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The magnificent 5 of Thailand’s seas

Apr 29, 2020

The magnificent 5 of Thailand’s seas

Apr 29, 2020

Many of the islands to be found off Thailand’s coasts are world renowned for their spectacular beauty. But behind the obvious beauty often lies a fascinating history, told by an island community with a unique way of life.

Ko Phi Phi Leh, Krabi
Stunning Marine Scenery

The spectacular beauty of Ko Phi Phi Leh never fails to wow first time visitors. It is the second largest island in the Phi Phi archipelago, which is a part of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi Marine National Park. For sea lovers, Phi Phi Leh is packed with phenomenal attractions, the most spectacular being an emerald lagoon surrounded by a ring of sheer limestone cliffs, with only one way in or out. Maya Bay – made famous in the movie ‘The Beach’ - is another major attraction. Following a deluge of tourists into the bay in recent years, park authorities have issued a new directive to permanently ban all types of boat from entering Maya Bay, to give nature a chance to restore its original beauty.

Make It Happen

There are boat services to the Phi Phi Islands from either Krabi or Phuket. Services are available for either a day trip or overnight trip to Phi Phi Don Island. Phi Phi Don is the more developed of the two islands, with accommodation, entertainment and shops.


Morakot Cave, Trang
The Astounding Cave and Emerald Sea   

A group of visitors proceeds in single file, each person holding on to the waist or shoulder of the one in front as they paddle forward through a big, dark cave with a low hanging ceiling to a hidden natural beach. The beach was created when the limestone cave system inside an island collapsed into the sea.  The secluded beach and its private emerald sea are enclosed by high cliffs topped with forest and with a patch of deep blue sky above. This enchanting place always draws flocks of visitors.

Make It Happen

Morakot Cave is hidden in the rugged rocks of Muk Island in Hat Chao Mai National Park, Tambon Ko Libong, Amphoe Kantang, Trang


Mu Koh Surin National Park, Phang Nga   
Visit Sea Gypsy Communities and Enjoy Tropical Corals

Mu Koh Surin is an archipelago of five islands and houses the biggest settlement of ethnic Moken ‘sea gypsies’ in Thailand. Traditionally, the Moken lived on houseboats, moving from bay to bay depending on the wind and weather, but they settled down on Mu Koh Surin many years ago. Hundreds of elevated, one-storey thatched houses line Bon Bay on Koh Surin Tai. Many of the houses were destroyed by fire last year but have already been rebuilt. 

The life of the Moken has changed with time but the beauty of the natural environment around Mu Koh Surin remains unsullied: crystal clear water and corals in perfect condition. Because the islands lie quite far from the mainland - it takes almost two hours for a speed boat to reach them - the natural environment has escaped the ravages of the modern world. 

Make It Happen  

Mu Koh Surin National Park, Tambon Khura Buri, Phang Nga, Tel. 076 472 145

Accommodation in the National Park is available with advanced booking. Day trips by boat tour agents to the National Park are also available.


Koh Tao, Surat Thani
World Class Diving Destination     

It is a little known fact that Kho Tao was also a penal colony for Thai political prisoners, around the same time that Tarutao Island was. This oversight is thanks to Koh Tao’s natural wonders overshadowing its dark history. It used to be an island where sea turtles came ashore to lay eggs. When hatched, the white beach was covered with thousands of black dots - tiny baby turtles heading to the sea.

These days Koh Tao attracts fewer turtles but more people. It has become a paradise for divers, thanks to the richness of marine mammals, fish and corals. The sea here has the richest coral area in the Gulf of Thailand and is an important breeding ground for green turtles, leading to the name of the island. It is no surprise that Koh Tao is popular with divers both from Thailand and from around the world. The island’s waters have plenty of great places for year-round scuba diving and snorkeling. Either enquire at one of Koh Tao’s dive agencies, or just plunge in, if you prefer.

Make It Happen

Koh Tao is in Surat Thani but the shortest crossing to the island is by boat from Chumphon. Lomprayah High Speed Ferry and Songserm Express Boat are recommended. If you come from Surat Thani, you can stop off to spend a few days on Koh Samui or Koh Pha-ngan on the way to Koh Tao.


Tarutao Island, Satun
From Penal Colony to Paradise Island

Eighty years ago Tarutao was an infamous, remote penal colony in the middle of the sea. After Thailand’s transition to a constitutional monarchy, the Department of Corrections turned this isolated and unknown island into a detention and vocational training settlement for convicts and political prisoners. When the Second World War broke out, all support from the mainland was cut off, leading to a rise in piracy in the Andaman Sea. 

The dark history of Tarutao was made into a movie and TV series, and a novel ‘The Pirates of Tarutao’, by the ex-politician Pongpol Adireksarn, confirms the uniquely exotic history of Tarutao and its surrounding waters. The island also has a rich natural environment, leading to it being listed as Thailand’s eighth national park.

Make It Happen

Tarutao Island is a part of Tarutao National Park, located in Tambon Pak Nam, Amphoe La-ngu, Satun


Icons made by Gregor Cresnar from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY