Thailand - Koh Lipe and the frogs in our shower
Our next island on our "self organised" island hopping tour was Koh Lipe. From Koh Bulon we took a speedboat which brought us to the shores of Koh Lipe in 2 hours. We arrived at Pattaya beach and were really shocked by the crowded beach and the noise. Coming from the peaceful island of Koh Bulon with only few tourists and great nature, this was too much for us. Quickly we took our backpacks and walked away from the beach to a hostel which was recommended to us by a lot of travellers: Jack's Jungle Lodge .
We had no reservation, like always, and were afraid of having to stay at one of the busy beach places. But we were lucky. Jack and his wife greeted us like old friends and we even could chose between 2 rooms. We took the cheaper option, a simple bamboo hut. This accomodation was the coolest one we ever had in Thailand.
The owners were extremely welcoming and friendly. They gave us free water and mosquito coils whenever we wanted. Well, and our hut was pretty cool, too. It had an open bathroom and each night when we took a (cold) shower there were frogs around our feet. They were really funny guys and we felt sorry for them when we used some shampoo - poor frogs. But somehow they did not care, they seemed to enjoy the daily shower. The whole lodge is tucked away in the last bit of rainforest on the island and at night we could not only hear the froggy concert but although had all the other jungly noises around us. For us, it was the best option to stay on the island. A relaxed place with a little bit of a hide away feeling. The island is really small. You can easily walk from one beach to another within a few minutes. We liked the relaxed sunset beach best as it was not so crowded with tourists. Anyway, the beaches are quite nice. For one day we were just hanging around the beaches, walked through the island and enjoyed a wonderful sunset. Very interesting was the visit to the small temple just around the corner of our lodge. A single monk is taking care of the temple, offers the visitors free water and has a huge bunch of dogs around him. Well, the dogs..... There is an endless numder of dogs on Koh Lipe. They are peaceful. The funny thing is: it is just one kind of dog, let's say in a variation of 3 colours (some of them with mixed colour). Well, there must have been 2 dogs in the beginning - and now, they are all (to put it in local words): same same ;-).
There is no snorkelling right from the beach (although some guidbooks say so). The coral is dead and there is not a lot to see. Therefore, the next day we went on a snorkelling trip. It was the best one we ever made. With only 6 people and a lovely guide with his wife we went to 5 different snorkelling spots in the Tarutao National Parc area: Ko Sakai, Ko Bulo, Ko Hin Song, Ko Butang and the Monkey Beach. All spots were really different we we saw lots of colourful fish, great hard and soft coral in thousand colours, nudibranches, stingrays.... Markus even saw a reef shark (which I unfortunately missed). For lunch we hit a small beach on an isolated island. It was just our small group and no-one else. What a wonderful time! Well, Koh Lipe as an island itself would not be our favourite choice. It must have been a great little island in the past but tourism has left too many marks. It seems to have the same development like Koh Phi Phi. But it is a good place for making daytrips in the wonderful Tarutao National Parc. Just bring enough cash with you. Koh Lipe is not cheap and there is no ATM on the island! This was our time on island number 2 on our trip. The next island, a much bigger one was waiting for us.