Ko Lipe is an island in Satun Province, near the Tarutao National Marine Park, on the Andaman (west) coast of the south of Thailand.
Ko Lipe is outside of the jurisdiction of Tarutao National Park, and as such is exempt from certain laws prohibiting development.
The island is home to about 500 Chao Ley, or Sea Gypsies, who were given a grant to half of the island and live in small villages, predominantly around the far east side of the island near Sunrise Beach.
Ko Lipe's beaches feature clear, calm, and shallow water. There are four main beaches to relax on, Pattaya Beach in the south the most popular beach; Sunrise Beach on the east, near the Chao Ley village; Karma Beach in the North which faces the Adang/Lipe channel, and Sunset Beach in the west, which as the name implies, faces the sunset.
There is also a very small Buddhist Temple on the island.
The name "Ko Lipe" means "Paper Island" in the local Chao Ley language.
All of Ko Lipe can be covered on foot, although its size at first can be a little deceiving. There are few motorcycles around the island, none of which are for rent. There are no cars on the island. Longtail boats will take you from any point on the island to any other point on the island for 50 baht. Small concrete roads link the various beaches.
There is no ATM on Ko Lipe. The internet cafe along the main street will change travellers cheques at a reasonable exchange rates. You can have your your VISA or Mastercard charged in exchange for cash back at Varin Resorts (7% fee), Pooh's (8% fee), and an internet cafe near Ko Lipe Travel on the small road (5% fee).
Bundhaya Resort offers the best exchange rates for Dollars, Euro, Pounds or Ringgit, however, the rate is less than you would receive in a major city.
The Chao Lay village has a small medical clinic, but for anything serious, it would be wisest to head to the mainland.
According to a December 2008 report by the Sustainable Tourism Network, Ko Lipe is faced with numerous environmental problems, including destruction of wetlands, waste disposal, and water shortgages.