Moray. Koh Lipe, Thailand. March 2009.

Koh Lipe on land and underwater

  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Three days I'm in Koh Lipe, tiny island in the south of Thailand, on the edge of the Malay border. My camera is dead, but I still have pictures. Eh yes ! Solidarity and the D-system played a big role.

A big thank you first to Julien and Régis, who work at Forra Diving. They both lent me their respective devices.

I owe to the first the terrestrial images, to the second the images under water ...

An island in transformation

Sunrise Beach, "my" beach in Koh Lipe. (Thailand, March 2009.)
Sunrise Beach, "my" beach in Koh Lipe. (Thailand, March 2009.)

Koh Lipe, as pretty as she is, inspires me with mixed feelings.

The island is superb, really, the beaches are top. But the current development of bungalows, restaurants, bars and shops is worrying. The tourist business will cause a lot of damage. And it has already begun.

But I will come back in a future post

Shops everywhere, along the hard road that connects Sunrise and Pattaya Beach. (Koh Lipe, Thailand, March 2009.)
Shops everywhere, along the hard road that connects Sunrise and Pattaya Beach. (Koh Lipe, Thailand, March 2009.)
The children of Koh Lipe. (Thailand, March 2009.)
The children of Koh Lipe. (Thailand, March 2009.)

Photos under the water

To get back to my broken camera stories, guess which model does Regis have? A model whose tired screen suddenly covered with a black spot of dead pixels? Stain that spread more and more, until it covered the whole central area of focus, after two plots? And who has stopped posting any image back to the ground?

Yes Yes. The same. A Canon Powershot A95, about the age of mine.


But ... I do not tell you how proud I am: I managed to do underwater drinking photos, despite this huge black spot in the middle of the screen that prevented me from seeing if my development was good or not.

Moray. Koh Lipe, Thailand. March 2009.

I shot at best. And got some presentable pictures.

A little judgment, a little thanks to the experience that I have settings to do, a little luck too.

Antennae (frog-fish or toad-fish). Koh Lipe, Thailand. March 2009.

The few dives I have made here are not as spectacular as in the Similan.

The water is very green, very busy, visibility is even downright rotten at times. And again, it seems that it has improved, compared to December-January. To dive in Lipe, it is better to prefer March-April, or so October-November, I was told.

Beginners will be necessarily a little disappointed, here, if they hope to swim in an aquarium. The translucent water at the edge of the beach is misleading. In the background, the light is creepy, or even greyish.

But as long as we have the passion for strange little animals, like me, we go back enchanted to the surface ...

First, there is nudi. Beautiful and sometimes new.

And, above all, I had the good fortune to observe and photograph two critters that I had never met before.

"Pegasus", a kind of chimera that is the seahorse and the bird, trotting on the sand by deploying small wings. And a "sea hare", a species of huge slug, the size of two hands, a reddish brown almost black.

Pegasus. Koh Lipe, Thailand. March 2009.

Sea hare. Koh Lipe, Thailand. March 2009.

The usual fauna is there in number, but you have to have the patience of a naturalist to find the rarest: shy seahorses, their cousins the pipe fishes, pretty moray eels, antennae ...

Solidarity of photographers sub

In Forra Diving, I have great pleasure to find Yves and Erikawho used to run Coral Sky Divers in Perhentian (Malaysia), and with whom I had dived in 2006.

Those are photo enthusiasts both. They were sensitive to my troubles.

Yves unearthed me a tiny screwdriver. And Regis and I managed a miracle: make a camera that works with our two defective devices!

We recovered my screen in good condition to put it on the other. Victory! I am so happy.

[ADD the 07/04/09: see my underwater photos of Koh Lipe]

Diving training

That said, I do not know if I will have so much time to devote myself a lot to photography in the days to come.

I decided to pass the certification Rescue Diver, which is, for me who is Advanced Open Water (AOW), the next level in Padi diving course, one where we learn the maneuvers of rescues in case of glitch. Training quite difficult, obviously, but very interesting.

