Koh Lipe( Maldives of Thailand )
麗貝島 ( 泰國馬爾代夫 )
The reefs around Ko Lipe are largely intact; the 2004 tsunami had little impact here. Around Ko Lipe are some Thailand's best reefs all within easy reach:
8 Mile Rock.
A true deep sea pinnacle located 75 minutes away by boat. The rock can be a tough place to dive due to the strong currents, but the marine and bird life that come here to feed are fantastic. The top of the pinnacle rises to within 14 meters of the surface. Found here: soft corals, schools of pelagic fish, potato cod, manta rays, whale shark, leopard shark.
Between Ko Adang & Ko Rawi.
Has excellent diving and snorkeling locations between the two islands where the mountains come down to the sea. Underwater there are huge boulders and many types of rare fish and coral species that inhabit the reef in this region. A great spot for drift diving. Snorkelers should head for the east side of Ko Rawi where the national park staff have set up ropes along the reef, so that snorkelers can pull themselves easily along and investigate the reef with ease.
Yong Hua Shipwreck.
In 1996 a fish-factory ship anchored near the western end of Ko Lipe caught fire and sank in about 40 m of water. The shipwreck is now completely covered in marine growth and inhabited by schools of fish. The shipwreck has become a very interesting place to dive, but does often have strong currents making it a difficult dive. The top of the wreck is at about 26 m sitting on its keel that is at 40 m.
Hin Takorn Dukong.
Located in the centre of the marine park. This site is home to just about every species of fish that you can imagine. The site is made up of granite stones shaped similar to building blocks rising up from the seabed into a structure with a series of tall points at its peak. Up to 18 m deep. Hard and soft corals, at least 6 types of eel such as snake eels, different types of lion fish and stone fish, Squid and cuttlefish try to hide here and succeed in attracting the larger predators such as sailfish.
Ko Bu Tang.
Has become one of the most popular islands to dive. One of the largest islands of the group, Ko Bu Tong supports many bird and animal species. Troops of crab-eating macaque monkeys live on the island and a colourful type of bee-eater bird can often be spotted from the beaches here. Giant corals and shellfish grow everywhere around this island paradise. Dive the north and south channels although for deep diving the "Giant's Staircase" on the islands west side has huge natural stone steps going down to 50 m or more. Also to found on Ko Bu Tang is Sting Ray City, where the blue spotted stingrays are plentiful. This site is also very good for snorkeling. North Side: has Monkey Bay, similar to Sting Ray City but much more steep and dramatic. Expect to see endless rows of tall coral-heads, turtles and rare critters such as the ornamental ghost pipe fish and sharks sleeping under the corals. East Side: has the perfect tiny island of Ko Lokoi. Surrounded by about 90 acres of shallow coral, you could do four dives here and not see it all.
This tiny island is located on the outer edge of the archipelago. There is not a tree or scrap of vegetation that can grow on this tall smooth stone, but underwater this place is full of life. Fantastic coral gardens growing on the rocky outcrops below. edit
Between Langcha and Adang is a very nice coral garden really worth the effort both for divers and snorkellers as near-perfect gardens shelter all sorts including rays and eels.
The currents here are predominantly tidal which means that at certain times of the month strong currents exist. At other times, none at all. You can always find somewhere good to dive but the widest selection of dive sites is available twice a month, following the half moon.
You can see numerous sharks, whale sharks and manta rays. Sightings of the big guys are more likely on sites around the edge of the marine park, nearer the deeper waters. For the best chance, try to visit 8 Mile Rock, Stonehenge or Ko Pung.
Adang Sea Divers
Professional, multilingual, and experienced instructors and dive masters. 1 to 3 dives a day from speedboat (the only dive centre on Lipe offering speedboat dives). Night diving, PADI, SDI, and Nitrox courses. Small intimate groups. Specialised in underwater photography.
Castaway Divers (Sunrise Beach)
Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI, SDI, and freediving courses. Snorkelling trips are run separately from the dive boats daily for only 650 baht (including lunch & equipment). Specialises in small intimate groups. The only diveshop on the island to offer recreational AIDA certification Freediving courses. Discover a new way to explore the underwater world by holding your breath! Learn breathing techniques, duck diving, static and dynamic apnea, and learn how to free dive in a safe and relaxed manner. Please check 'Freediving Thailand' on Facebook for more info.
Davy Jones Locker (Pattaya Beach)
Experienced instructors teaching all PADI courses from beginner to dive master level. Daily trips for certified divers to all the best dive sites around Ko Lipe. Free accommodation for divers and students available when you book online.
