Don’t think you can visit one of the most beautiful islands in the entire world on a budget? WRONG! Koh Lipe on a budget is possible, and still a lot of fun. Read along here and I’ll show you how you can have a blast in Koh Lipe Thailand for less than 1,000 Baht ($30 ) a day. Also, make sure to check out our Ultimate Koh Lipe Guide.
Wondering where this magical paradise is? Koh Lipe is the most southern island in Thailand located in the Andaman Sea. Koh Lipe is only 2km long and 1km wide, a perfect paradise. Many call Koh Lipe, “The Maldives of Thailand” a name we think it well deserves. We’ve spent 5 weeks island hopping in the Maldives you can trust us.
We first came to Koh Lipe in 2014 by pure accident. We were in Langkawi, Malaysia just an island away, counting down the days until we left…We saw a sign for a speedboat to Koh Lipe and knew that was our escape off of Langkawi.
As soon as we stepped foot on Koh Lipe we knew we had found our happy place. Koh Lipe has everything we look for in the perfect beach destination: white sandy beaches, clear turquoise water, tasty food, and good beach bars. Hands down Sunrise Beach on Koh Lipe is our favorite beach in the world.
It is no wonder you think you can’t afford to travel to Koh Lipe when it is called “The Maldives of Thailand.” Before traveling to Koh Lipe myself we too didn’t believe we could stay in a place this beautiful in a beach hut just steps from the ocean.
Throughout this Koh Lipe article, we will calculate everything in Baht (฿), the currency in Thailand. We will show how you can have an amazing time in Koh Lipe on a budget of only 1000 ฿. But how much is 1000 baht? The actual conversion as of October 2016:
Back in the USA for $30 we would have maybe had enough for one blended drink and caesar salad if we were in Hawaii. But here in Koh Lipe for $30 you will have enough to pay for your accommodation, beach snacks, dinner, and happy hour! Don’t believe us? Let’s walk though how Koh Lipe for $30 a day is possible
Most of our 1,000 baht daily budget is going to be spent on accommodation… Is there even such a thing as cheap accommodation in Koh Lipe? One of the most expensive resorts on Koh Lipe Serendipity Beach Resort charges 19,000+ baht a night during peak season!
Some of the cheapest places to stay in Koh Lipe are run by local families and many are listed on Airbnb. There are rooms for under $20 a night on Airbnb and even a 6 person yacht with 3 cabins that would make for an epic trip but would cost $50 a person a day (slightly over our $30 a day budget). Click here for $35 off an Airbnb stay.
You won’t have a problem showing up to Koh Lipe without room reservations during low season, but DO NOT show up in peak or high season without reservations. We did that in 2014 and walked around for hours with our bags to only find rooms way out of our budget left. Koh Lipe is small, and most accommodation is booked up months in advance you can almost count on all the cheap accommodations to be fully booked. Just follow our 3 tips and you’ll score a great hotel in Koh Lipe that is well within your budget.
Koh Lipe is small, and most accommodation is booked up months in advance you can almost count on all the cheap accommodations to be fully booked. Just follow our 3 tips and you’ll score a great hotel in Koh Lipe that is well within your budget.
The longer the stay the deeper the discounts and the more money left in your daily budget for happy hour! When booking online places like on Agoda, there are often special discounts when staying longer like 3 or 5-night discounts. If you show up to a small family owned accommodation you should have no problem negotiating a better rate when you can commit to a week or longer, all you have to do is ask.
Like most of Thailand prices fluctuate greatly based on the season, if you are on a budget it would be best to avoid PEAK season at all costs. Several accommodations peak season rates are double or triple the price of low season, so check and see if you can move your dates to save a few baht.
If you must travel during high or peak season booking online is the easiest & best way. Several hotels have daily rates that include free cancellation, just make sure to double check the last date to cancel. Also booking online you don’t have to worry about bringing enough cash or your credit card not working, your room is already paid for you!
We have found that Agoda is by far the cheapest hotel booking website in Asia and the have the biggest selection of accommodation. I just checked them for you and I found some crazy good deals. Please note prices can change quickly, so when you see a good deal on a room you want to book asap! Many of the deals below even have free cancellation, just make sure to double check that last day to cancel for free. Just click on the links below and enter your travel dates. The prices below are for May 2015.
If you can’t find a Koh Lipe hotel take a longtail boat over to Koh Adang for 100 baht per person. There are several chalets for rent over there 600 baht a night and camping for 200 baht a night, which includes the tent for two people. It’s super peaceful over on Koh Adang, you’ll basically have the whole beach to yourself. There is also a super affordable restaurant and little shop, meals can easily be had for under 150 baht per person.
