Monday, April 15 2024

Ko Tarutao is the largest island in the Tarutao National Marine Park. The idyllic island is located in the Satun Province near the Malaysian border. At 26 km long and 11 km wide, the island is ripe for exploration. Wander through the lush forests, lounge on the white sand beaches and paddle through the crystal clear waters of Ko Tarutao.

Ao Talo Wao historical trail

There were around 3,000 prisoners scattered here along the Ao Talo Wao Historical Trail at one point. The trail is lined with signs and old buildings that will give you an insight into the not-so-glamourous days of old Ko Tarutao where they prisoners suffered in paradise. The ruins of the nearly one century old buildings are being overgrown by the forest- making the area full of unique photo opps.

Pha Toe-Boo Cliff

No trip to Ko Tarutao would be complete without a hike up the 115 metre high rock that stands above everything in the tropical landscape. You can easily get up it in under 15 minutes and you will get the view of a lifetime. Try to go at sunset for the ultimate perspective. The entry to the path is right next to the visitor centre at Ao Phante so it’s easy to get going. There are a few tight areas but generally it’s a very easy walk. If you do end up staying for sunset, make sure you bring a good light with to help get you down again.

Ko Tarutao photo
Photo by John_and_Cata

Take a bike tour

One of the best ways to take in everything that Ko Tarutao is to hop on a bike. Hire a durable bicycle anywhere on the island and set off exploring. They are usually cheap enough to rent so you can hang on to the bike indefinitely. If you don’t just stumble across a bike hire, get to the visitor centre in Ao Phante where mountain bikes can be hired for 200 baht per day. Pedal over to Ao Son then head inland to get a view of the amazing Lu Du Waterfall. Drop your bike for a while there and cool down in the refreshing pool of water below the falls.

Before you set out on your journey around Ko Tarutao, be prepared. One of the best things about Ko Tarutao is that you can go a day without seeing anyone, save for a few monkeys. The worst thing about Ko Tarutao can also be that you can go a day without seeing anyone. Pack a lunch and plenty of water before you go and don’t expect seafood vendors to be waiting for you around every corner.

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