My experience staying in an environmentally conscious accommodation with a heart for nature!
Very busy in Koh Lipe Island during the holiday season
When I first arrived on the island of Ko Lipe, located in the Andaman Sea in the Southern province of Satun in Thailand, I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of tourists on this small island, especially after just coming from the quiet island of Koh Mook. Arriving on the 30th of December, this was also the busiest time of the year for Koh Lipe.
Happy with my bungalow in the Eco Lodge on Koh Lipe
Looking at the size of the island and the number of tourists, I was very pleased to have my stay booked in the Eco Lodge of Adang Sea Divers (I earn a small commission on your purchase through this link) In contradiction to most other accommodations on Ko Lipe, this eco-lodge is situated just out of town with some trees and nature surrounding the bungalows and rooms. The eco accommodation has been built in an ecologically responsible way, and surprisingly there are only a couple of other accommodations on Koh Lipe which have been built in an environmentally conscious style too. You can book a bungalow in the same accommodation on Agado, I also earn a small commission on your purchase with Agoda.
The environmental friendly Eco Lodge protects nature…
Next to being situated in a quiet part of the island with Sunrise Beach at your footsteps, I totally love their concept. Shower water is been recovered to water their plants and toilet water is being filtered in a special way to eliminate bacteria before it reaches the groundwater again.
.. and the conscious dive centre also helps to reduce waste and conserve the oceans
Being aware of the problems of waste and plastic on the small island, Adang Sea Divers & Eco Lodge provides their guests with a stainless steel water bottle which can be refilled with drinking water for free. Also, they organise weekly beach clean-ups and are involved with other projects to keep Ko Lipe clean. Used in a funny way, they encourage people to use the ´Bum Gun´ to reduce the use of toilet paper.
Do you also want to travel more consciously and scuba dive in an environmentally friendly way?
There are many things you can do yourself to help preserve the environment. In addition to choosing an environmentally friendly accommodation or environmentally conscious scuba dive centre, you can choose to refill a stainless steel bottle with water instead of buying plastic bottles. And what about biodegradable hair conditioner or sunscreen? I earn a small commission on your purchase through the Amazon ad below.
The responsible scuba diving centre is very organised and protects the oceans
Adang Sea Divers offers 4 dives a day in the high season and you can book each scuba dive separately and just pick whatever time is best for you! Book your scuba diving a bit in advance over the high season around Christmas as they can be very busy. But even though it must have been one of the busiest days of the year for Adang Sea Divers, everything was very well organised and the diving took places in small groups. I was on a Thai longtail boat with only one other couple and our dive guide!
Most dive sites are spread between the 20 islands located around Koh Lipe
Because the sea conditions weren´t optimal, probably due to the giant super moon on 1 January 2018, we couldn’t go to the dive sites situated around the almost 20 islands you can find around Koh Lipe. However, they still could take us diving around Koh Lipe, so we went to dive Pattaya Corner that day.
Ready to jump for our first dive site: Pattaya Corner
After a thorough dive briefing of the dive site in the dive centre we were provided by fruits and biscuits in the 5 minutes we needed to wait for our ´taxi´. We went by tuk-tuk to the beach where our dive boat and equipment already awaited us. After a short boat ride, we jumped into the water of Pattaya Corner dive site.
Healthy soft corals around Koh Lipe, including Hemprich´s coral
The dive spot was completely covered by pink and purple soft corals, like Hemprich´s coral, among other types, it was just beautiful! I was surprised by the amount of fish I saw here because we were so close to Ko Lipe, but the fish didn’t seem to be bothered by that. Big schools of snappers and surgeonfish as well tiny glassfish were welcoming us when we went down.
A slightly lower water temperature compared to other dive places in Thailand
I was surprised to see my dive computer showing me a water temperature of 28 degrees Celsius which is 2 degrees lower than the waters around Koh Lanta and Phuket. This must be the reason why the corals look so much healthier in this part of Thailand. I guess it´s less affected by global warming and ´El Niño´.
A crazy triggerfish, probably due to the full moon
At some point, a titan triggerfish somehow must have felt treated by us and started to follow us. Out of a sudden, it started to quickly come closer to us in rapidly winding movements, before turning around at, still, a safe distance. It looked like it was trying to warn us: “Don´t come to close me, or even stare at me, or a get you!”. It looked very funny though because how brave is this little fish if you compare his size to ours! We had a good laugh about it afterwards.
Fish and sea life on Pattaya Corner in the South of Thailand
We also spotted a moray eel, lionfish, slugs and two nudibranchs making love together (also affected by the full moon?) among butterflyfish, angelfish, batfish, anemonefish and pufferfish. Other things to see around Pattaya Corner include octopus, boxfish, porcupinefish, filefish and even the seahorse, among much other fish and interesting sea life. I felt satisfied with this dive on the last day of 2017.
