Taken on: 17th May, 2009. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See NathanChor's page of Flickr

Read more about Ko Lipe

About 20 years ago, whispers of an idyllic island far out in South Thailand's Andaman Sea began to surface within the international traveller community. Unlike the rest of Tarutao National Park's protected islands, development was possible on tiny Ko Lipe due to it being inhabited by the indigenous Chao Lay (literally "people of the sea") who retain ancestral rights to the island.

Within five years there were a handful of resorts popping up, and today Ko Lipe has become one of Thailand's premier tourism hotspots, boasting close to 50 resorts suited to all budgets. In high season Lipe is filled with a dizzying crowd of swimsuit-clad travellers who come for the picture-perfect whitesand beaches, renowned diving and snorkelling, nature-oriented daytrips to nearby islands, and relaxed yet lively atmosphere.

With far more foreigners roaming its beaches than locals, Ko ... Read our complete Ko Lipe travel guide

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0308_lipe141x 0308_lipe003x 0308_lipe106x 0308_lipe184x snorkel0308_065x 0308_lipe144x 0308_lipe136x 0308_lipe115x 0308_lipe048x 0308_lipe174x 0308_lipe031x 0308_lipe068x 0308_lipe012x 0308_lipe007x 0308_lipe186x 0308_lipe030x 0308_lipe046x 0308_lipe034x 0308_lipe029x 0308_lipe192x 0308_lipe102x snorkel0308_069x pt_lipe001x 0308_lipe015x Long Tail Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe, Thailand Longtail on Pattaya Beach, Ko Lipe, Thailand Longtail on Pattaya Beach, Ko Lipe, Thailand Sunset Beach, across to Ko Adang, Ko Lipe, Thailand Late afternoon fishing, Ko Lipe Thailand Sunbakers, Pattaya Beach, Ko Lipe, Thailand Reggae Bar, Ko Lipe, Thailand Longtail on Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe, Thailand Longtail on Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe, Thailand Longtail on pickup -- Ko Lipe, Thailand