When we were traveling in Malaysia we took the opportunity to return back to Thailand by a speedboat from Langawi in Malaysia to Koh Lipe in Thailand. The smooth boat ride took about 3 hours and when we arrived the bluest and the clearest water was welcoming us.
We are at Koh Lipe now, back to Thailand, I explained to Mirabelle.
The clear blue water at Koh Lipe welcomed us.
Koh Lipe is a tiny island but it’s the perfect size for us. One can walk within half an hour from one end to another and the island is easy to explore by foot. There are three main big beaches on the island which are Pattaya beach, Sunrise beach and Sunset beach.
Photo credit: Here
We had amazing 7 days with our daughter on Koh Lipe and the tiny island is one of our highlights of our family world tour!
Here below you can find a list of 11 fun activities we did with our 3 years daughter around and on koh Lipe and we hope that this list might inspire you and help you and your family to plan your Thailand vacation!
Let’s get started!
1. Go snorkeling
Snorkeling is a huge passion of ours and it was a great deal for us parent to have Mirabelle snorkeling side by side us and enjoying the incredible underwater world! A dream come true!
For those who wonder, Mirabelle was practicing using the mask and the tuba several days in a swimming pool before entering into the sea. We were lucky because she loved it immediately! Although, after every 10-15 minutes she ask for a break but for a 3 yo we think that she is doing great!
*Snorkeling off shore
We have heard that snorkeling off shore by the northern part of the Sunrise beach was not bad and quite good at the Sunset beach.
We tried twice on the Sunrise beach, once was in the morning but the visibility was really bad and it was high tide, second time was on the afternoon on low tide which was not bad for Mirabelle but there were so many longtail boats cruising around us so we were not comfortable in the water. (More about this later below)
We tried once on the Sunset beach, but we came too late because it was very low tide.
We didn’t have great success snorkeling off shore on koh Lipe but I think you guys should try it out!
Anemones found when snorkeling at the Sunrise beach.
*Snorkeling with a tour group
If you want to explore more corals and fishes outside of koh Lipe, the best way is to either go on a snorkeling group tour or find yourself a private longtail boat by the taxi stands on the beaches. We tried both and we had great time both time!
You can buy a tour on every corner of the Walking street (the main street on koh Lipe). We were overwhelmed by so many choices but finally we took a so-called a Program B. We paid 700 bath/adult and it was free for Mirabelle. In the price are included snorkeling gears, water, lunch (very very small lunchbox so bring your own snacks if you are a big eater), fruits and free underwater photos that the captain has been taking during the day. We went with Star Travel and during the day it didn’t occur any problems so I guess the company was ok.
We were 8 people on the longtail boat and we sailed off the Pattaya beach around 9.30 am and got back around 5pm. I can’t remember the names of all the snorkeling spots and the islands we visited but some spots were better than the other. For us, the corals and the visibility was just OK because we have been snorkeling on some of the best snorkeling spots in world and have high expectations. Mirabelle however was very excited and screamed and yelled under water to the point I thought she would get a heart attack!
For a private boat, you can walk to one of the taxi stands on the Sunrise beach and organise a private tour. It seems as the price is 1000-1500 bath for a morning or afternoon around the inner islands. We had one for 1000 bath for a quick late afternoon snorkeling tour. I found it a bit expensive but I now afterwards I don’t regret it because we saw a GIANT jellyfish! At least it was the biggest one we have ever encounter! Worth all the money for a swim with something so beautiful! We went snorkeling by the Koh Hin Ngam which we didn’t do on the previous group tour and the snorkeling there was not bad.
Look! Brocoli, brocoli, Mirabelle was yelling under the water while on a snorkeling tour in Koh Lipe, Thailand.
Snorkeling in Jabang, one of the snorkeling spots around Koh Lipe. Here the current was very strong and you have to hold on and pull a rope to get to this spot of beautiful soft corals.
While snorkeling somewhere near koh Lipe we meet a new friend, the Giant Jellyfish!
Thai people adore kids! Mirabelle was treated like a princess.
Daughter and daddy in the morning!
Daughter and daddy on the afternoon on a snorkeling tour around koh Lipe, Thailand.
2. Visit Koh Adang
Koh Adang is the big island next to koh Lipe and for 100 bath each, a longtail boat can take you to the island on 15 minutes. We really recommend it! Here are some suggestions what you can do with your kids on koh Adang.
One of the taxi stands by Sunrise beach in Koh Lipe, Thailand.
* Hike to the View points
On koh Adang, you and your kids can hike to the 3 levels of view points for a beautiful view of the surrounding area. This might not be the most fun for the kids, but if your little ones love to hike we think the steep walk up is worth it.
I won’t lie, the hike is short and it took us about 45 minutes, but it was steep and very hot! Technically it was not difficult, I did it in flip-flops but on the way down at some parts it got slippery so be aware!
