Planning a Thailand holiday and wondering where to stay on Koh Lipe?
I have visited this island on various occasions and have tried out different Koh Lipe hotels to help you decide where to stay on Koh Lipe island.
If you are looking for a luxury hotel in Koh Lipe that is affordable then I definitely recommend Idyllic Concept where I stayed in August 2022.
Koh Lipe Accommodation: Idyllic Concept Review
Idyllic Concept is ideally located on Sunrise beach, right at the end of the beach by Koh Usan which has lovely snorkelling spots. This Koh Lipe hotel offers two swimming pools, a delicious breakfast and spacious rooms.
Idyllic Concept Review – Rooms
All rooms offer complimentary water and tea and coffee along with a kettle and minibar.
The rooms are lovely with various unusual features as part of their interior design and have great hanging ‘nest’ chairs on the balconies. I stayed in a pool view deluxe double room and really enjoyed it.
The bathrooms are spacious, with a great waterfall shower and even a bathtub. They were cleaned every day and we were provided with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel along with other amenities.
My only feedback for the hotel would be to provide water refills rather than plastic bottles in the room to be a more eco-friendly resort. I also noticed the plugs were in strange places so there wasn’t a plug on the sideboard for the kettle so I had to plug it in near the bed or in the bathroom. These were two small comments and I would definitely stay here again in the future and recommend Idyllic Concept to friends who are looking for Koh Lipe accommodation.
Idyllic Concept Review – restaurant
I absolutely loved the breakfasts that were included during our stay at Idyllic Concept. As a vegetarian, I always love when restaurants provide loads of fresh fruit. As well as this, you could have any type of bread, pancakes, cookies, cereal, Asian cuisine or freshly made eggs of your choosing. They also provide tea and a coffee machine, freshly squeezed fruit juice and will make Thai tea or iced coffee for you.
One of the other things about breakfast at this top Koh Lipe hotel was that it started early so if you are scuba diving in Koh Lipe then you are able to eat before going diving. Breakfast started from 6.30am when I was visiting in 2022.
Koh Lipe Hotel – Staff
The staff were fantastic at the resort. Really friendly and helpful and I felt like they could be themselves. We were met at the pier and taken to the resort and given a welcome drink while we checked in.
Activities to do on Koh Lipe from Idyllic Resort
From Idyllic Concept resort you can rent snorkelling gear, kayaks and stand up paddleboards at a very cheap price. Koh Lipe is a fantastic place to view healthy coral and, in my opinion, it is the best snorkelling in Thailand. There is a wide range of marine life here that you can view snorkelling, diving or from a paddleboard or kayak – they even have clear perspex ones so you can see what is underneath!
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This South East Asia Packing List has been updated in 2022.
When researching a trip I always love to plan outfits and look for recommendations for what I need to pack for backpacking. My first backpacking trip was around South-East Asia and I made many rookie packing errors. I overpacked, everything was far too heavy, it was a nightmare finding things and I didn’t have much room to buy more stuff.
Having lived in Asia for the last 7 years, I now know the best south east asia packing list and my list contains everything you need for packing for South East Asia.
For my advice, read on for my southeast asia travel packing list:
South East Asia Female Packing List Essentials
A backpack – while suitcases might appear easier with wheels and you don’t have to carry them, in reality a backpack is a better idea. South East Asian cities have mostly uneven pavements blocked by street food vendors, restaurants spilling out onto the sidewalks, clothing stalls and people haggling and queuing which makes trying to get a suitcase down the road very tough work. Sand and suitcases also rarely mix and hopping on and off boats and ferries is much easier with a backpack. I currently use a 40L Dry Bag as my backpack, really similar to this Aquafree Dry Bag, 40L – Blue from Amazon. I love that it rolls down so if I have less items I can make it even smaller and I’ve also used this as hand luggage for various trips too.
Women Packing List South East Asia – Clothes
Dresses – I love short summery beach ones like this and long maxis like this Floral Print Split Maxi Party Dress for classier nights to sky bars and covering up for temple visits.
