The Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park is a popular day tour 90 minutes from Koh Samui. Known as the Golden Basin, this archipelago of 42 islands covers 250 square kilometers featuring limestone cliffs, caves, and hidden lagoons. While the movie The Beach was filmed on Phi Phi islands, the original novel by Alex Garland was inspired by the islands of this park.
Most day tours include lunch, sea kayaking, and snorkeling. We booked Samui Island Tour via our hotel, and I can highly recommend them. It was a long day; picked up at the hotel at 7:30 in the morning, and dropped off at 5 p.m. Tired but very happy with the trip.
After some sea kayaking, our first stop was Mae Koh Island where a 150-meter trail takes you up to a platform where you can enjoy the view of the hidden Emerald Lagoon. The lagoon is connected to the sea through an underground tunnel. Pretty awesome!
Another viewing platform closer the water.
Lunch on the boat; chicken massaman curry, spring rolls, sweet and sour vegetables, and fruits.
The second and last stop was the park’s largest island, Koh Wua Talab, where a steep climb to the island’s peak offers spectacular views. The climb has several viewing platforms on the way up, and the first one gives you a nice view of the beautiful beach with coconut trees lined up.
The 500 meters long steep trail takes about 30 minutes. You will work up a nice sweat, so don’t forget to bring water. Your reward will be a fantastic panorama view over the islands.
When we got back down, we had about an hour to explore the island. Some snorkeled, while others posed on the beach.
There’s a good chance you’ll see dusky langurs. Here’s one, relaxing on the roof of the beach bar. His family was shy and hid in the tree. The boat headed back to Koh Samui at 3 p.m. where a minivan waited for us to be driven back to our hotel.