Ang Thong National Marine Park
Not a long post this one but I figured it deserved to be mentioned: Ang Thong National Marine Park!!!! Please visit!
I will let the pictures speak for themselves but to be honest, it was raining the whole time when I went there so… have a look at other pictures online and you will be wowed. If you've seen the movie The Beach, this is one of the spots they filmed in!! Ang Thong also means "Golden Bowl", I wonder why...
Ang Thong National Marine Park is a pristine archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand with towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, fertile mangroves, waterfalls and hidden coves and lakes to explore. The park is a protected area of more than 100 square km of land and sea, and home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures.
I decided to go with an organised tour from Koh Samui. It was a full day tour with hotel pick-up, so all sorted. The minivan picked a few people up from different hotels around the area. From there we got taken to Nathon Pier and we got a ferry to Ang Thong.
The ferry ride was about 1h30 I think, and I was lucky enough to meet two lovely girls who were also into Muay Thai. Good connection straight away.
The tour included kayaking, trekking to a couple of viewpoints and snorkeling. I LOVE KAYAKING (!!!!!) but this was the first time I did it in the rain! It was definitely fun and the best part was that the sea was hotter than the rain. Surreal.
After a 4km kayak (which felt like a lot less), we arrived at the beach and went for the trek up to the viewpoint over the Blue lagoon/ emerald lake.
A few words can describe it! You have to see it and let it amaze you! The lagoon is protected and nobody can step foot in it. That's why it's so beautiful and the color is so breath-taking, but it makes me wonder how everything must have been all those years ago, before we tourists arrived...
After a quick break we got back to the boat and they drove us to Ko Wua Ta Lap (“Sleeping Cow Island”). They gave us a few options: caves, trek and snorkeling (or just get lazy in the beach). If you are keen you can do all of them. We decided to start with the trek - it was no joke!! Check the video here. A rope trail leads up to a 260-metre-high viewpoint, where you can gaze north over a clutch of smaller islands dotting the azure-blue sea.
The humidity was something I’ve never felt before.. jeeez. Anyway, we did it! The view was breath-taking (again even though the sun was not smiling for us) and it made me feel like a little pea, in the middle of this HUGE and beautiful world that we have out there. The way down was a lot faster and we went for the so desired swim in the sea! The water was so warm that we just stayed there talking for about 20min.
Oh and after that, I had my first and BEST SO FAR mango shake. MY GOODNESS!!! I’ve had quite a few since but they are not the same!!!! I want to be biting pieces of mango in my smoothie people!!! Anyway…
The whole trip was so great that I kinda want to do it again on a sunny day. But I know there is a whole world to see out there so I need to move on to new adventures.
There are loads of tour companies offering this itinerary and some might even go to other islands within the 42. There is also accommodation available in some of the islands so do look into it. If time allows you, I am sure it will be magical.
Anyway, I wanted to write this post to recommend it and tell you how much I loved it!
Thanks for reading.