Tarutao National Marine Park

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Tarutao National Marine Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Satun Ko Yang.jpg
Map showing the location of Tarutao National Marine Park
Map showing the location of Tarutao National Marine Park
Location in Thailand
Location Satun Province, Thailand
Nearest city Satun
Coordinates 6°35′43″N 99°38′41″E / 6.59528°N 99.64472°E / 6.59528; 99.64472Coordinates: 6°35′43″N 99°38′41″E / 6.59528°N 99.64472°E / 6.59528; 99.64472
Area 1,490 km²
Established April 19, 1974

Tarutao National Marine Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติทางทะเลตะรุเตา) consists of 51 islands located in the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Satun Province of Southern Thailand. The Tarutao National Marine Park consists of two island groups: Tarutao (Thai: หมู่เกาะตะรุเตา, Thai pronunciation: [mùː kɔ̀ʔ tàʔ.rúʔ.taw] or  [ta.ru.taw]) and Adang-Rawi (Thai: หมู่เกาะอาดัง-ราวี, Thai pronunciation: [mùː kɔ̀ʔ ʔaːdaŋ raːwiː]), which are scattered from 20 to 70 kilometres distance from the south-westernmost point of mainland Thailand. The park covers an area of 1,490 square kilometres (1,260 ocean, 230 island). The southernmost end of the Park lies on the border with Malaysia. Tarutao became Thailand's second marine national park on April 19, 1974. The coastal Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park had been designated in 1966.

The name Tarutao is a Thai corruption of its original Malay name, Pulau Tertua (the island of old).

Main (larger) islands[edit]

There are essentially nine islands of note in the Tarutao/Adang-Rawi archipelagoes:

  • Tarutao Archipelago (located approximately 30 km off the Thai coast)
    • Ko Tarutao (Thai: เกาะตะรุเตา) - The largest of the islands, Ko Tarutao is 26.5 km long, and 11 km wide. The highest point is over 700 m. Forest covers over 70% of the island.
  • Klang Archipelago (located approximately 38 km off the Thai coast)
    • Ko Klang (Thai: เกาะกลาง, Ko Khai (Thai: เกาะไข)เกาะไข, Ko Ta-Nga (Thai: เกาะตางาห์)
  • Adang Archipelago (located approximately 45 km west of Tarutao)
    • Ko Adang (Thai: เกาะอาดัง), Ko Rawi (Thai: เกาะราวี), Ko Lipe (Thai: เกาะหลีเป๊ะ), Ko Butang (also written as Tong or Dong; Thai: เกาะดง), Ko Lek (Thai: เกาะเหล็ก)
    • In the Adang Archipelago, the small (4 km²) island of Lipe is the most important. With water available year-round, it is the home of the largest permanent settlement, of approximately 800, and the gateway for boat transportation in and out of the Adang group.


The park was established in 1974. In 1982, it was listed as one of the original ASEAN Heritage Parks. It was also submitted to UNESCO for inclusion to the World Heritage in 1990, but its listing was deferred in the fifteenth session of the World Heritage Committee in 1991. The UNESCO requested a stronger management of the area.[1] The rivers and swamps of Taru Tao Island were the last known refuge for the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, within Thailand; the species is now extinct in the area.

The island had been used in the late 1930s as a penal colony for Thai political prisoners.[2] During World War II, when support from the mainland was cut off, the guards and prisoners banded together and formed raiding parties on ships sailing through the waters near the island. The raids were masterminded by an American plantation owner who blamed the war for his loss of fortune and he was assisted to implement his plans by two British non commissioned officers who were on the run for murder and who ironically landed on Tarutao to sit out the war. They sank 130 ships always killing everybody on board. After the pirates of Tarutao were eradicated by British forces at the end of the war, fishermen and farmers took up residence on the island.[3]


