and something that makes it even better is that it has a beautiful marine park with beautiful small paradise islands only a 15 minute boat ride away. Now I have to admit that you can only go to a few of the islands which means that there are some crowds…but that’s a price to pay for paradise.

4. Koh Chang, Thailand

Chang

Koh Chang has such an amazing vibe. Especially Lonely Beach where we stayed. The island was very quiet when we were there but it just made it all the better. The beaches aren’t as beautiful as my other choices, but the locals, food and activities definitely make up for that. It also has a big jungle and plenty of things to keep you busy.

3. Koh Rong, Cambodia

rong

After spending a couple of days in Sihanoukville (the jumping off point to Koh Rong) I was very unimpressed with it and wasn’t expecting much from Koh Rong. But the second that we arrived on to the island I realised how wrong I was. It is so chill and for $30 a night you can have your own hut right on the beach. The sand was so white and it squeaked when you walked on it. Heaven!

2. Koh Lipe, Thailanda1c4d-img_2377

Koh Lipe is the place that dreams are made of. It has beautiful white sand and clear blue water. It has become a tourist destination and I presume that it is getting busier and busier as the years go by. But, for such a small island, each beach has it’s own vibe and offers different things. We stayed at the beautiful Sanom Beach which had a few huts with a small beach to themselves, absolute perfection!

1. Nusa Lembongan
IMG_8180

Nusa Lembongan is only a 30 minute boat ride from Bali but it feels like another world! It is so relaxing and the beaches are unbelievably beautiful! There were so many times when we were the only people on these perfect white sand beaches. Add to that a combination of friendly locals and delicious food and you’ve got yourself the perfect South East Asian island!

 

How about you? Are there any beaches or islands that you would add to this list?

Crazy Songkran celebrations in Bangkok.

Enjoying the Songkran fun!

When our bus was pulling up into the city the first thing that we noticed were the water fights! There was water being thrown everywhere, there was also flour and water mixed together to make a paste and that was being smeared on everyones faces. It looked like so much fun, I think the ten year olds inside of us were rearing to go, but the adults in us realized that we each had large backpacksand small carry on bags with valuables in them and had to make our wary through thousands of people to find a guesthouse in the area where Songkran was being celebrated at its wildest!

The next 40 minutes were so stressful but eventually we found ourselves a cheap guesthouse and got our bags safely into our rooms. Before we did anything else we filled our water guns up and got ready for the action that was about to unfold.

If I had to describe Songkran in one word it would be INSANE! Unfortunately I don’t have any photos as bringing a camera out in the craziness would be camera suicide. We were staying just off of Khao San Road, which is the main stage area for Songkran. Everytime you left your room you had to prepare to get wet, or should I say drenched! There were people on the streets with huge barrels of water and for a small price you could buy water from them to fill up your gun. But you also had to be careful because they were pouring buckets of water over people while passing by. There were also different variations in the water temperatures. The best ones to buy from were the people that had put blocks of ice into the barrels to make the water horribly icy cold. I still shiver thinking about the many buckets of ice water that I got poured over me.

It was so much fun though, It was the hottest time of the year in Thailand so the water had a great cooling effect. We decided to act as a tactical team that had each others backs. Along the way we would pick up some other people and work together with them. My personal favorite victims were the dry tourists that looked like they had just got off the plane and had no idea it was Songkran, seeing their faces when you shakily attacked them was the best. We spent a lot of time in a great little makeshift street bar just spraying people walking past.

I also had the pleasure of meeting up with my old college friend Shane. He has been living in Bangkok for a long time now, about 5 years, I think. Myself and my friend Lou got to meet up with him when we did our round the world trip four years ago and it was so great getting to see him again. I also got to meet his lovely girlfriend Dao who was so much fun!

Unfortunately that was the same day that we had to say our teary goodbyes to Erica and Dan. Having spent the last three years with them it was so strange saying goodbye this time, not knowing when we’ll see each other again. We had a great week with them and were so happy that we got to celebrate their engagement together and meet up in a country that wasn’t Korea. I’m sure it won’t be too long until we see each other again.

