Hi, today I have another experience about Koh Lipe walking street to share with people who love to travel in Thailand. Koh Lipe is a fantastic island locates as a part of Andaman Sea in southern part of Thailand. It is tourist attraction of Satun Province. Getting to Koh Lipe is not so easy but it is not that difficult. There is only one way to come to Koh Lipe and that way I am talking about is “Ferry”. Your most important thing for you to check before coming to Koh Lipe is the ferry schedule. It has normally 2 times per day, depart from Pak Bara pier. Please note that there is no planes, no buses, no taxi but ferry or speed boat only. This place is a desired destination for many backpackers and it is a must – visit place when you travel in Thailand. For myself, I always visit Koh Lipe for 2 times in a year. One in peak season and another is during the off season and found out that both visit in different times totally gave big different feeling.
The walking street is a place for you to hang out everyday. It has many activities for you to do such as eating, playing, drinking, massage, using internet, shopping, etc. Everyone who live in Koh Lipe must walk pass the walking street. The walking street is started in the morning till midnight or slightly later. Some commercial shops may close around 9-10 pm except restaurants, bars, and internet café. It is very lively in the evening as people come back from their trip and start to enjoy nightlife on walking street.
As I always go to Lipe twice a year, I will choose the best time of both seasons. In non-peak season, the walking street and beach will be extremely quiet especially in June while end of the year is like 24 hour festival time. The walking street on Koh Lipe stretches for a kilometer from Pattaya Beach to the main junction on the island to lead you to difference beach such as sunrise beach and sunset beach. The walking street especially from the junction to Pattaya Beach has everything so it becomes a main area for all visitors.
There are dive shops, internet café, bakeries, international and Thai style restaurants or local restaurants or booths. You can find anything here except ATM. There is no bank on the island so you better cash before getting on the boat. Some business may accept credit card but you need to understand that there will be premium charge about 3-5%. There also be massage shop which affordable price.
Food is another attraction for visitors as you can get almost all kinds of local and international food along the walking street. Muslim travelers has no worried as there are many restaurant serving Halal food on the island. From my own experience, I saw Indian, western, Mexican and Chinese food available for visitors together with variety choice of local restaurants. The prices here are very decent and affordable. There are many local booths selling food cheaper than 50 Baht too.
The walking street is cement along the way as the island becomes more well-known so local islander made a cement road for best comfort for visitors. The road is about 8 feet wide. By the way, some part of the street is still covered by sand and it makes me feel better about that.
For shopping lovers, there are boutique shops on the island selling all sorts of beach wears. The price is not expensive too.
Another fun activity which I always do is local Thai massage. There are at least 10 – 12 massage shops on the island. Price is very cheap, starting from 300 Baht per hour for local massage shop while the hotel charge 400 – 600 Baht per hour. Some shops have variety of services such as foot massage, manicures, facial, and salon services. During my stay on Koh Lipe, I always have massage service every nights after a long diving days.
Another think for all visitors to try is a local Thai Rotee or Thai style pancake. The café, booths or restaurants always have Rotee menu. You can have a plain Rotee which normally eats together with sugar and sweet condensed milk. Some prefers to eat it with chocolate, banana, eggs, or curry. For myself, I always order Rotee with Nutella Chocolate combined with iced coffee (Thai style). It is excellence!!
My highlight of Lipe walking street was during the off season in June. Most of the businesses were closed so it was a real quiet place. I walked along the dark street and heard a loud thumping music and that leaded me to walk follow it. It was so surprise once I saw a local wedding ceremony. I was instantly invited to join the ceremony and I definitely said yes for this occasion. Beer was passed around to me and they also dragged me to dance. We attended the fun party for 45 minutes and excused to go back to the hotel as we have boat trip in the morning. They were so kind and friendly.
For those who want to visit Koh Lipe, please learn how to get to this paradise. Please always note that Lipe is the only populated island in Tarutao Marine National park. You can not stay overnight on other nearby islands.
I hope you enjoy your barefoot along the shopping street at Lipe Island.