Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park is one of the main natural sights in which Thailand is so rich. He represents group of the islands located in the Gulf of Thailand near Surattkhani's coast. Content: Nature of the park Major Islands Wua Talap Island Mae Ko Island Island of Paluay The islands of Samsao, Thaiphlao and Wua Kantang Excursion programs Tourist infrastructure When to visit How to get there Despite the fact that islands are the nature protected zones, on them places for accommodation of tourists are provided. Besides, the national park can be visited within the one-day excursion. Ang Tong has been founded in 1980 and includes 42 islands. From them about 20 can be carried to more or less large. Remained are so small that very few people know their names. The total area of the park – 102 km ² which 80% are occupied with water. The majority of islands of the archipelago are traditionally presented by the limestone formations towering on height up to 500 m above sea level. Limestone – rather soft material subject to influence of salty water, wind, climatic conditions. Therefore, the islands abound in caves, including underwater, rocky protrusions, reminiscent of their bizarre forms of Thai and Cambodian temples. Nature of the park The islands of the archipelago are covered with dense forest, which grows, including on karst rocks and in shallow soils at the very top of limestone rocks. Many trees and plants are listed in the Red Book. Mangroves occupy shallow and muddy places, grow, mainly around Mae Ko and on the east side of Phaluai Island. The jungle has become home to many species of animals and birds, including: a unique monkey - langur monkey; Sumatran otter (body length exceeding 1 m); Pacific reef heron; white-breasted eagle; the bats; lizards; land and sea turtles; pythons. Separately, we should mention the marine fauna of the park. The depth of the Gulf of Thailand in these places does not exceed 10 m. The rivers which are flowing down to the gulf bring with themselves the soil, parts of plants, trees, other garbage, doing water muddy almost all the year round. Movable sea inhabitants are not very fond of muddy water. Therefore the main sea fauna of this area is presented by seaweed, mussels and oysters. Coral reeves not too impressive, are limited to a narrow strip around islands, especially from the northwest party, is close to the coast. Here live:  fish-parrot, stingrays, sea angels. Generally, with rare exception, territories directly near islands – not the best place for diving and snorkeling. On removal from the park, on the contrary, sea life is various. In waters of the Gulf of Thailand around Angtonga the types important for commercial fishing trade are widely presented: squids, anchovies and mackerel. ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARKMajor Islands Wua Talap Island The main island is located in Kha bay. Here comes all excursions. There is an administrative center of all park, there is a quite good and clean beach. Visitors of the park are offered to climb up the 500-meter mountain with which the panorama of all archipelago opens. The view is really tremendous: limestones islands form the unusual forms and fancy silhouettes towering over water. Wua Talap sight is Bua Bok cave. It is unique from the point of view of geology, is full stalactites and stalagmites. Mae Ko Island The main sight is the mountain lake Thale Nai. It represents the big natural reservoir lying in a bowl from karst mountains. The lake is salty. It has the underwater communication with the Gulf of Thailand. People assume that it was formed as a result of break of a thin layer of a limestone basis that has led to filling of the lowland with sea water. Island of Paluay This island is the only one inhabited throughout the Angthong. The gypsy diaspora lives on it. Tourists are specially delivered on Paluay where conduct an ethnographic excursion, acquainted with traditional life and the organization of life in a gypsy village. ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARKThe islands of Samsao, Thaiphlao and Wua Kantang Opposite Mae Ko is the island of Samsao is one of the few, next to which grow beautiful corals, and the sea is clean enough. Beach vacation is welcomed here, especially since the beaches on Samsao, as well as on Thaiphlao and Wua Kantang, are well-kept and clean. Excursion programs The most part of islands represents the impassable jungle around which to travel "savages" it won't turn out. The administration of the park suggests to use specially worked routes on which vacationers won't meet big difficulties. The main excursion passes across the main island of Wua Talap – already mentioned trekking-ascension on the highest point of the park. Except it, there are sea walks: 600-meter route around the island Pkhi; 2,2-kilometer route between beaches the Kha Bay and Nathap; For fans of snorkeling three underwater excursions are provided: in 200 m from the island of Thaiphlao; in 150 m from the island of Samsao; in 150 m from the island of Wua Talap in Kha bay. ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARKTourist infrastructure Despite the nature protected status of Ang Tonga, is present at the central Wua Talap all necessary tourist infrastructure. Types of possible placement: bungalow; tent campings. It is possible to arrive with the tent and to rent the place in a camping or to use the tents provided by administration of the park. Placement can be reserved in advance. Phone for the order of armor: +66 2562 0760. Food: the cafe bar works. When to visit The magnificent nature of the park is determined by the natural and climatic features of the region, which are generally similar to those that make the weather on the island of Koh Samui. On the territory of the park, rains the column of 2 m of water falls annually. This is a lot even by tropical standards. The daily heavy rains come in November. This month 25% of all rainfall in a year drop out. In December it's rainy too, but less. But in all other months the precipitation is very moderate, and the exceptionally dry season fits in one month - in February. To this should be added a troubled sea, which, beginning in October and ending with February, periodically storms, which makes navigation impossible. For these reasons, the park is closed from November to December. The best time to visit Angthong is from February to April. In this season, nature maximally reveals its beauty, and the sea is quiet. ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARKHow to get there You need to swim to the archipelago by the high-speed boat – about 1 hour. It is possible to reach both from Samuya, and from continental Surattkhani. Boats such as shuttles, which would have cruised to Ang Thong Park with a certain periodicity, no. For $ 100- $ 150, you can rent a boat with a boatman for a whole day. This is a convenient option: you can go around the entire park yourself, without being attached to anyone. Arriving on the main island of Wua Talap, you need to pay entry ($ 10 - the standard ticket for an adult). The services of a group guide, if they are necessary, are paid additionally. It should be recognized that this option with all its advantages is still quite complicated. Therefore, most visitors to Ang Thong do it more organized. Visiting Angthong is a standard excursion, which is offered by all agencies on Koh Samui, as well as on the mainland Suratthani. Teams are recruited for 10-15 people, which in an organized manner delivered to the archipelago. Travel agencies form their excursion programs, which usually include: excursion around the big island; sightseeing sea excursion; snorkeling in one of the places suitable for this; visiting the gypsy island; lunch in a gypsy village or on Wua Talap. After the excursions, also organized on a boat, people are taken back to the place of departure. The cost of such a trip is about $ 50 (+ $ 10 entrance ticket). Perhaps, this will be more expensive than independent lease of the boat, for example, on four people, but will save from need of the solution of organizational issues.