See you soon!

That night it started raining and this made the water feel a million times colder than during the day. I had to go back to the room early because I couldn’t stop shivering. The fact that we only had a cold water shower to go back to made me shiver even more but luckily i was so cold that it made the water in the shower feel hot.

The next day would mark our last day in South East Asia. I have grown to love South East Asia with all of my heart and seem to always end up coming back here. I’m not sure if I’ll get the chance to come back again some day but I really hope so. Being our last day in Thailand we were both very nervous and excited about the next part of our adventure…Nepal!

On our last day Kate had come back to Bangkok so we got to go for lunch with her, Shane and Dao. We had some delicious Korean barbecue and it was so amazing being surrounded by Irish people again, there really is nothing like it. Then Shane made myself and Jason insanely jealous by bringing us to see his apartment and even gave us cups of Barrys tea! Now that’s friendship.

We both couldn’t believe that our time in Thailand and Cambodia had come to an end! After our visit to Shanes apartment we had to go to the airport to get a flight to Kuala Lumpur and being the backpackers that we were, had to spend the night at the airport to wait for our flight to KATHMANDU!!

Island bliss on Koh Chang

We were excited to be back in Thailand and on our way to Koh Chang. We had heard great things about Thailands biggest island and were also going to be meeting up with our friends from Korea; Dan and Erica.

The journey from Koh Kong to Koh Chang went nice and smooth and the visa process was surprisingly easy and stress-free. We arrived in Koh Chang just in time for dinner. We had decided to stay on Lonely beach because it is much cheaper and backpacker orientated than the other beaches. It was April now and this is the hottest month in South East Asia so we decided to splash out a little and get an air-con room. As we were walking around that evening we instantly fell in love with the island. It was very quiet and had a nice relaxed vibe to it.

Lonely beach on Koh Chang

We found a restaurant that had free wifi so had dinner there. It had the strangest French owner though. He seemed quite drunk and was just downright weird. While Jason went back to the room to get the laptop I was witnessing a very awkward fight between him and his wife. I was the only customer in the restaurant and his wife started shouting at him for drinking the alcohol. He then said that the drink he was pouring was for a customer (I was the only customer and didn’t order any alcohol) The fight then escalated to someone throwing dishes at the other and smashing them everywhere. I was just hoping and praying that Jason would be back soon! I think it was safe to say that we would never be going near that place again!

He didn’t seem to mind the rough water

The next day we decided to rent a kayak and head out to the nearby islands like we had done on Railay beach. Unfortunately the waves in Koh Chang were much higher and I felt so uncomfortable being out there in the kayak so we decided to turn around and head back in. That night we had dinner by the sea and saw yet another stunning South East Asian sunset.

Amazing sunset!
Beautiful sunset at the beach restaurant

The next day we went our separate ways; I spent the day sunbathing and getting a pedicure…what more could a girl want! Jason spent the morning on an elephant trek. He had researched a lot about reputable companies that treat the elephants well. He decided to go with one company and he soon realized that no company that offers elephant trekking is good. He was very upset by the fact that the people used sharp metal rods to keep the animals in check and decided that at least now he did it he understands why it’s wrong.

Jason bathing an elephant

Many people come to South East Asia and go elephant trekking. In fact I did it when I came here 4 years ago. But most people don’t understand that by doing these treks you are supporting animal cruelty. There are some great places in South East Asia where you can visit a sanctuary and interact with the elephants in a much more natural way where the animals aren’t forced to do anything that they don’t want to do. I would definitely recommend one of these sanctuaries to anyone that wants to interact with an elephant. Sure you won’t get to “ride” one, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to interact with a happy healthy elephant rather than one that is being forced to carry you?
One such place that many of my friends have visited and loved is Elephant Nature Park in Chang Rai in Thailand. Their website is http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/

That evening Erica and Dan arrived and had just gotten engaged a couple of nights before so we went and watched the sunset, celebrated and caught up with each other.

We also booked a snorkeling tour for the next day, which was a lot of fun (albeit completely packed with people and not much coral in the sea). It was a busy couple of days in Koh Chang as we wanted to do as much as possible as well as have fun and celebrate together.

