I have visited Phi Phi Ley, the location for a lot of the filming of The Beach. However I was intrigued to find out that Koh Samui and Angthong Marine Park was the initial inspiration of the locations in Alex Garlands book.
Angthong Marine Park is a popular tourist destination for day trippers from Phangnan, Samui and Koh Tao. Whilst most come and go for just a day there is the opportunity to camp overnight at the national parks headquarters.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time for this but if I ever returned I would take up this option and definitely recommend it if you’re in the area.
We went on a speed boat trip to Angthong and this included a snorkelling stop, plenty of sightseeing around the islands, a lunch at a sea gypsies village, some time at the emerald lagoon and then a beautiful beach with the option to go kayaking.
The scenery here was very similar to the those islands in the Andaman Sea and not the normal for the Gulf of Thailand. It’s not a cheap day trip at around 1700 baht per person but well worth the experience if you are in the gulf of Thailand.
See the rest of my photos from the day below.
The best part was the return to the hotel. We were staying in Bophut and the guy from the speedboat literally dropped us off on the beach outside our hotel room. It made us feel special and the looks we got from those on the beach and on the speedboat was great.