Destination: Koh Tarutao

06.37 N 99.39 E

Perhaps one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. High, large and somewhat forbidding in appearance, pretty is not the right description. The terrain is rugged and mountainous, the highest peaks stretching up to 500 meter. Tarutao has an intrigueing history as a pirates' lair and as a penal colony. It is Thailand's first National Park (established in 1972). Old growth jungle forests and a haven for wildlife: sea turtles, whales, monitor lizards, crab-eating macaques, mouse deer, and countless species of birds.

There is but little habitation and no resorts. The park ranger station in the NW corner has a small restaurant, a few bungalows and in the NE season ferries from the mainland moor there. Shallow draught yachts can take fresh water here.

You have countless anchorages to explore on both the W and E side. Long beaches on the E side, at areas secluded by an archipellago of islets and rocks. There are many walking trails and two waterfalls can be reached after a short trek inland.