June 22, 2013

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Tarutao National Marine Park  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 and Adang-Rawi which are scattered from 20 to 70 kilometres distance from the southwestern most 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).

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.

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 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.

source by Wikipedia

Koh Lipe is outside of the Tarutao National Park jurisdiction, and as such is exempt from the laws and legislation that protects the rest of the national park. The island is rapidly growing to meet the demands of increase in tourism, and is facing quite a few issues with rubbish and animal conservation.  One reasons of the rising numbers of tourists here is "Tarutao Survivor"on reality TV show.

Koh Lipe is not under park control, and has thus become the main place to stay in this part of the park, given the limited facilities on Koh Adang. Several bungalow operations have been set up in the main village along the east coast and on Pattaya Beach, on the southern side of this island. There are also one or two simple restaurants and shops in the main village. You can walk overland between the village and Hat Pattaya in around 20 to 30 minutes, or take a long-tail passenger boat for 30B.

There is a coral reef along the southern side of the small island and several small beach coves. The chao naam can provide boat hire to nearby islets ringed by coral reefs.

Source by Kohlipe.info