Established in 1974, the Tarutao National Marine Park was known historically as a penal colony while at present, its natural beauty has given rise to its reputation as being an ASEAN Heritage Park. This National Marine Park is home to a series of islands, fifty one in number, found off the coast of Southern Thailand.
Ko Tarutao, found within the Tarutao National Marine Park, has the distinction of being the largest island in that area. The island also has a colourful history. Initially known as a place where Thai prisoners were held during the Second World War, due to a depletion of medical resources on the island, aided by a tragic and deadly outbreak of malaria, most prisoners and their captors lost their lives and the remaining minority became pirates in the Andaman Sea; however they were subsequently suppressed by the British. Nearly seventy years later, the historical horrors of the island are mere distant memories, sometimes forgotten in light of the sheer natural brilliance of Ko Tarutao. Having effectively recovered from the tragedies that took place on the island, this isle is now one of the few unspoiled islands in the region.
The topography and landscape of Ko Tarutao is mountainous in nature and is dominated by greenery and shrubbery. In addition, structures of limestone cliffs as well as mangroves dot the coastal areas providing an effective eco system for the growth and sustenance of species such as turtles, macaques and even wild pigs. As it is believed that 25% of the world tropical fish species are found in the National Marine Park, Ko Tarutao is also an ideal location for some snorkelling excursions too.
The island is accessible via bus and ferry from Phuket and for those staying at a Bangkok resort; daily buses are available from most 5 star hotels in Bangkok to La-Ngu from where Pal Bara pier is only a taxi ride away. Those looking to enjoy the very best the Thai capital has to offer can consider staying at the luxurious Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa which makes an ideal base from which to soak up the sights and sounds of this dynamic Asian city.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+