Denim Shorts – my summer staple and they go with everything
Elephant/Baggy Trousers – if you want to go backpacking then you have to buy a pair to fit in with the backpacking crowd. I prefer to look less like a backpacker and love styles like these Floral Printed Trousers . They are great for temple visits and bus and train travel when you don’t want to stick to cheap leather seats.
Leggings and a hoody – because it does get cold! I’ve been on many buses, trains and planes where they blast the air con and it is not fun. Come prepared. I also pack socks.
Cover Ups – I love pretty crochet cover ups like this Cover Up Crochet Dress (Off White) for looking good on the beach and a sarong is really useful as a beach towel, covering your shoulders to be respectful or to stay out of the sun and even as a lightweight blanket like this great value Cover Up Sarong.
Maxi skirts – great to mix and match with various tops and good for covering legs to protect from evening mosquito bites and for temples, like this one here Summer High Waisted Coral Print Maxi
Chinos – preferably Khaki coloured so you look the part on those jungle treks! Don’t think about doing it in shorts – one word – Leeches.Buy ones similar to these Belted Casual Chino
Bikinis/swimwear – so these may be my downfall and I definitely have way more than I need. I love sporty styles for water sports like this and strapless styles for avoiding tan lines. I also don’t recommend wearing thong/g-string style bikinis around South East Asia as there are still conservative areas and you could offend people.
Playsuits – I love these casual styles to throw on over bikinis or to wear out at night to party. I like styles like this Bohemian Romper
Packing List for Female in South East Asia: Footwear
Flipflops – easy to get in and out of as in many places you should remove your shoes before entering people’s homes, temples and even some shops where people live above it.
Walking boots or trainers with a decent grip – jungles, mountains, national parks, don’t be the person wearing converse and falling over when hiking.
Sandals – I personally dislike wearing flipflops all the time and feel it cannot be good for your ankles. If you want to visit posh rooftop sky bars or clubs in cities like Bangkok then a dress code applies and you will be turned away for wearing flipflops or even Birkenstocks.
Tom-style pumps – I think these are great if you think walking boots are a little extreme. I always wear these for activities like white water rafting, visiting waterfalls and I prefer to use these when driving a scooter as well. Mine are a similar style to these TOMS Women’s Slip Ons
What to Pack Female for South East Asia: Accessories/Extras
Jewellery – I wouldn’t recommend taking anything valuable or sentimental as you may lose it or risk it getting stolen. I take a lot of stud earrings like these Women’s Stud Earring (6 Pairs) and a couple of bigger pairs for a night out. I usually buy some cheap rings or bracelets for some party nights. There are some great cheap earrings in markets out here so definitely come planning to buy.
Hair bands and kirby grips– anything to keep long hair off your sweaty neck in hot humid temperatures, I always bulk buy 40 Pack Black Hair Ties as out here buying individual ones in markets can add up!
Towel – Invest in a tiny travel towel that dries quickly. I recommend a cheap one as you will probably have to throw it away because of the smell by end of trip. Buy yours RainLeaf Microfiber Towel before you travel as I have rarely seen them for sale over here in South East Asia
Smallzipped bag to wear across the shoulder like this one Crossbody Travel Bag and/or a small day backpack– protect your items from thieves and big enough to keep a bottle of water in too , like this Casual Travel Daypack
Dry bag– like this 5L one Dry Bag Sack is great for monsoon seasons, boat trips, desert island swimming…
South East Asia Packing List Female – Toiletries
Make up – I only wear mascara and I use a tinted moisturiser which includes a high SPF. I find anything else just seems to slide off your face in the heat and humidity.
Deodorant – obviously but also be aware that many products in South East Asia have whitening in them so when buying more over here read the label carefully.
Tiny bars of soap – Some hostels/hotels provide these and others don’t so I feel it’s really useful to start collecting them.
