Thailand’s Off-the-Beaten Path Island Getaway: Tarutao Islands

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Tarutao Islands—Tranquil Marine Idyll by Andrew Forbes

Tarutao Marine National Park is the largest marine preserve in both Thailand and Southeast Asia. Founded as Thailand’s second marine national park in 1972, it comprises 51 islands in three distinct groups, located in the balmy waters of Thailand’s Andaman Sea. Thailand has more than its fair share of picture-perfect islands and beaches, but what makes Tarutao so special is that—with the exception of the tiny island of Ko Lipe—no private resorts or infrastructure developments are permitted. This makes Tarutao a model for eco-friendly tourism. Great emphasis has been placed by authorities on preserving the region’s natural resources. Moreover, the park is officially closed during the monsoon season, lasting from May to November. Consequently, the park remains wonderfully pristine and unspoiled.

Tarutao is about experiencing the wildness of nature close up. Whether diving on coral reefs, exploring sea caves by kayak or hiking to hidden waterfalls, it would be difficult to find a more exquisite and tranquil marine idyll anywhere in the world.

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