Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park: One of the Most Outstanding Natural Sites in Thailand
Get off the beaten track in Thailand and set sail in a stunning archipelago of 42 islands
Located 40 kilometres or so from Ko Samui in Thailand is an archipelago of 42 islands covering 102 square kilometres that you've probably never heard of. Together, the islands and surrounding waters are one of the most outstanding natural sites in Thailand and was designated a national park in 1980; the jaw-dropping landscape is filled with towering limestone karsts, a number of scenic viewpoints and pristine snorkeling spots.

A day trip to Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park from Ko Samui is a must-do in my books – spend the day cruising, snorkelling, kayaking and taking in the unfettered nature and marine life. 

The best way to travel to Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park is by booking yourself onto a day cruise, though you can also charter a yacht if you are travelling as a group.

Though Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park is only an hour away from Ko Samui, few people know about this hidden gem, and even fewer people actually venture out by boat to explore the pristine archipelago and its treasures. 

If you want to get off the beaten track in Thailand and avoid the crowds, go snorkeling in the beautiful aquamarine bay of Ko Wao and check out the marine life. We saw plenty of fish, sea urchins and even some small (non-deadly) jellyfish!

As you mosey on to explore the next bay of Ang Thong, you'll be astonished at the towering karsts and caves, many of them lined with the precious commodity of bird's nest - a delicacy that is often served as a soup with rock sugar and is thought to have many health benefits. 

Hop into a kayak so that you can explore deeper within the rocky caves and caverns. There is even a hidden lake completely enveloped by limestone, though I wouldn't recommend getting out of your kayak as the lake is also home to hundreds of sea urchins.

Perhaps the most mind-blowing sights within Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, the Mae Ko island is home to an aptly-named Emerald Lake and viewpoint that delivers breathtaking views as far as the eye can see. 

The emerald lake is connected to the sea though caves, but you’re not allowed to dive or snorkel in this lake which means it’s remained absolutely pristine and untouched – you won’t believe the colour until you see it in person! 

Alas, all good things must come to an end. As you sail back to Ko Samui, grab a beer, lie back and take in the magnificent sunsets that this part of Thailand has to offer.

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