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KOH LIPE

The village is situated on the Northern Coast of Koh Lipe, where you can find the local school, first aid clinic and some shops for groceries. The reason for the village and our resort being situated on this side of the island is that the northeast wind that blows during the dry season brings a welcome breeze at night, meaning it is easier to sleep, without the need for air con or fans. The breeze also prevents mosquitoes, so all in all, much better for you!

The relatively lively Pattaya beach, where there are quite a few resorts, restaurants and beach bars, is on the southern coast and 10 minutes walk from the village.

You can find us at Forra Diving Resort at Sunrise Beach, on the east side of the island, near the village or at Forra Diving Resort at Pattaya Beach next to SITA BEACH RESORT.

Forra Dive Center is also located at the entrance of the walking street on Pattaya Beach.

 

 

GEOGRAPHY

Koh Lipe forms part of the Butang archipelago, which is situated to the west of Koh Tarutao. This is a group of around 20 islands; some are large and mountainous with primary rainforest and fringed by coral reefs; some are tiny rocky islets made of diorite, which is similar to granite but with less quartz. The Butang archipelago has the largest tides in Thailand and currents can be strong, leading to a very rich marine life. This is the reason why scuba diving and snorkeling are so special in these waters.

 

Koh Rawi 0611

  

CLIMATE

The year is split into two seasons; the dry season starts in November and finishes in May. From November to February, the northeast wind (the Chinese monsoon coming from the east coast of Thailand) blows every night, bringing refreshing cool air. This is partly the reason for the Chao Leh village being on the northeast side of the island. March to May is the hottest part of the year; the northeast wind dies and the southwest monsoon has not yet arrived. This is the best period for diving.

The rainy season starts in June and finishes towards the end of October. The southwest monsoon, which comes across the Indian Ocean, brings a lot of rain. There is only one connection per day at 11.30 A.M from Pakbara. The Island benefits from a pause in visitors and has a chance to recover ecologically. Forra Diving hopes that Koh Lipe will not follow the example of Koh Phi Phi and open to tourism all year round.


Sunrise fevrier 0784

 

HISTORY

The inhabitants of Koh Lipe are known as the Chao Leh, which means “people of the sea” in Thai, or sea-gypsies. The Chao Leh who settled along the Western Coast of Thailand form distinct social groups. Those living in Koh Adang, Koh Lipe, Koh Bulon and Koh Lanta are known as the Urak Lawoy and originated from Malaysia and Indonesia. To Kiri was the first village headman of Lipe. In 1909 he visited the islands many times on invitation from the governor of Satun. The King of Thailand later gave him the island and some Chao Leh from Koh Lanta came and settled on Koh Lipe. Today there are around 700 Chao Leh living in Koh Lipe and Koh Adang and around 200 in Koh Bulon Don and Koh Bulon Leh.

The Chao Leh language reflects the Polynesian Malay roots of their forefathers. They also retain their animist beliefs and believe in the spirits of their ancestors, the island and the sea. Bad spirits cause trouble such as illness. Good spirits protect the fishermen. Twice a year, during the full moon in late May or early June and late October or early November, the Chao Leh hold a spiritual festival called pla juk or loy rua, where they pay respects to the memory of their ancestors and in particular, To Kiri, their founding father. They build an elaborate two metre long boat out of rakam and teenped wood into which they place food such as chilli peppers, fish, rice and cakes. They also put in cut hair and nail clippings. The festival lasts three days with dancing and much drinking every evening. On the third day they set the boat to sail. If it does not return to shore it is a good omen for the following year, if it does then not so good.

The creation of Tarutao National Marine Park and its recognition by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1973 marked the end of the total freedom of sea gypsies. Settlements in Koh Rawi and Koh Adang were displaced to promote protection of the coral reefs and rainforest, hence their culmination on Koh Lipe. Their village is situated on the northern coast of Koh Lipe and protected from the southwest monsoon winds, which begin in May and end at the start of November.

Tourism and the introduction of money started in the mid-eighties and the first resorts were built in the nineties.

 

 

FORRA DIVING SUPPORT THE PROJECT URAK LAWOI

 

Project Urak Lawoi

 

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For reservations please send us an e-mail and mention all the following details:

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  • Your preferred bungalow ?
  • Arrival Date ?
  • How many nights ?
  • What kind of diving would you like to do?

you will be required to make a deposit of 2 nights trough PayPal or by bank transfer to confirm your reservation.