Just a 90-minute ferry ride away from Malaysia’s Langkawi island lies Thailand’s southernmost island, Koh Lipe, part of the Tarutao National Marine Park. Hailed as the “Maldives of Thailand”, the postcard-perfect island paradise in the Andaman Sea is every beach bum’s dream come true.

The finest sand, crystalline waters, and bountiful coral reefs – Koh Lipe‘s idyllic beaches offer all this and more.

1. Pattaya Beach
Image by Ryutaro Uozumi.

This is undoubtedly the most popular beach in Koh Lipe, not just because it’s the main landing point for boats to the island. With bars, restaurants, and accommodation aplenty here, this spot buzzes during the day and boasts a vibrant nightlife after sundown.

It is also the closest beach to Walking Street, the island’s central commercial hub filled with eateries, massage parlours and shops of all kinds. Despite the ever-present flurry, Pattaya Beach retains the hallmarks of a tropical paradise – soft white sand and turquoise waters, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

2. Sunrise Beach
Image from depositphotos.

On the opposite end of Walking Street is Sunrise Beach, a beautiful strip of shore on Koh Lipe’s eastern coast. The clear waters and bright coral reefs at this beach make it a favourite for snorkelling. The two nearby islets of Koh Kra and Koh Usen also yield amazing underwater vistas, and snorkelers can kayak or even swim there if conditions permit.

Sunrise Beach was initially named Haad Chao Ley after the local sea gipsies who make their home here. The many long-tail boats moored in these waters belong to the Chao Ley. However, this laidback stretch of sand is more commonly referred to as Sunrise Beach, owing to its legendary views of the rising sun.

3. North Point Beach
Image from depositphotos.

This beach on the island’s northernmost point – also called Karma Beach or Bulow Beach – is often touted as the prettiest in Koh Lipe. With its powdery white sands and Insta-worthy views of the sparkling Andaman Sea, it’s easy to see why.

Swim, snorkel or laze the day away over drinks from nearby bars – North Point Beach is all about soaking in the tranquillity of the natural surroundings. Here, you can enjoy both the sunrise and sunset. And if the tide is low, you can walk out to the beach’s distinctive white sandbar for an even better view of the sun on the horizon.

4. Sunset Beach
Image from depositphotos.

Known locally as Hat Pramong, Sunset Beach is smaller and more secluded than the other Koh Lipe beaches. This means it’s usually less crowded during the day, making it ideal if your preference is for quieter seaside spots.

But when the golden hour comes around, tourists flock here to watch the sunset and be mesmerised by the changing colours of the sky. Sunset Beach is northwest of Koh Lipe, only 15 minutes on foot from Walking Street. As refreshment options are limited on this beach, packing a picnic basket is a good idea if you plan to stay the day.

5. Maricilla Beach
Image by Kajy Travel & Tours.

This sliver of velvety soft shore punctuated by large granite rocks adds a rugged charm to Koh Lipe’s landscape. Unspoiled and usually uncrowded, this hidden gem is a great place to snap those dreamy vacay shots.

This small beach faces a beautiful shallow cove perfect for swimming and snorkelling, and the trees provide plenty of shade, offering respite from the sun. You can reach Maricilla Beach by wading past the boulders that mark the southern end of Sunrise Beach. An easier means of access would be to walk through the charming Ten Moons Lipe Resort.

This story by Jacie Tan Cheng Hwee was originally published on AirAsia. Zafigo republished this story in full with permission from the publisher, simply because good stories should be read by as many people as possible! If you have stories that will be of interest and useful to women travellers, especially in Asia, please get in touch with us at info@zafigo.com.