It was the perfect day. The sun was shining brightly, and there was hardly anyone in sight. Together with five other people, we boarded the Anda, a beautiful 38ft speed boat which was going to take us to the beautiful waters of the famous Ang Thong Marine Park.
Known for its crystal clear waters, emerald-colored lagoon, and of course, the 42 jagged islands with pristine beaches, this is a spot not to be missed.
Between the limestone cliffs, the stunningly beautiful landscape, and the diverse marine wildlife, we quickly understood why a trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park is a must for people traveling around Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
- Why Book an Ang Thong National Marine Park Tour?
- Our Experience: Visiting Ang Thong National Marine Park
- Snorkeling and Sea Kayaking in Ang Thong Marine Park
- The Ang Thong Marine Park View Point
- Ang Thong Marine National Park Tour Review
- Samui Boat Charter VIP Snorkeling Trip Inclusions
- Booking Ang Thong National Marine Park Tour
Why Book an Ang Thong National Marine Park Tour?
After doing our research, we found out that there were loads of boat providers offering tours of the Marine Park. In fact, after walking along busy parts of Koh Samui like Chaweng and Lamai, it was slightly overwhelming trying to find a tour which wasn’t too crowded.
Booking a private tour is our top recommendation as most joining tours have tons of people which take way from actually enjoying the park.
For this reason, we decided to partner up with Samui Boat Charter, a company with a fleet of luxury speedboats, yachts, and sailboards so we could truly experience the beauty of the marine park. Samui Boat Charter recently started doing VIP tours of the Ang Thong Marine Park and have gained nothing but fabulous reviews so we decided to give it a go.
Coincidentally, we also timed our trip perfectly because we went the day after the full moon party which meant there was hardly anyone there. Aboard the Samui Boat Charter, we were given a quick orientation of where we were heading.
Apart from Samui Boat charter, we also recommend this private boat tour of Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Together with a fantastic boat crew, a small group of other travelers, and a cooler full of soda and beer, we began our journey. Soon, we were heading towards the horizon as we gazed out into a sea of blues, heading for the marine park, excited about the day that was about to come.
Our Experience: Visiting Ang Thong National Marine Park
During the entire trip, one thing was clear. We could take as long as we wanted leisurely enjoying and making the most out of each part of the journey. Our guide didn’t stick to any particular route or plan.
He said as soon as we got to the Marine Park, that was when he would decide which activity to do first. They do this to avoid other boat and tour companies to try to provide you with the most personalized experience possible.
Around us, you could see the glistening jagged peaks of the little islands spread all around us. Some had limestone rocks protruding, some had little stretches of white sandy beaches. It was truly a vision to see.
It’s no wonder Alex Garland, author of the iconic book, The Beach used this place along with Phi Phi island as his inspiration when writing about this Utopian Paradise. The water was an unreal color of blues and greens, just beckoning us to dive in and cool off.
Snorkeling and Sea Kayaking in Ang Thong Marine Park
We stopped in one part of the island so we could enjoy the snorkeling. The staff and crew of the Anda quickly started preparing everything, ready for us to just jump in the water and enjoy.
They had top of the line snorkel gear and fins, which was a relief as in our experience, we usually end up with snorkel masks that fogged quickly and ill fitted fins. Here, everything was up to par to make sure we had a good time.
Our guide jumped in the water with us and led our group to his favorite spots around the small island, pointing at interesting things like giant clams and trigger fish along the way. While we didn’t get the best visibility while we were there, the water was still clear enough to enjoy a couple of hours snorkeling.
Around the marine sanctuary, there are a couple of areas which have great snorkeling, with one area even boasting of reef shark sightings when the visibility is good. After we got back on the boat, we had a quick freshwater shower and proceeded to a beach where we could enjoy some sea kayaking.
My word of advice, if you have the chance to, definitely go kayaking! Our guide led us through some rocky overhangs and a few cool caves and caverns. He even led us inside this tiny cave where the water between the ocean and the salt water lagoon passes through. It was definitely a great experience.
The kayaks were in great condition and were stored on a nearby island which was also nice to swim in.
We've scoured the internet for the best ALL-AROUND travel shoe and Tropicfeel wins by far. We've taken ours through rivers, jungles, and cities and they're still alive and kickin'. Check them out below.
The Ang Thong Marine Park View Point
There are two viewpoints within the Ang Thong Marine Park, with each boasting stellar views. From the viewpoint that we went to, you could also see the emerald waters of the lake from where we were.
Interestingly enough, the entire lake is full of salt water and is due to a large sinkhole. When we got up to the top after scaling a series of steps and stairs, we couldn’t help but stop and gaze at the slew of islands glistening below us.
While the other view point gives you a much more direct view of the islands, the entire place was very picturesque and peaceful. The best part was that we were the only group that was there. Talk about perfect timing as earlier on, when we kayaked by, there were two other boat tour groups competing to get the perfect shot.
Read: Check out more photos of Ang Thong Marine Park for more inspiration
Ang Thong Marine National Park Tour Review
Overall, this was an incredible experience. If you’re looking to splurge a little bit and see this beautiful marine park in style, I highly recommend booking a private, or even a semi-private tour.
This just gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace and see the group of islands without the hundreds of people who are trying to do the same. When it comes to the Adventure Seeker review, seeing the islands definitely has a WOW factor, especially when you first catch a glimpse of the emerald green waters.
Although the trip wasn’t much of a challenge, it was well worth the price tag, especially since we practically had the islands all to ourselves. Overall, good bang for your buck and is something I would do again given I had some extra money to spend.
If you're looking for an intimate and exclusive trip to see Ang Thong Marine Park, we definitely recommend going on a private tour. Everything from the crew, the equipment, down to the small touches of fresh fruit after every activity to laying down towels to make sure the boat's floor isn't too hot. The value that you receive for the small and intimate group which isn't run by any specific schedule makes the whole experience worthwhile. This is a highly recommended experience!
Samui Boat Charter VIP Snorkeling Trip Inclusions
Throughout the day, we were given access to a cold cooler full of drinks, fresh fruit, and a hearty lunch. For lunch, unlike most boat companies, we stopped by a local village and ate in a restaurant in Koh Ploy serving traditional Thai food.
We were served a buffet meal made up of shrimp tempuras, sweet and sour chicken, salad, vegetables, soup, and fried rice. The food was delicious and was a great break from the usual pre-packaged fried rice and noodles that most tour groups serve.
Other Inclusions For the Trip Are:
- Mini Bus Transfers
- English Speaking Guides
- 2 Beers/ person
- Lunch & Snacks
- Sea Kayaking
- Life Jackets
- Top Notch Snorkeling Equipment
- Full Insurance
- Marine Park Fees
For up to date prices and information, head on over to the website of Samui Boat Charter.
Booking Ang Thong National Marine Park Tour
As mentioned, apart from this tour by Samui Boat Charter, you have a few other options if you want to book a private (or semi-private tour). Here are a few others that have fantastic reviews.