Hand Wash Gel – small tube, very useful for doing small hand washing when needed or rinsing out swimwear etc, get small packets like Tide Travel on Amazon
Washing Line– best thing my friend bought for me before I went – Go Go Travel Clothes Line which is one long line of twisted string with hooks either end for drying things
Toothbrush/toothpaste – and gum for when all else fails and you end up without sinks in off-the-beaten-track areas of Indonesia
Baby wipes– these are incredibly useful and very cheap. I use them to remove make-up,sun cream, sweat, dirt and cleaning bags or shoes, buy yours here Wipes Travel Pack
Hand Sanitizer – For those train/bus toilets where they often don’t provide soap, come prepared with Original Hand Sanitizer
Suntan Cream– I never like to go lower than SPF 30. The sun is extremely strong here. Go for a reef friendly brand like Sun Bum that’s an environmentally friendly suncream.
First Aid Kit – after-bite for stings – once out there buy Golden Cup balm – local cure for insect bites!, plasters, antiseptic cream, diarrhoea tablets (and lots), painkillers, the Pill, nail scissors, string (you never know)
Packing List Backpacking South East Asia Female – Extras and Essentials
Insurance Details (just in case) and visas
Gopro or underwater camera, especially if you’re interested in snorkelling and diving in Asia
Small purse for small coins which can be useful for water filters and motorbike taxis
International driving license is required in some places to rent scooters, Thailand is one of them if you don’t want to risk a fine by the police if/when they stop you.
South East Asia Packing List: Seasick Bands
If you are spending time backpacking south east Asia it is likely that you will be spending time on boats. The seas can get choppy and to avoid seasickness, I swear by these travel sickness bands. They go around your wrist with a small bead that pushes gently on a pressure point. Even if it’s psychological they work! Buy a pair on Amazon here.
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Looking for the best Thailand route 2 week itinerary? If you’ve got 14 days in Thailand and you are looking for Thailand itinerary inspiration then read on for the best 14 day Thailand itinerary planned by a Thailand resident with many suggestions. While planning your 14 days in Thailand itinerary you should consider the following:
Where you are flying into – most likely Bangkok or Phuket
What to do in Thailand for 2 weeks when you love the beach? Plan a Thailand island hopping route heading to the famous and beautiful beach destinations. Consider a scuba diving course and/or snorkelling trips. Visit the best beaches in Thailand, whether you want to party or to relax on the best quiet islands in Thailand.
Day 1 Fly + ferry, train/bus + ferry to visit Koh Tao
Day 2 & 3 Stay on Koh Tao to party or take a dive course for 4 days
Day 4 & 5 Ferry to Koh Phangan, spend time snorkelling, hanging out on beaches and partying
Day 6 & 7 Head across to the Andaman coast and stay in Ao Nang or Railay, go island hopping
Day 8,9,10 For partying and beautiful beaches head to Koh Phi Phi and visit the famous beach from ‘The Beach’ movie
Day 11, 12, 13 Take the ferry to Koh Lanta for a more relaxed island experience, chill with monkeys and explore the islands beaches
Day 4 & 5 Stay on Koh Tao to party with all the backpackers
Day 6,7,8 Ferry to Koh Phangan, time it well with a famous Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan or if you aren’t there over Full Moon itself then consider joining a Half Moon Party or a Jungle Party. For my Full Moon Party tips read this article
Day 9,10,11, Get a transfer to Koh Phi Phi on the Andaman side and party until the sun comes up and enjoy the best fire shows in Thailand.
Day 12, 13, 14 Ferry to Phuket and party for a few days at the big night clubs there before flying out
Thailand 2 weeks Holiday Itinerary for Culture
For your Thailand 2 weeks holiday then consider soaking up the history – both ancient and World War 2 of Thailand.
