Monolithic granite boulders plummet precipitously into the limpid depths, turning this underwater world into a sublime mystical place of exploration. It was a spectacular snorkel as we meandered around boulders and through caves sharing our journey with hundred of fish. We stayed for two nights and enjoyed three days of snorkelling before we moved on. In that time we snorkelled almost the entire circumference of the island. We saw an abundance of fish of many varied types including a black tip reef shark and we watched a large reef octopus making its way across the sea floor…
Finally we were in Thailand in the right season. In fact since leaving Australian waters over a year ago, this was the first time we had been sailing in an area at the “right” time. What does the “right” time mean? Well it means it is dry season, therefore not so much rain and not as humid… and more tourists. But for sailors the “right” time, in Thailand, means you are able to explore the west coast of Thailand and visit islands such as Koh Phayam, Koh Surin and Koh Similan, because the prevailing wind is from the north east and you therefore have some protected anchorages to use on the west coast.
We spent a fabulous week snorkelling and diving in the Tarutao National Marine Park. Our favourite spots included Koh Chuku (aka Koh Khai), Koh Lipe and Koh Yang. The snorkelling was great! The corals and marine life were impressive and we spent hours exploring a number of the many snorkelling sites the Tarutao National Marine Park has to offer.
Clearing in and out of customs, pirates, transport, phone and internet, cheap food, shopping, fruit and veg, fuel, hardware, bartering, trading and gifts, as well as some basic Indonesian words to know are covered in this post. It also includes a link to a google map of the anchorages we used which includes information about the holding and the depth of water.
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