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Angthong National Marine Park Tour

Discover an Exotic Archipelago near Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand

Angthong National Marine Park Tour by Speedboat is the best way to discover this superb tropical archipelago lying one hour off the coast of Koh Samui. Hosting 42 islands made of limestone and granite stone, covered with lush vegetation, and featuring long white sand beaches fringed with coconut trees, Angthong is a beautifully preserved natural park offering excellent snorkelling, sea kayaking, and trekking opportunities.

Koh Wao, Koh Mae Koh, and Koh Wua Ta Lap are the three islands visited during this exciting and well organised day trip departing at 09:00 from Bangrak Pier (near Samui Big Buddha) in the northern part of the island. The tour embarks on a large and powerful speedboat capable of holding 30 passengers and is equipped with three 250hp engines for a grand day out in the Gulf of Thailand.

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Koh Wao & Koh Mae Koh

It takes roughly one hour to reach the first stop of the expedition. During that time, our guide informs us about the first destination, distributes complimentary drinks (water and soft drinks) as well as snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel, and life jacket), and shows us the location of the toilet onboard.

We stop in a small bay of Koh Wao in the northern part of the National Park for one hour of snorkelling; the bay is about three metres deep and hosts a great variety of coral (common and grooved brain corals, massive starlet coral, staghorn coral, and more) as well as a vivid colony of reef fish of different species. Due to the sensitive nature of coral in this ecosystem the guide encourages everyone not to touch or step on the coral.

After one hour of swimming surrounded by beautiful fish and sea creatures we head on to our second destination: Koh Mae Koh (Mother Island).

Our speedboat stops on a jetty set in a small bay (the beach is about 80m long) from which we climb the stairs to a view point offering a great vista to the national marine park and to a specific landmark of Mae Koh Island: Talay Nai Lagoon. The staircase is pretty steep yet solid as it is built of metal and wood. Going up and down takes no more than 30 minutes, and a cool beach bar set at the foot of the cliff awaits to refresh you after the effort.

Koh Wua Ta Lap

Koh Wua Ta Lap is the second largest island of the archipelago (after Koh Pha Luai, further south) and our next destination. The island hosts Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park’s headquarters, and is superb: we stop directly on a 400m-long strip of white sand bordered with a coconut grove sheltering the rangers’ offices as well as a restaurant and a bar. Lunch is welcomed by a herd of hungry tourists who leave no chance for the green curry, fried vegetables, chicken wings, spaghetti Bolognese, fried rice, and fresh fruits set in a refectory-like open-sided dining room. 

After lunch, people who choose the tour’s sea kayaking option go to paddle along the island coast while other people have the choice between three types of activities: sunbathing and nap under the shade of the vegetation along the beach; swimming or snorkeling on the reef lying off 50m from the shore; or go for a trek to discover Tham Bua Boke, a rather large limestone cave featuring superb stalactites (coming down) and stalagmites (going up) at an altitude of 280m above sea level.

The path through the jungle to the cave is pretty steep but is fortunately equipped with thick ropes facilitating the climb and descent to and from the cave. On the way down, do not miss the small shack offering a great viewpoint to the beach on the right side of the path. After this effort, you can restore yourself with a fresh drink at the bar, enjoy a cooling swim, or rest on the beach before the speedboat departs to get back to Koh Samui at 15:00.

This tour is highly recommendable and offers excellent value for money; Angthong National Marine Park is the equivalent in the Gulf of Thailand to the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea (north of Phuket): a remote tropical paradise which offers the chance to discover some of the wonders of Mother Nature in Thailand.

Angthong National Marine Park

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