Koh Lipe's main beach is a large sheltered bay with soft powdery sand, crystal-clear blue water and good snorkeling right from the beach. There is a wide range of accommodation on Pattaya Beach, but over the last few years there has been a trend for larger, more upmarket resorts.
In high season all boats arrive on Pattaya Beach, with Immigration and Police located at the Southern end, to the left if you are looking at the ocean.
There are a dozens of bars and restaurants on the beach or around the corner in Walking Street. In high season it can get quite busy, but the other beaches are only a short 15-minute walk away, so it is still relatively easy to escape the crowds.
Sunrise Beach (Hat Chao Ley)
Sunrise Beach stretches out along the entire Eastern side of Koh Lipe. On clear days it's possible to see Koh Tarutao and Langkawi Island (Malaysia). It features great snorkeling around the 2 tiny islands Koh Kra and Koh Usen, located right of the beach.
The Northern tip of the beach, facing Koh Adang features a seasonal sand spit. It faces Koh Tarutao in low season, and in high season the change of wind and current make it face the opposite way. It's a beautiful spot all year around.
Sunrise Beach is protected from the monsoon weather in low season, and has a pleasant breeze on most days in high season. The school, hospital and a small Chao Ley village are also located here.
Accommodation is more spread out than on Pattaya Beach, and there are still a few cheap places around. Several upmarket resorts have opened over the last few years. There are a few small restaurants and shops nearby at the beginning of Walking Street.
Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong)
Sunset Beach is a small bay facing west to the rest of the island group, and, as the name suggests, is a great place to watch the sunset. Peaceful and laid-back, the bar and restaurants are still driftwood-built. They exude a mellow charm.
The area around Sunrise Beach still retains some of charm of the 'old' island way, development is much more spread out, all set in shady jungle.
Nearby islands & beaches
There are several uninhabited islands that can easily be reached with a longtail boat, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour away. The two large ones, Koh Adang and Koh Rawi have a ranger station where camping is possible.
It's popular to go on a boat trip and explore the islands nearby while snorkeling at some of the best spots. The ranger station on Koh Adang also has bungalows and tents available, and there is a small restaurant (open from November to May). If you were thinking of doing some camping this holiday, these island campgrounds are a very low-cost way to visit paradise.