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Vol. 24 No.2
April - June 2007

ISSN 0125-0159


Editorial
Editor’s Note
International Forum
Thailand Moving with ASEAN Towards a Caring and Sharing Society
Leadership
Prayong Ronnarong: Prime Example of a Community Leader
Interview
BOI and Its Important Roles in Promoting Investors in Global Business Arenas
Special Feature
China - ASEAN Cooperation Program
Human Security
Protecting the Rights of Immigrant Workers
Foreign Relations
The Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge: A New Link between Thailand and Its Close Neighbors
Energy
Trends of Energy Use and Development in Thailand
Thai Touch
Ko Phra Thong: A Savanna Paradise



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Ko Phra Thong: A Savanna Paradise

Ko Phra Thong island has an area of 63,750 rai (25,500 acres). It is part of Tambon Ko Phra Thong subdistrict in Khura Buri district of Phang-nga province. Its many visitors also call it “Savanna Island.” There are three theories about the origin of Ko Phra Thong: the subsidence of the western coast in prehistoric times, the accumulation of sand sediment left by winds and waves, and the gathering of organic sediment that rainwater brought from a mountain range east of the island.



Ko Phra Thong island has become well-known since the Tourism Authority of Thailand started promoting it as an “Unseen Thailand” destination. The pictures of the golden savanna on the island were published in travel magazines, together with descriptions of the beauty and abundance of its natural resources, especially beaches and wildlife. Ko Phra Thong island is now a destination that Thai and foreign tourists want to see with their own eyes.

Biologists and explorers have compiled records of wild animals on the island. Mammals they have discovered include deer (there are about 60 types of deer easy to see), boars, dusky langurs, and macaques. Birds on the island include lesser adjutant storks, black-and-red broadbills, and hornbills. A foreign academic who spent a year on the island found as many as 106 species of birds.



Reptiles include tree monitors, water monitors, pythons, various other snakes, sun skinks, and turtles. Three species of sea turtles have been found on the western part of the island: leatherback turtles, olive ridley turtles, and green sea turtles. Sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches between November and January.

Ko Phra Thong and nearby areas have a tropical climate, so it rains most of the year because of the southeastern and northeastern monsoons. The rains start in April and end in November and are heaviest between June and November.

This savanna paradise island maintains its pristine beauty well. Mangrove forests cover its eastern part, while the western part features golden beaches. The savanna is in the middle, resembling scenic views of Africa. The island boasts a variety of flora and fauna. It is the habitat of Thailand’s last school of lesser adjutant storks, and the home of several endangered species of orchids.



Being a marine national park, Ko Phra Thong offers scenic views. It is a destination for people who love tropical rainforests, beaches, breezes, savannas, and mangrove forests. Beautiful landscapes and natural resources make the island an appealing site for camping, animal watching, biking, bird watching, and nature studies. Rich rainforests near some beaches are suitable for the development of nature trails. Western and northern beaches are wide and long, suitable for swimming and sunbathing, and they turn golden during the sunset. The best times to visit the savanna on the island, when it’s not too hot, are between sunrise and 8 a.m., and then from 4 p.m. until sundown.

Travel Tips: Visitors many travel by road from Bangkok to Khura Buri district and then take highway 4 for some six kilometers to Ranong province, where ferry services are available. A trip to Ko Phra Thong island takes about 50 minutes. Visitors cannot take their vehicles across the sea to Ko Phra Thong but they can rent a four-wheel-drive truck or walk to reach the savanna, which is a must-see highlight of the island.

For more information, please contact the Mu Ko Ra - Ko Phra Thong National Park Office, Tambon Ko Phra Thong subdistrict, Khura Buri district, Phang-nga province 82150.



Story: Annop Karnchanapanich
Photos: Annop Karnchanapanich



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