Our 3 years old daughter climbing up on steep trail on koh Adang, Thailand.
If we had more time and had a better organisation, we would for sure camp by the beach on koh Adang! For about 600 bath/ night and for all the tent and materials, we “thought dammit why didn’t we do this!”. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask how to book and organise for a camping spot on the island.
Don’t forget your snorkeling gears because snorkeling off shore on koh Adang was ok but I guess for the kids and beginners is really not bad. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can rent them at any hotel and resorts on the koh Lipe.
* Find beautiful hermit crabs
On the same beach where you can snorkel off shore on koh Adang, there are hundreds of hermit crabs, small, round, long, black, yellow…in all kind of shapes, forms and colors. We have never seen so many hermit crabs in our entire life before! They are so beautiful and some are so cute! We discovered them only after we went out for a snorkel. I can’t tell if they are there all day, or only on the afternoon…but they were literary everywhere walking and hiding in their shell.
* Bird watching
If you haven’t been bird watching with your kids before, koh Adang is a good place to start. Within 5 minutes we saw 5 species. We saw Racket-tailed drongo, Oriental pied Hornbills, Orioles, Herons and Kingfishers. Unfortunately, the zoom of my camera was not working as it should so I haven’t got any good shoot of the beautiful birds.
* Enjoy the emty beaches
If beautiful beaches is what you are looking for, come to koh Adang before noon because the tide build this small beautiful lagoon, perfect for the kids to splash around while we parents sit under the pine trees for shade… and come early to koh Adang for an empty beach! But koh Adang don’t really get crowded!
TIPS AND WARNING! The island restaurant close what I belive is between 2pm-6pm so if you want to eat or buy something keep that in mind! We brought snacks and lunch with us from koh Lipe but the restaurant was closed when we wanted to buy some water and we were really thirsty! Luckily, there was a couple who had an extra bottle to give us!
Delicious Thai lunch bought from koh Lipe, Thailand
3. Try the transparent kayak
I have always wanted to try a transparent kayak and so we did from the Sunrise beach to koh Kra, a tiny island just right across the Sunrise beach. I have always wonder if we could see the corals and the fishes from a transparent kayak and indeed we could see the corals but no fishes though! Try to go when the tide is lower for a better effect!
Koh Kra is a beautiful tiny island but we found a warning sign saying that is prohibited being on the island. After finding that warning sign we didn’t stay long.
There are transparent kayaks to be rent for 300 bath/hour at Anda resort at the Sunrise beach.
Yes,the water is really in that shade of green!
Kayaking from koh Lipe to koh Kra, Thailand
Beautiful shell decorations hanging from a tree on koh Kra near koh Lipe.
The beach on the tiny island koh Kra near koh Lipe, Thailand.
4. Count the swings by the beaches on koh Lipe!
What my 3 years daughter really love are those swings by the beaches! We tried to count and test them all on the island, but there are so many of them so we gave up! If you do manage to count them all, please let us know how many they all and which one are your kids favorite!
The beach swing by the Sunrise beach restaurant on koh Lipe.
The beach swing on Sea la vie bar and restaurant at Sunrise beach at koh Lipe.
Our favorite swing is by the 8 Moons Lipe resort at Sunrise beach.
The swing outside the Kathalee beach resort on Sunrise beach, koh Lipe.
5. Fire show and Sea la vie on Koh Lipe
Take your kids for a fire show at the Sea la vie restaurant by the Sunrise beach. Come early for a good spot, the fire show starts around 7-8 pm every evening. Mirabelle was impressed and this guy really knew what he was doing and was really doing a good job not burning him or the place down! 🙂 Don’t forget to give him tips!
Sea la vie is a very cozy place to hang and it’s an interesting place full with decorations for the kids to look at. However, the food was expensive but we had one evening a grilled fish of the BBQ for 300 bath which was really good.
Sea la vie is a great chill place to watch the sun goes down on Koh Lipe.
6. Watch the sunset on Koh Lipe
You have to watch the sunset every day when you are on koh Lipe and here are our thoughts of the sunset from each main three beaches on koh Lipe.
* Sunset from Sunset beach
As the name indicate, is here where you should be when the sun goes down. It was beautiful to watch the big orange shining sun bit by bit disappear down into the horizon of ocean. But we found the sunset beach to be a bit too far from our bungalow so we were there only once.
* Sunset from Sunrise beach
Although we couldn’t see the sun go down like on the Sunset beach we really love the sunset on the Sunrise because no matter what, the sky was painted with beautiful colors every evening. We lived by the Sunrise beach so it was also easiest for us to get here for the sunset.
Sunset by the Sunrise restaurant at koh Lipe.
* Sunset from Pattaya beach
We have been watching sunset on Pattaya beach on koh Lipe twice. There were a lot of people the both times but that never bothered us. It was convenient because the Walking street is by Pattaya beach and we could easily grab something to eat right after the sunset. We also had a picnic by the beach on the second time.
