Koh Lipe is one of Thailand’s best destinations for diving and oceanic nature. The area is blessed with one of Southeast Asia’s best marine parks, Tarutao National Marine Park. However, with more and more tourists visiting the area, Koh Lipe’s carrying capacity for tourism is being tested.
There are a few things that you can do to limit your impact on Koh Lipe and Tarutao National Marine Park.
Diving Do’s & Don’ts
Here are some tips from local diving instructors on Koh Lipe:
- Don’t feed the fish (algae overgrowth, aggressive)
- Don’t touch coral
- Don’t stand on coral
- Put sunscreen on after your snorkel or dive (sunscreen can damage coral)
- Fishing is illegal.
- Pick up things that you see in the water.
- Plastic is a problem, so don’t use plastic bottles or bags if you don’t really need it.
Trash Hero (http://kohlipethailand.com/koh-lipe/Trash-Hero/ )
Trash Hero is a project that has the mission to create sustainable, community-based projects that remove existing waste, and reduce future waste by inspiring long-term behaviour change. They offer free boat trips to islands for visitors who want to help to clean up beaches. The project also sells drinking bottles, which can be filled up for free at fill up stations around the island. Otherwise, buy big plastic bottles water bottles and fill them up to reduce plastic.
Low Impact Accommodation – Camping & Grass Roofs
A great way to reduce your impact on the islands is to camp on Koh Adang, which is just a short boat ferry across from Koh Lipe. The Thai National Park Service rents large tents and tent equipment on site, as well as snorkel gear. If you are staying on Koh Lipe, then choose a guesthouse that has fans and uses natural materials for roofs so that you won’t need to use air conditioning and can reduce your electricity consumption.
Support Locals – Foods & Transport
Support local people and eat at the many small shops offering barbeque, fresh corn and the like. These shops are usually less fancy than the others but offer really tasty food (usually cheaper, too). Using local transportation is another way to support local people.
Fly through Hat Yai – Reduce Your Emissions
Hat Yai Airport is committed to reducing CO2 emissions in response to climate change. The airport is one of the first in the region to become an accredited carbon emissions reducing facility.