|Ang Thong National Marine Park | Mae Koh Island & Emerald Lake (Blue Lagoon) - Talay Nay|
Rising from the deep blue sea, most of these islets are covered by tropical rain forest. Cave, hidden lagoon and pristine beach, these are the treasures of Angthong National Marine Park that await you to explore. All of the islets are uninhabited and undeveloped except Ko Paluay, which is the home to sea-gypsies. Most of them are fishers.
On our last trip to Samui, we engaged a local tour operator and cruised to Ang Thong for a day trip by speedboat.
Apart from swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and spelunking, our tour also stopped at Ko Mae Koh (Mother Island) that allowed us to view its hidden treasure - Emerald Lake or nicknamed as 'Blue Lagoon' in the movie 'The Beach' starring Leornardo de Caprio. Interestingly, Emerald Lake is a salt water lake surrounding by sheer limestone walls. Measuring 250m in length, 20 m width and 7 m depth, it is connected to the sea by an underground tunnel. Known in Thai as 'Talay Nay', it is believed Emerald Lagoon was created from a collapsed cavern. Over time, rain eroded the limestone roof of this huge cave, resulting it to fall and eventually exposed.
To reach the spectacular view point on Mae Koh Island, it requires a bit of energy boost to hike up a steep stairs to get up to a deep crevice on the cliff. As you squeeze to reach the top where a small gazebo is, you would be rewarded with the bizarre view of Ang Thong archipelago. The stairs heading down would lead you to the enticing lake - Talay Nay. The water is calm and green but swimming or diving is not allowed.
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