We picked up a couple of speedboat tickets to Koh Lipe from one of the many touts in Pulau Langkawi, breezing quickly through immigration only to wait for the boat which was a bit late (three hours). Hmm, and we got the speedboat because …
We arrived on Koh Lipe, a little boomerang-shaped island at the south-east end of the Adang Archipelago. We jumped off the boat onto the beautiful white sand of Pattaya Beach, filled out our Thai immigration papers and strolled for a whole ten minutes to the other side of the island where we checked into our comfy bungalow near Sunrise Beach. We found a few bars of wi-fi and chilled the rest of the afternoon. We did manage to lure ourselves over to Sunset Beach to view its namesake and found a nice spot for a photo.
The next day we woke up at a lazy hour and hung out on the sand. We were good, slopped on plenty of sunscreen, wore our sunglasses and stayed in the shade of the trees. A couple of masks and snorkels were up for rent, so we splashed around the nearby reef for a couple of hours.
Walking back to the room, and the sun felt oddly warm on our backs. By the time we reached our room, the telltale sting had begun and we knew we were sunburned. And not just a little. The entire length of both our shoulders, backs and legs were red hot by the end of the evening. Confused as to why we were so badly burnt, I consulted the fine print on our sunscreen - ah! no water resistance, bloody useless. Needless to say it was a painfully sleepless night, and we cowered from the sun for 48 hours, sneaking out after dark to forage for food and aloe vera gel.
After a couple of days bumming around bemoaning our sunburnt skin, we decided we couldn't leave Koh Lipe without an early morning wake-up for sunrise at Sunrise Beach. We arrived at the beach an hour before sunrise, to allow Ben to hunt for the best composition, which is not always easy to reach in the dark. True to form, Ben decided he wanted to get over those rocks at the end of the beach, and past the rocks at the end of the little beach next to that. A sweaty 20 minutes later (plus a tear on the knee of my pants), Ben finally settles in to capture this gorgeous panoramic, without his precious filters. I sat on a rock as the glowing sun rose over Pulau Langkawi in the distance, the new light mockingly revealing an easy sand pathway through the trees back from where we came.