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The Best Beaches on Koh Lipe: Finding Your Perfect Slice of Paradise

Koh Lipe, this tiny jewel of an island in Thailand’s Andaman Sea, dazzles with an incredible variety of beaches. You won’t find a single “best” beach here; it all comes down to what you’re searching for. If you’re travelling with little ones, calm, protected waters might be your top priority. Seeking that perfect balance of lively buzz and laid-back vibes? There’s a beach for that too!

Each of Koh Lipe’s main beaches offers its own unique charm. Whether you dream of sinking your toes into powdery sand, witnessing some cracking sunsets, or venturing out for snorkelling straight from the beach, Koh Lipe has you covered. Let’s dive in and discover which beach might just be your personal slice of paradise and the best beach on Koh Lipe For you.

Pattaya Beach: Is it really too busy?

Elevated view over Pattaya beach. One of the best beaches on Koh Lipe

I often hear people say Pattaya Beach suffers from too many boats, making it less enjoyable than other spots. While I’ve stayed on almost every beach on Koh Lipe, I don’t necessarily buy into this.

Yes, Pattaya has a fair share of longtails, but so does the ever-popular Sunrise Beach. Take a look at any photo above and below of these beaches, and you’ll see boats are part of the picture. Pattaya, however, has roped-off swimming areas and quieter stretches near its edges. While the snorkelling isn’t quite as good as Sunrise or Sunset in my opinion (although the waters are crystal clear!), it’s still accessible right off the beach.

Personally, I find Pattaya ideal for families with young kids. The sea slopes in gently, and I’ve never felt strong currents here. I hear the “too busy” comment a lot too, but even while staying over the busy Christmas holidays, it was never what I’d call packed.

Sunset Pattaya beach

Sure, sunsets bring out a crowd, but I’ve always found space. Personally, the busiest time I have seen Pattaya Beach was at Chinese New Year, but again, that’s to be expected, and there was still plenty of space to call your own.


  • Lively atmosphere with plenty of amenities
  • Great for families with young children (gradual slope, calm waters)
  • Variety of restaurants and nightlife options
  • Snorkelling is accessible from the beach.


  • Boat traffic can be present.
  • Less secluded than other Koh Lipe beaches

Best For:

  • Families seeking convenience and safe swimming
  • Those who want a lively beach with amenities close by
  • Powdery white sand
  • Good choice of accommodation

Sunrise Beach: The Best Beach on Koh Lipe?

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Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe’s eastern gem, often feels more spacious than Pattaya Beach, despite not actually being much larger. There’s plenty of space to lie back and relax on your own. It offers a wonderful mix of laid-back beach bars and a good range of accommodations to suit backpackers or those looking for a higher-end experience, like the Irene Resort. The real draw here, however, is the snorkelling. There’s a nice reef that lies just off the shore, with colourful marine life.

The sand at Sunrise Beach is beautiful, especially in the middle, where it’s soft and powdery. However, as you get closer to the edges, it does become a bit coarser. (I should add that this is just me being ultra picky.) This is a minor point, considering the overall beauty of the beach! Check out the pictures below.

Coarse sand towards the edges of Sunrise Beach
white powder sand Sunrise Beach

I’ve personally felt some current at Sunrise Beach, particularly as you head closer to Sunset Beach. It’s likely due to the channel forming between Koh Lipe and neighbouring Koh Adang. Also, near the Bulow Beach end, the slope into the sea becomes slightly steeper.

While this shouldn’t deter you from enjoying this stunning beach, it’s wise to be aware, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer or have young children. As with Pattaya, Sunrise has its share of longtail boats, but like Pattaya Beach, the towards the end of the beach offer quieter stretches.


  • Spacious feel, great for relaxing strolls
  • Excellent snorkelling directly off the beach
  • Diverse accommodation options
  • A mix of laid-back bars and restaurants


  • Sand can be slightly coarser at the edges.
  • Potential for currents in certain areas
  • Boat traffic can be present.

Best For:

  • Snorkelers and those seeking marine encounters
  • Younger crowd
  • Instagram snaps
  • Travellers wanting a mix of relaxation and some livelier spots
  • Those desiring a variety of accommodations, from budget-friendly to more luxurious

Sunset Beach: The Best Beach for Couples?

The sandy quiet Sunset Beach Koh Lipe

Sunset Beach, tucked away on Koh Lipe’s north western coast, lives up to its name with truly spectacular sunsets. The limited number of resorts here translates to a quieter atmosphere, perfect for those seeking serenity.

Forget late-night bars; unwind with a peaceful beachfront dinner and the stunning colours of the sky. While it does get busier around sunset as people arrive for the view, it offers a welcome escape from crowds during the daytime.

Regrettably, I’ve noticed Sunset Beach isn’t always as clean as other parts of Koh Lipe. This might be related to tides and less frequent cleanup efforts due to fewer resorts or storms. I don’t want to dwell on the litter issue, as the beaches are typically well maintained during peak season. (And I have an article on the way about the litter on Koh Lipe!).

Sunset Beach Koh Lipe at sunset with orange sky

Another thing I have noticed about Sunset Beach during the late afternoon and early evening is that the mosquitoes tend to be worse than on the other beaches. I think that is because that part of Koh Lipe is so close to the hill, with lots of trees and plants in parts. Overall, Sunset Beach remains a lovely spot with good snorkelling opportunities.


