Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tarutao National Marine Park - Satun

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) and Adang-Rawi (Thai: หมู่เกาะอาดัง-ราวี), which are scattered from 20 to 70 kilometers distance from the southwestern most point of mainland Thailand. The park covers an area of 1,490 square kilometers (1,260 ocean, 230 island). The southern most 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).
There are essentially 7 islands of note in the Tarutao/Adang-Rawi archipelagoes:
  • Tarutao Archipelago (located approximately 30 km off the Thai coast)
    • Ko Tarutao (Thai: เกาะตะรุเตา) - The largest of the islands, Ko Tarutao is 26.5 km long, and 11 km wide. The highest point is over 2,000 feet. Forest covers over 60% of the island.
    • Ko Klang (Thai: เกาะกลาง), Ko Lek (Thai: เกาะเหล็ก)
  • Adang Archipelago (located approximately 45 km west of Tarutao)
    • Ko Adang (Thai: เกาะอาดัง), Ko Rawi (Thai: เกาะราวี), Ko Lipe (Thai: เกาะหลีเป๊ะ), Ko Dong (Thai: เกาะดง)
    • 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 in the fifteenth session of the World Heritage Committee in 1991. The UNESCO requested a stronger management of 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. 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.
Ko Tarutao was the setting for Survivor: Thailand, the 2002 season for the reality television series, Survivor. The Philippine version of the said series was also set there six years later.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarutao_National_Marine_Park
Images: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Koh_Tarutao


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