Sunrise Beach on the East side of Koh Lipe is a good compromise. It’s beautiful, has a variety of places to stay and eat and it isn’t that far to all the businesses around Pattaya Beach. The downside is that the “Good Season” (Nov.- April) has easterly winds sometimes strong and stronger at night. (When the land breeze adds to them.) Still, if your not right on the beach in a second floor room it’s not that bad. (especially compared to a boat at anchor) You get cooling breezes in the daytime and can always walk to another beach if it’s windy that particular day.
Sunrise Beach has places to stay ranging from bamboo huts (Varin Village / Varin 2) to more luxurious resorts (Anda and Serendipity) . Numerous restaurants are there also, Sunrise Beach Restaurant (just north of Varin) and Zanom (of Zanom Resort) were a couple of my favorites. Forra and Castaway Dive (Resorts) are also here.
There is no pier in Koh Lipe. Everything- every bottle of water, tomato and tank of propane comes over from the mainland by small cargo boat and is transferred to Longtail Boats for landing on the beach. Seasonal weather and where the cargo needs to go determine what side of the island they use for the raft up and transfer. Prices for most things are higher on Koh Lipe than mainland Thailand and this has to be one of the big reasons.
The Thais love dogs (I think The King of Thailand once did a photo book about one of his dogs.) and Koh Lipe is no exception. For the most part the dogs are friendly and well treated. They make good friends to hang out with on the beach. Unlike Mad Dogs and Englishmen they know enough Not to Go Out In The Midday Sun.
Hiking around Koh Lipe repeatedly, I ran across a few small groups of semi wild (?) dogs in the center of the island but had no problems with them. I think the natives are friendly. (In other places, when hiking around wild dogs, carry a walking stick and a few stones to throw. Never run from them.)
And hit the other beach. Once the boxes are unloaded, you can hire this Longtail to go anywhere else on the island.