I have a little painful ear today ... Ah, the sores of the divers! I hope that it will pass (I have drops to heal that) and that I will be able to join the Rescue as expected ... We'll see tomorrow!


See all articles on this trip:

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  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

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  1. I'm still worried about your ankles. Not too swollen with all the compliments? Congratulations for the trouble!
    I vote for the yellow bug that was almost horrible with its blisters and makes up for it with its color and its look that seems to me full of sweetness. How big is this thing? It bites?

  2. Hello
    long live the D system 😀 so here you are with a camera and we have the pleasure of looking at your photos8) , nice your pegasus, I haven't seen any yet!
    your sea hare looks a little like those of us, a distant cousin maybe ❓

  3. @ Marie-Julie: Merciiiiiii !!! This is a compliment that comforts me from all my photographic woes ...
    For the Rescue, it will be intense in the coming days, apparently. But OK. All the people who did it are very happy with the experience, really formative. We'll see.

    @Nono: Ankles are fine thanks, just a little mosquito bite picked up last night... 😆
    Said creature is a nudibranch, a sea slug. No more dangerous than our land slugs, they do not bite. They are just more or less toxic to predators who would risk wanting to peck, what they report with great support of pustules and / or colorful patterns. It was about the size of an inch.
    But this is the first time someone tells me about the "look" of a naked ... Must stop smoking shady stuff to the protests, Nono!

    @Laurence: As I'm going into Rescue, I'm not going to take a lot of pictures these days. But I should be able to re-borrow the crafted device (which is not mine) afterwards. For me too, the "pegasus" was a first. They were two in fact. I just put the picture of the little one, the only one where we can pretty much distinguish the beast on the sand. These creatures are not cooperative at all for the photos. They do not stop trotting in the sand turning their backs to you as soon as you try to flash them in front ... As for the sea hare, I have never seen those of our countries. But they are surely related. I'll have to drink the books of the dive-shop to learn more about these new beasts.

  4. An inch, just that? I persist, this creature has something in the eyes. And to smoke shady stuff or not shady, the appointment is Thursday 19. You'll be back? If you disengage in solidarity, you bubble a moment, to change.
    Your camera mishaps remind me of my own. My luggage had not followed in Chennai. I had my camera and batteries with me but I had stupidly slipped the charger into a suitcase. After a few days, I couldn't take pictures anymore. I went to all the photo shops, I hung out in all the districts of Pondy in search of a charger. Without success. Then, in desperation, I started to look if a tourist had the same camera. I didn't look at people's faces, I looked at their Kodak. And after a few days I found one! The guy noticed that I was seriously squinting at his camera and he held it tightly to him. Once I explained my problem to him, he gave the charger to the manager of the guesthouse, to whom I entrusted my batteries. I blessed this tourist and was able to continue taking pictures, thrifty until the suitcases finally reappeared some eight days later. These are the travel memories, without them it wouldn't be as much fun, even if we do pity ourselves at the time. 😆

  5. No, you would not talk about the second picture, under the moray eel, the yellow fish? If so, it's a beautiful frog fish with a tender look ...
    Corinne talks about the next picture, the nudibranch with yellow / orange pustules on a black background ... whose look is actually less descriptive ...

    Corinne, I am your adventures with delight.
    The moray eel and the frog fish are superb!
    I am delighted that you also have the opportunity to discover new critters!
    😉 Good Rescue!

  6. I think there is a curse on the Canon A95 in Koh Lipe 🙂
    but I see that we are in the presence of the reincarnation of the female Mc Gywer 😆

    In any case the "rescue" level started well when you read the article, already an A95 saved 😉
    By the way, rescue, that corresponds to what level in the language ffessm ❓

    Otherwise hats off to you for the photos both land and water, it does indeed make you dream (even 😥 ) for those who stay.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    PS thank you for the little feedback by mail, it was very nice 😉

  7. In Manta. Here's one that follows! Thank you. Yes, I was talking about the soft looking yellow fish. Whew! 🙂

  8. @Nono: Oh dear, a thousand pardons, fortunately Manta is here for the explanations of text ... It is the side "yellow pustules" which misled me.
    In fact, it is a fish, roughly as big as the fist, said antennae or fish-toad (frog-fish). His thing is to look as much as possible at a thing that does not look like anything, like a sponge, a story that we do not see, and to wait for a small innocent prey to pass in mouth of mouth for the swallow at once. I really like frog-fishes ... It's true that he has something in his eyes, that one.

