A Magical Birthday Tour Of Ko Lipe

The beach of Castaway on Ko Lipe

This is Castaway in Ko Lipe…

Liz by one of the gazebos, which are lit at night by subtle hanging lanterns

Liz by one of the gazebos, which are lit at night by subtle hanging lanterns

…and it’s where Liz ended up on her birthday this year.

Putting it in perspective: Ko Lipe is 40km from Pak Bara and only 30km from Langkawi

Putting it in perspective: Ko Lipe is 40km from Pak Bara and only 30km from Langkawi

Not that she knew where we were going until we reached the port town of Pak Bara. It’s still in the Satun region so it’s only 60-odd km away from Satun town. Despite my military precision planning where I had arranged for a driver from the boat yard to pick us up at 8.30am Sunday morning, at precisely 8.30am Sunday morning I received a call from Un (our project manager) to tell me the driver couldn’t make it. Typical. I’d half expected this but Un kindly stepped up and drove us to Pak Bara himself.

The ferry from Pak Bara takes around 1.5 hours, a trip that could have taken just an hour were it not for the stop-off at Ko Khai island to allow the local day trippers to dip their toes in crystal-clear waters. It was the first clear waters Liz and I had seen in a long while too.

Ko Khai, one of the small islands that make up the group of islands in the Tarutao National Park region

Ko Khai, one of the small islands that make up the group of islands in the Tarutao National Park region

Ko Khai is one of a few islands in this region that surround the large Tarutao Island, which is a national park. Only a few of the islands in this area are inhabited, the rest are protected.

We arrived at Castaway resort around midday, me having sunburnt my forehead because I didn’t get a space inside the boat. The local tourists knew better when we boarded and shoved their way under the canopied saloon. Liz and I ended up on the bow of the boat under the glare of the harsh morning sun. Forgot to pack a hat, of course. Still, if you’re gonna be a tourist for a couple of days, you may as well do it properly.

Holiday Cocktails

Castaway is a rather splendid resort on ‘sunrise’ beach. It’s an eco-friendly affair with stilted bungalows set in amongst a canopy of fig trees. It has enough facilities to keep you within the resort, but since it’s right on the beach it never felt like one of those all-inclusive affairs.

There’s a large elevated area with a bar, library and eating area, whilst on the waters-edge itself are a few gazebos and beach mats.

The elevated fdining area of Castaway resort looking out from the bar-cum-library and onto the sea beyond

The elevated fdining area of Castaway resort looking out from the bar-cum-library and onto the sea beyond

For a couple of hours in the afternoon it’s two-for-one cocktails. Be rude not to, really…

Liz sups a cocktail

Liz sups a cocktail

Liz and I are (currently) early risers, so after our first night we got up just in time to catch a spectacular sunrise, creating a silhouette of Ko Tarutao in the distance.

Sunrise from Castaway Resort on Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe

Sunrise from Castaway Resort on Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe

Of course Liz couldn’t walk past the massage bungalow without grabbing herself an all-over body massage and a foot massage too.

Liz treats herself to a foot massage at Castaway resort on Ko Lipe

Liz treats herself to a foot massage at Castaway resort on Ko Lipe

We did eventually go for a short wander on the second day and headed north-west towards one of the western-facing beaches. It was a sprawling mass of bars and the street to the beach was packed full of sunglasses shops and bars showing the footie.

People are strange, when you're a stranger...

People are strange, when you’re a stranger…

It didn’t take us long to realise Castaway is in the best spot so we scuttled our way back to Castaway before a refreshing shower hit us. Gotta say the staff at Castaway are worth a mention. Piere, the proprietor, noticed from my preliminary emails that this was a surprise birthday for Liz and made a point of moving us to a better location within the complex. The bungalows don’t have AC but they’re extremely comfortable. The food is good too, served up quickly.

Of course not everyone comes away on holiday to soak up the sun and cocktails. There are far more important social interacting things to do…

'Social interacting' on the beach

‘Social interacting’ on the beach

Whilst Liz was pampering her self I went for a little wander down the beach and met a few holiday makers having fun.

One lad and his dog on Ko Lipe

One lad and his dog on Ko Lipe

Shy girls in floppy sunhats are ubiquitous in this part of the world

Shy girls in floppy sunhats are ubiquitous in this part of the world

More playing with technology

More playing with technology

Don't ask

Don’t ask

Making the most of our two-night stay we managed to knock back a couple of bottles of Prosecco (er, and a bottle of Mateus) seated in the dining area lit by subtle lanterns and the moon.

Castaway dining area on Ko Lipe

Castaway dining area on Ko Lipe

For some people, however, the drink was too much.

A rare panda after a heavy night

If you were looking for Week 13 of Esper’s refit, don’t worry, we’ll have it ready for you in a day or two.





9 Comments on “A Magical Birthday Tour Of Ko Lipe”

  1. Hi Liz and Jamie,

    Happy (slightly late, apologies ) Birthday Liz, such a wonderful location …..good choice Jamie!!

    Ian fine and very busy,

    Love Carolinexx

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