Ang Thong Marine National Park Travel Guide
Ang Thong Marine National Park is set just off the popular island of Koh Samui in an area known as the Golden Basin. It is a stunning archipelago that consists of limestone massifs and empty and unspoiled beaches with lush vegetation.
All of the islands are uninhabited apart from Ko Paluay, which boasts a small sea gypsy population who make a living from fishing in the fertile waters in the area. Koh Mae Ko has an emerald colored salt water lake and one of the most beautiful beaches of all the islands. Koh Sam Sao is famous for its giant rock arch and abundant coral reef and all of the islands are home to a vast assortment of exotic wildlife.
There are least 54 species of bird, 14 kinds of reptile, 5 types of amphibian and countless kinds of fish on the fruitful coastlines in the national park. Snorkeling and swimming are popular pastimes and angel fish, butterfly fish and blue-spotted fantail rays are just some of colorful fish that are easily spotted. Green turtles and blacktip reef sharks are among the rarer species and visitors should keep a watchful eye out for pythons and cobras.
Ang Thong boasts many caves and interesting rock formations. Wua Talap Island, also known as ‘the sleeping cow’, is the largest of all the islands and the steep 430 meter climb is worth the effort for its breathtaking views of the national park and other nearby islands.
Getting There & Away
The closest international and domestic airport to Ang Thong is on Ko Samui, from where daily boat trips out to Ang Thong National Marine Park depart, with Koh Phangan offering a smaller selection of ferries. A train from Bangkok to Surat Thani is a nice way to travel, finishing off with a ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan, Koh Tao or Koh Samui. As well as scheduled boats, there is an option to charter a private boat to see some of the less visited islands away from the throng of tour boats.