WOW, 42 Islands Of Koh Samui In A Single Frame!
How do you feel when you stand tall on top of a hill and a cluster of 42 islands of Koh Samui is in front of you? Of course, you love it. So let’s go to Koh Samui where a scene of 42 Islands is waiting for us. So, that we can see it through the frame of our eyes. Obviously, we are talking about Ang Thong Marine National Park which means a Gold Destination or Bowl of Gold.
Establishment of Ang Thong Marine National Park
It consists of an archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand in the Koh Samui area and declared as a Marine National park in 1980. It is important to say that most of these islands are uninhabited. However, the whole marine National park is famous for its white sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, green forests, and a couple of beautiful lakes.
How to get to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan
In the first step, we have to reach Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. Koh Samui is accessible by air too. Otherwise, we have to go to Surat Thani, which is a main base hub of ferries to all Koh Samui area including Koh Phangan. And Surat Thani is accessible from Bangkok by air, Train, Car, or public bus.
Where we stayed at Koh Samui
We stayed at UBOX Hostel which has a good review score and we booked it by booking.com. it has a very nice pool. The property was very clean and the staff is more than cooperative.
How to Get to Ang thong Marine National Park
As it is located about 28 km from Koh Samui and about 32 km from Koh Phangan, therefore most of the travelers plan it as a day trip from these two places and the duration of this day tour ranges from 8 to 10 hours.
Book Your Tour from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan
We booked it from our hostel at Chaweng in Koh Samui. Likewise, you can book it from your hotel or select it from the booking offices which offer the same or a slightly variable tour. However, it is better to book at least a day before your trip. Although you can directly take it from the pier at a lower rate, however, there is a chance to miss this opportunity due to the limitation of the number of slots they have. More or less, all tours offer the same points to explore in their day trips but kindly check with your operator that the following two points must be included in your day trip.
- Ko Wu Ta Lap and hike to a famous viewpoint,
- Ko Ma ko and hike to Emerald Lake (Talay Nai)
Transfer from your Hotel in Koh Samui to the pier
Most of the tours start early in the morning like 8:30. A tour company van comes to your hotels or on the agreed pick-up points to pick you up. While moving into the whole area to pick the travelers up from different locations it took around one hour to reach the pier. We also reached there at about 9:30.
Sailing to Ang thong Marine National Park from Koh Samui
We started our tour about 10. A light weight breakfast was served at the boat. It took an hour to reach to our first destination of the day
Ko Wu Ta Lap, The Head Quarter of the Ang Thong National Park
It is the main island of the park and its white sandy beach catches your attention while you were on your way to reaching there. A sparkling white line coming near and near and then our big Boat stops at a distance from this island. As the water near the beach is shallow so we have to transfer into a long tail boat from our big boat and reached the beach of Ku Wu Ta Lap.
There is an entrance ticket of 300BHT for every adult. For kids, the rate is half. Either entrance ticket is included in your tour or not? kindly check it before booking your tour. We didn’t pay any extra fee as our entrance fee was already included in our tour package.
The Novel “Beach” by Alex Garland
The story of the famous novel “Beach” is related to this island where Alex Garland wrote the novel while camping here in 1996. Later on, a film with the same name was released, where Leonardo Dicaprio played a leading role. However, most parts of the actual movie were filmed on the island of Koh Phi Phi.
Lodging at the Island
Although most of the travelers visit this place as a day tour, however, you can stay up there for a night. There are camping sites as well as a few bungalows are available for night stay. For Bungalows, you have to book them in advance
Hike to Pha Jun Jaras View Point
It is the most interesting activity of the tour. For me, it was the essence of my trip to see a view of all the 42 islands from a single point. Starting from the Ko Wu Ta Lap island, you follow the trail. Although it is a hike of 30 to 40 minutes, it was a demanding one especially, in the heat of April. Primarily, most parts of the hiking trail were under the shady trees but most importantly the steep formation of the hiking trail takes a royalty from you to offer the best view of the region. You forget all the pain of the trek when you stand tall at the Viewpoint and see the sweeping view of 42 islands in front of you. You just see and admire the Lord for this natural scene and take countless clicks from your cameras.
Lunch in the sea
After descending to Island, we explored the area and took some postcard shots there. Then we transfer to our Big boat and took our buffet lunch there.
Ko Mae ko island, The mother island
After lunch, we sailed again to our next destination which was the Ko Mae ko island. Ko Mae Ko means Mother Island. It has a beautiful beach for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing too. Here you find a couple of hikes including the hike to Emerald lake which is a must one.
Hike to Emerald lake (Talay Nai)
You have to ready for a little hike here but don’t worry it’s not a demanding one likewise the previous viewpoint hike. A laid foundation of the stairs will keep you guiding to the viewpoint of Emerald lake named Talay Nai and which is a real gem of Ko Mae Ko Island. The same stunning lake which we saw in the movie “The Beach”. We were mesmerized to see a huge lake which is located right at a center of an island with no contact with the seawater and covered from all four sides by the limestone cliffs.
Swimming, kayaking, snorkeling
Its best beaches offer stunning views and good for swimming too. Most of the tours include the Snorkeling gears as a part of your tour. However, you can check either Kayaking is included in your tour plan or you have to book it separately. Generally, it will be included otherwise, you have to book it for a fee of 250/300BHT.
Back to koh Samui
Finally, a fun-filled day tour was approaching to an end. We were going back to Koh Samui and were watching the sunset over the waters of Ang Thong. We reached there in the evening and our tour company made it possible to drop back to us in our hostel.
Important tips or what to bring for a day tour
- A pair of comfortable walking shoes is necessary as maybe get wet while touring
- A towel
- A camera or mobile with a selfie stick
- Waterproof casing for your mobile or camera
Best Time to visit and Closing months of Ang Thong Marine National Park
November to December is a moon soon season and potentially rough seas there, so, the park is remaining close in these months. However, the best time is between February to September.
It must be visited by everyone at least once in your life although most of the people come to see it again and again. You should add it with Koh Tao, where you can visit Koh Nang Yuan which is another landscape town. If you plan around a full moon night then you can also add Koh Phangan which is a party island and you can attend Full Moon Party there.