Koh Lipe was my first real destination in Thailand. Since I was just arriving in the county, I thought it would be easiest to book the whole transfer as one ticket. Air Asia has a full transit ticket from Bangkok (Don Muang Airport) to Koh Lipe for a very reasonable price. I found the fare on promo for just 2009 bhat (approximately 60 USD) after all the taxes and fees. Not bad.
The early morning was surprisingly easy to get up for since I hadn’t yet adjusted to the time change. There is just one flight per day that Air Asia offers the transfer on and it departs at 6:30am.
Air Asia is not a comfortable ride to say the least. The seats are cramped and my back was sore after a delayed, but short flight. It is a budget airline and I wasn’t expecting much so I really can’t complain.
The bus transfer is waiting at the arrivals area of Hat Yai airport ready to take the transfer passengers to the pier. It’s hard to miss, as there are people standing at arrivals with signs. After a short wait for everyone we are off in the mini bus. There are not many of us, maybe 6 or 7.
At the pier we board the ferry and make our way to Koh Lipe. We arrive at Pattaya Beach around 1:30pm. Air Asia says it arrives at Sunrise Beach but it actually arrived at Pattaya Beach. The beach does not have a pier. The boat will just pull up close to the shore and you are expected to get off. You will most likely get your feet wet so wearing shoes and socks is not a good idea.
On Pattaya Beach at Koh Lipe I start off in search for my accommodations. I am staying at Gypsy on Sunrise Beach and the walk is about 10 mins down the main walking street.
Gypsy seems tucked away behind a lot of buildings but opens up right onto the beach. Luckily, it is well signed how to get there or else it would have taken me much longer.
My hut is basic, with no AC or hot water, and it’s a few up from the beach, but it’s perfect. It’s just 650 bhat per night and very relaxing, with a hammock right on my porch. I can even pick up the free WiFi from the restaurant / reception area.
After a nap, I try and find Sunset Beach. This was not as easy as I had originally thought. It’s low tide so I walk around the island on the beach to get there. Not the most direct path, but it works. I find Sabye Divers and book my open water diving course to start the next day.