I was in two minds whether to pay a visit to Ko Lipe and with hindsight I'm glad I made the trip. Ilona's travel funds are a little bit limited at the moment and she elected to stay on the mainland so off I went on my own. Ko Lipe had everything I was looking for, it was quiet thanks to the off-season, a beach hut next to the sea, decent beaches and clear waters which made for decent snorkling. If circumstances meant that I would have meant an extended stay here I wouldn't have complained in the least. My days were spent snorkling in the early morning and late afternoons then reading and exploring this small island. A hard life I know but someone has to do it.
Lipe is in a transition stage at the moment from being the idyllic quiet Thai island to a resort island with prices to match. There has been a four-fold increase in accomodation over the last two years, it makes me shudder to think how this small island will look in 5 years time.
I met a Lamar and Noi, an Amerian/Thai couple, on my first trip to a restaurant who were a mine of information on the recent history of the island and its inhabitants, thanks to Noi's research for her Phd she is currently undertaking. Unfortunately the recent past has not been kind to the islanders, 10 years ago they all had their land stolen by developers which not surprisingly has led to some resentment, and the outlook for the islanders in the long term looks hopeless. Here's hoping they get a lucky break.