Getting ready to snorkel

The day after we had a cooking class booked, I think we were all excited about learning how to cook Thai food and we were definitely not disappointed. Our teacher was great and we couldn’t believe the standard and quality of the foods that we made by ourselves. I can’t wait to get into our new apartment so that we can try to recreate those dishes. The best part about the cooking class was that afterwards we all got to sit down and eat everything we cooked. We had made so much food that it was impossible to eat it all! Some of the dishes that we made were Tom Yum soup, Coconut soup, Pad Thai, Red Thai curry, Green Thai curry, Chicken with cashew nuts and sweet mango with sticky rice. Yum yum yum!!! I’m drooling right now just thinking about it!

Pad Thai
It was so delicious!

The next day Jason decided to go through with getting a tattoo that he had been thinking about for a while, he got it done bamboo style and was really happy with the end result.

Jason getting his
bamboo tattoo

Koh Chang was very chill and quiet while we were there which was great because we felt like we could really get to know the locals and made a couple of friends that we could stop in and chat to every day. But near the end of our stay on Koh Chang there was so much excitement in the air. Songkran was nearly here!

Songkran is the celebration of the Thai New Year. It is a massive 3-day event and the Thais celebrate by holding a 3-day national water fight. It was so exciting knowing that we were going to be celebrating Songkran in Thailand and had no idea just how crazy it would be!

The day before Songkran began we decided to stock up on water guns that every single store was selling (including the tattoo shops, restaurants and bars). We then found a group of local kids that were starting early by splashing every car and bike that was going past. We decided to join them and had so much fun, a ,to of people were tourists that had no idea so they got a huge shock when a massive bucket of water got thrown at them in their taxis. Most people took it with big smiles and laughs but there were a couple of foreigners that got pretty angry. I had one Italian guy come all the way back around on his moped just to start shouting at me. The best part was that the entire time he was shouting at me a Thai man was spraying him with water. He finally got sick of it and drove off again.

Unfortunately that was our last night in Koh Chang and the next day all four of us got the ferry and bus up to Bangkok to celebrate and see Songkran at its craziest!

All four of us together. Me, Jason, Erica and Dan.

My worst border crossing to date!

A couple of days ago we did the much criticized trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap. I had read a lot about this particular border crossing about how they will try to rip you off at every corner so we went prepared. Luckily we met up with my two friends from college Noel and Kate the day before. It was so great seeing them both! I hadn’t seen Noel since he visited me in Korea 3 years previous and Kate since we travelled together in New Zealand nearly 4 years ago. Their friend Jayne was also with them and the 5 of us had great craic catching up.

We were all going to Siem Reap together the next day so we decided to book our tickets and travel together (safety in numbers!) We found a travel agents near our guesthouse and booked our minibus from Bangkok straight to Siem Reap for 300 baht each. The minibus would collect us the following morning at 7:20 from our reception. With an early morning ahead of us we did what only a group of Irish would do…went out and got drunk! We met Kates friend who lives in Bangkok and he brought us to a couple of great places that we would have never known about before. It was so nice to get out of the Khao San area and see some of Bangkok.

But before we could meet her friend we had to get a taxi to the spot. Of course the taxi dropped us miles away from the pub and randomly dropped us at Koreatown. It was so strange seeing hangul written everywhere and we were considering eating at one of the places until I saw that a soup that normally costs 2,000w in Korea cost the equilivent of 10,000w here. We swiftly moved on and waited for Kates friend to collect us and show us the way. He brought us to a pub that does the best fish and chips! Myself and Jason got a large portion to share and couldn’t even nearly finish it. It cost about $12/$13 for the large portion.  There was also a great jazz band playing which was so nice because living in Gimhae we don’t get the chance to see live music very often. This pub’s name was fat gutz, a fitting name I thought!

After that pub he brought us to another great place. It was called Wongs place (I think) and is a great tiny spot that apparently is absolutely packed out the door every weekend, we went during the week so it was nice and quiet. It was such a fun night catching up with everyone.

