In planning our trip we kept seeing stunning images of Ang Thong and knew we had to go. We really wanted to be able to kayak and snorkel but found that many of the smaller boat trips wouldn’t take children under 6 – and of course, we would never have left Sophie Bee behind!
We decided to ask the owners of the villa we were staying at if they knew of any trips and they said that the larger family trips would accommodate us and had optional snorkelling. They also advised waiting until we got to Samui before booking as we could then pick the best day weather wise.
Booking the trip
We arrived in Samui on Tuesday and after spending much of the day relaxing on Wednesday we decided we were ready to explore and asked our hosts if they could check the weather and book the trip. It was soon confirmed and we needed to be ready to be picked up between 7.45am and 8am the following morning.
The trip itself was very reasonable at just under £115.00 for all of us.
What an amazing day
So after being picked up by the minibus, we spent about 30 minutes driving along the coastal road to the main ferry port at Nathon, on arrival we were given red stickers and directed to the second boat
We boarded and donned our life jackets, whilst finding a seat to grab our breakfast of bananas, croissants and drinks. As we started to pull out of the harbour or guide for the day filled us in on the itinerary and explained that all those with red stickers would be kayaking – we were so excited as we hadn’t fully realised we would be able to kayak.
The journey out to the national park was relatively smooth, however, Sophie Bee found it difficult as she was experiencing sea sickness for the first time. Whilst Dave looked after her, Molly and Sarah headed up to the roof of the boat to get a better view of the national park as we approached.
As we got closer our guide let us know about the plan for the day and announced those who would be kayaking in the first group. With Sophie not feeling 100% we asked if we could go earlier so that we could get her feeling better.
We packed up the waterproof bags we had been given with our phones, money and GoPro and heading to the lower deck where we were directed to a family sized kayak for us all. We managed to get over to the guide without capsizing and as we sat there Sarah thought this will be easy the beach is about 10 minutes kayak from us and we’ll all get there safely!
Once all the group were there, we were briefed and discovered we would actually be kayaking around the islands and seeing 4 beaches, the final one being our destination. Sarah having only kayaked once before was now feeling a little bit nervous!
So off we set, with Sarah and Dave paddling, and the girls responsible for photos/videos on the GoPro.
The whole experience was amazing and we didn’t take as many photos as we should have but just being there looking up at the landscape of the islands and down into the clear water filled with coral and fish was just amazing.
We even went into the cave that features in the novel The Beach which was a great experience and quite difficult to navigate
On arrival at the final beach – Koh Mae (Mother Island), we disembarked and started to head up the staircases to see the views over the amazing Emerald Lake – Thale Nai – the cave we had kayaked into actually connects to this lake. Sophie didn’t want to continue so Sarah and Molly went to the top whilst Dave and Sophie played on the beach.
After about 40 minutes on this island, we headed back to the main boat via longboat and lunch was served. A fantastic curry, spring rolls, rice and fresh fruit – surprisingly the girls just ate the rice!!
It was now time for a short trip to the main island of the national park – Ko Wua Ta Lap, where we would have time to explore, snorkel and relax.
Ko Wua Ta Lap
This island has so much to offer, there are two treks that you can do – one takes you to a Wua Ta Lap Viewpoint for stunning views over the whole national park and the other to Bua Bok Cave which has fantastic stalagmite and stalactite formations. Both of these were a good 30-40 minute hike and it was very hot so we opted to give snorkelling a go instead.
Before this Dave saw some monkeys in a tree and we spent time watching them play and feed.
We all headed out to the sea after this, but our dreams of snorkelling didn’t quite match the reality! Without reef shoes the ground was uncomfortable underfoot and getting the masks to seal to protect our eyes against the heavily salted water was difficult. We enjoyed playing in the sea, exploring the island and walking around the visitor centre though so all was not lost.
Heading back to the mainland
After 2 hours on the island, it was time for our journey back to the mainland. Luckily the trip was a little less sicky this time and the girls enjoying sitting at the front of the boat, eating bananas and drinking sprite!
All in all, we had a fantastic day and would highly recommend this trip to everyone who spends time in Koh Samui.