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During our stay on Ko Samui, we went on two speedboat tours of some of the neighboring islands. On the first tour, the highlight was snorkeling in the clearest waters around Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan (see earlier post here). On the second tour, the Ang Thong marine national park was our destination.
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The national park consists of 42 small islands covering a total area of about 102 km². The park was established on November 12, 1980.
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These islands were made famous by the movie – The Beach – made in 2000 starring Leonardo di Caprio who

“while at a hotel in Bangkok, finds a map left by his strange, whacked-out neighbor, who just committed suicide. The map supposedly leads to a legendary island paradise where some other wayward souls have settled.”

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While the map used in the movie indicated that the Beach is located on one of these islands, the movie was not actually shot here. It was made on Ko Phi Phi Le on the other side of the peninsula. Nevertheless, the islands are stunningly beautiful.
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The day we went on the tour, the sea was relatively calm. We wandered how much empty space there is back there. One can kayak into that arch and get through to the other side.
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Our itinerary of the day consisted of cruising between the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, snorkeling at Ko Wao, visiting a lagoon on Koh Mae Koh, lunch at Ko Paluay, and swimming/kayaking at Song Nee Pong beach also on Ko Paluay.

The speedboat circled some of the islands allowing us to see them up close.
This was our snorkeling site for the day. There were a lot of fishes around that little piece of rock in the middle. But of the three snorkeling sites we visited the day before, the best was the one at Ko Tao, both in terms of the variety and density of viewable marine life.
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To see the lagoon on Koh Mae Koh, we disembarked at a beach and climbed up a series of metal stairs. At the top is a viewing platform perched on the rim of the lagoon.
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This lagoon is more like an inland lake surrounded by cliffs and jungle. It is clearly visible on Google map (above).
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We then went down another series of stairs to reach the surface of the lagoon.
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According to the guide, the lagoon is connected to the Gulf as the water level fluctuates similarly and it is full of sea urchins.
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We only saw these long-nosed fish.
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The stairs to get to the lagoon were so steep and shallow that they were essentially ladders. The area is now relatively accessible  to tourists but it has forever lost the mysterious allure suggested by the movie.
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More stunning sights of the islands in part 2 to follow.

One Comment

  1. the reflection of the color of the lagoon water is so beautiful.

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