Welcome to Koh Phra Thong Island
In Thai, the name of the island - Phra Thong means golden Buddha. According to a local legend a valuable solid gold Buddha image was buried on the island hundreds of years ago. The island boasts pristine, deserted golden sand beaches, fringed by coconut trees, translucent waters and coral reefs just off shore.
Koh Phra Thong is mostly flat, which explains the especially severe damage it experienced from the 2004 Tsunami. The far east side of the island is covered in mangroves, while in its interior lies a tropical savannah, which is habitat to a number of animal, bird and plant species. Completely unique not only in Thailand but all of southeast Asia, the landscape of the island looks strikingly similar to the savannahs of Africa, except that instead of lions or tigers, you can see Sambar deer, Leopard and Fishing Cats roaming here. Covered in white sandy dunes with fields of long grasses against the dramatic outline of the peeling trees, the landscape of Koh Phra Thong is fascinating. It’s also one of the best bird watching destinations in Thailand — Phra Thong is one of the last remaining places on earth to see an endangered lesser adjutant stork in the wild, and hornbills are a common sight. Night safari through the savannah with an experienced local guide is a must if you want a chance to see any of these fascinating creatures.
The main draw to Ko Phra Thong is its vast stretches of almost entirely undeveloped beach. Heading north away from Phrathong Nature Resort one can walk for several miles and be met only by the sand crabs. So untouched are the beaches that sea turtles still nest here, and the island has become a base for an Italian non-profit sea turtle conversation project.
Koh Phra Thong Island covers an area of 88 km² and is separated from the mainland by a 7 metres deep canal.
There are three villages on the Island; Ta Pae Yoi to the East (where the the nearest port to the mainland is located), Ban Lions to the North and Thung Dap in the South. There are no banks or ATMs on Ko Phra Thong so be sure to have enough cash for your stay.
The village of Tung Dap is home to people of both Thai and Moken (sea gypsies) people living in harmony side by side. The tsunami of 2004 destroyed many of the homes that were located near the beach, and many families relocated to the safety of the mainland, although some remained. Visiting Tung Dap will give you the opportunity to learn firsthand about the amazing Moken culture and traditions. There are also two orchid farms in the village, the wild tropical orchids grown here can only be found in this part of Thailand.
Located on the eastern coast of Koh Phra Thong, Ta Pae Yoi was the least affected by the devastating effects of the 2004 tsunami. Being the main village most of the island population lives here.
A lot of the homes are built in the traditional local style and the people mostly employed in traditional activities, such as fishing, making & selling fish traps or building of longtail boats. Visiting the village of Ta Pae Yoi will allow you to get a true taste of an authentic rural Thai fishing village.