After 4 hours sleep (worst decision ever!) we rose from bed and got ready for our day ahead of us. The travel agent told us that the journey would take about 8 hours total. Our minibus arrived and luckily only 2 others were on it with us, one from America and a Londoner. We had the craziest bus driver who would  keep sniffing something from two suspect little bottles. Every time he would sniff he would suddenly start crazy dancing to the songs (while driving) He also just made strange noises for the whole journey…his favourite being “eh eh ehhhh” quite similar to Anne from Little Britain.

When we finally arrived at the border town I was looking out the window and saw an arrow pointing left for the border. We went right. He brought us to this restaurant where they were so “nice” and offered to get our visas for us there while we wait, for only 1,200 baht. When we politely declined he told us that we would be queueing up for 6/7 hours at the border and will miss our connecting buses at the other side. Again we declined, knowing that this is exactly what we were warned about. He also took our bus tickets from us and told us he would give us new ones (I still don’t know why we gave them to him)

After 20 minutes or so we were off again. We were just pulling away when we realized that we never got our bus tickets back, we asked our driver who asked the man at the restaurant, but he said not to worry we would get them. Of course this made us worry and by the time we got to the border we held a sit in until someone gave us a ticket or some kind of proof of onward travel out of Poipet (the border town) After another 20 minutes we still didn’t have any proof but we did have a man from a travel company promise to bring us over the border and personally make sure we get on a bus. At this stage we didn’t have much of an option and we were getting really hot so we went with him.

Once at the border we had to get our visas, I was looking around and a man told me to go to the building on our right, when our agent saw this he started giving out to the man who had helped me and tried to make us follow him past the building (so that we would get visas from him for 1,200 baht) We went into the building and got our visas for 800 baht. The process took about 10 minutes (not the 6/7 hours that the guy at the restaurant had told us) I think at this stage we were all angry because the person that was supposed to be helping us had just tried to scam us so we presumed we’d never see him again. To our surprise he was still waiting for us afterwards and came with us to the immigration line. We queued for what seemed like an eternity there in the horrible heat and all that was left to do afterwards was wait for a bus that we were hoping would come. Everyone else around us had stickers which are your bus tickets and we had nothing. Apparently, this happens if you refuse to buy your visa from the people. Luckily we were a big group and had the amazing Jayne with us who would take no shit from anyone. Miraculously the bus came and we were allowed on it without our tickets (I think they were just so sick of us at that stage)

While on the bus we found out that some people had paid 1,600 baht for the same journey that we were doing for 300 baht. In fact the American that was on our minibus to the border with us paid 2,000 baht and then they wanted him to pay another 400 baht at the border cause he “missed” his bus to Phnom Penh…he was still there when we were leaving. Overall this journey ended up taking over 12 hours but we finally arrived in Siem Reap. I think the hardest part of this journey is that people are lying and cheating you with a smile on their faces, in fact a girl had just found out that her bank card was stolen during her bus trip from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and they had accessed her account and taken nearly $4,000 canadian dollars. Obviously she was very upset and one of the tour guides was comforting her, he then proceeded to get her to pay him 1,200 baht for the visa (ripping her off a bit more).

If you are ever planning on doing this route I would definitely recommend you to do some research. I had read all about it on http://www.travelfish.org and the more you know beforehand the less likely you are to get ripped off. I would also recommend not getting a minibus (even though this is the easier option) Apparently there are plenty of government busses that leave from Bangkok bus station that are much cheaper and drop you to the border town, you can then just get a short taxi to the border and then pay for an onward bus to Siem Reap. Also, make sure you stand your ground! Another thing that I would recommend is to apply for your visa online. That way you will be guaranteed to not get ripped off with the visa. The online visa is only allowed on certain border crossings so make sure to check beforehand.

We have been in Siem Reap for two days now and have been pretty lazy, but more on that next time 🙂

Krabi- Kayaking, Krabs and …Kockroaches?!

