Ko Tarutao, Thailand
Ko Tarutao in Thailand most certainly differs from all the other destinations in Thailand. The name of it means “mysterious” or “primitive”, so you probably can already imagine what this article will be about. It’s a mysterious, but beautiful island, which used to carry some terrible stories, but today has become an escape for those, who are looking for quiet and tranquility during the vacation.
Ko Tarutao Trivia
In 1974 the island was incorporated in Tarutao National Marine Park but prior that the history was a lot less engaging. In the beginning of the 20th century a vast number of convicted criminals were held on the island. It is claimed that in the 1930s and 1940s about 3000 prisoners were living there. During the World War II the situation got extremely bad – the prisoners were no longer taken care of, majority of them died, but those, who managed to survive, joined the pirate movement and that’s why for quite a long time people feared the island and it was pretty much abandoned. However, today the situation is completely different and only some ruins tell us about what the life on the island used to be.
Today the island has become a great destination for the nature tourists and those, who try to avoid mass tourism spots and prefer more quiet and wild places. The island occupies a significant area of 150 square kilometers and no modern facilities or buildings can be found there. Majority of the territory is covered with old growth jungle and several mountain peaks, but on the western side of the coast you will find a nice white-sand beach. Variety of wild animals inhabits the area and most probably you will see them there: langurs, turtles and crab-eating macaques are just a few to be named.
Ko Tarutao Tourism
First of all, when entering the area, keep in mind that you will be asked to pay an entrance fee of 200 baht. There will be neither an ATM, nor a possibility to pay by credit card anywhere on the island, so prepare enough cash for the whole stay on the island. A few tourism services are available on the spot e.g. tour guides, bike and kayak rental and accommodation facilities. However, the life on the island is as modest as possible – there you won’t find any loud and wild parties, moreover the electricity is available only from 5PM to 11 PM and all the restaurants are closing at 7PM. The allowed season for the visitors is from November to May, during the rest of the year the entrance in the national park is prohibited.
Ko Tarutao is a historic place, once a site people feared of but now a great destination to visit if you really are looking for unspoilt nature and simplicity of life.