Friday, 8 April 2016

My paradise island?

The transfer from Ao Nang to Koh Lipe, an island in southern part of Thailand, on Andaman Sea, close to border with Malesia, took us half a day. Long. I booked the transfer in advance, still before departing for Thailand, so I was a bit scared whether somebody would show up. Especially that the driver was supposed to pick us up at 6:30 in the morning and there was nobody there. We waited patiently and he showed up almost 20 minutes late, but apologized, checked our reservations and off we were.

The drive to Pak Bara took us about 3,5 hours, if I remember correctly. It was a long one and we made a few stops on the way to pick up other passangers. But we knew that, it was a shared van after all. When we got to Pak Bara, we were given ferry vouchers (for both ways) and a van voucher for our return trip (kind of, cause from Koh Lipe we went to Hat Yai). After all the formalities at the booth (hard to call it in any other words), we were on our way to the ferry. Once we entered the port building, we had to pay 25 THB/person (again, if I remember correctly. But it was something like that) for the entrance to the pier. Something we didn't expect. Then we got to another person who exchanged one of our vouchers for "numbers". Small pieces of paper, laminated, with just numbers on them. One was 134 and another 135... well, both were a hundred and thirty something. It turned out that boarding started with number one... And there was no chance to jump the queue. Order, people! So we waited for our turn. Finally, our turn came and we were mercifully invited to board the ferry. Luckily, we found two free seats next to each other. The ferry was big enough to accommodate all those waiting for it (not that obvious, which we learned on our way back from Lipe). It had A/C on the whole way there and we got to watch the last part of Hobbit, in Thai of course. The ride was long to enough to enable us watching the whole movie plus still wait a bit longer. Since we were seated on the lower deck, we couldn't see anything outside, no views, nothing. But we could see some kids puking on the floor, though :/ Anyway, if you're sensitive, you might have a hard time on the ferry (people were getting sick on both our ferry rides).

Suddenly, the boat stopped. Are we there yet? We had no idea as, yet again, we couldn't see anything through the milky windows separating the lower deck from the views. People started getting up, forming a line, so we figured, we must be there ;) We got up, collected our stuff and we out. Got off the ferry to a floating platform a few hundred metres from the island. When I looked around, I wanted to cry. We were waiting for our luggage, but everything around us was... grey. The water was grey, the sky was grey, the island that could barely be seen, was grey... Not what I was expecting to see! We paid 200 THB/person for the entrance to the Marine National Park and 50 THB/person for the taxi boat and we could transfer to Koh Lipe.

We got off the taxi boat (aka longtail) and we decided to walk to our hostel. The island is small, so it's doable. It was warm, though definitely not sunny. The walk took us about a quarter, but we took the long road, as it turned out later.

We had the first night booked. We didn't know how the island was organised, how everything functioned etc. and what to expect, so we didn't want to book for more days. We wanted to look for accommodation for the next nights once we could already see it. It worked pretty well for us.

Back to the story. We got to our hostel, left our bags and off we were to grab something to eat and to explore the island (look for a place to stay as well). Honestly, I was so bumped, I didn't feel like doing any of that. I wanted to stay in the room, read or sleep, or do whatever that didn't include looking at that grey everything around. And in Thailand! We left the grey, depressing weather in Poland, we didn't want that. Let me just mention, that standing on Sunrise Beach, it's norrthernmost part, we couldn't see Koh Adang! Not even a bit of it. Of course, I didn't even unpack my camera that day, so I have no proof for that, but you can trust me. And if you have no idea what that means, Koh Adang is the biggest island in the archipelago. And very close to Koh Lipe. You can see Koh Adang in one of the pictures below.

In the evening, we went for a walk down the Walking Street to Pattaya Beach. The bars on the beach were lit with candles, with chairs in the sand, pictures drawn in the sand, it was beautiful and magical. But didn't last long. Around 8 pm it started raining. Heavily. Ended up with a thunderstorm and a heavy rainfall throughout the night.

In the morning we were greeted with lovely sunshine! Still before breakfast, I grabbed my camera and ran to Pattaya Beach to take some pictures that could already please my eyes! I knew the grey colours could still come back, so I didn't want to lose my chance. After breakfast we packed our bags and changed our accommodation. Then we put on our bathing suits and went to Sunrise Beach (northernmost part was our favourite) to sunbathe, to bathe, to watch the colourful fish swimming around. I again felt like I was on holidays. Cheerful, magical, quiet place. Paradise on Earth. My paradise.

Walking Street
This is Koh Adang seen from (more or less) middle part of Sunrise Beach. And we couldn't see it the first day!

Have you ever been to Koh Lipe or any other so-called paradise island? 
Where is your paradise on Earth?


  1. Oh no, sorry to hear the weather was so rough (literally) for your arrival, but it looks like it picked up nicely! Thailand is so beautiful, I've only been briefly and not to the beach but I'm very keen to return. How was the rest of your stay?

    1. The rest of our stay was pretty steady. (Mostly) sunny days and heavy (but short) rain around 8 pm. You definitely should come back to Thailand one day. And go to the islands - they're simply gorgeous.

  2. Troubles in paradise ;) Rough weather is great as long as you are safe in your living room. #TravelTuesday

  3. Wow, it is such a beautiful place. My favourite tropical island is the tiny but gorgeous Aitutaki in the Cook Islands in the Pacific.

    1. I've never been to any of the islands in the Pacific. That will be my dream come true!