Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park Surat Thani
- Ang Thong Marine National Park comprises an archipelago of 42 islands north of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand east of the coast of Surat Thani. It has an area of 102 square kilometers of which 18 square kilometers comprise the island land mass of the 42 islands.
- This is limestone Karst landscape and good views can be scene from the larger islands such as at the peak of Ko War Ta Lap. The principal Islands to visit are Wua Ta Lap, Mae Ko, Hin Dap, Nai Phu, Phai Luk and Phalui. The Ang Thong National Park comprises approximately 80 % of the total area of the archipelago.
- The geography of Ang Thong Marine National Park features rugged and steep limestone mountains with subterranean water erosion producing sinkholes, caves, stalagmites and statactites, subterranean rivers and inland marine lakes supplied with sea water fron caves.
- There are 3 marine lakes in Ang Thong Marine National Park, two on Ko Wua Talap Island and one on Ko Mae Ko Island.
- The geography of rugged limestone mountains on small islands can not sustain many mammal species but here there are 16 mammal speices including, Langur, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Crab-eating Macaque, Squirrel, Flying Fox and Otter.
- The better times to visit Mu Ko Ang Thong are between February and April inclusive as this is the period with no monsoon so the seas are calm for boating, yatching and diving. In the monsoon season it rains constistantly and heavy and the seas are often dangerous with large waves and tidal disturbances. As the sea is no more than 10 meters deep there is no moderating influences against the wind and currents as is the case with deeper seas.
- Tourists who contemplate diving in Ang Thong Marine Park should note that because of the location off the coast of the Province of Surat Thani and the shallow waters, the sea waters can be cloudy or thick with suspended sediment from the coast rivers discharging into the sea waters.
- To see coral the best locations are close to shore of the various islands in the north eastern and south western sides of the archipelago. Coral will not grow in the cloudy water areas.
The Northeast Monsoon
- The Northeast Monsoon comes from the Western Pacific Ocean and brings heavy rain from November to April through out.Accordingly the Gulf of Thailand then receives heavy rain and winds. During this period the sea in the Gulf of Thailand has strong currents and poor under water visibility. This is not a good time to go scuba diving in the Gulf of Thailand.
- However during this same period on the other side of the Peninsula on the Andaman Coast the water is clear and not turbulant. Then visibility is 30 meters and the sea calm. The Andaman Sea does not suffer any monsoon wind or rain during this period.
Ang Thong National Marine Park