The dive school offers fast boat rides to the dive sites at Tarutao National Park
Adang Sea Divers has a speedboat available to offer you a fast boat trip to the other beautiful dive sites around Koh Lipe. Some of these dive spots within the Tarutao National Park can be reached within 15 minutes. I will name a few of them here, but more information about all dive sites around Ko Lipe can be found here on the website of Adang Sea Divers.
Stonehenge is the favourite dive spot of the dive team
Talang is a popular dive site due to the cleaning stations to be found here. But also smaller life, like nudibranch and shrimps, can be spotted among scorpionfish, stonefish, stingrays and travellies. The small island of Koh Taru offers hard corals and the marine life here include Harlequin shrimps, marbled rays among much other fish as named above. Stonehenge is, however, the favourite dive site of the team. Hard and soft corals here give a home to mackerel, tuna, devil rays, seahorse & ghost pipefish among much more.
Special dive trips around Koh Lipe with Adang Sea Divers
There are also some dive spots a bit further away including the dive sites around Far Islands and Seven Rocks, a place which the dive centre has recently discovered. 8 Miles Rock is known for a chance to see bigger fish including the whale shark but can only be booked as a special trip. You can read more here.
The marine life around Koh Lipe: a paradise for underwater photographers!
The waters around Ko Lipe are a paradise for underwater photographers due to the huge amount of macro life among the healthy soft and hard corals. Besides a variety of big schools of fish, reef dwellers like cuttlefish, seahorses and pipefish are frequently found. Larger marine creatures like sea snakes, different types of sharks, rays and turtles can also be encountered. If you’re lucky, you can even see a whale shark, sailfish or coral catshark. You can read more about the marine life around Koh Lipe by clicking on this link.
Free stay in the eco-accommodation during the low season!!
Unlike many other places in the Andaman Sea, especially the places North of Phuket, scuba diving on Koh Lipe is available all year round. In fact, the ´green season´ from the 15th of May till the 15th of October is considered the favourite dive season by many staff members. The good news is that you´ll get free accommodation in their eco-lodge in this season if you do 2 dives a day.
Very friendly and professional dive instructors and divemasters at the dive team
During my stay, all the instructors were very friendly and helpful. The instructors and guides give you a very complete dive briefing and are available for a chat afterwards as well. Most of the staff is there for a long term so they know the dive sites well and can tell you everything about the marine life around Koh Lipe. Also, there was quite a lot of staff with a variety of languages spoken. Guided diving is always done in a group of 4 divers max with one guide.
My conclusion about diving and staying with Adang Sea Eco Lodge & Dive Center
The PADI 5 star dive resort is rated number 1 on TripAdvisor
I think Adang Sea Divers really makes a difference on Koh Lipe Island. I have been chatting to the owners and I could sense their love for Ko Lipe. With the activities they do, the way the eco-lodge is set up and how the scuba diving is organised, you’ll notice that there is a big heart for diving and the oceans and it´s not only about the money like many dive centres nowadays. For me, it´s no wonder that this PADI 5 star dive resort is rated number 1 on TripAdvisor. (December 2017)
Last information you might need for your scuba dive holiday to Koh Lipe
The eco-friendly dive centre of Adang Sea Divers is located on Sunrise Beach on Koh Lipe. All PADI courses are available from Discover Scuba and Open Water to Divemaster. High-quality Aqualung rental equipment is available, night dives can be organised and if you like to dive with Enriched Air Nitrox, that’s possible too.
Tip for scuba divers who travel to other islands in Thailand!
Should you have plans to combine your travels to Koh Lipe in Thailand with the Phi Phi Islands, I can recommend a similar dive centre. It all worked out a bit coincidental because I found an environmental conscious dive centre on the Phi Phi islands with a recycle station and other eco-projects. Not much later I learned that it was a sister company of Adang Sea Divers. Check out my posts by clicking on this link.
Tips for travelling between the Thai island or even for the best deal for your international flight to Thailand
Use 12go.asia (I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link) to find the best deal for your transport between the Thai Islands. Next to scanning all options for the different transport options by bus, boat or train, they can now also scan all international airlines for your flight to Thailand. Additionally, they can book a lot of excursions and accommodation for your travels in Thailand as well.
Tip for scuba diving on Ko Lipe:
- The best dive conditions are usually around half-moon, so if you can, try to plan your trip on that. Although scuba diving will also be good if you come another time.
- Book your accommodation well in advance if you´re planning to go in the high season, during the Christmas holidays
- During the ´green season´, from half May till half October, Adang Sea Divers offers free accommodation in the eco-lodge with your diving package. This time is the favourite dive season by many members of the dive team!
Thanks for making eco-friendly diving holidays available, Adang Sea Divers!!!
