Koh Lipe, Thailand

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I could smell the salt air before I could see the water.  At the pier, boats sunk deeper into the water as groceries and bags were loaded aboard.  Giddy travelers waited in the shade, swapping sneakers for sandals.

I gladly handed over my luggage (weighed down by a pool-towel-wrapped bottle of rum) and breathed in the salt air that guaranteed that somewhere a beach was ready for our arrival.

Koh Lipe Thailand

 The vacation was a much-needed chance to recharge.

(Aren’t they all?)

Lipe Beach Resort Thailand Beach

We stayed on the aptly named Sunrise Beach on Koh Lipe.

In evening, skin warmed from the sun, we tucked ourselves into these beachfront bamboo huts and fell asleep to the sound of waves hitting the sand.

Bamboo Hut Lipe Beach Resort Thailand

In the morning, we propped open windows to watch the sun come up over the sea.

There were ginger lemon smoothies and fresh fruit for breakfast.  Fried rice and noodles for lunch.

Thai Food Koh Lipe Thailand

By the end of the day, the six of us would convene on the beach.  Sometimes a straggler or two would stay in the clear water, snorkeling or kayaking or swimming out to the islands that were visible from the shore.

But by the time darkness fell, we’d all be together, mixing cocktails from the bottles in our luggage and contemplating how far we wanted to walk for dinner.

Lipe Beach Resort Thailand Beachfront

Most nights we stayed on “our” beach.  The stars were bright, the nights quiet, and the waves sparkled just a bit with phosphorescence.  (I had heard about but never seen these lightning bugs of the sea, and was mesmerized every time the waves sparked with blue light.)

Just to say that we saw more than the 50 feet of beach where we stayed, we ventured out one evening to feast on fresh seafood on the larger and more highly trafficked Pattaya Beach.

Fish Dinner Koh Lipe Thailand

Pattaya Beach Lipe Thailand

Fire Dancer Koh Lipe Thailand

Koh Lipe is the sort of island that winter daydreams and tourism board promos are made of.

Koh Lipe_Sunrise Beach

Children Koh Lipe Thailand

Fruit Stand Lipe Thailand

Pattaya Beach Koh Lipe Thailand

It is picturesque, but more importantly, just remote enough to make a person feel blissfully far from everything else.

Where we Stayed:

Lipe Beach Resort
*Go for the beachfront rooms – they pay off in great views and cool breezes.


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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Just returned from Lipe. Loved how it has the right amount of infrastructure to serve all kinds of travelers and at the same time provides a remote tropical experience. It’s perfect to relax and unwind and the beaches are stunning!

    1. Awesome Bruno! I’m jealous – would love to be there right now. And I agree completely – the perfect amount of infrastructure – everything seemed to work well, but you still had the feeling that you were in the middle of nowhere.

  2. Wow, this looks absolutely beautiful! So glad you had time to recharge – and have fun!! My husband always talks about someday going to Thailand for a vacation (he’s been but I haven’t)… these are definitely making me wish we were going sometime soon! haha

  3. OH WOWsers….that looks amazing Jess! Good for you…I swear Im bookmarking all these places…our next assignment could be in your part of the world…SO excited!! Still a yr away though…

    xoxo from Trinidad

  4. What a beautiful weekend getaway! My sister-in-law recommended Koh Lipe to us for our honeymoon but we didn’t make it out there unfortunately. I wish we did now!