Koh Lipe forms part of a trio of archipelago, Tarutao, Klang and Adang-Rawi, a total of 51 islands strewn over the western shores of southern Thailand in the Andaman Sea. These islands are also known as the Tarutao Marine National Park, a protected area noted for its land and marine biodiversity. Koh Lipe belongs to the Adang-Rawi archipelago, and though one of the smaller islands, it serves as the center of population, tourism and transportation in this part of the ocean.
Not that you would get a burnout of Lipe’s beaches, but just in case you would like to explore and sail out to nearby obscure uninhabited isles, every island within Adang-Rawi is within 15 minutes to one hour of longboat ride. Most likely, the secluded islands you are itching to reach are actually larger than Koh Lipe. Koh Adang and Koh Rawi to the north are the biggest of these islands. As part of the Tarutao Marine National Park, these islands are protected and uninhabited. Koh Adang has a camping ground with bungalows and tents available for island hoppers. A restaurant opens up during the peak season from November to May. These are the the islands you have been yearning for, no humans except occasional travelers like you, not much amenities, no civilization, so to speak. During the rainy season, a waterfall even gushes forth out to the ocean, a fantastic view especially when you are on a boat going around the island. Koh Rawi, Koh Ba Tuang, Koh Lek and Koh Dong offer the same jungles amid the ocean sceneries, so a package of at least five islands from your resort or boatman at Koh Lipe would take one whole day of island-hopping.
Sail to the smaller islands of Koh Hin Sorn and Koh Hin Ngam sandwiched between the much larger Koh Rawi and Koh Adang and marvel at the stone formations that would seem like an engineering feat, with boulders piled on top of one another, some stones hanging precariously by the beach. Koh Hin Sorn has amazing black stone formations. Then there are Koh Peung and Koh Jabang whose surrounding waters are excellent snorkelling grounds. Nearby is the monkey beach where you can perhaps enjoy your lunch.
Sailing on longboat further to the east are the islands of Klang and Tarutao, much larger than Koh Lipe but equally famous to travellers. Koh Tarutao was the setting of the reality TV show Survivor, where franchises from the United States and the Philippines filmed one of their seasons here. This show helped the island gain popularity and showcased its dense forests and clear blue waters.
However, you do not need to go far to experience solitude and get away from the hordes of tourists as Karma Beach on the northern side of Koh Lipe already affords you that option. This is a sheltered peninsula protruding into the sea and seems to provide ready access to the rest of the Adang-Rawi group of islands up north. Bila and Sanom Beaches are also in the vicinity that displays the same secluded atmosphere. These beaches are often overlooked by tourists who prefer the much livelier Pattaya Beach and well-known Sunset and Sunrise Beaches.