Thailand Ang Thong Park Guide
Made famous in the novel and movie The Beach, Angthong National Marine Park promises some of the most magnificent scenery in Thailand. From limestone cliffs, tropical rainforest, deserted beaches with hidden lagoons, to sea caves and the mysterious Emerald lake. You will discover evergreen forests that are home to long-tailed macaques and gibbons. Watch out for oriental hornbills, herons, pacific reef egrets, and fruit bats. With many hidden bays, Ang Thong Marine Park offers vibrant corals where joyful schools of fishes reside alongside sea turtles and rare dolphins. Island hopping across this fascinating archipelago is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.
Angthong National Marine Park is located in the Gulf of Thailand, in the vicinity of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan islands. This spectacular destination derives its name from Ang Thong, which means ‘Golden Bowl’ in Thai. If you’re looking for a tropical paradise that features secluded sandy beaches, blue and shallow waters, thick jungle, diverse ecosystem, and incredible trekking, then it’s the place to be. Tour in Angthong Marine Park is a must-do experience when holidaying in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, or Koh Tao.
Ang Thong Marine Park is an enchanting archipelago spanning 42 virgin islands across 250 sq. km. Which makes it the largest marine park of its kind in Thailand. Among all these islands, the most spectacular ones are Koh Wa Talap and Koh Mae Ko.
Koh Wua Talap is a developed tourist hotspot with the most incredible scenery from its highest viewpoint that you can find in this part of the Gulf of Thailand. It’s a demanding hike, with six viewpoints one after another, but the views from the very top are simply stunning.
Probably, the most recognized and popular attraction is Emerald lake in the middle of Koh Mae Ko Island. The lagoon is located in the middle of the island, so prepare for a short hike until you reach bay that features emerald water ideal for taking refreshments after walking through a jungle.
If you’re visiting a tiny island Koh Pee, be sure to rent a kayak and explore islands’ hidden caves and majestic blue lake. Koh Sam Sao is an attractive tiny island for its snorkeling sites offering shallow waters, rocky coast, colorful reefs, and diversity in marine life. You can expect to encounter sea turtles, majestic manta rays, colorful fish, eels, and much more.
Ang Thong National Park is closed from November 1st to December 21st due to high waves and strong currents. Arguably, the best time to explore the diversity and beauty of natural wonders is anytime from March to September. During that period, you’ll experience constant sunny weather, calm bright waters, and way more activities to do.
There is a lack of accommodation options in the area since the development is strictly controlled and limited as in every National marine park. However, there are limited options available to the visitors, all located in Koh Wa Talap, the largest island. If you’d like to experience living in the jungle surrounded by raw nature, the best option is to rent the cozy bungalows through the official national park website. The second option is to stay in a tent around one of a few campsites, which gives you a massive sense of freedom. Koh Wa Talap has a limited level of development. Still, you can try super delicious Thai food in tiny restaurants, get some basic groceries, and enjoy cocktails on the beach. Most visitors, however, stay in neighboring Koh Samui or Koh Phangan islands, from where you can easily visit the park on a day trip by various kinds of boats.
There are a few transportation options from Koh Samui, including big slow boats, speedboat rides, and private yachts. A big boat ride takes up to 3 hours, while the speedboat will reach the breathtaking marine park in less than 1 hour. As the marine park consists of 42 limestone islands, the best would be to experience what the park has to offer on a customized itinerary. Islander offers private and personalized yacht tours from Koh Samui, around the marine park, and finally to the heart of the park.
There are multiple daily boat tours from Koh Phangan to Ang Thong Marine Park. The speedboat will take around 50 minutes to reach the first notable sight in the park. If you are looking for a more comfortable and luxury option, then charter a yacht or catamaran with Islander to experience this piece of paradise with a personalized itinerary at your own pace. A private tour of Ang Thong Marine Park allows more time to hike a breathtaking viewpoint located on Koh Wua Talap that overlooks the whole marine park.
Koh Tao is a bit away from Ang Thong National Marine Park, but there are a few transportation options. The first and slower option is taking a speedboat that regularly goes from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan, and from there, choose another boat to the park. Alternatively, since it’s a longer distance, you can book a private yacht tour with Islander and thoroughly explore the surrounding area.