Monday, October 10, 2011

wonderinstar's Ko Lipe Trip Report

visited December 2010

Ko Lipe (mid Dec 2010). In Lipe, there continues to be development in progress where-ever there's a road with a space by it . On south Sunrise, the little track that led to the beach near Viewpoint Resort has been sold and is getting a swanky new resort put on it.
New resort under construction between Sunrise Beach and Viewpoint's beaches.

I stayed in Viewpoint for a second year. They have a shiny new restaurant.
Viewpoint's redone restaurant

Viewpoint have also built some midrange concrete huts at beach level (2 overlooking the beach, another 3 next door, looking North East).
New Viewpoint midrangers - these two right on the nicer (southern) of Viewpoint's 2 beaches

That means last year's front rows are now 2nd-class second rows. My beloved Bamboos in the row behind are falling/being pulled down. There were 6 there last year and 3 are now just bathroom floors (see pic below - Tezza’s old dunnie!). I'm hoping that they'll hang on to the others as it's the only place I can afford to stay on Lipe (400B peak season)! They said that they will keep some bamboos there in the future. There is now electricity 24/7 at Viewpoint.
Tezza's old dunnie - looks like these huts will be redeveloped using the old bathrooms.

Right next to Viewpoint Resort (just South of it, crawling up the side of the hill) is a veerry swanky new Boutique resort - Serendipity. Run by an English guy and his very well-spoken Thai wife, this is the sort of place you see in the Sunday glossy magazines. Beautifully designed and appointed wooden huts with panoramic glass doors all across the front side. I didn't have the guts to ask the price there.

There's big wooden staircase from the Sunrise South beach up to the Serendipity restaurant and all the cabanas. This is also handy if you want to get into town without walking along the beach - you can join the track which goes up over the hill and eventually joins the cross-ilsand track at the Sunsrise end of Walking Street. (I got an ankle sprain, so it was nice and easy to hop up over the back of the hill).
The new Serendipity. This is the same south beach as the pix two above. Lower walkway can be seen far right.

There's a little Reggae bar started-up just as you head past the rocks from Sunrise Beach into the two Viewpoint/Serendipity beachlets. It doesn't do much business, but the owner is renting out tents for 150B, which at least provides an option for backpackers rolling up to a full-up island on December 23rd. There are also tents for hire at Porn Resort over on Sunset Beach for 200B.
New Reggae Bar far south end of Sunrise Beach. One of the tents can be seen behind structure at left.

There are no other new resorts on Lipe. Sita Resort on Pattaya Beach has built right up the hill until they reach the track that goes behind Sunset beach and a couple of the existing resorts on Pattaya beach are growing taller and breaking cover of the trees. Yuk.

Apparently, the folks who lease the Porn resort don't expect to be there much longer as the owners of the land have their beady eyes on revenue from developing a more upmarket resort on the site.

Last year's recycling bins have disappeared from the streets to be replaced by signs saying, please don't dump your trash here. Which, of course, everybody does. So local waste-collection still seems to be a problem. Apparently, next year there is going to be some kind of organised cost-share arrangement between local businesses to have it collected regularly.

Honourable mention to the new restaurant at the bottom of the hill next to the mosque (I forget what it’s called). It’s new independent venture by the folks who used to do the cooking at Coconuts resort. Although the view is rubbish, it has great food, an extensive menu (at better prices than most places) and very friendly service. Worth a try.

Snorkelling between the two islands off Sunrise Beach is still good (as good as it was last year). That is to say the coral has not been affected by the rise in water temperature in late 2010.

Where walking street ends in a T-junction (furthest away from the Pattaya end) is now a crossroads - they have paved the track that goes straight ahead towards Sunrise beach. There are a couple of cheap-eats places on this spur (notably the unadvertised Chao Leh lady - last on the right - 50B for fried noodles/rice - yes, please :) There's also a small 'buy anything' market store down there bringing some much wanted competition in the local-grocery-store stakes. You can finally buy 20l bottles of water on Lipe instead of dozens of little ones. It’s 100B refundable deposit on the big container and 80B for the water.

Internet’s mostly 3B a minute now. There’s one place in the lock-ups on the Sunrise road that still has it for 2B.

Thanks wonderinstar. Readers will find more good Thailand and SE Asia stuff ws's own pleasenotanothertravelblog.

There are also Lipe Trip Reports from Julie and Ruben which can be accessed via the link list top right of page.

Plus lots more info and pix on the main Lipe blog page.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you nice article.
    your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.