Day 1,2,3 Exploring temples and markets in Bangkok
Day 4&5 Take the train to Ayutthaya, rent bicycles and cycle around this old city
Day 6& 7 Visit Sukothai, one of the oldest cities in Thailand on the way to Chiang Mai
Day 8,9,10 Explore culture in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai amongst other activities
Day 11 fly back to Bangkok and head to Kanchanaburi
Day 12,13,14 Explore museums, World War 2 history and waterfalls in Kanchanaburi
Day 7, 8, 9 Fly to Krabi and spend time rock climbing in Railay, island hopping, go scuba diving, visit hot springs and hike in the National Parks in Krabi
Day 10, 11, 12 Go to Khao Sok National Park, sleep in a tree house, a floating bungalow on a lake, go kayaking, jungle trekking and on boat tours to spot gibbons, monkeys and a chance of wild elephants! Khao Sok is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand.
Day 13, 14 Head to Phuket for surfing (rainy season only June-Oct), ziplining, exploring beaches and waterfalls
For flying around Thailand, compare prices on skyscanner below
Because sometimes we have travel regrets, some big and some small! Unfortunately it’s not all coconuts on white sand beaches (only most of the time!). While I love reading about the amazing experiences people have done while travelling the world, I also think it’s good to talk about what we missed out on so that a fellow traveller might not make the same mistake!
Not taking enough photos. I seem to always take a million photos of exactly the same angle of the popular sights like certain temples or famous monuments but I forget to take photos of the every day; the colourful tuktuks, the street food stalls, the flower markets and these are really the snaps that help sum up the real feelings and atmosphere of a place. When I recently visited India I tried to take more real photos that take me back to that moment!
Not visiting the sand dunes in Mui Ne Vietnam. The person I was travelling with didn’t want to go so I didn’t go. Silly decision. Likewise with Monkey Island near Cat Ba in Vietnam. That was the first time I ever went backpacking, now I know I would be confident enough to go it alone!
Not researching Dalat, Vietnam properly and missing out on canyoning down waterfalls because I didn’t know about it!
Overpacking. So the story of my life is that I have too many clothes, too many shoes and just too much ‘stuff’ in general. My backpack was too heavy, and as a result I spent a lot of time complaining and being too lazy to walk too far to find accommodation which probably meant I stayed in scummier places at not as convenient locations.
Getting in a big argument with a tuktuk driver in Siem Reap, Cambodia about money. I feel ashamed to have acted this way and it turned into a scene. It was after all, not very much money for me and a lot for him. In my defence I was a newbie and struggling with culture shock and poverty like child beggars. But really this where I should have been at my most generous and I’m embarrassed to say I was not. Hopefully now I am older, wiser and more understanding!
Missing Christmas at home. It was just once, when I first moved to Thailand and I have made a pact with myself to never skip Christmas again. For some people Christmas travelling might be fun, a chance to celebrate on the beach or with new friends or old ones across the world. However, for me Christmas should be and always will be about family, and mine did not celebrate together because of me (I stole my sister who joined me in Thailand). Christmas is not the same without everyone who matters arguing about Dobble under the same roof. Also as a British person, Christmas should be cold! Wearing santa hats in the heat is just a step into the surreal for me!
Worrying too much about planning things that I forget to enjoy the moment of where I actually am! (Still working on this one!)
That said…BADLY PLANNING things. On two occasions I hadn’t factored in enough time to see a place and with transport being particularly SLOW in some areas of South East Asia I successfully managed to arrive in BOTH Penang and Singapore late at night… in order to fly out the next morning. Luckily I’ve since been back to Singapore for the weekend but I’m still waiting on that Penang trip…
Not being more adventurous with food. Ok, I admit, I am so boring with food! I eat cornflakes EVERY morning for breakfast. Luckily for me, travelling forces me to be more adventurous with food and I need to do this way more. The first time I backpacked I refused to eat noodles, didn’t like Vietnamese food and generally did not enjoy eating food in South East Asia! Four years later, while I still eat my boring cornflakes I also point at random stuff displayed at street food stalls around Asia and I will try it.
Having the worst hangover of my entire life in Siem Reap Cambodia in a boiling hot hostel with no A/C or fridge for water. Lesson learnt: hangovers in heat are the worst! If you know it’s gonna be a messy night, consider splashing out on an A/C room.
