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Koh Lipe is part of the Adang and Tarutao archipelago, but not part of the marine national park Tarutao in the southernmost part of Thailand near the border to Malaysia. The island is small, flat and surrounded by brilliant white sandy beaches. The few people living on Koh Lipe are Chaoleh, sea gypsies, who once were living on the sea. Today they are settled on Koh Lipe, being restaurant, bar and resort owners, salesmen or tourists guides. They offer long tail boat transportation and sell fresh fish to the resorts. Tourism has become a growing business, and for some years now, Koh Lipe is booming. More and more guests from around the world find their long ways to the small and chilling island. Meanwhile there are more then 40 resorts from simple bamboo huts to modern luxury and quite expensive hotel resorts with pools. Koh Lipe has changed a lot the last ten years and so the hidden hideaway times are gone, but on the other hand, the infrastructure improved too. There are pharmacies now, one small hospital, ATM machines, many restaurants with good thai and international food. Especially pizza and pasta, since Ko Lipe seems to be very popular for italian tourists. Mobile phone net and wifi is also working.
Everybody can find a nice place on the sandy island, though it is small and all beaches can be reached by footwalks. In the evening, restaurants sell fresh fish and seafood on the beaches or along the Walking Street, where all the shops, bars and many restaurants are located. The Walking Street connects Pattaya beach in the west with Sunrise beach in the east. It is about a one mile walk. Koh Lipe is a place to spend some relaxing days and nights, but to get the real Koh Lipe chilling feeling, one should live there for more than three nights.
The supply with fresh water, food and electricity is no longer a problem, but the management of garbage and used water is. So Koh Lipe administration decided to introduce a 20 Baht welcome fee for every guest arriving on the island. It must be paid before entering the longtail boats, which bring tourists to their resorts.
From Ko Lipe you can do daytrips to the other islands of the Tarutao National Park. These islands are not inhabited and have no resorts. Long tail boats drive to Koh Tong for snorkeling and watching monkeys or eagles. And speedboats offer daytrips to Koh Tarutao, Koh Bulon or even Pulau Langkawi in Malaysia (only in the dry season).