While staying in Ko Lipe we decided to visit Krabi next. Mainly because it was one of the cheapest tickets offered out of Lipe. It was a comfortable 5-hour journey. Initially we had planned on staying on Railay beach but when the bus dropped us off in Ao-Nang we decided to base ourselves here instead (because it is cheaper and has more options)
We found ourselves a guesthouse and got settled in. One of the things I was most looking forward to about leaving Lipe was a bathroom! Our bathroom in Lipe was very basic, we had a toilet but it had no flusher so you had to use a bucket and pour water down when finished, lets just say that this led to quite a few blockages and if myself and Jason didn’t know each other well enough then…we do now!
The bathroom in Lipe was also a bit open and many bugs got in, so I spent the whole time while using it just looking around, fearful of what might peak up behind me.
While unpacking in our new guesthouse in Ao-nang, I got the fright of my life. I opened my bag and there sitting on top of my clothes was a cockroach!! He must have snuck into my bag in Lipe and travelled up with us. Another reason that I feel so lucky to be travelling with Jason is because my approach to a cockroach in my bag is to dart out of the room and stand in the hallway. Luckily Jasons approach is far more productive, he just got it out of my bag and out of the room as quick as he could. With that sorted, we decided to take a look around the town.
Jason on the long tail boat

Ao-nang is a very tourist beach town. It is a great base for people that only have a short time in Thailand because it has many islands and beaches nearby that you can go to on day trips, many trekking options, waterfalls and lots of other tourist traps. Once again we were in shock with how touristy it was. Again there were many Europeans here and plenty of British holidaymakers too. I forgot to mention in my Lipe blog that because there are so many Europeans around, Jason had his first chance to see people sunbathing topless. I think he was quite embarrassed at first but I’m sure he’s enjoying it 😉

On our first day in Ao-nang we decided to get a long tail boat over to Railay beach. Railay beach is a beach on the mainland but can only be accessed by boat. I had been here four years ago with my friend Lousie while on our round the world trip. This was our favourite place in Thailand and one of our favourite destinations of the whole trip. Because I had loved it so much back then I was a little apprehensive about going back…and I was right!

When the long tail boat pulled in to the beach it was unrecognizable, four years ago Railay was very chill, but now there were resorts all over the beach front and there was a walking street going through from West to East Railay. This walking street had cafes, bars and restaurants. It was much more built up than last time. We ventured over to East Railay where Lou and myself had stayed last time and found that that too had changed. The bamboo tattoo place where we got our tattoos is gone, the bar where we met some amazing lifelong friends was gone, it had all changed. I should have known better than to go back to one of my favourite places and I think this has taught me a lesson. But regardless of all of the change that has happened on Railay, the beach is still as beautiful as ever!
Railey Beach
Jason still loved Railey beach!

The funny thing id that I have been recommending Railay beach to everyone for the last four years! Oops.

We spent a bit of time swimming and sunbathing and then decided to take a kayak out for the day. I think that was the single-most best decision we have made in the trip so far as it turned out to be an incredible experience.
Surprisingly we turned out to be a good kayak team. We kayaked around some of the wonderful rock formations jutting out of the sea that that Krabi region is famous for; we then found a wonderful beach to grab some lunch from one of the women cooking on the long tail boats and take some very cheesy photos!
We then continued kayaking, Jason bought a beer so we found a place in the sea that was covered by the shade and just floated while he drank his beer. It was so relaxing, the water was so clear and we could see all of the fish below us perfectly. We also saw some of the craziest looking crabs I’ve ever seen! They were bright purple and green, I was a little creeped out because once we saw one, we looked around and saw that they were everywhere on these cliffs! We also got to kayak into a little tunnel in one of these cliffs. We would have stayed out there all day if we weren’t getting sunburned so we brought the kayaks back and headed back to Ao-nang. We had such a fun time and would definitely recommend kayaking to anyone planning on going to the Krabi province.

