Situated just to the northwest of Koh Samui sits the idyllic archipelago of Ang Thong National Marine Park. Comprised of approximately 42 islands, the island group is a wonderful way for visitors to Thailand to gain access to beautiful views, see the local wildlife, and explore the area both above and below the waves.
To access the park, inquire in Samui about boat and kayak rentals. There are also ferries that take small groups to and fro, as well as organized tours. In any case, a view of the islands from the water is worth the trip in itself. Occupying almost 100 square miles, the Ang Thong Marine Park is almost entirely undeveloped and unoccupied. Among the many islands, there is only one, Ko Paluay, that is inhabited by a community of fishermen. Because it is largely untouched, its natural beauty is its greatest attraction.
Explore and snorkel among the many shallow coral gardens and sandy beaches. There are also many caves among the islands due to the prevalence of unique rock formations. While there are hundreds of beaches to choose from, Ko Sam Sao has an extensive reef that is worth a visit. The views from the high points of the islands are incredible, but hiking in the Ang Thong is quite difficult, so be sure you have the proper footwear.
If you’d like to extend your visit, there are various bungalows and cottages available for rent. Camping is also allowed, and you can often rent camping gear within the park.