With around 25% of the world’s tropical fish species along with dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, minke and sperm whales, Koh Lipe is a real-life utopia for divers. Rocky formations, pinnacles and boulders are the backdrop to Koh Lipe’s reefs of flourishing soft and hard coral. No matter how many dives you make here, it won’t be enough.
You’ll see plenty of trevallies, snapper and fusilier whilst diving in Koh Lipe. Devil and eagle rays swim past and lucky divers spot coral cat sharks hiding. Macro lovers have plenty of opportunities to find shrimp, pipefish, nudibranch and seahorses.
Eagle rays, leopard sharks, devil rays, mantas, barracuda and tuna grace the pristine waters: diving in Koh Lipe is unmissable.
Scuba diving in Koh Lipe can be enjoyed all year. The island's dry season runs from November-April with the driest months in December-February. Water temperature throughout the year ranges from 78-84°F/26-29°C. Visibility varies from 10 to 30m.
With higher levels of plankton in the water between May and September, diving in Koh Lipe during these months gives you the highest chance of seeing a whale shark.
After the sun has set wander down to the beach away from the fluorescent lights of beachside restaurants and look for the sparkling blue dots washed up on the sand. Bioluminescent plankton glows like fireflies in the darkness. For any marine enthusiast, this experience is mind-blowing.
Koh Lipe is a small laid back island that is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park, close to the Malaysian border.
For diving in Koh Lipe, the closest airport is in Hat Yai (a city in Thailand's far south). Connecting flights to Hat Yai run daily from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport - each with a journey time of an hour and a half. From Hat Yai Airport a minivan to the pier in Pak Bara takes around 2h.
Once you arrive at Pak Bara Pier take a speedboat over to Koh Lipe Island (1h 30m). If you are coming from elsewhere on the mainland you must still get to Pak Bara Pier to access Koh Lipe.
There are no cars on this off-the-beaten-track island. It's easy to walk around this tiny island, with powdery sand between your toes and stunning uninhabited islands dotted around you in the distance. Gorgeous island hopping is done by long-tail or speedboat.