Forra Diving (Sunrise Beach)
Multilingual, experienced instructors. Offers night diving, PADI courses, and liveaboard diving trips. Snorkellers are welcome to tag along on day trips for only 500 baht (including lunch & equipment). Consistently gets great reviews from divers. 2,500 baht for 2 dives.
Ko Lipe Diving (Walking Street)
Highly rated and reputable dive center providing top-notch customer service. Offers daily dive trips for certified divers, PADI courses from Open Water to Dive master, introductory dives for complete beginners. Snorkelers welcome to join dive trips. Private diving/snorkeling/island exploration trips can be arranged. Underwater cameras for rent. Spacious, comfortable 25m dive boat. Professional instructors with years of experience working on the island. Multilingual team speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Malay, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin).
Ocean Pro Divers (Pattaya Beach)
Canadian owner.The first authorized Padi TecRec Dive Center at Koh Lipe 20 m boat, the M.V. Chalalai. Rates include all equipment and a buffet lunch. Snorkelers are welcome to tag along for 500 baht. 2,600 baht for 2 dives, 3,200 baht for three dives.
Sabye Diving ( Sunset Beach)
Diving rates aren't the cheapest. All-inclusive two or three day packages. Specialties are PADI courses and underwater photography. PADI open-dive courses: 12,900 baht.
Satun Dive (Sunrise Beach Blvd)
Open all year. Excellent diving and snorkeling guides. All PADI courses available. The best service, price, and atmosphere on the island. Cheap.
Day Trips to Nearby Islands
Pirate Falls and Chado Cliff on Ko Adang, and the dense jungle on Ko Rawi are recommended visits. 800 to 1,000 baht.
Rent a kayak from various spots on the beach and spend the day or two seeing the island and reef.
There are plenty of places to get a massage, including an offshoot of the Wat Po massage school, located in the centre of the island. Also Castaway Resort has a lovely little spa with sea views.
The calm, clear water makes the Ko Lipe area ideal for snorkeling, with 25% of the world's tropical fish species found in the area. There are large varieties of fish around the coral just 20 m off all of the beaches. Ko Lipe is surrounded by over 30 islands and hundreds of reefs all within easy reach of the island. Tarutao National Park is one of Asia’s oldest marine parks thus the reefs and the islands surrounding Ko Lipe are in very good condition. nowhere else on the Southeast Asian peninsula will you find so many excellent snorkel sites so easily reached. The best offshore snorkeling can be done from sunrise beach. There is a coral reef between two small islands located on both ends of the beach. They start at 2m depth and go to around 12m. Current can be pretty strong between the tides.
Freediving Sunrise Beach (Castaway Divers)
Freediving as a recognized activity has only been around for 100 years, but people have been practising diving deep without equipment for thousands of years. On Lipe only one dive operator on the island offers it as a AIDA certification courses available only at Castaway Divers on Sunrise beach, see above (Diveshops). Find 'Freediving Thailand' on Facebook for more info. Learn breathing and relaxation techniques, finning techniques, static and dynamic apnea and learn to dive in a safe and relaxed manner. The freediving instructor is available only at high season.
Sailing around Ko Lipe and within the Butang Group is certainly the most chilled way to explore these natural gems. There are day sailing trips with snorkelling activities or liveaboard sailing cruises within the Butang Group or as far as Ko Tarutao National Marine Park. 1,500 to 6,000 baht.
Ocean Hiker Sailing School
Sailing intro courses or 5 day sailing courses on an ocean-going sailing yacht leading to a Ocean Hiker Competent Crew Certification, the first step to start your sailing career . 2,500 to 29,900 baht.
Trash Hero Koh Adang ( Pattaya Beach )
Come to Join in every Monday to help locals and tourists alike keep the Adang archipelago free from ocean trash! The Trash Hero team have charged themselves to be the guardians of this wonderful area. Every Monday at 10:00am the Team meets under the walking street sign on Pattaya beach to go to various beaches around the archipelago and collect every last plastic bottle, old flip flop, degraded styrofoam float, chip packet, shampoo bottle, etc. Until the beach is reverting back to it's original state. Trash Hero is a non profit organization supported by various local businesses on Koh Lipe, who help by providing boats, trash bags, food and drinks each week for the team each week. for free.
Note that fishing is illegal near the island, so stay away from fishing trips and do not purchase locally-caught fish.
Sources Details from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel
Sources Photo from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel
Sources Details from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel
Sources Photo from: Wikipedia & Wikitravel