First of all, a big thanks for providing me the photos in this article. But even more for making an eco-friendly dive holiday available to all of us and for making such a difference on an island where it’s needed and many others don´t care.
Travel Information: How to travel to Koh Lipe?
Getting to Koh Lipe island, from your destination in Thailand
Koh Lipe Island is located in Satun Province, in the South of Thailand, not far from Langkawi Island in Malaysia. You can either take a boat from the mainland like Krabi, Trang or Satun. The island of Koh Lipe is also reachable by speedboat from most other islands South of Phuket.
Can I travel to Ko Lipe from Malaysia?
If you come from Langkawi Island, you can take the speedboat from Langkawi Island to Koh Lipe Island and get a visa stamp at the small immigration office on Ko Lipe. You can also travel from Malaysia over the mainland to Satun Province and take a boot from there. 12go.asia ( I receive a small commission on your purchase through this link) can book your complete trip to Koh Lipe for you, no matter where you are in Thailand or Malaysia. If you use the links provided, Splashpacker earns a small commission. Thank you for your support!
Which international airports are close to Koh Lipe?
The closest international airport to Koh Lipe is Hat Yai Airport in the Thai province of Songkhla. Other nearby airports in Thailand are the ones in Krabi and Phuket. Close airports in Malaysia are on Langkawi Island and Penang Island. From all those cities it´s very easy to travel to Koh Lipe by bus and boat. Use Skyscanner to find the best deal for your flight.
Accommodation Information: Where to stay on Koh Lipe?
Splashpacker Style: Stay in an eco-friendly bungalow on Koh Lipe Island
If you´re looking for an environmentally responsible accommodation, I can highly recommend staying in the Eco Lodge of Adang Sea Divers. Like mentioned, they are located in a quiet area and if you´re a diver, you might make some new friends here! Also, remember that you support an ecological conscious concept by staying with them. Book well in advance since they can be fully booked. You can book this accommodation on booking.com or click here to book on Agoda. With both links I earn a small commission on your purchase.
Flashpacker Style: Rooms with a bit more comfort on Koh Lipe
Although my stay in the eco-lodge was very comfortable, some travellers prefer a bit more luxury. Accommodation with a bit more comfort like airconditioning and a hot water shower go for about 2200 Baht. Two places I checked out are Lantern Inn which is run by a friendly Thai family and offers free breakfast with their stay and Harmony House Bed & Breakfast, looking a bit more stylish with modern furniture and everything looks pretty new. I receive a small commission on your purchase through these links with booking. And I also do if you book your accommodation on Koh Lipe with Agoda through this link.
Backpacker Accommodation: Budget Hostels and Camping on Ko Lipe Island
Accommodation prices can be a bit high on Ko Lipe, especially during the Christmas holiday season. If you´re looking for a budget accommodation and want to stay in a shared room to save on costs, you can stay for about 400 Baht in the Sang Chang Hostel or for about 650 Baht in The Street Hostel or Bloom Cafe & Hostel, among many other options. Most of them offer private rooms too. The cheapest option on Koh Lipe is to go camping with Lipe Camping Zone, from 400 Baht per night for a tent. I receive a small commission on your purchase through these links with booking. And I also do if you book your accommodation on Koh Lipe with Agoda through this link.
Luxury Style: Resort Accommodations on Koh Lipe
If you are looking for a luxury dive holiday and don´t mind paying a bit more for your accommodation, I heard positive feedback from a friend who stayed in the Cast Away Resort and highly enjoyed her stay. Prices start from about 3200 Baht. They´re located on Sunrise Beach, very close to Adang Sea Divers. I receive a small commission on your purchase through these links with booking. And I also do if you book your accommodation on Koh Lipe with Agoda through this link.
Please note that all prices mentioned are subject to change and are dependent on the seasons as well. I have named prices from the high Christmas holiday season, and from the year 2018.
Stay tuned on Splashpacker for more eco-conscious travelling and dive centres involved with ocean conservation
Keep an eye for my next article about their partner dive centre Blue View Divers, on Koh Phi Phi Island. This dive centre is also ecologically responsible and is highly involved with environmental projects on Ko Phi Phi like plastic recycling, promoting to get locals to dive and do daily clean-ups after diving. Blue View Divers have many awards like PADI Green Star Awards and are members in, and support, GreenFins Thailand, Trash Hero, Project Aware, Phi Phi Island Protection and Conservation and are a Shark Guardian Centre. Blue View Divers is owned by the same people as Adang Sea Divers.
Other posts you can expect from me are about my adventure of island hopping to 9 islands in the Andaman Sea with personal travel blog updates and articles with travel information. You can also follow me on the Splashpacker Facebook page or Instagram. If interested you can subscribe to the Splashpacker YouTube Channel as well.
Happy Bubbles & Safe Travels!