  • Son Bay is the only bay on the west side of Tarutao National Park and is knows as a place where turtles come to lay their eggs. Its longest beach is about 200 meters.[4] There is a canal to divide the private beach and the public beach.[5] Activities in Son Bay are camping, looking at the sunset or sunrise and studying nature. Tents are also available.[6]
  • Pantaemaraka Gulf Tarutao National Park is situated on Pantaemaraka gulf. This place has many pine trees and a clean white beach.[7] Pantaemaraka Gulf is becoming a popular tourist attraction in Tarutao National Park. Facilities in Pantaemaraka gulf are tents, home stay, camping and house boating. Activities in Pantaemaraka Gulf are camping, seeing the forest and sea, riding a bicycle, canoeing, swimming in the sea and sunbathing on the beach.[8]
  • Crocodile Cave is three hundred meters deep. Tourists going to Crocodile Cave must go by long-tail boat (15 minutes) from Pantaemaraka Gulf and on the way to Crocodile Cave they can see mangrove forest.[9] Activities in Crocodile Cave are riding a long-tailed boat, seeing stalactites, stalagmites and mangrove forests.[10]
  • Luu Doo Waterfall is the only waterfall at Tarutao National Park and it is situated in Son Bay. Underwater it is full of rock formations, and above the water are found many leaves. Luu Doo Waterfall is low small and beautiful.[11] The waterfall is a place to people who want to study about trees, flowers and animals. Luu Doo Waterfall is situated 3 kilometres from Tarutao National Park. Activities in Luu Doo are studying about trees, flowers and animals, taking photos of naturalness and swimming at Luu Doo Waterfall.[12]

Appearance on television[edit]

Ko Tarutao was the setting for Survivor: Thailand, the 2002 season for the reality television series Survivor. The Philippine version of the series was also set there six years later.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ World Heritage Committee report 1991
  2. ^ Duncan Stearn (January 17–23, 2003). "A Slice of Thai History: Tarutao: island of prisoners and pirates". Pattaya Mail (Pattaya: Pattaya Mail Publishing Co) XI (3). Retrieved June 23, 2013. In 1937 the Thai government decided to construct a prison on the island of Tarutao, one of a group of islands administered by the southern province of Satun. 
  3. ^ General Information, National Parks of Thailand; retrieved 2007-11-10
  4. ^ Shumnak auttayan hangchad kromauttayan hangchad shatpha lae punphuud “Ao Son- Tarutao”(October 20, 2013) Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://park.dnp.go.th/visitor/scenicshow.php?id=106
  5. ^ Hotel Direct “Sathantee teaw tee na sonjai jangwad Satun Aow Son” Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.hoteldirect.in.th/%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%A5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%97%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A7/%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%B9%E0%B8%A5/%E0%B8%AD%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%99.html
  6. ^ .“Aow Son ampher La-nqu jangwad Satun” Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.ezytrip.com/Thailand/th/South/Satun/04263/04263.html
  7. ^ Nan “Aow Pantaemaraka” (February 9, 2010) Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://nannanjuly.blogspot.com/
  8. ^ Hotel Direct “Tee Aow Pantaemaraka jangwad Satun” Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.hoteldirect.in.th/%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%A5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%97%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A7/%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%B9%E0%B8%A5/%E0%B8%AD%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B2.html
  9. ^ Tour “Tum Jar-ra-ke aumpher La-ngu jangwad Satun” Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://park.dnp.go.th/visitor/scenicshow.php?id=102
  10. ^ Sathantee teaw tee jangwad Satun “Tum Jar-ra-ke auttayan hangchad Tarutao ” Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.oceansmile.com/S/Satun/TamWater.htm
  11. ^ Shumnak auttayan hangchad kromauttayan hangchad shatpha lae punphuud “ Numtong Loo duu (Luu Doo Waterfall) – Tarutao” (October 20, 2013) Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://park.dnp.go.th/visitor/scenicshow.php?id=102
  12. ^ “Kormoontuawpai – numtong Luu doo – numtong Luu doo” Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.ezytrip.com/Thailand/th/South/Satun/04264/04264.htm

External links[edit]