Ko Taen is an island at the south of Ko Samui, located in the village no. 2, Taling Ngam sub-district, Ko Samui district. It is a stunning island with peaceful and shady environment and extended white beach decorated with lines of coconut trees along the coastline. The east part of the island is a long beach alongside the coastal coral reefs, called Ao Ok, whereas the west part is a closed bay with medium-sized mangrove forest and stone beach, called Ao Tok. The island’s coral reefs and its coast are quite abundant. The interesting thing is that there are no dogs on the island. There are many assumptions on this issue. Some believes that the island is sacred or that angels do not like dogs. Some explains it with scientific theories. That is, Ko Taen has some sound waves, magnetic field, or germs that is dangerous for dogs. As a result, no one dares raising dogs since none of them has survived. In addition, the tourists can travel to the surrounding islands like Ko Madsum and Ko Mod Daeng, as they have a beautiful shallow coral reef so that the tourists can go snorkeling. The island also offers some accommodations for the tourists.
Apart from its breathtaking scenery, Ko Taen also provides four nature trails. The tourists can enjoy variety of scenery and Ko Taen people’s ways of life. The first three trails are full of various kinds of birds. The tourists should bring their own binoculars, cameras, or note books to record their fantastic experiences. As for the last trail, it is a marine trail. The tourists will witness the beauty under the sea and along the coast of Ko Taen, both on land and in the sea. The four nature trails are listed below.
1.West nature trail hints the tourists about the story of Ko Taen people’s settlement. The mangrove forest along the route is the best place for the tourists to study ecological system. The trail offers a variety of atmosphere, ranging from the woods to the coastal wetlands (swamp forest and mangrove forest). It is connected to the fourth trail and is used as a connection between Ao Ok and Ao Tok these days. The 3,100-meter-long route forms a circle and provides around 13 nature study areas and rest areas. It is very convenient to explore this trail due to its flat landscape.
2.South nature trail leads to Khao Kiam, the highest mountain on the island. The 1,400-meter-long trail starts at the bay pier, to Ban Ko Taen monastery (Wat Bo Muang), up to Khao Kian, and ends at Pha Phama. The route is steep and covered with trees. It takes approximately 5-6 hours for a walk. The view of southern dry evergreen forest, which was once destroyed for cultivation and is rehabilitated later, is presented along the trail.
3.North nature trail is in Ao Ok Ban Ko Taen community. The 3,200-meter-long trail starts at the pier (Coral Beach Bungalow) and ends at the foothills. The tourists can experience both Ko Taen community ways of life and its natural environment. This trail has the most convenient way of all four trails.
4.Marine nature trail is used for studying the coasts round the island. This route is suitable for those who are interested in the discovery of water animals, water plants, and beautiful corals, as well as the nature under the sea at Ko Taen. The 14-kilometer-long trail is around the island, from Ao Ok to Ao Tok, passing Laem Hua Sai, Hat Hin Kon, Laem Hin Tang, Hat Tai Jeen, Ao Tok, Laem Hua Kruat, Ko Mod Daeng, Hat Na Lhak, Pha Daeng, Laem Thian, and back to Ao Ok. The tourists have to travel by long-tailed boat when the winds calm. It is a perfect place to go diving; therefore, the tourists should prepare their equipments for diving, such as diving mask, life vest, and waterproof camera to keep their precious memory alive.
The tourists can rent the long-tailed boat from Ao Thong Krut, Ko Samui to Ko Taen. The trip takes approximately 30 minutes.
Photo by : https://www.facebook.com/mjkohtan
Information by : http://thai.tourismthailand.org