|Before leaving Ko Bulon we made countless phonecalls to bungalows in Ko Lipe only to be told that each and every one of them was full. We often just turn up in a place without pre-booking a room but because we had heard from other travellers that the small island of Lipe was very busy and because the boat to Lipe arrived very late in the day, we had hoped to secure somewhere for our first night. We had contemplated that we might have to spend our first night sleeping on the beach! When we arrived in Lipe we felt we were very lucky to get a bungalow in the first place we tried right on the beach where we were dropped off (although we think this may have been partly to do with the boat being very late and them giving away the remaining few rooms that they were holding for people who had booked them). It became clear that the island is fully booked practically every night and lots of people ended up staying in tents dotted around the island.
Ko Lipe was much more built up than the last couple of islands we had visited but everything was a bit more expensive. Sadly it seems that despite several decades of tourism they haven't quite figured out a waste management system on the island yet and it was disappointing to see mounds of garbage strewn around the interior of the island.
We stayed in the middle of Pattaya Beach and we must say that it would almost certainly have been our favouite beach if we had been here 5 or 10 years ago. The beach is still gorgeous with sand that looks like talcum powder and clear turquoise water which is perfect for swimming. Annoyingly though, a large number of longtail boats are lined along the shore so there are only a few spots where you can actually go in the sea and their constant coming and going rather spoils the peacefulness.
Our time in Lipe was rather like "a holiday within a holiday" because for once we had a substantial length of time to spend in one place and after a reconnaisance trip around the island (confirming that we were on the best beach) our days were spent in a similar routine of sunbathing, eating and sleeping.