Ang Thong National Marine Park

Sea kayaking in Ang Thong Marine Park was hands down one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in my multiple trips to islands and beaches in Southeast Asia. The concept of a protected water are is so startling.. and even more so to find that the Thais generally do respect the restrictions. The water, although murky, was quite clear of litter. The islands gorgeously green and untouched.

The kayaking, I went with Blue Stars. The outfit was heavily German focused. I suspect the 70% of the group that day I went came from an organised German tour. Considering one of the founders/guides is German, I wasn’t surprised. We were split into two groups to rotate use of the kayaks. The German group was led by the German guide, and the English group was really the non-German group led by a silent Thai guide. We didn’t get much narration from our guide, but given that our kayaks were paddling in single file, I don’t feel like we missed out on the experience.

Ang Thong is largely composed of rock islands. We weaved between tunnels and crevices around the rocks on our first paddle. After lunch, we moved southward to the larger islands. The saltwater lake was largely non-event, more so when we weren’t allowed access to the lake directly, just a view from a vantage point. The beaches looked gorgeous and quiet, away from the hubbub of Samui and its rowdy scene.

It’s a pity we didn’t have time to wander in some of the islands. I was sun-xhasted by the end of the trip, but I would imagine the islands offer a more lush and nature wildlife viewing than the more tourist trampled rain forest treks in Samui or mainland Thailand.