Tarutao islands travel guide

Tarutao National Park

Tarutao National Park is composed of 61 islands, 7 of them covering relatively large areas, namely Tarutao, Adang, Rawi, Lipe, Klang, Dong and Lek Islands. The rest are small islands scattered on the east coast of Tarutao and surrounding Adang and Rawi Islands. Therefore, the park can be divided geographically into two main parts: the Tarutao Archipelago, located 30 kilometres away from the coast and the Adang-Rawi Archipelago another 45 kilometres to the West. The southern boundary of the national park is the Thai-Malaysian border with the island of Langkawi only 5 kilometres away from the southern tip of Tarutao Island.

Tarutao Island
Tarutao Island covers a land area of 152 square kilometres and stretches for 24 kilometres in North-South direction. The topography is mainly mountainous with the highest peak reaching 713 metres. There are only few plains on the island, like at Talo Wao Bay and Talo U-dang Bay, that have been used for planting seasonal crops and coconut plantations. Only the latter can still be found there as all residents have been moved out, when the island was declared Thailand's first marine national park in 1974. Important beaches are at Phante Malacca Bay, Chak Bay and Son Bay that are all located on the western coast.


Mu Ko Adang Rawi
Located 40 kilometres from the east of Tarutao Island or 80 kilometres from town. The 30 square-kilometre island possesses beautiful sandy beaches and coral reefs.  There are several small islands around Mu Ko Adang-Rawi including Ko Li Pe, Ko Dong, Ko Hin Ngam, and Kao Yang .

Diving can be done around Ko Adang and Ko Rawi. The area of Ko Adang is mountainous and covered with forest and has a large waterfall where water runs all year round.

Ko Li Pe
Located 2 kilometres from the south of Ko Adang. This is where a sea gypsy village is situated. On the 13th-15th day of the waxing moon in May and November, sea gypsies would gather for a traditional celebration for 3 days and 3 nights. They would join in building a boat to float in the sea to in the belief that this would predict that fishing fortunes. The island offers coral reefs, a beautiful bay, and a white sandy beach. Ao Phatthaya is the most beautiful bay on this island.  Privately-owned accommodation is available.


Ko Hin Ngam ( Beautiful Stone Island )
Because of its natural wonder, Ko Hin Ngam, part of Adang archipelago, has attracted and inspired visitors from faraway lands to witness the unspoiled beauty of the island. Ko Hin Ngam or Ko Pulo possesses beautiful stones polished and shaped by the everlasting waves hitting the shores year after year. The smooth and shiny surfaced stones of various sizes , shapes , and colors are an amazement to the sight of the beholders.

Ko Khai
Located in the west of Tarutao Island, 40 minutes from Tarutao. The famous natural stone arch which is somewhat of a symbol of Tarutao National Park is located on Ko Khai. Coral reefs can be found around the island. Camping is not allowed on this island but swimming can be done.

Activities on Ko Tarutao
Walking trail from the National Park Office on Ao Phante Malaka is a 12-kilometre walking trail which runs through verdant forest all the way to Ao Talowao. Various types of trees, wild animals like wild boar and mouse deer, and birds, hornbills in particular, are found along sides this trail. An eight-kilometre walking trail begins at Ao Ma Lae ends at Ao Son, passing through virgin forest where various kinds of birds are found.  Bird-watching is ideal here.

Boat rides on a long-tail boat around island for eco-tourism is recommended. The National Park provides boat service with guides for visitors to tour around beaches. The journey could begin with bird-watching on Ao Chak, going to see the longest white sandy beach on Tarutao Island at Ao Son, tracing historical trail on Ao Talo Udang, enjoying natural beauty on Ao Talowao , ending with diving and visiting mangrove forests.  For more information on a one-day trip, contact the tourist centre at the Tarutao National Park.

Crocodile Cave
Located in the hinterland of Phante Malacca Bay, the cave can be reached by long-tail boat along one of the most important streams of the islands, Khlong Phante Malacca, that passes through dense mangrove forests and the limestone cliffs of the northern part of Tarutao. The entrance to the cave is above sea level but inside the cave, where the sea water enters subterranean transportation is by raft that will be pulled through the cave along a rope.

The National Park Office
Located at Phante Malacca Bay. Visitors to the island have to contact there and ask for permission to built up tents at the designated areas or use the long houses for their stay. There is a restaurant, a small shop and a small exhibition showing the features of the islands.

How to get there

By bus
The Transportation Company Limited provides daily services both of non air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses, leaving from the Southern Bus Terminals at the third kilometer on Pinklao-Nakhonchaisi Road. Further information can be acquired by calling +66 2435 1199, 2435 1200 or visit http:///www.transport.co.th/

By Train
There is no direct train service. Visitors can take southbound trains running daily from Bangkok to Hatyai or Bangkok to Yala. After that, visitors can take a taxi, bus, van to Satun for 97 kilometers. Contact : State Railway Authority of Thailand's at hotline no. +66 1690 or Bangkok's Station , Tel. +66 2220 4334 or visit Website http:///www.srt.or.th/ or http:///www.thailandrailway.com/

By plane
Thai Airways International offers daily flights from Bangkok to Hatyai. From Hatyai visitors can take a taxi, bus, van to Satun. For flight schedule and reservations, contact Bangkok's office at tel. +66 1566, 2280 0060, 2628 2000, Hat Yai's office at tel. +66 7423 343 or visit www.thaiair.com. For more information at the Hat Yai's Airport Terminal, call tel. +66 7425 1007

Ferry
A twice daily ferry operates from Pak Bara Pier in Amphoe La-ngu on the mainland, 65 kms. north of Satun. The distance to Tarutao is 22 kms.

Boat rental services also operate from other piers in Satun such as Ko Nok Pier, Tam Malang Pier and Che Pilang Pier.

Ko Adang and Ko Lipeh can also be reached by ferry from Tarutao.

PAKBARA PIER - TARUTAO ISLAND - PAKBARA PIER

From

Departure

Arrival

Remarks

Tarutao Island

09:00

10:30

> November - April only

Pakbara Pier

10:30

12:00

> November - April only
       
Tarutao Island

12:00

13:30

> November - April only
Pakbara Pier

15:00

16:30

> November - April only
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