Ang Thong National Park’s beauty can be seen from a boat, but another way to see it is from a good height. So after snorkeling and cruising the park, we headed to Mae Koh island.
MAE KOH ISLAND AND EMERALD LAKE
Mae Koh Island’s draw is, unarguably, something variously known as the “Green Lagoon” or “Emerald Lake.” This is a saltwater lake completely surrounded by limestone cliffs. It is believed to have been created when rain or seawater eroded the top of a large cavern and it collapsed, thus leaving the lake open to the sky.
Reaching it requires a bit of a climb, but the entire path is pretty much a set of metal steps. It wasn’t too difficult but it’s wise to take it carefully and not rush. The stairs fork mid-point; you can either go up to the very top or head closer to the lake. We started with the view at the top, and here’s what we found:
Note: As we left the boat, we were told that we couldn't bring any food or water. Um seriously, no water before a climb? We think they just want people to buy stuff from the stores on the beach. We had this small sack-type bag, the kind you get at Disney, and so we just threw our water in there and carried it up.
.After the top, we headed back down to the fork and then made for the viewpoint closer to the lake. It’s pretty similar, just closer. Swimming at the lake is not allowed, sadly, but the sight of it is pretty lovely.
After Mae Koh Island, we headed off to Koh Paluay for our buffet lunch. The “sea gypsies” live here in a small village. We were served some sauteed vegetables with seafood, soup and chicken. It wasn’t too remarkable, but good enough. And by this time I was pretty hungry, so I was glad it was a buffet!
KAYAKING AT SONG PEE NONG
For our last activity of the day, we headed out to Song Pee Nong Beach. This was a lovely strip of beach on one of the islands. We were given the option of kayaking here or just chilling… of course, we chose to kayak! It was a bit windy but the sun was wonderful. We actually got a little sunburnt from this (we were both red on our lower backs where the life vest wasn’t covering up the skin) so make sure to slather that on before starting, preferably even while still on the boat.
After we returned to the beach, we frolicked in the water a little and explored the beach. The whole time, only one other boat came to the area, so it was really nice. I think we enjoyed this activity best out of the day.
It was a long, full day and we had a wonderful experience. We were back in Samui by about 4, exactly as scheduled. As a fun end to the day, the crew dropped us all off right on the beach in front of our hotels — those that were beachside, anyway. It was fun to come up to our resort in a speedboat, hop off, and wave goodbye to the new friends we made that day. I definitely recommend this tour; the marine park is beautiful and this was exactly the activity day we wanted during our stay in Ko Samui!