Thailand Tarutao Park Guide
Tarutao National Park is one of the best-preserved, most splendid marine parks in Thailand. The park promises flourishing forests, wildlife sanctuaries, deserted beaches, and the best coral reefs in Thailand. Once you lay your feet on any of its picturesque locations, you are guaranteed the most authentic experience of a remote tropical island. 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!
Tarutao National Marine Park covers 1490 km² at southernmost Thailand off the coast at Satun Province in the Andaman Sea. The name Tarutao derives from Malay Pulau Tertua (means “the island of old”), which was the original name of the main Koh Tarutao island. The park was established in 1974 with its headquarters on Koh Tarutao, the largest of the 51 islands, where the most famous island by far is Koh Lipe.
Tarutao National Park experiences two main seasons – rainy and hot. The best period to visit the park is from November to late April. With January being the peak month when the majority of tourists arrive on Koh Lipe. In January-February, the rainfall levels are close to none. The rainy season, on the contrary, features slow days on the island and lasts from May until October, with the peak of monsoon around August-September. On a positive side, the temperature never falls below 25°C year-round, while sunny days are common even during the monsoon period.