I am sure the title, as well as the information about a Thai archipelago of as many as 42 islands and islets, must sound totally new to you.
It is so for general tourists but no so for tourists of specific interests such as wildlife and marine creatures enthusiasts. When compared to the people who wish to see wild animals and colorful birds, the number of people who are interested in underwater creatures is certainly less. I must include my name in the latter’s list.
Well, let us just get on with our objective and plunge into the sea waters of Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park in Thailand.
Overview of Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park, Thailand.
At the outset, you should know that the Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park is a Ramsar site. This means it is a highly protected wetland in the world and controlled by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
There are about 1200 Ramsar sites located in various parts of the globe and they serve as habitats of waterfowls of different species.
Where exactly is Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park located?
The 42 island archipelago that comprises the marine national park is located close to the Koh Samui Island, one of the 1400+ islands of Thailand and is also the second largest in terms of size.
Though the area covered by all the 42 islands are much larger, the Marine Park’s area is only about 100 sq.km out of which roughly 50% are in water and the balance is on land that points out to the famous Ramsar site.
Mu Ko Angthong National Marine Park is situated right on the tip of Southern Thailand on the Gulf of Thailand.
What are the attractions in Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park, Thailand?
You get to see some extraordinary species of marine life and avifauna that are found on the lands wetlands. So, be ready to get wet and muddy too if you wish to see all those creatures.
Apart from the marine life and birds, you can see and walk up through the limestone mountains. Additionally, since these parts of Asia are covered with the typical rainforests that are dense and humid but teeming with the most spectacular insects, butterflies, reptiles, and birds, you can enter the dark jungles and listen intently to the sound of forest. That would be music to the ears.
Yes, these tropical jungles are almost similar to the legendary Amazon rainforests.
The beaches of these 42 islands wear white sand. Swim to your heart’s content; go on a fast boat ride and see some of the hidden lakes on smaller islands. There are also caves for you to explore.
As you go around the islands and see the underwater life, do a bit of island hopping, and indulge in some adventurous water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking, and diving. You will have very limited time to enjoy the most delicious of seafood cooked perfectly in Thai style.
Day trip visit to Mu Ko Angthong
Even though there are 42 islands that comprise the national park, you can see all the exotic marine creatures in about 4 hours or so. Still, you will have time to eat and enjoy a session of snorkeling. All these activities can be completed if you organize a day trip from Koh Samui Island by speedboat.
Approach a licensed tour operator for your Mu Ko Angthong Marine National Park. They can be contacted in Koh Samui Island.
Bird species on Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park
As I already mentioned, this is a Ramsar site, an ideal habitat for several birds some of which you can spot to identify are:
- Herons and Egrets of various sizes
Other islands that you can visit during your stay in Koh Samui:
- The Island Koh Wua Ta Lap
- Koh Mae Ko
- Island Koh Sam Sao
- Koh Phangan
Note: In the Thai language, the word ‘koh’ means ‘island’.
Places to stay in Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park, Thailand:
You have to choose where you wish to say; I mean on which island you wish to stay in order to visit the marine park. You have plenty of options for hotels and resorts some of which are located in:
- Koh Samui
- The Koh Wua Ta Lap
- Koh Phangan
Here some recommended hotels and resorts near Mu Ko Marine Park:
- Dara Samui Beach Resort & Villa- at Koh Samui
- Lotus Friendly Hotel-The Koh Samui
- Samui Natien Resort- Koh Samui
- Four Seasons Resort- The Koh Samui
- Ang Thong Beach Resort
- Marine Chaweng Beach Resort
- Chaweng Chalet
It is advisable to book your choice of the hotel well in advance as these Thai Islands show bolder spots in the tourist radar.
Foods that you must try in Thailand’s islands:
The staple of Thai people is rice, invariably sticky rice. They eat hundreds of varieties of seafood that include fish, lobsters, conch, crabs, and many more.
Regarding vegetables, the predominant vegetable is yam followed by white pumpkin.
Remember the names of the following Thai food specialties:
- Khao Yam Nam Budu
- Gaeng Som
- Hoi Chak Teen
The Thai cuisine is world famous and their chefs are very innovative in mixing of cuisines of nearby nations that include India, China, and even Japan.