Everyone heads to Ko Phi Phi for the famous lagoon film location featured in The Beach. It’s stunning and a great day trip, but wouldn’t you rather visit the original?
Ang Thong National Marine Park, off the coast of Koh Samui is the real inspiration behind Alex Garland’s secret paradise in his novel. The un-touched group of islands are worth a trip without any films or books to lure you in. Plus, the 42-island archipelago is especially superior to the must-see Maya Bay, because there are far less people. Walking around Ko Mae Ko and its natural lagoon with only a boat full of people, you’ll actually feel like you’ve stumbled upon a undiscovered paradise.
Ric and I visited Ang Thong National Marine Park on a day trip from Koh Samui. They picked us up in a fishing boat with about 20-30 people on board.
I got excited when islands started to appear in the distance. I was taken aback by the changing sea color. It would go from a deep blue to a light green and back again.
The day tour includes a guided kayak trip, during which our guide pointed out the blow hole Richard would have escaped the shark that was chasing him in The Beach.
The real hidden lagoon where the Swedes would fish and beach colony would play cricket located on Ko Mae Ko.
The scene from the lookout point at Ko Mae Ko.
The day ends with snorkeling and lunch at Mu Koh Ang Thong National Park. People can camp over night on this island with special permission, but we only spent about an hour here doing epic jump shots before returning to Koh Samui.