Most people arrive in Koh Lipe at Pattaya Beach. Since there is no pier, ferries from the mainland
drop you off at floating docks near shore. Longtail Boats then take passengers to the beach.
It’s the most populated beach, but offers a lot of choices in accommodation, nightlife and restaurants. If you’re in Koh Lipe for nightlife and meeting people its a good place to be based. You can always walk to other parts of the island when you want to. The ferries going there also make it an easy place to stay for a short visit. (No transportation needed to and from other parts of the island.)
There are several bars and several restaurants on the beach. Between them and the ones on the Walking Street, you’ll have a lot of choices including good seafood.
The other beaches get more wind and Pattaya has near white reflecting sand. It’s noticeably hotter. But, there are bars on the beach and lots of cold drinks and ice cream up The Street. Hats and sunscreen are advised for new and mid day visitors.
When the ferries have gone and at the end of the beach it’s more enjoyable.
As far as Koh Lipe goes, the “Walking Street” has just about everything.
It runs from the middle of Pattaya Beach inland toward the middle of Sunrise Beach
There’s Ocean Pro at the beach end and a few more going up the street. Maps in front of them show the dive sites around and to the north of Koh Lipe. You can rent equipment, but it’s always good to have your own mask and snorkel (that fit you). Bring fins too if you have the room and are going to be around for a while and doing serious snorkeling. A Lycra (stinger) suit or thin wet suit is great in tropical waters, as it provides coral and jellyfish protection. And, you can snorkel a long time in the heat of the day and not get sunburned.