Ang Thong National Marine Park (or Mu Ko Ang Thong) is a marine national park in the Gulf of Thailand in Surat Thani Province and it covers 42 islands in a total protected area of 102 km2, of which about 50 km2 are land and the rest is water.
Established on 12 November 1980, it features towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, waterfalls and hidden coves and lakes to explore.
Within sight of Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and the mainland, Ang Thong park it is home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures.
The park shelter an abundance of smaller reef fish and pristine corals. Some unusual creatures can be spotted here such as banded sea snakes, mating cuttlefish, lobster, turtles and stingrays.
Ang Thong gained widespread renown when it appeared in the novel ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland. It’s the destination where backpackers in search of a secret island utopia set up camp. The subsequent movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio was actually filmed on Koh Phi Phi Leh, but by then Ang Thong was already on the bucket-list of many travellers. Only one of its islands, Koh Paluay, is inhabited. It’s home to a sea-gypsy community that largely maintains its traditional fishing lifestyle.
The name “Ang Thong” (Thai: อ่างทอง) means ‘bowl of gold’. “Mu Ko” (หมู่เกาะ) simply means ‘group of islands’.
Ang Thong is 28 kilometres from Samui and 32 kilometres from Pha Ngan.
Made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach