Tarutao Marine National Park Satun Province South Thailand
Tarutao Marine National Park is the largest nature reserve in South East Asia and is located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of South Thailand just above its border with Malaysia. It is located off the coastline of Satun Province South Thailand.
- Tarutao Park is 1,490 square kilometers and includes 51 mountainous islands with the major islands being, Ko Tarutao (the largest), Ko Adang, Ko Rawi, Ko Hin Ngam, Ko Rong, and the Ko Klang-Kai group.
- There are essentially two groups of Islands being Tautao Archipelago and Adang - Rawi Archipelago.
- In 1982 Tarutao and Adang Rawi archipelago were declared an ASEAN Heritage Park and Reserve.
- The ecosystems include, Moist Tropical Rain Forest, Limestone Forest and Mangrove Forest vegetation ecosystems and Coral Reef ecosystems.
- The marine wild animals include, Common Malayan Dolphin, Black Finless Dolphin, White Dolphin, Rough- toothed Dolphin and Porpoise.
The major tourists attractions in Tarutao Marine National Park are;
Tarutao Archipelago is 32 kilometers from the Thailand mainland coast
and its two major Islands are Ko Tarutao and Ko Klang.
Ko Tarutao is approximately 11,5 kilmeters wide and 27 kilometers long with its highest point being just over 2000 feet.
- Adang Archipelago is approximately a further 45 kilometers further west from Ko Tarutao. Here the major Islands of note are Ko Adang, Ko Lipe, Ko Dong and Ko Rawi.
Ko Adang is the most beautiful Island. Here there are white sandy beaches and beach Forests of native pines. Here also are excellent coral reefs and marine life.
- Klang Island
- Khai Island
- Lipe Island
Hin Ngam Island
- At the end of the last great ice age (7 - 8,000 years ago) the seas rose isolating what are now islands from the Thailand mainland thus causing the isolated species of mammals to adapt and breed as sub species with variations from their mainland relatives. (As is the case with many islands in the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean).
The larger islands have dense deciduous forests, mangrove forests and
- The better sites for diving are at the outer islands of Rawi, Lipe, Chabang, Yang, Hin Ngam and Adang.
As for wildlife watchers,
Tarutao Park is home to over 140 species of birds, 30 species of
mammals and over 850 species of vascular plants.
- Access is by daily public boats or by charter boats from the mainland port of Pak Bara.