Ang Thong National Marine Park
The Ang Thong National Marine Park is 32 kilometers to the northeast of Samui Island. Consisting of 42 small islands it was designated the Ang Thong Island National Park in 1980. Ang Thong National Marine Park is considered one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Thailand as the name “the gold basin (Ang Thong) of the gulf of Thailand” demonstrates. Although there are 42 small islands, Koh Wua Ta Lub is the most popular among travelers. There is a significant amount of wildlife living on the islands including the Asian long tailed monkey (langur), hair nosed otters, pacific reef egrets, white bellied sea eagles, ashy drongos, tortoises, sea turtles, lizards and pythons. It is the foremost spawning ground for the short bodied mackerel. The best time to visit the park is from the end of January until the end of October.
One-day boat excursions are long established and very popular. A typical trip will take in the islands of Wua Ta Lub Mae Koh, Sam Sao and Tai Plao. Prices usually include lunch and drinks, lifejackets and snorkeling gear. The touring program depends on the weather and the sea.
Wua Ta Lub Island. This island is where the Ang Thong National Park Office is located. There are beautiful views that travelers should not miss. A long-tailed boat will take the travelers to Aow Ta beach, where you can choose to swim, sunbathe, kayak or go hiking in the forest.
The route up to the Pa Jarudchan viewpoint, the most beautiful viewpoint of the Surat Thani Sea, is quite challenging as the walk includes a 500 metre climb up a limestone cliff. On the way up to Pa Jarudchan, you will pass the Pah Salad Dai viewpoint, which is 100 meters from Aow Ka Peang beach, another viewpoint that is very beautiful and worth seeing. Climb up the mountain by using the rope provided because the route up is very steep and dangerous. At the peak of the mountain, you can see the view from the wooden porch built by the Ang Thong Island National Park Office. Many of the islands on the north of Wua Ta Lub Island can be seen from here. What is more, there is also a beautiful view of the sunset and sunrise for those who stay overnight. There is basic bungalow accommodation and an area to put up tents or rent the tents from the office.
Mae Koh Island is situated to the north of Wua Ta Lub Island. The topography of this island consists of soaring limestone peaks surrounded by beaches. A must see is the emerald lake. This wonderful feature was caused by the collapse of limestone caverns creating a salt-water lake.