7. Explore The Walking street on Koh Lipe
The Walking street on koh Lipe is the main street where you can find almost everything! The street is empty during the day but on the late afternoon people are starting to hunt for some food and drinks. Your kids might find one or two things interesting. Mirabelle was always fascinated by all the fishes and sea creatures laying dead on a bed of ice.
8. Use the restaurant toys at Koh Lipe
In almost every beach restaurants and bars provide kids toys! Use them if you didn’t bring your own.
9. Swimming pool
If your kids are bored with the sea for some reason, by the entrance to the Walking street from Pattaya beach lies The Walking street hostel where you can use their swimming pool for 50 bath. We have never been there ourself. The pool looked small but fun with water slides for kids!
The photo credit: here
10. Our favorite beaches on Koh Lipe
*At the southern end of Sunrise beach
We really like this part on the southern end of Sunrise beach. If you come very early sometimes there are low tides and you can walk far out on a stripe of sand. There are hardly any longtail boat that you need to worry about and the beach here is gorgeous!
Since there are no shade on this part of the beach, we found a small palm hut. Perfect! But by looking on the state of the hut, I don’t think it will be there for long! And bring some snacks and drinks if you count to stay longer because it’s a bit of walk to get to the nearest restaurant.
*At the northern end of Sunrise beach at 8 Moons resorts
We were here many times because there are a lot of shade and we loved laying down on these Thai floor cushion on 8 Moon restaurant drinking healthy juices and watch Mirabelle play. She could stay there for hours! We had once their papaya salad which was affordable and tasty.
Before you arrive to 8 Moons there is a small cliff on which you can climb for a nice view of the Sunrise beach. It’s not high and it takes about 1 minutes to reach the summit!
11. Explore the sea on low tides
When we were on koh Lipe the tides was all over the place because we had the full moon. Some morning the beaches were empty of water and some morning full of it! The afternoon however was always low tide and people loved to walk far out to explore the corals. Some even walked all the way to koh Kra. Mirabelle and her dad walked out one afternoon and she had a blast! Just be careful though for all the sea urchins!
Some people walked all the way to koh Kra!
What we disliked with koh Lipe!
Before we decided for koh Lipe I have heard and read bad reviews about the island that the island is being to crowded and it is very expensive. I do agree on both points but this time the crowd didn’t really bother us, but there were TWO things that really bothered us.
1. The longtail boats
It wasn’t the longtail boats itself that annoyed us but that they were all parked along the shore. They are very charming in photos but in real life they are pain in the a**. The worst part is when they leave the shore or are coming back from the sea, it didn’t really feel safe to swim around.
2. The scooters with sidecar
When I heard that there are no cars on the Lipe island I was so happy, but oh boy how wrong was that! There were cars but mostly there were these scooters with sidecar that every locals seems to be driving around transporting things and tourists. And most of them drive like crazy so please watch your kids when walking on the streets on koh Lipe!
Where we like to eat and drink on koh Lipe
It’s expensive on koh Lipe, but we didn’t expect anything to be cheaper thinking of how remotes the island is from the mainland. A fruit smoothie that normally cost 30-40 bath cost about 70-100 bath here on Lipe island. Pad thai and fried rise are about 100 bath. We found some really good places to eat and drink that we went back regulary.
1. Café Tropical
This restaurant serves some great vegetarian food but they serve equally meat dishes. We had can recommend their Café avocado toast! Here are some of what you can find on their menu. The drinking water is for free and they have a box full of toys for the kids!
The restaurant can be found if you come from Pattaya beach, almost at the end of the Walking street, close by 7eleven shop.
The photo credit : Here
2. Paolo’s Italian pizza
Right next to the Café Tropical is a mini pizza bar where you can choose a huge slice of pizza for 100 bath. The pizzas are being made in front of you and are baked in a real wooden fire oven. Really good!
For some photos please check the link here to Tripadvisor.
3. Bombay restaurant
A really good Indian restaurant also near the 7eleven and the restaurants mention above. As starter order papadum with mint sauce, just a bite of that brrough us back to India.
Please click here for some photos at the google review.
4. Good and cheap fruit smoothies by the Sunrise beach
In our family we can’t live without a fruit smoothie when we are in Asia. We drink each at least 3 per day! And it would ruin us if we drank that much on koh Lipe but luckily we found a local shop in the middle of Sunrise beach where they make excellent fruit smoothies for 50 bath!
Cheap and delicious smoothie by the Sunrise beach on koh Lipe.
So there you go, a list of fun stuff to do with your kids on and around koh Lipe in Thailand! We hope that you and your little one will like koh Lipe as much as we did and we hope that you guys will have an amazing family bonding and create full of great family memories on this tiny island! (And I hope that the kids don’t throw too many tantrums!)