Tarutao National Marine Park
|Tarutao National Marine Park|
|Location||Satun Province, Thailand|
|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.
Main (larger) islands
There are essentially nine islands of note in the Tarutao/Adang-Rawi archipelagoes:
- Tarutao Archipelago (approximately 30 km off the Thai coast)
- Klang Archipelago (approximately 38 km off the Thai coast)
- The Adang/Rawi group of islands (approximately 50 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 at the fifteenth session of the World Heritage Committee in 1991. UNESCO requested stronger management of the area. 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. 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 everyone 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.
- Son Bay (Ao Son) is the only bay on the west side of Tarutao National Park and is known as a place where turtles come to lay their eggs. Its longest beach is about 200 meters. There is a canal dividing the private beach from the public beach. Activities in Son Bay are camping, looking at the sunset or sunrise, and studying nature. Tents are available.
- Pantaemaraka Gulf Tarutao National Park is on Pantaemaraka Gulf. This place has many pine trees and a clean white beach. 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.
- 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. Activities in Crocodile Cave are riding a long-tailed boat, seeing stalactites, stalagmites and mangrove forests.
- Luu Doo Waterfall is the only waterfall at Tarutao National Park and it is on 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. The waterfall is a place to people who want to study trees, flowers, and animals. Luu Doo Waterfall is 3 kilometres from Tarutao National Park.
- "Tarutao National Park". Thailand Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
- "Report of the Rapporteur" (HTML). Paris: UNESCO, Bureau of the World Heritage Committee. 10 Jul 1991. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
- 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 23 Jun 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.
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