Us on the beach 🙂
The purple and green crabs
We were too nervous to take photos while kayaking, so this is the only one!
The next day we had a bus booked to Bangkok for 3pm, we wanted to check out the weekend market before we left but realized that it is more of an evening market so we just spent the day relaxing and getting a couple of massages before the 13 hour bus journey. The journey was actually a lot better than we thought, the only downside was arriving in Bangkok at 4:20am Luckily after some searching we found a guesthouse that would allow us to check in and not charge us for two nights. I’m now sitting in said guesthouse after a couple of hours sleep. We are going to stay here for a couple of days so that we can get our Bangkok to Siem Reap journey planned. I think we are both really excited about going to Cambodia…but more on that next time J
Basic information:
Where we stayed: The Aonang Grand Inn, double fan room 500baht, shared bathroom with one other room, which was unoccupied for our entire stay.
Ferry and bus from Koh Lipe to Aonang: 1,000 baht
VIP bus from Aonang to Bangkok: 900 baht

Thai massage: 200 baht/hour

Us messing about on a beach in Krabi
Jason tried to find the cheesiest pose…I think this was the winner!

Koh Lipe…Paradise.

We have just spent the last week on the small Thai island of Koh Lipe. It is in the southernmost region of Thailand, so south in fact that it’s quicker to get there from the Malaysian island of Langkawi than from anywhere in Thailand itself. So this is what we did. We spent about 24 hours in Malaysia and it reminded us of why we love Malaysia. The people are so kind and honest and the food is an amazing mix of the different cultures that make up Malaysia. Langkawi seemed like a lovely island and if we hadn’t prebooked accommodation in Koh Lipe we would have stayed longer there.

Sanom beach
When we arrived on Koh Lipe it was everything that we had dreamed about, crystal clear waters, some of the whitest powerdery sand that either of us have ever seen and not too much development on the beach front. We were staying in a place called Sanom Beach. It consists of about 8 huts and has it’s own beach. We were lucky enough to have a hut that faced directly on the beach. Our view from our hammock was just breath-taking.
The view from our hut

We had decided on Koh Lipe as our first destination because after a very stressful couple of months we knew we needed a place to do absolutely nothing for a week, and that’s exactly what we did in Lipe.

Our days mainly consisted of sleeping, eating, swimming, sunbathing and the odd snorkel. After the first day we just felt a huge relief in our shoulders and our minds were at ease. We were also very anti-social while here, just keeping to ourselves and reconnecting, it was great!
Something that I have to mention when I talk about Koh Lipe is the dogs. There are dogs everywhere on the island. In fact when you are walking the main beach at 5p.m. you really have to be careful where you step so that you don’t trip up on one of them. The best thing is that most of the dogs seem really well cared for and genuinely happy. They rule the island. We never saw a shop or restaurant owner shoo any dogs away when they were around, so you could be having dinner with 4 dogs lying around you. They were also extremely well behaved, we didn’t see one aggressive dog while there and they never seemed to beg for food.

We used to pass a mom and her four pups everyday and could never resist a cuddle! In fact, I think we probably have more photos of dogs than anything else!

One of the amazing puppies!
One of the many dogs on Lipe
Our favorite little guy, we named him Buddy cause he reminded us of Will Ferrell.
He was the dog at our resort

During our time on Koh Lipe, we realised that the island is actually quite small so we managed to get to see most of the beaches that it has to offer.

Sanom beach:

This is where our hut was so we spent quite a bit of time on this beach. It is a very small beach about a 5/10 minute walk from the main beach (Pattaya), using a little walkway over the rocks. Because there is only one resort there the beach is quiet, usually we were the only ones on the beach before 9/10 and after 4/5. It was really nice to wake up in the morning and have an empty beach right in front of you.

The walkway from Pattaya beach to Sanom beach

The sand on Sanom was great, very white and soft. The waves weren’t big and the resort offers snorkels for rent. The snorkelling was quite good as there is a big rock with coral on it a little bit out from the beach.

The resort also has a small little beach shack serving food and drink.

Lazing on our balcony.
Enjoying the water on Sanom beach
Sanom beach
Sanom Beach at sunset

Pattaya beach:

Pattaya beach is the most popular and  busiest beach on Koh Lipe. This is where most of the expensive resorts are and is the first beach that you see when you arrive onto the island. It is a gorgeous beach (hence the popularity) It has beautiful crystal clear water and white powdery sand but honestly I’m glad that we didn’t stay there.

