Koh Tarutao is 26km long and 11km wide, with palm and casuarina-fringed beaches, mangrove swamps, jungles that were pirate hideouts, and mountains that reach up to 700 meters. Raw and less visited, it stirs up a primal sense of awe. Koh Tarutao is the largest island of Tarutao National Marine Park, and there is a lot to explore here. From beachcombing Robinson Crusoe style with not a single soul around to exploring waterfalls and caves for those who feel adventurous at heart. Crab-eating macaques, langurs, and boars are very common in Koh Tarutao forests. Boars tend to show up more around evenings. A slow and silent night walk along the roads with strong flashlights in hand could be rewarded with a high chance of encountering civets and mouse deers.
Despite its natural beauty, some of the islands are also remembered for its dark history. Back in the 1930s, Koh Tarutao had been used to isolate political prisoners. During the Second World War, the support from the mainland to the island was cut off, causing food shortage and the death of many prisoners. The guards and prisoners joined together to raid ships sailing around the island to survive. Until the British forces came to the rescue towards the end of the war, around 130 ships were sunk by the prisoners killing everybody on board. Now you know why Tarutao National Park hides so many shipwreck gems, heaven for divers!