A group of about 42 islands in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, Ang Thong is an amazing getaway, full of surprises and one of the best sailing trips you’ll ever do. The National Marine Park was established in 1980 and is 102 km² in area with only about 18 km² being land. The dramatic landscape is full of limestone islands, beautiful white sandy beaches, hidden lagoons and many more exciting things to discover. The name Angthong mean ‘golden bowl’ in Thai.
You can find daily boat trips from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan for diving, snorkelling and island exploration. The best way to see the area though is do a sailing cruise for a few days, which leaves from the two islands and also Koh Tao. You can jump on one of these trips and stay a while out there, then ask the boat to pick you up a couple of days later.
The national park has set up a few bungalows for guest at Ko Wua Talap but they are very basic so you should bring your own supplies. Camping is also available and tents can be hired but if you’re on a sailing trip then you might want to stay on the boat or find a private beach and sleep under the stars.
Get back to nature with some fabulous hikes. Ko Mae Ko is a must see with its beautiful emerald lake in the middle of the island, surrounded by limestone cliffs. There is a view point overlooking the lake that is great for photo opportunities. There are some caves to explore; your guide might know the special underwater cave if you’re lucky to experience it! And of course there are gorgeous beaches with coral reefs to snorkel and dive.
The diving is secluded and you’ll probably be the only ones on the site. Visibility can be up and down but there’s still some cool stuff to see. Koh Yippon is one of the most popular sites with its swim throughs, shallow caves and abundance of coral. Keep an eye out for sting rays in the sand. Another site in the area to visit is Koh Wao Yai. If you get to do some night diving here or spend the night in the park, be sure to check out some of the best phosphorous you’ll ever see!
Take a few days to relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Thailand and remember to write and tell us all about it.
(By Kelly Luckman)