Dong Islands : Thailand’s Pristine Archipelago
The Dong Islands, the outermost part of the Adang-Rawi archipelago, are among the last remaining untouched wonders in Thailand. With their beautiful landscapes, abundant coral reefs, and clear blue-green emerald waters, these islands offer an unparalleled experience for every visitor.
The Dong Islands are a part of an outer zone in Koh Lipe. From strange rock formations to playful macaques, these islands are rich in natural beauty. A trip to the Dong Islands takes you to an underwater wonderland with numerous shallow and deep diving spots, home to vibrant corals and diverse marine life. The Dong Islands are also the last of Thailand’s islands, making them an exotic and enchanting destination.
Attractions in Dong Islands
Koh Hin Son
Koh Hin Son, distinguished by giant boulders balanced atop each other, is an iconic symbol of the Koh Dong. The peculiar stone formations, resembling various shapes, make for stunning views and breathtaking photographs. The area around Koh Hin Son is ideal for snorkeling and deep diving. However, due to strong currents, caution is advised. This location is also a popular spot to watch the sunset, with its position being the last in Thailand before reaching Malaysia.
Koh Ro Khloi
Koh Ro Khloi is a remarkable stopover within the Dong Islands chain, famed for its pristine sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. The underwater spectacle here is equally stunning, presenting a world teeming with colorful marine species and vibrant coral formations – a treasure trove for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. But the island’s allure isn’t confined to its coasts. Its forested heartland provides an enticing trail for hikers and nature aficionados, promising a peaceful retreat from beach activities. In essence, whether you crave thrilling aquatic adventures or the tranquility of untouched nature, Koh Ro Khloi caters to all, making it an indispensable part of the Hoh Dong experience.
A small island off the coast of Satun, Koh Phai is a hotspot for snorkeling with its bay rich in hard coral reefs. Home to large groups of clownfish, anemones, and a variety of coral reef fish, Koh Phai is a paradise for marine life enthusiasts. You can reach Koh Phai by chartering a speedboat or a long-tailed boat from Koh Lipe.
Koh Phueng is a small rocky island known for its rich underwater coral reefs. Although the island lacks a sandy beach, it is a haven for divers, offering sights of soft corals, golden sea fans, pink corallines, feather stars, sea anemones, and schools of fish. However, due to strong currents, divers are advised to be careful.
Part of Koh Dong, Monkey Bay gets its name from its numerous resident macaques. These monkeys often approach tourists for food, sometimes even snatching it. If you plan to visit, be careful to secure your belongings from these mischievous creatures.
In conclusion, the Koh Dong are a beautiful escape to a tranquil paradise untouched by commercial tourism. Whether you’re a diving enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or a traveler seeking unique experiences, the Dong Islands offer something for everyone.
How to Get There:
Reaching the Dong Islands, also known as the “Emerald of the Andaman,” is a journey as delightful as the destination itself. From the mainland, your adventure begins at Pak Bara Pier in Satun Province. Regular speedboats and ferries operate from Pak Bara Pier directly to Koh Lipe, one of the major islands in the Adang-Rawi archipelago, where most tourists choose to stay overnight.
The next morning, you can book a tour to the Dong Islands from Koh Lipe through various operators, such as Joy Tour. Alternatively, you can charter a private long-tail boat for a more personalized and flexible exploration of the islands.
Keep in mind that the best time to visit is from November to April or early May, aligning with Koh Lipe’s tourist season. During this period, the seas are generally calm, making for a safe and enjoyable boat journey. As always, do check local weather conditions before planning your trip to ensure a smooth sailing experience.