27 September 2011

Discovering the Untouched Natural Beauty of Ang Thong Marine Park

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Known the world over for its ‘Full Moon’ parties, Koh Phangan in Thailand also offers visitors a chance to explore and experience stunning natural landscapes and the crystal clear ocean waters that surround it. One such natural attraction is the Ang Thong Marine Park.

Set in the picturesque Gulf of Thailand, the Ang Thong Marine Park lies to the West of Koh Samui and encompasses a total of 42 islands. Designated as a national park in 1980, Ang Thong or 'golden bowl' is home to awe-inspiring limestone mountains, pristine beaches, lush tropical forests, hidden caves and secluded lagoons. The sea that surrounds the park is equally breathtaking and is the perfect place for such activities as snorkelling, kayaking and swimming. While the largest of the 42 islands is Koh Wua Talap, Koh Paluay is the only island that is inhabited and is where one will find a traditional community who make a living through fishing.

One of the many areas worth visiting is Koh Wao which is made up of three islands set amidst an enclosed bay which is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling. Travellers can also head to Mae Koh Island where one will find the scenic Talay Nai beach, dense rainforests, dramatic cliff side viewpoints and the well known Emerald Lake which was used as a backdrop for the movie ‘The Beach' starring Leonardo Di Caprio. Those heading to Wua Talap Island can take in Bua Bok Cave with its captivating stalactite and stalagmite formations, while Samsao Island is known for its naturally formed stone bridge that stretches out into the ocean.

Being a marine park, Ang Thong is home to a wide range of marine life including parrot fish, blue swimming crabs, angel fish, mackerels, snappers, groupers and blacktip reef sharks. Wildlife enthusiasts exploring the islands will come across such species as Asian long tailed monkeys, pacific reef egrets, tiger frogs, Brahminy kites, green turtles, silver haired bats and a variety of reptiles.

Koh Phangan resorts are ideal for those wanting to experience the region’s rich cultural and natural beauty. Travellers looking for luxury Koh Phangan hotels can stay at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa, Thailand which one can use as a base from which to visit Ang Thong Marine Park.