Getting so used to travelling constantly that I became too lax about airport timings and missed a flight to Taiwan. Cue arguments and tears and FINALLY being allowed to board the next one! Sometimes making a (tiny) fuss pays off!
Thinking that I probably wouldn’t like mountain biking but wanting to be adventurous so I signed up anyway. There was an afternoon of 10km downhill, or a full day trip of 25km downhill from the top of a mountain in Chiang Mai. Guess which one this idiot chose? Within the first five minutes I knew I hated and it DID end in tears and me walking my bike down the mountain. I’m glad I tried it but I regret not going for the ‘taster’ session!
What are some of your travel regrets and mistakes?
I live in Asia and devour books, therefore it makes sense to create a list of all the best books set in Asia that I have read. Please leave me a comment and add your favourite novels set in Asia as I’m always after new reading materials to explore.
Best Novels set in Southeast Asia
If you’re planning a trip to South East Asia and you want to get prepared for the vibe, learn about the history and cultures you may encounter then read some of these books set in southeast Asia. Many of them are in the genre of historical fiction set in Asia.
Books Set in Thailand
Starting off the list with books set in Thailand. In the historical fiction set in southeast Asia there are a few books about Thailand.
Bangkok in Times of Love and War by Claire Keefe-Fox
If you want to learn something of the history of Thailand then I recommend reading this book set in Bangkok. It follows a female nurse who is the protagonist who falls in love with a British man based in Bangkok but they then become separated during World War 2.
The author really captures the feeling of Bangkok from an outsider perspective and I enjoyed the snippets into how Siam became Thailand and political history that I learnt through reading this novel set in Thailand.
Books Set in Myanmar
My top recommendation for books about Burma is Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig. This incredible book, set in Myanmar, follows the history of one family through the last century. The characters in the novel are based on Craig’s own family members. This book was incredible for teaching me about Burma, its history, its multiple cultures and explains a lot about World War 2 and British colonisation that I never knew.
Miss Burma is one of the best novels set in Asia that I have ever read.
Books set in Asia : South Asia
Books set in Sri Lanka
As someone who has never read a book set in Sri Lanka that I didn’t like, I recommend nearly all these Sri Lanka novels and historical fiction reads.
The Elephant Complex – John Gimlette
One of the best books on the Sri Lankan Civil War, this is an extremely readable history which explains the complexities of Sri Lankan history and is completely engaging
Mosquito – Roma Tearne
Historical fiction set in Sri Lanka during the period of the Sri Lankan civil war.
When Memory Dies – Ambalavaner Sivanandan – fictional book set during the civil war
Anil’s Ghost – Michael Ondaatje- fictional book set during the civil war
Tamil Tigress – Niromi de Soyza –
One of the best books about Sri Lanka that I have read. This is an autobiography of a former female soldier in the Tamil Tigers and is eye-opening, raw and emotional.
Shantaram – Gregory David Robert (first book I read and decided I needed to visit India!) – Epic adventure story that is also true!
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth- Family orientated drama concerning arranged marriages and religion issues
A Fine Balance -Rohinton Mistry – Heartbreaking and important
The Palace of Illusions – Chitra Divakaruni – Tale of the Mahabharata, one of the oldest, most epic stories in the Hindu religion told from a female perspective
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie – Fantasy story set during India’s independence
Holy Cow – Sarah Macdonald – Autobiographical book concerning India’s spiritual and religious elements
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling – Children’s story of jungle adventures about a boy growing up with wolves
A Passage to India – E.M.Forster – short novel depicting the beginning of the end of the British Empire in India
The Far Pavilions – M.M.Kaye – Adventure, love, war, religion – one of my favourite books of all time.
Shadow of the Moon – M.M.Kaye – fictional story about the lead up to the First Afghan War
City of Djinns – William Dalrymple – extremely readable history of Delhi, this book feels like it’s a fictional story