West Coast Of Thailand: Koh Lanta To Tarutao
To the South of Phuket there is a 100 nautical miles string of inshore islands, stretching from Ko Phi Phi to the Malaysian border. They offer tranquility and many opportunities for exploring.
Koh Lanta and Koh Po are a short sail from Phi Phi Don. Here is found a much more relaxed, layback atmosphere without the bustle of the heavily traveled tourist path. A waterfall can be found about 15 minutes walk from the anchorage passing through a tropical rainforest.Koh Lanta provides a secure anchorage for the night with restaurants ashore for eating out.
Koh Muk is an interesting island with its fabulous inland lagoon (Hong) known locally as ” The Emerald Cave”. A Hong is a hollow center to an island or room in Thai. Swim through a cave and find your own private oasis with a beach and shear cliffs protruding from all sides. Koh Muk is a unique experience and not to be missed. Koh Muk has a protected coastline for exploration by kayak with typical bays, caves and sandy beaches.
Koh Ha Yai, In Thai “Ha” means five islands. It is a good day stopover with a small beach and a shallow bay facilitating easy snorkeling and kayaking in crystal clear waters with excellent coral formations.
Koh Rok Noi & Koh Rok Nai are a group of two islands within easy sailing distance of Koh Ha Yai. A number of excellent beaches with crystal clear waters are found here in a protected channel between the islands. Rok Nok is a great place for drift dive or snorkel in the protected channel between the islands. A local ranger station occupies a small area on Koh Rok Nai otherwise there are no occupants other than other visiting yachts and Thai fishing boats.
Deep South Of Thailand
Butang Islands, on Thai/Malaysian border is another group of islands part of the Tarutao National Park and is the most southern group of Thai islands just on the border of Thailand and Malaysia.The Butang Group of islands lay southwest of Rok Nok some 40 nautical miles. Most of the islands are uninhabited. Koh Lipe has a small Sea Gypsy fishing village on its northeastern side and a few low-key resorts and restaurants on its southern side.
A mountain stream that is feed by mountain run off provides crystal clear drinking water for most of the year on Koh Adang. The Butang Islands are a picturesque and tranquil location to spend a day or two. An interesting walks ashore on Koh Lipe. There is a local dive shop Canadian owned and run. Barry the owner is famous on the islands not only for diving but his freshly baked Brownies cooked at their island bakery. If you wish a dive can be organized here with Barry.
Koh Turatao is located on the Malaysian border about 30 miles east north east of the Butang Islands. Koh Tarutao has a distant history as pirate’s nest, later penal colony from World War Two of which remains can still be found. Koh Tarutao now forms part of the Tarutao National Park. In the north a river can be navigated upstream by dinghy deep into the mangrove forest. You will find several hiking trails, a chance to bathe under a waterfall, a number of excellent anchorages, one small restaurant at the national parks station. Koh Tarutao recently hosted the “Survivor” series.