On the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand, lies the Surat Thani Province which is the largest of the southern provinces of Thailand. The province is sub-divided into 19 districts, two of them are Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Koh Phangan is 18 km north to Samui Island. To the north of Koh Phangan is Koh tao Island, another island near to Koh Samui although it is on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. To the north west of Koh Samui, in the Central Gulf Coast of southern Thailand lies an archipelago of 42 or so islands known as Ang Thong National Marine Park.
The island is nearest to the Koh Samui Island and is mostly famous for its full moon party at Haad Rin Beach, sunrises on Haad Rin Nok (Full Moon Party beach), bohemian daytime ambience, Haad Rin Nai(sunset beach) sunset, wild night life and being an ultimate backpackers destination on gap years or extended holidays.
60km north of Ko Samui and a 2 hour boat trip Koh Tao is the 3rd largest of the Samui Archipelago islands. Koh Tao means the Turtle Island. It is an ultimate destination for the divers and is probably the one of the cheapest places of the world to do the Padi Thailand, it is cheapest at Koh Tao for licensing and around 40% of the worlds diving community get the license from Koh Tao. The Island is surrounded by clear blue sea and crisp white sand. Among other things that the island offers are Half Moon and black moon parties that take place on the island each month for all the party goers. Day trips and safaris around the Ang Thong Marine Park can also be arranged.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
The island of Ko Paluay is occupied by the sea gypsies hence becoming its only inhabited island. The 100km square area was the real inspiration behind Alex Garlands Novel “The Beach”. Most of the islands are close to each other making a breathtaking panorama sailing around the park. Ang Thong offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Thailand. Centuries of erosion have formed the steep limestone cliffs of the park into some unusual and eye catching shapes. Many of the islands around the park are teeming with creatures such as Iguanas, Pythons, Longtail Monkeys and Sea turtles to name a few. To explore every island would take a number of weeks, those with a short itinerary tend to visit the stunning beaches of Koh Mae or for it’s magnificent surrounding Coral reef Koh Sam Sao.