Jason on Pattaya beach.
There are lots of longtail boats on this beach so sometimes it can be quite hard to find a good place to swim. Also while we were there there was a big ship parked on the beach where the garbage from the island was being collected. It was there for about 3 or 4 days and as you can imagine, it smelled pretty bad! We used to have to hold our breath when walking past it. But, to be fair, at least they are doing something about the rubbish and not just dumping it on the island.
The quintessential “Thailand” photo.

Anyway Pattaya is where you’ll find restaurants where you can eat fresh fish on the beach and it is also where you’ll find the entrance to the walking street.

The sunset on Pattaya beach.
Pattaya beach

Walking street:
Many touristy island and beach areas seem to have a walknig street on them these days and Koh Lipe is one of them. The walking street on Koh Lipe is where you’ll find tons of restaurants, bars, shops, massage and beauty shops and cheaper accommodation. This is where we used to eat as there were some great pancake and juice shops and some really decently priced restaurants selling amazing Thai dishes. There was also a tiny bar on the street that offered buy 1 get 2 free cocktails which was pretty amazing for us!
Walking street is also how you can get from Pattaya and Sanom to the other beaches on the island.
Yummy green curry from one of the
many restaurants on Walking street.

Sunset beach:

We took a back alley to Sunset beach one day (after getting lost the day before) On this back laneway we got to walk past some local houses, lots of chickens and the entry way to another beach that has a club on it and allows people to camp.

Sunset beach is named so because it is the best place on the island to watch the sunset. We really liked the look of Sunset beach when we visited it. It’s very laid back and many backpackers seem to stay here. The sunset was beautiful also. The sand is more yellow than Pattaya and a little more stoney but it’s still a nice beach. If you are walking there from Pattaya on Walking street it takes about 15 minutes.

Sunset beach.
The beautiful sunset on Sunset beach.

Sunrise Beach:

While exploring the island we found the local school and had a look around. It was interesting to see the huge differences between this small island school and our schools back in Korea!

The local school is actually situated on Sunrise beach and their playground and basketball court actually has an impressive view of the beach.

The school playground…what a beautiful view they have!
Jason on Sunrise beach
…and again.

Sunrise beach was also less crowded than Pattaya and has lovely white sand also. Like Sunrise beach, Sunset beach is named so because this is the side of the island that the sun rises on in the mornings. We never actually made it to sunrise beach in the morning so I can’t really comment on if it’s good or bad.

Mountain Resort beach:

Mountain resort is a resort just off of Sunrise beach and has it’s own little area. The best thing about this area is that it has a sand spit right in front of the resort. The resort itself looks beautiful from what we saw of it (if only…)

The beach by Mountain Resort.

We had so much fun in Koh Lipe and would definitely recommend it, but there were a couple of things about it. Firstly, it was expensive. We managed to spend much more here than we had wanted to and we only really bought food and some sun creams.
Secondly, it isn’t really a backpacker destination. There were package tourists everywhere. Most of which were European (which meant I was the whitest person on the beach) 😦 It was quite funny though because Jason is American he was shocked to see topless sunbathers on the beaches. Seeing his face every time he saw one was priceless; the embarrassment that he was going through was quite cute/funny.  But other than the price of things this is a wonderful island!
Basic information:
Where we stayed: Sanom Beach
Huts off the beach: $20
Huts on the beach: $30
Ferry from Langkawi to Lipe: $40
Dinner: usually around 120 baht each.
Sanom beach website: http://www.sanombeachlipe.com/
More yummy Thai food.
A longtail boat on Pattaya beach
Pattaya beach
The view of Pattaya from the walkway.
Footprints on Sunset beach.
The walkway between Sanom and Pattaya.
Sunset on Pattaya.
Me walking along Pattaya beach.
Pattaya beach again!
Jason on Pattaya.
Sanom beach
Myself and Jason on Sanom beach
Beautiful Sanom at sunset.
Jason on Sanom beach