Small, beautiful and lovingly cared for – such is the island of Ko Talu, located in Bang Saphan, 250 kilometers south of Hua Hin. Ko Talu is the closest place to Hua Hin, where you can snorkel or scuba dive. The island is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs with rich marine life.
Ko Talu’s Protector of the Seas
The island’s reefs are pristine thanks to the island’s owner, Mr. Prida Charoenpak. He has taken the conservation of underwater world to his heart.
Today, Mr. Charoenpak protects the fish, but before he caught them as a professional fisherman. Charoenpak had a fleet of 13 fishing boats in the 1970s, until he became concerned about the decline in fish stocks.
Charoenpak sold his fishing ships and with the money he bought Ko Talu from its previous owners. Charoenpak wanted to protect the island’s fantastic coral reefs, which the fishing had severely damaged.
At first, he had to contend with the fishermen for the protection of the reefs, currently his concern is the tourists.
“For foreign tourists it is no big problem because they understand about conservation, but the Thai tourists wear life jackets, play loud music, step on the coral and want to take chunks of it home as souvenirs,” Charoenpak told the Nation in an interview published in June 2012.
“We have to gradually teach people. It may take 100 years, but we will eventually be able to rehabilitate this area.”
Stay on the Paradise Island
Ko Talu is beautiful also above the sea. The jungle-clad island has two white sand beaches. To enjoy the beaches, you have to stay on the Koh Talu Island Resort, run by Mr. Charoenpak’s family, since day-trippers are not allowed on the island. The 5000 baht package includes transport from Hua Hin, a night on the island and snorkeling or diving.
Day Trips to Ko Talu
It is also possible to dive or snorkel on Ko Talu’s reefs without staying on the island, although the day-trippers are allowed to snorkel only on two spots to protect the rest of the reef.
Snorkeling trips are organized both from Bang Saphan and Ban Krut whenever there are enough participants. You can ask any guesthouse from the area, trips costing between 400 to 1200 baht.
Day trips can also be organized from Hua Hin, but the driving is long, so it is better to either stay overnight on Ko Talu or in Bang Saphan or Ban Krut.
One of Thailand’s Few Private Islands
Koh Thalu is one of the only three islands in Thailand to be privately owned, Thailand’s kings giving the rights to just a few individuals in gratitude for their exceptional services.