Koh Tarutao is the largest of the 51 islands that belong to the Tarutao National Marine Park. It lies just 17 km off the western coasts of Satun Province, 20 Km west of Pak Bara Pier, which is the nearest access point. Koh Tarutao is one of the most unspoiled islands in all of Thailand, without any form of tourism development apart from a few bungalows, two campsites and a few other basic facilities. Thick tropical rainforest covers over 70% of the hilly island, with highest peak at 700 metres above the sea level. There is a concrete road that crosses the island from north to south and from west to east, but the terrain is rugged and mountainous with several peaks to overcome. Several walking trails and hiking paths allow exploring the wild interiors rich in fauna. The western coast has three main sandy bays, which are often nesting areas for Sea Turtles, and some areas of mangrove forest. The eastern side of island is made up limestone cliffs surrounded by over 10 smaller offshore limestone and karst islets, among these are: Koh Sing, Koh Kaman, Koh Pulao Na, Koh Daeng, Koh Larn and Koh Lek. Ao Phante Malacca is the most north-western bay of Koh Tarutao. The beach of the bay is a 4 km long strip of beautiful white sand, at its northern tip are located the National Park Headquarters and the small pier that is the main entry point to the island; a second pier is located in Ao Ta Lo Woo on the eastern coast. The headquarters area has offices, a visitor centre, a small shop, a first aid station, restaurants, a few bungalows, a main campsite, with tents available for rent, and others small camping areas close to the sea, for use these ask permit to the rangers at HQ. Along the western coast there are others two Ranger stations in Ao Mo Lae and Ao Son, both have the same facilities of Headquarters area. All accommodation on the island is owned and managed by the Tarutao Park authority. The bungalows at HQ area and at first Ranger station must be booked online in advance through Department of National Parks and Wildlife and Plant Conservation, while no advance booking is needed for the few bungalows at second Ranger station. The cost of spartan bungalows range between 600 THB, for two-bed room, and 1,000 THB for four-bed room per night. The small tents for two people can be hired from the park office for 150 THB per night, which includes the cost of camping pitch near the beach; visitors with their own tents must pay 30 THB per night. The small store selling toiletries, drinks and snacks is found next to the pier and it is open from 08:00 to 17:00. The restaurants near the park headquarters, as well as the others in Ao Mo Lae and Ao Son, are open from 08:00 to 14:00 and 17:30 to 20:00 and offer tasty dishes of southern Thai cuisine, most of inexpensive dishes cost from 60 to 130 THB. There is no ATM service at HQ area, as well as in any other part of the island. The island's transports are limited to couple of mini trucks used as shuttle taxis to connect the various bays and campsites; they operate during daylight hours and the cost is relatively low, with 300 THB will take you wherever you want around the island. A limited number of mountain bikes for rent are available at HQ area or at restaurant in Ao Mo Lae. The few scooters on the island are for the exclusive use of the Rangers and personnel, their use is strictly forbidden to visitors as a result is not possible to rent or borrow one in order to avoid fines.Read More
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