There are some places that you journey to, and once you arrive there, you realize that your whole journey and even your whole life was leading you there. This is the place you didn’t know you were looking for, the place that was calling your name, the reason why you journeyed down bumpy roads and across oceans to get to.
When I arrived at Castaway Resort, I knew that I had found such a place. I try to look for the out of the way places on this earth, and when I first read about Koh Lipe Island, I was intrigued. When I started searching on the internet and saw the pictures from the Castaway, I knew I had to go. I booked tickets for the 8 hour ferry from Koh Phi Phi, but it had to be cancelled because of flooding. I found this detail out days before I was due to arrive there, and panicked as I tried to figure out how to get there. I wound up taking one of the minibuses people hire to go to Malaysia for their Visa runs which did a nice little stop at Pak Bara where I took a ferry, landed in the middle of the ocean on a pontoon and then piled on a longboat with about twenty others and our luggage! The longboat dropped us off at our various hotels scattered around the island.
I was stunned by what I saw. Crystal clear waters, blue technicolor skies, gentle waves lapping at my feet. But there was something more. A deep resounding sense of peace, of quiet. It was like I was hearing the moment. Koh Lipe is a very special island, but it was made even more special by my stay at Castaway Resort. I arrived hot and sweaty and was immediately given something cold and refreshing to drink. I felt so taken care of from the moment I arrived, everyone with a smile on their face, a hello as I walked by.
I stayed in one of the beachfront bungalows and beachfront it was, only steps from the sea. The bungalows themselves are all wood, and have a lot of character. There is a balcony upstairs where the bed is. I loved watching the sunrise from my bed every morning. It got quite breezy at night, and I loved having cool ocean breezes and crashing ocean waves lull me to sleep. There were also big trunks in the rooms for you to lock your valuables in which was much nicer to me than a safe as you could put your laptop, cameras and everything else in the trunk. It was like they thought of everything. I also loved the hammocks on the porch and spent a lot of time there just watching the world go by.
My other favorite thing was hanging out or eating dinner on their chill out deck. It was the perfect place to relax, to meet other travelers, and the drinks and the food were superb! The service was also phenomenal, and I never felt like I lacked for anything.
They also had their own dive center, and I went on one of the snorkeling trips. I highly recommend this as Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park and the colors of the coral and the marine life are quite amazing.
The rest of the island is quite nice as well with a slow relaxed pace everywhere you go, no 7-11 stores on this island!, and a beauty and tranquility that surrounds you in each moment. If you are looking for a place that is unlike anywhere else you’ve ever been, and a place that is far from the hectic daily grind of life, I highly recommend Koh Lipe and the Castaway Resort. Just be careful. Once you arrive, you will never want to leave.