  • Tranquil atmosphere, especially in the daytime
  • Unforgettable sunsets
  • Good snorkelling within swimming distance
  • Less crowded in comparison to Pattaya and Sunrise


  • It can get busier around sunset time.
  • Cleanliness can be slightly inconsistent.

Best For:

  • Travellers seeking a serene escape
  • Those who prioritise spectacular sunsets (though it should be noted that Pattaya Beach also enjoys beautiful sunsets!)
  • Couples desiring a romantic setting
  • Snorkelers who enjoy quieter spots

Sanom Beach: A personal favourite

Sanom Beach. One of the best beaches on Koh Lipe island

Sanom Beach offers a taste of exclusivity with its tucked-away feel, making it a lovely hidden cove away from the more populated areas of Koh Lipe. There’s an interesting quirk here: a sign indicating no food or drink is allowed and restricted public hours of 8 a.m.–7 p.m. (I was always under the assumption that all beaches in Thailand were public, so this is unusual.) But don’t let this put you off, go there and enjoy a meal at their restaurant. I love the food at Sanom Beach Resort, plus you can also rent a sunbed from them.

The soft sand and inviting waters of this beach make it a true gem, especially if you crave a more secluded experience. To reach Sanom Beach from Pattaya Beach, you’ll take a short walk across a rickety wooden path, adding to the sense of remoteness.


  • Secluded atmosphere, often less crowded
  • Beautiful natural setting


  • Limited amenities for non-resort guests
  • A short walk over a rickety path to access

Best For:

  • Those seeking a quiet beach escape
  • Couples desiring a more private setting
  • Visitors who are happy to support Sanom Beach Resort

Serendipity Beach, Ten Moons Bay, and Maricilla Beach: Sunrise Beach’s Extension

Maricilla Beach Koh Lipe

This stretch of Koh Lipe’s coastline seems to go by a few names: Serendipity Beach, Ten Moons Bay, or even Maricilla Beach. (I swear, when I visited Koh Lipe for the first time many years ago, they had no name!). Really, it is just a natural extension of Sunrise Beach, with a few rocks marking the transition. This area exudes a lovely charm, especially the little cove outside of Serendipity Resort.

Unfortunately, you can’t walk much further past the cove, but ‘On the Rocks’ restaurant provides a fantastic vantage point for a drink with views overlooking Koh Usen. There’s some good snorkelling, but it can get a little busy at times.


  • Charming cove with clear waters
  • ‘On the Rocks’ restaurant for refreshments and views
  • Excellent snorkelling opportunities
  • Small, secluded beach at the end


  • Can get a little busy at times

Best For:

  • Snorkelling
  • Cove beach
  • Visitors wanting to enjoy refreshments with a view at ‘On The Rocks’

Bulow Beach (North Point/Karma Beach): The Best for Photos?

The white sands of Bulow Beach (North Point/Karma Beach) Koh Lipe

Located at the northern end of Sunrise Beach, this stretch is sometimes called Bulow Beach, North Point, or Karma Beach. (Again, similar to Maricilla Beach, I never remember it having a name back in the day; it just felt like a continuation of Sunrise but at the other end.) If you walk past this area, you’ll notice the beach slopes are a bit steeper here, and as I’ve mentioned before, be mindful of potential currents at this end of Sunrise Beach if you have children swimming .

The real draw for me (and judging by the number of people taking photos) is the beautiful sandbar. Head past Zodiac Sun Resort, towards Bulow Casa Grand Beach Resort, and you’ll spot it. This picturesque spot is perfect for those Instagram moments!

The stunning blue sea off Bulow Beach Koh Lipe


  • Less-crowded area of Sunrise Beach
  • A picturesque sandbar for unique photos


  • Steeper beach slope in this part
  • Potential for currents

Best For:

  • Beachgoers seeking a less crowded spot on Sunrise
  • Photo enthusiasts seeking a unique Koh Lipe backdrop
  • Those enjoying a casual stroll along the shoreline

A Note on Koh Lipe’s Other Beaches

While this article has focused on Koh Lipe’s beaches with a wider variety of accommodations, the island’s beauty doesn’t stop there! Secret Beach, Pitiusas Beach, and Pantai Galah all offer their own unique charm for those seeking secluded spots. You won’t find resorts directly on these beaches, but you can walk or kayak to them. Keep an eye out for a future article where I’ll explore these hidden treasures in more depth.

Note: Pitiusas Beach, is really an extension of Sunset Beach. Some people call it Pitiusas Beach after the resort situated there. On my last visit to Koh Lipe (Dec 2023 – Jan 2024), the resort looked like it had closed down.

Conclusion: Your Perfect Slice of Paradise

Pattaya’s family-friendliness, Sunrise’s snorkelling, Sunset’s tranquility – Koh Lipe’s beaches truly offer something for everyone. Remember, the most popular beach might not always be the best fit for you. So, consider what matters most: relaxation, snorkelling adventures, powdery white sand, or lively vibes? Let your preferences guide you, and you’ll discover your own personal slice of Koh Lipe paradise.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Koh Lipe is its size – it takes the pressure off the decision of where to stay. I often hear people worrying about choosing the wrong beach, but a short walk lets you experience a completely different atmosphere.

If your chosen spot isn’t quite what you’re looking for, remember: you aren’t stuck! 10-20 minutes walk, and you can be somewhere else on the island. I often spend half the day on one beach, then switch it up in the afternoon, sometimes even visiting them all in one day!