Related Article: Koh Adang Guide
Located on Walking Street about halfway between Sunrise Beach and Pattaya Beach. You probably will hear the yoohoo lady yelling, as she sells her Thai pancakes out front. We ate at Leonardo’s twice on our last visit, both times left very satisfied. The prices are the best we have seen on the island. They serve up both Thai and Italian dishes, it appeared to be run by both a Thai and an Italian. Each time we visited a majority of the customers were Italian, all of which were ordering pasta & pizza and all looked good and satisfied with their meals. We, however, stuck with Thai, 100 baht for their curry and extra 20 baht for rice, spring rolls 100 baht and the cheapest beer at a restaurant in Koh Lipe 70baht for large Chang beer.
You probably will hear Madame Yoohoo before you see her pancake & smoothie stand. She is the cutest old grandma shooting her slogan “YOOHOO pancake pancake pancake.” While I have never had her pancakes I am a fan of her smoothies, not only is she the best price in Koh Lipe at only 40 baht a shake, they are the tastiest as well. I have had smoothies at 5 different shops, none compare to her’s. She usually has a line for her pancakes as well, Nutella & banana always seems to be the top seller when I am in line.
2017 UPDATE: 100 Cocktail bar has been closed and now appears to be someone’s house or small tour agency. There is now a bar across the street called Corner Bar with cheap beers and 150 baht cocktail drinks. Cocktail Bar is located right on Walking Street, you will not miss it. All cocktails are 100 baht and beers for 80 baht (only small size available). Only a few wooden tables and stools are out front and it’s usually full from 6pm-10pm so come early or get your drink to go. They have a huge drink menu includes: caipirinha, mojitos, sex on the beach, etc. Cocktail bar is open 6p.m.-1a.m. Nightlife in Koh Lipe is really chill compared to other Thai islands.
Hands down the cheapest drinks will be if you make your own. Beers can be bought at a small mom and pop shops in town for 35-45 baht each. 7-11 is not cheap when it comes to any drinks, alcoholic or not. The best selection is at a larger shop on Moo 7, if you are coming from Sunrise beach and on Walking Street turn right on Moo 7 (same street as OMG Restaurant) and this shop (not the shop pictured above) will be on the left side (west side) of the street and a Mexican restaurant will be across the street. The shop has a larger selection, and a scanner system so no need to ask how much items cost. We bought a bottle of rum on our first day in Koh Lipe, and then smoothies from YooHoo lady and made our own blended fruity drinks!
Ten Moons Resort on Sunrise beach has the best happy hour on the entire island of Koh Lipe. Come between 4-6p.m. for buy 1 get 1 on all cocktails, so come with a friend get 2 strawberry daiquiris for 200 baht. The beach at Ten Moons Resort is the softest sand on the island, enjoy your drink on the deck and take in the views or bring it down to the beach.
Soak in some rays and get a tan- You’re on a beach get out and get some free color! Koh Lipe is one of the best beaches in the world take advantage it! Cool off in the water, just go for a swim and float around in the sea. Make sure not to forget the sunscreen, the sun is no joke in Koh Lipe. If you run out you can purchase sunscreen on walking street but expect to pay 400+ baht for a small bottle.
Watch the Sunset on the Beach- Koh Lipe has some of the best sunsets we’ve ever seen. Night after night is another great sunset, run into town and grab a few beers at mom & pop shop, and make your way over to sunset beach or the end of Sunrise Beach and catch the free show. For an extra 60 baht grab an ice cold beer at Sunset Beach bar or 100 baht for a tasty mojito. They have beach mats and cushions set up right on the beach, the perfect set up for sunset. Don’t forget to tip, tipping in Thailand is appreciated and an extra 10 baht goes a long way.
Related Article: Tipping In Thailand
Get Lost – An island the size of Koh Lipe you can’t get lost, because it’s only 2km long and 1km wide. One of the best ways to explore Koh Lipe is to just start walking, follow the road see where it goes. This is the best way to find the beach that is right for you and even stumble upon some local restaurants & bars.
So now that I have explained that Koh Lipe can be done on a budget, let’s go through what spending for one day would look like.
Conclusion: Look we did it, only 1,000 baht a day including several alcoholic beverages. If you ask us it was kind of an expensive day, you can make it even cheaper by having a few days alcohol free.
We have traveled to 66 countries and Koh Lipe will always be our top beach destination.
You will never want to leave…
Bonus Options: Every other day skip the beers & booze and save your money and get a massage on the beach. Almost all massage shops on Sunrise beach are only 300 baht an hour for Thai/foot/oil massages. Possibly even less during low season.
Hope your visit to Koh Lipe is amazing, and I know it will be if you follow some of our budget tips. There are so many cheap local and ooooh so tasty restaurants waiting for you in Koh Lipe. Hope the tips in this blog post help you not break the bank on your beach adventure in Koh Lipe.
Additional Koh Lipe blog posts:
Have you been to Koh Lipe? How was your experience? Do you have a suggestion for budget friendly accommodation/eats/drinks in Koh Lipe? We’d love to hear from you, just drop me a comment below on the blog.
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