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Overview

This island is part of a spectacular marine national park that protects a large archipelago of 51 islands, approximately 19 miles from Pak Bara and 37 miles northwest of Satun. Ko Tarutao, the biggest of the group, is only three miles from Pulau Langkawi in Malaysia. Ko Tarutao National Marine Park remains one of the most beautifully isolated and pristine coastal areas in Thailand, in part because it requires a bit more effort to get there. Its beauty, and isolation, was probably why it was chosen as the location for the fifth season of the popular American TV series Survivor, broadcast in 2002. Accommodation on the islands is fairly ...

This island is part of a spectacular marine national park that protects a large archipelago of 51 islands, approximately 19 miles from Pak Bara and 37 miles northwest of Satun. Ko Tarutao, the biggest of the group, is only three miles from Pulau Langkawi in Malaysia. Ko Tarutao National Marine Park remains one of the most beautifully isolated and pristine coastal areas in Thailand, in part because it requires a bit more effort to get there. Its beauty, and isolation, was probably why it was chosen as the location for the fifth season of the popular American TV series Survivor, broadcast in 2002. Accommodation on the islands is fairly basic, and the park is only officially open from around November to May, depending on the weather patterns. Covering 58 square miles, Ko Tarutao is the largest island in the marine park, and a shining example of how tourism should be done, with a small government-run visitors center and a limited number of tidy cottages and longhouses. Most of the island is covered in dense virgin jungle and the western coast is lined with secluded white-sand beaches.

Joe Cummings
About the Expert

Joe Cummings has contributed to more than 35 guidebooks, maps, atlases, phrasebooks and photographic works, including his bestselling Lonely Planet Thailand and Buddhist Stupas of Asia: The Shape of Perfection.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the Andaman Sea; approximately 30 miles southwest of mainland Thailand.
  • Language: Thai
  • Currency: Thai Baht
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November to May