Angthong Marine Park in Thailand

Overview from Ko Wua Talap, one of the islands in the Angthong National Marine Park (42 limestone islands) near Koh Samui (island), Gulf of Thailand, ThailandAngthong Marine Park consists of 42 small islands in the south of Thailand, near Koh Phangan. It is one of the best National Parks in Thailand and worth the visit. The islands are made from limestone. There is plenty to do at Angthong and so many memorable sights to see.

Angthong became a National Park in 1980. The islands are uninhabited except for the main island of Koh Wua Talab where the park headquarters are located and Koh Paluay where sea gypsies still pursue their traditional lives.

The islands have many interesting sea caves and coves to explore. There are many beautiful deserted beaches. The limestone forms many dramatic cliffs, caves and strange shapes on the tree covered islands. Several of the islands are named after their shapes such as ‘Sleeping Cow Island’ and ‘3 Pillars Island’. Cruising around the islands taking in the surreal scenery is a great experience.

It is also possible to explore several of the islands. There are sea caves to see and inland trails to follow. Guides can be hired at the park headquarters that conduct tours into the interior of the islands. There are dusky langurs, short tailed macaques and sea otters to spot as well as over 40 species of birds.

On Koh Wua Talab there are trails to spectacular viewpoints. It is also possible to rent a tent and stay overnight in the park if you can arrange transport to pick you up the following day. Another great activity is to rent a sea canoe and go and explore by yourself. There are also some great diving and snorkeling spots around the islands. If you are lucky it is possible to spot dolphins playing near the corals.

The name for the park means golden basin. On the island of Koh Mae Ko there is an inland lake that is surrounded by a golden basin. It is this basin that gives the park its name. The lake has turquoise water and is a natural wonder of the region.

If you want to escape civilization for a few hours and soak up the true natural beauty of the Gulf then there is no better place than Angthong National Marine Park.