Ang Thong National Marine Park is a group of 42 paradise islands in the Gulf of Thailand.
The ultra scenic panorama viewpoint at Mu Ko Ang Thong (above) should be reason enough to go. You get to see bunches of mini islands covered in jungle and scattered out on the blue horizon, a bit like Thailand’s version of Raja Ampat. It’s famous for being one of the best views in the whole country!
This page will explain some of the sights you can expect to see in the marine park, as well as the best way to do it on a budget.
How To Get There
The first step for visiting Ang Thong Marine Park is to get to either Koh Samui or Koh Phangan, Thailand’s two biggest islands in the Gulf.
Bangkok Airways has direct, nonstop flights to Samui (USM) from Bangkok (BKK) or Kuala Lumpur (KUL), but since the airport in Samui is privately owned by them, they have a monopoly on these flights and they’re a bit pricey at 3,000 Baht (~$100 USD).
AirAsia.com has flight/bus/ferry combo packages that go from Bangkok (DMK) or Kuala Lumpur to Samui or Phangan for less than 1,000 Baht (~$33 USD). Just type in Samui (Lipa Noi Pier) or Phangan (Thong Sala Pier) as your destination in the flight search box on their website and they will handle all of the transfers for you.
Once you reach Koh Samui or Phangan, a tour is essential to visit Ang Thong since the park has dozens of islands that are spread out over the sea and require lots of island hopping. More on that next!
Best Ang Thong Tour
Klook.com has day tours to Ang Thong from Koh Samui by speedboat for 1,150 Baht (~$38 USD) including free hotel pickup/dropoff, buffet lunch, soft drinks, kayaking, and snorkeling (with snorkel gear provided). They also have the same tour from Koh Phangan for a little more.
This is the best Ang Thong tour price I was able to find anywhere in Thailand. If you can find anything cheaper, Klook will match the price. For comparison, most of the street stalls in Koh Samui and Phangan are charging 30% more for this exact same day trip, and some of them don’t even include kayaking in the price!
We were really happy with the Klook tour and everything went very smoothly. The guides were always helpful, and the buffet lunch was one of the best we’ve ever had on a day tour like this. We saw all the highlights of the park, and also got to do plenty of snorkeling and kayaking.
- Adults: 300 THB (~$10 USD)
- Kids: 150 THB (under 120 cm)
- Thais: 40 THB
These are special fees charged per person to visit Angthong since it’s a Thai national park.
Just be aware that this is not typically included in advertised tour prices, so your tour operator will have to collect it from you in cash on the day the tour starts.
Things To Do & See
Snorkeling was the first stop on our tour. We spent a full hour snorkeling at some small unnamed islands north of the marine park.
Technically this part of the tour was outside of the national park, but the views were just as good and so was the snorkeling. We saw lots of fish and coral here.
Kayaking was included for free in our tour, so after lunch we got the opportunity to paddle out to two different white sand beaches.
Wifey and I got lazy and turned back before the end, but it was fun to explore the rocks and coastline by kayak, especially if you haven’t done something like this before!
• Emerald Lake
The Emerald Lake (aka Talay Nai) is a special gem on Ko Mae Ko island.
After a 15 minute hike to the top of the limestone karst walls, you get to stare into this incredible Gumby colored lake fed by underground sea tunnels. It’s a short hike to the top, but still pretty strenuous.
My only gripe is the ridiculously narrow, steep stairs. They’re terrible, even by the Thai government’s standards.
• Pha Jun Jaras Viewpoint
The highlight of any trip to Ang Thong would have to be the main viewpoint on Ko Wua Talap where you can see all the islands (or at least a dozen of them) stretching out into the distance.
The hike to the top only takes about 30 minutes and it’s mostly shaded, but it’s still a huge workout because of the steepness and the merciless Thai heat. Drink plenty of water!
The view from the top is absolutely amazing.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Ang Thong and the nearby islands is from February to September, when it’s sunny and there’s little rain.
The monsoon season runs from October to January, and these are the months with the most rain and potentially rough seas.
With that said, we went in early October and the weather was still cloudless and sunny.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at a hotel called At Lamai Resort and paid $16 USD for a big double room with cold AC, hot shower, and fast WiFi.
This hotel is a great value. Even though it’s not located directly on Lamai Beach, you can easily reach the beach, markets, and restaurants with a 10 minute walk.
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.