Despite its ever-increasing popularity, there are still less obvious sources of paradise in Thailand. Here, I reflect on a trip to Ang Thong National Park…
Searching for Paradise
A day in Ang Thong National Park
A slice of sand amongst the blue and green
A colourful boat glides across the calm waters in the Gulf of Thailand
Below, King Kong and Killer Whale Islands
Our boat dropped anchor in the bay on the north shore of Sam Sao, one of the larger islands in the archipelago. The impeccable timings of the tour gave us the island to ourselves, which is impressive in such a popular tourist destination. I took a stroll to the far end of the beach to take a couple of photos. It was serene; the soft lapping of the waves at my feet and the gentle, accompanying breeze. For a second it felt like I had the place to myself. Everything else ceased to exist.
Various views on the island of Sam Sao
If you do visit Angthong, be sure to hike up to the viewing platform on Sam Sao. It’s a 15-20 minute hike through forest; Indiana Jones for beginners. Away from the beach’s cooling breeze it was hot and sticky. Despite it being a short (although relatively steep) hike, my clothes were stuck to me by the time we reached the top. It was the kind of heat that gets to the backs of your knees, the small of your back. But enough about the state of my sweaty self. The panorama afforded from the viewing point was breathtaking: the pristine archipelago surrounded by vivid blue for as far as the eye can see.
Instagrammable (the view that is)
A few of us hopped into kayaks and went off in search of a secret breach, unaccessible from the land. A rope swing hung from the trees above: the stereotypical photo opportunity to sit on a swing and stare witsfully into the distance. I am definitely more comfortable behind the camera, but at least this kind of photo shows off my good side!
I won the race back to the north shore*. Once back, we sat on the beach and tucked into a delicious Thai curry for lunch. *disclaimer, I’m not sure anybody else realised that it was a race, but you gotta take those small victories. Am I right?
The final stop of a very enjoyable day was Mae Koh Island, home of the emerald lake. Again, the itinerary was such that we had the place to ourselves. As we arrived, a much larger tour group was leaving. Talk about timing!