For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to ditch Chiang Mai for an island. We figured if we couldn’t be at home with our loved ones, we might as well be swimming in the ocean somewhere.
We didn’t want a drunken party destination like Phuket, but something less busy and out of the way, where we could snorkel and go for those long walks on the beach.. maybe also a bit of jungle hiking. A (too) quick review of Thai islands led us to Ko Lipe. Articles written about Ko Lipe dated 2012 urged the reader to “go right now,” as developers are moving in on the island paradise and it is changing quickly. Well, we might have been a few months too late… we found it tough to be out of earshot of construction. Also, the center of the island, which apparently used to be all sand, was paved over and had loudspeakers. It wasn’t quite the deserted island getaway that we’d hoped for, but the beaches and water were among the clearest we’d seen in all of our travels. Net-net we really enjoyed the trip and were made newly aware of how quickly parts of Thailand are being over-run with construction projects.
There were four main beaches on the island, and as we approached the main beach on the ferry from the mainland, you could see clear to the shallow bottom, where healthy coral heads and dozens of fish darted through the pale green and turquoise water.
We took a tour boat out to snorkel in the nearby Tarutao National Park, where the water was d-i-v-i-n-e. We saw too many tropical fish and coral species to count, not to mention an interesting variety of humans on the other boats. Four days was probably two days too few, as we could have done much more snorkeling, and there were mountainous islands nearby for hiking that we didn’t make it to.
As most places in Thailand, there was an abundance of stray cats and dogs for us to get our animal love fix. You’ll see by the pictures how the beaches and sea all have that “paradise Thai beach look.” Add a Mojito or Pina Colada, and that makes for a Happy Thanksgiving.