Photo: A tucked-away west coast beach.

Exploring Ko Lipe's western peninsula

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Development has barely touched Ko Lipe’s rugged western peninsula revealing little-known viewpoints and beaches. Nature lovers and seclusion seekers should hop out of that hammock, grab a map and get hiking.



Leaving the busy part of the island on the way towards Sunset Beach, your first stop could be Wat Hang Lay, a forest temple where monks chant in the late afternoons. While you won’t find impressive Buddha images or architecture, the wat is notable for preserving a sizeable block of jungle rimmed by Thai spirit houses and quirky statuary. You might also pop into neighbouring Lipe Art Garden to watch the resident artists busy with batik work.

Wat Hang Lay is worth checking out on a spin through Lipe's west. Photo taken in or around Exploring Ko Lipe's western peninsula, Ko Lipe, Thailand by David Luekens.

Wat Hang Lay is worth checking out on a spin through Lipe's west. Photo: David Luekens

After passing behind Sunset Beach, make a detour down to Bila Beach‘s laid-back bar and cafe, or the excellent Forever Restaurant along the main road. If time is on your side, rent a snorkel at Bila to peep some of the best-preserved reefs found off Lipe’s shores. If you’re here at low tide, wander north along the shore to find secluded patches of sand backed by boulders draped in palms.

Not far past the turn for Pitusas Resort, look to your right for one of several unmarked paths -- more like sections of partially cleared terrain than actual trails -- as the road ascends up a hill. Be careful to avoid rusty barbed wire at ankle level around here. All of these “trails” lead haphazardly north to more boulders where you can soak in views of Ko Adang, Ko Rawi and the azure stretch of sea that separates Lipe from these two larger neighbours.

Lovely Bila Beach. Photo taken in or around Exploring Ko Lipe's western peninsula, Ko Lipe, Thailand by David Luekens.

Lovely Bila Beach. Photo: David Luekens

Continuing west, the concrete road turns to dirt before reaching a more proper trail leading south. Clamour downhill along this unmarked trail and you’ll arrive at Haad Kra, a pretty undeveloped beach facing south towards Langkawi. If you’re tired of hiking, this is a great spot to relax for the rest of the day.

If however your exploratory nature isn’t quite satisfied, get back on the main dirt lane and keep wandering beneath old-growth trees towering amid undisturbed forest. Keep your eyes peeled for snakes, lizards and the colourful birds that snack on them.

Undeveloped Haad Kra. Photo taken in or around Exploring Ko Lipe's western peninsula, Ko Lipe, Thailand by David Luekens.

Undeveloped Haad Kra. Photo: David Luekens

Sensing the sea and seeking a nonexistent “viewpoint” marked on our map, we continued past where the road ends into a tangle of prickly vines and branches. To reach the coast from here you’d need a machete, so how about heading back to Haad Kra for another swim?


Popular attractions in Ko Lipe

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ko Lipe.



Best places to stay in Ko Lipe

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ko Lipe.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Lipe.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ko Lipe.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Ko Lipe.
 Read up on how to get to Ko Lipe, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Lipe? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.



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