What to expect during the Ang Thong National Marine Park tour
What is the best Ang Thong National Marine Park tour?
From both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are several tour operators offering day Tours to the Ang Thong Marine Park. It depends what you prefer which is the best Angthong Marine Park tour for you. You can choose for a completely organised tour on a bigger but slower boat, such as Orion from Koh Phangan. But if you’re with a bigger group, about 7 – 10 persons, you can also arrange a private speed boat trip to the Angthong Marine Park from either Samui and Phangan. Make clear before booking with your agent which activities are included and which not.
Mostly the entrance fee of 300 Baht for the Angthong National Park is not included and must be payed upon entering the National Park.
The prices for the different tours vary, so if you’re on a tight budget it’s worth it to check out the cheapest opions. We had to go with Orion from Koh Phangan, but that was more because there weren’t other tours going around that time because it was mid Corona time (July 2020).
The Orion tour was perfectly organised, and although we didn’t really fancy the loud group which was on the boat as well, we surely had a great time exploring the Ang Thong Marine National Park. The price was 1900 Baht including kayaking and excluding the 300 Baht entrance fee for the Ang Thong National Park.
The Orion boat and a private speedboat at the snorkel spot Koh Wao
Sailing to the Ang Thong National Marine Park
From the pier where the boat is docked you will depart to Angthong National Marine Park. It takes about 2 hours one way with Orion from Koh Phangan to get to the park. So you’ll have plenty of time to take in the beautiful views of the Gulf of Thailand. Meanwhile there’s a simple breakfast if you’re hungry. With the Orion tour is a little breakfast is included, so I’m not sure if this is included in other tours as well.
Snorkeling at Koh Wao
The first stop is at Koh Wao where you can go snorkeling. The Orion boat features a glide and jumping platform which resulted in some epic backflips and jumps in the water.
Snorkel gear like masks and fins were provided by Orion, and we saw they cleaned it well with soap before giving them out. Besides some coral, small tropical fishes and sea urchins there wasn’t much else exciting to see during snorkeling. The jumps from the boat into the sea were maybe even more fun than the snorkeling activity itself.
After snorkeling we got lunch offered which was a combination of rice, vegetables and fried chicken. Meanwhile we sailed towards the next stop which was the island where the kayaks were docked.
Kayaking along hidden caves to Koh Mae Ko
The second stop and activity is kayaking. Because the Orion boat is too big to dock close to shore, we needed to transfer to a smaller long tail boat which dropped us at the pier of the island. All the kayaks were ready to use, so once we hopped in the kayak we were on our way to peddle to Koh Mae Ko. We kayaked along the coastline of several islands with towering limestone cliffs, explored a small cave area and arrived after about 30 minutes kayaking the beautiful Koh Mae Ko.
On this island is a decent toilet and a fridge where you can buy cool drinks.
Hiking to the Emerald Lake viewpoint on Koh Mae Ko
After kayaking it was time for the third activity of the day. Hiking to the beautiful Emerald Lake! This hidden emerald lagoon is tucked away on the island and a wonderful nature phenomenon. Despite the stairs are steep, it’s only a 10 – 15 minute hike up to the viewpoint. You can walk down to a lower viewpoint of the lake as well if you’re into it. We loved the higher perspective of the viewpoint and the serene and quiet surroundings before the big, loud group arrived again…
Sail to the main island Ko Wua Ta Lap
After exploring the Emerald Lake and a quick swim at one of the beautiful beaches of Koh Mae Ko, it was time to depart to the last stop of the day! It takes about 15 – 20 minutes to sail from this little island to the main island of the Ang Thong Marine National Parks. At this point you’re in the middle of the park with amazing views on the little lush limestone islands wherever you look. So while you’re sailing to the last stop of the day, sit back, relax and take in this extraordinary view of the Ang Thong Marine National Park.
Hike to the viewpoint on Ko Wua Ta Lap
The last activity of the day is also the most strenuous activity of the day. On the main island of the Angthong park you will hike towards the summit. This amazing viewpoint looks out over the 42 little islands that are scattered in the sea and make up the Ang Thong Marine Park. The hike itself it not the longest, you can do it in 30 minutes or even faster depending on your speed. But it’s all man made stairs of rocks and concrete. So you’re constantly walking uphill which is exhausting, especially with the heat and humidity. But even if you have to crawl the last meters… keep going because it’s super worth it! And on your way up or down you might even have the luck to spot the unique dusky leaf monkey, maybe even with their little orange baby monkeys!
We had the luck to visit the Ang Thong Marine Park right after the lockdown in Thailand due to the Corona virus. So nature in Ang Thong had the time to recover and animals returned to spots which were before too busy because of all the tourists visiting.
What to prepare for a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park
Make sure to depart well prepared for a day trip to the Angthong National Marine Park. Despite the fact that a lot is arranged for you during the tour, it is important to bring the things you need during a day on the water. So here a short checklist for you to be well prepared.
- Bring sunscreen (eco friendly because otherwise you damage the corals and poison the fish)
- Put on water shoes, or at least shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. And also bring shoes or sandals that you’re comfortable hiking in. I made a huge mistake to think I could do this little hike on flip-flops. Because I knew it was only on concrete stairs, I thought I could take the risk. But oh boy what was I wrong. Hiking in the tropics with flip flops is just the worst because you slide out of your slippers all the time because of sweat and the humidity.
- Put on a swimsuit
- Bring your GoPro or a camera to capture the day
- Enough cash for the 300 Baht per person National Park entrance fee and other little expenses
- Eventually a waterproof bag for kayaking. But don’t worry if you don’t have one because you can leave your valuables on the boat while you go kayaking.
More Koh Phangan travel guides
We hope you enjoyed this guide about the Ang Thong National Marine Park day trip. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
For more Koh Phangan travel inspiration, head over to these blog posts:
Best things to do in Koh Phangan
11 beaches in Koh Phangan you can’t miss
6 best Koh Phangan hikes such as the Khao Ra hike
Is your plan to travel to Koh Samui? Then read this blog for all the best things to do in Koh Samui