Koh Tarutao: A Hidden Gem of Thailand

Koh Tarutao is a remote island located in the southwestern region of Thailand. Precisely, it's one of the rare Thai islands that are still untouched by mass tourism. It lacks luxury infrastructure but is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that offers rejuvenation to all kinds of tourists. A part of the Tarutao National Marine Park, Koh Tarutao is an ideal destination for those seeking an escape from the hustle-bustle of city life. The island - 26 km long and 11 km wide - is mostly known for its secluded beaches that look attractive with their crystal-clear waters, soft sands, and lush plantations. Also, there are some other highlights such as waterfalls, mangrove forests, and limestone cliffs, etc. as well. For an adventure enthusiast, this island might seem like a paradise, as it offers lots of different activities to indulge in. History of Koh Tarutao Koh Tarutao holds an important part in the history of Thailand. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, this island served as a concentration camp for thousands of Thai criminals as well as political prisoners. During World War II, the supplies of food and medicines from the mainland to Koh Tarutao were cut off. As a result, many prisoners and guards died due to hunger and malaria. Those who survived turned to piracy in the nearby Strait of Malacca. They were later quelled by the British troops in the year 1951. How to reach there There are several ways to get to Koh Tarutao. Most of the tourists prefer taking a speedboat from Koh Lipe, as it requires around an hour to reach the destination. You can also reach there from Krabi, Koh Samui, Hat Yai, etc. Major attractions to explore Koh Tarutao is home to many attractions that are worth exploring by all means. It has a number of beaches, Ao Son being the most gorgeous one. This beach is blessed with turquoise waters, white sands, as well as colorful coral reefs. In the eastern part of the island, lies Ao Ta Loo that houses many historic structures. Some other must-visit places here are Koh Adang, Koh Kai, etc. Things to do on Koh Tarutao The island offers an impressive range of adventure sports for those craving some adrenaline rush. Mountain biking is the most rewarding activity here, and it's quite cheap in comparison to other places. You can go for a hike through the lush, dense inland jungle. Moreover, you can just rent a kayak and paddle through the superb mangrove forests. Good to know The visitors need to pay an entrance fee for the Tarutao National Marine Park. The best time to visit Koh Tarutao is between November to April. The island has some amazing restaurants that serve authentic, delicious Thai food. It offers various accommodation options like tents, hotels, and bungalows. There is no ATM on the island. So, bring enough cash with you.