Before I left to travel at the end of 2009 I received many amazing recommendations from friends and family. One stood out from the rest. It involved a beautiful, secluded island. Not many people knew about it. My informer had heard about it from a guy at a bar. It was all very The Beach. It was even in Thailand! It was called Ko Lipe and we knew we had to try to find it.
Sadly, the secret island was definitely not so secret and we easily caught a sweaty mini van and boat ride combo there from Krabi in Southern Thailand. This was all nice and easy and we thanked the many tourists who had discovered it before us for making transport simple. But happiness for development would not last too long. It would seem that they are trying to make this beautiful little island into a new Samui, with many, many big expensive hotels popping up along the beach. It took us ages to find a reasonable priced bungalow. But it was on the beach. And oh, the beach…
No matter what happens to this little island I’m sure it cannot be anything but paradise. It was stunning. I could not believe the water, it was the clearest I’d ever seen and there was so much beautiful, healthy coral. The beach was picture perfect, white and strewn with shells and driftwood. We could not stop smiling! And as there are still no proper roads, it stills retains it’s small island atmosphere.
We woke up the next day to sun streaming through every crack in our bamboo hut (and there are many) and the view out of our window was just amazing. We spent the day lazing on the beach and swimming in the sea- you know, being beachy, getting into the slow, paradise rhythm. The sea here is actually relatively cool, compared to many others parts of Thailand, which was lovely.
The next day we rented snorkels and wow was it amazing! All we had to do was swim out a couple of meters from the beach, right outside our bungalow, and instantly you hit this stunning coral, all colours of the rainbow and there are fish everywhere! And so many different kinds- I’ve only ever snorkeled once before in Egypt, and this was beyond anything I could have imagined from the sea. It was so much fun and, once we felt brave enough, we ventured really far out where it was even more impressive, like another world. I understand how people get addicted to diving and I cannot wait to try it next time I’m in this part of the world, and have a bit more cash!
Later we walked right through the island’s center to sunset beach to hopefully have a cocktail while snapping the sunset. Unfortunately being low season meant that nothing on this side of the Island was open. So, although there weren’t too many people, there wasn’t too much to entertain us either. High season does have its perks!
We left the next day really early and there was no one around the resort. We waited around for a good half an hour but the idea of missing our boat was worse than the guilt of not paying at that moment in time, so we kind of ended up not paying for our 3 nights accommodation! We did feel pretty bad but then brought out the old mantra ‘we’re travelers now, we need to take what we can get!’ Shameful, I know. Later in Ethiopia this would happen again and we ended up wiring the money so it sort of made up for it!
Have you been lucky enough to find somewhere close to paradise? Have you been to Ko Lipe? As always, tell me about it!…