Ang Thong national marine park trip
Anyone who visits the beautiful island of Koh Samui, will surely come across the option to take a boat trip to the Ang Thong national marine park. This is one of the most popular tours available to anyone visiting the Island. There are lots of options to choose from, including group tours and private hire for the more luxurious experience.
The tour is really for half days on our opinion and you need a full day out on the water to get the most out of it. Joined tours generally come in 2 formats. Standard where you will be in a boat with around 35-40 other tourists of varying nationalities, and VIP which is in smaller groups of around 14-18 passengers. As you are on the water for the whole day, and the heat here can be excessive then the extra comfort afforded by the VIP is well worth the extra money. All in cost with fees is around 4,000thb per person.
For those of you who want the real movies star treatment then there are an abundance of yachts and luxury speedboats to choose from, for private hire. This gives you exclusive access to the boat for the set time and you can within reason decide on the itinerary for the day. The cost of a luxury private charter really depends on the boat you choose, the season and the itinerary you decide on (fuel costs), but a minimum of 25,000thb should be expected for a small luxury speedboat and crew, where as a 60ft motor cruiser can cost upwards of 75,000thb.
The day will start early with pick up at your hotel around 7:30 – 08:00 depending on where your hotel is. For private charters you can pick your own time (but bear in mind your paying for the boat all day so use it).
Once aboard most operators offer you some light refreshments for the day such as fruit and soft drinks. But this is a light snack so we advise breakfast at your hotel first. Also you don’t want to over do breakfast this is a pretty active day, and you will be in and out of the water a lot.
The day will start with the longest boat section of the day out to the far end of the marine park about 1 hour in total, where you will have time for some amazing snorkeling and swimming. If you have never been snorkeling then I would highly suggest giving it a go and getting in, the boats will take you to a safe spot where you can get in safely. The boats will have plenty of gear to lend you included in the price, a lot of the more reputable operators will sanitize properly after each use. But the only way to be certain of the hygiene will be to take your own snorkel, you can buy cheap ones all over Koh Samui.
After you’ve dried off the boat will head through the stunning marine park, stopping off at various islands where you can disembark and explore, as well as try sea kayaking. The scenery here is absolutely stunning and has been used as the back drop to many movies sets. Make sure you have your camera handy, if you camera has a wrist strap make sure you use it. Speedboats are often subject to sudden and unexpected movements and one thing which is sure to ruin your day, is seeing your camera or smartphone disappearing below the waves.
Depending on the stops your particular boat makes you will have the chance to get off the boat and wander around, enjoying the scenery, swimming or just relaxing on the beach. I wouldn’t leave any valuables on board whilst your ashore as the boats aren’t secure.
Lunch may or not be included in the price of your ticket, but you will be taken to a great local restaurant for lunch.
Arriving back to Samui around 17:00 for your transfer back to the hotel.
We highly recommend a day out in the Ang Thong national marine park if your in Koh Samui, however it is not suitable for those with younger children, can’t be in the sun all day or are not active.
Things to take along would be:- A towel, Swim wear, dry bag (if you have one), Strong sun scream, refreshments (if not provided by operator), some cash for tips but not more than 1000thb, and of course a camera.
Things not take along:- Passports, high value items such as jewelry or tablets, your bank cards, hangovers!!!