Mu Ko Phetra National Park
|Mu Ko Phetra National Park|
View of Ko Phetra from Ko Lao Liang Nuea
|Location||Trang Province and Satun Province, Thailand|
Mu Ko Phetra is a marine national park in Andaman Sea side of Thailand, covering mostly intact coastal line, open water, and about 30 islands of southern part of Trang Province and northern part of Satun Province. Established on 31 December 1984, it is the 49th national park and 14th marine national park of Thailand.
The majority of the park, about 94.74% or 468.38 km² out of 494.38 km² are open water. Two largest islands of the parks are Ko Phetra (Thai: เกาะเภตรา), where the name of the park is derived from, and Ko Khao Yai (Thai: เกาะเขาใหญ่). Several islands are the site where marine turtles lay eggs. Rich coral reef is also present around islands. Many of the islands consist of steep limestone rocks and little beaches. They are still used as temporary residence by fishermen during fishing season.
In the caves of the cliffs high above the ground in some of the islands are where swiftlets build their nest and breed. Several islands were placed under concession for decades to collect bird nests. They are highly valuable and closely guarded with firearms. Traveling to those islands should be done through local tour companies in the provinces as their boats are recognized and ignored by the guards.
- Ko Lao Liang actually consists of two similar islands just 300 m in separation. The smaller northern-most island, Ko Lao Liang Nuea (Thai: เกาะเหลาเหลียงเหนือ) (also known as Ko Lao Liang Nong; Thai: เกาะเหลาเหลียงน้อง), and the larger island to the south, Ko Lao Liang Tai (Thai: เกาะเหลาเหลียงใต้) (also known as Ko Lao Liang Phi; Thai: เกาะเหลาเหลียงพี่). Both have rather small beaches and are under bird nest concession. Around the islands are shallow reefs for diving.
- Ko Phetra (Thai: เกาะเภตรา / Malay: Pulau Petra) is an island with odd-shaped cliffs. A bird nest concession island, surrounding sea is available for diving.
- Ko Lidi (Thai: เกาะลิดี / Malay: Pulau Lidi) is a rather big island with beach.
- Ko Khao Yai (Thai: เกาะเขาใหญ่), the biggest island with castle-like limestone rocks. Part of the island is the Ao Kam Poo (Thai: อ่าวก้ามปู) which is a 700 m wide bay with waterfall and stream. The bay is a site where sea turtles come to lay eggs.
- Ko Bulon (Thai: เกาะบุโหลน / Malay: Pulau Bulan), a beautiful island with clear water and corel reef. It is a popular tourism spot of the national park.
- Rawai Beach (Thai: หาดราไว), not to be confused with another beach with the same name in Phuket Province, is a 3.5 km long beach on the mainland. It is also popular camping spot.
- Mu Ko Petra National Park from National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department
- Mu Ko Petra National Park from Ministry of Defense (Thai only)