    @Manta: Pff ... Thank you for your intervention. Without you, we would have remained on the confusion between pests yellow pimples! I have some other small photos sub in stock, for future posts.

    @ N @ me: Yes, when I saw the other device start messing around, I thought I was cursed ... But I think it is rather to Mr. Canon that we should address criticism. Its cameras do not hold in tropical climate.
    As for the Rescue (Padi) I imagine that it must correspond more or less to Level 3 (FFESSM). Should go to see the texts at the level of the "bridges" existing between the two types of formation.
    In any case, today, I'm just in the book and videos (we finally pushed the day of the start of the practical exercises) and I must say that I'm happy: the adaptation of the English text in French is, as usual, rather awkward and quite funny, and the side "amloque" videos is from time to time the most comic. But I'm not going to laugh when I'm going to have to go from theory to practice ...

  9. 🙄 You're welcome Corinne... seeing the posts, I figured there had to be a logical explanation to the nudibranch look... explanation easier to find with the hindsight of a reader than with gum in your head!
    💡 So we will have unintentionally found a similarity in the description of the nudibranch and the frogfish... funny!
    Good rescue!

  10. The world is strange. I was away at the end of the day (exciting Iranian film festival with very strong films) and I learn about Bashung's death by a comment from Paskle on Little Bubbles ...

  11. I hope that your little ear problems are behind you and that you were able to work on the Rescue...I would like that: if one day I decide to go diving with you...I would feel more reassured...I'm as loose as I am with only a mask and will be wiser to have a "rescue" person by my side; especially since I now have a piece of meniscus, less flexibility and reflex in the knee... 😛
    Finally, for now, I'm still far from the fins and tuba, my crutches are already quite bulky!
    I'm kissing you strongly!!

  12. @Manta: You'll see, one day we will meet under water you and me, lovingly bending over the same pustules colored with a "chewing gum" or a frog-fish!

    @Nono: Yes, really strange. I live in a bamboo bungalow at the other end of the world, I spend my days in the water, and I learn the death of Bashung at the same time as you or almost thanks to the message of Paskle on my blog ... The " global village "is not just an expression.

    @ Helen: You know that swimming is one of the "soft" sports often recommended for rehabilitation. I do not know if it will be suitable for you (your doctor will say it), but if so, as soon as you stop crutches, zou, in the water! For my part, the ears are definitely better today. I will continue to rinse well and treat well and tomorrow everything should be back in order. Good luck for convalescence!

  13. Hello,
    I savor with delight your site very interesting. For now, I read about Thailand since I leave in a dozen days. On the program, the return to Chiang Mai through the sites of the temples. Maybe a trek and second week, the idleness on the South side, islands and especially that of Koh Samui. Diving should be part of our discoveries ... only here is me and the water when I bury my head in it, it is less joyful so if I meet in my path these enormities (which I admire on your photos), I think I'll stay there ...
    Thank you for sharing.
    I saw in a previous article that you went to a hotel in Bangkok called New Siam, this is the hotel I had spotted (with the Routard) and saw what you said, I think I would go but apparently there are several, so which one to choose?
    In the meantime, a good Sunday and pleasure.

  14. @PalaisdesLys: I have not tested the different New Siam so I can not compare. The New Siam I is the basic guesthouse, not too expensive and functional in the heart of the tourist district, but without charm.
    Other New Siam go upmarket. I think Riverside is not bad for the view of the river, but it's not the same price ... I heard that the New Siam II was still a little pricey for what it offered. They have a website, where you can book online and where they detail the benefits. Otherwise, there is plenty of choice, in the neighborhood, question hotels and guesthouses ...