The actual island Koh Tarutao, which is the largest island of the National Marine Park and hosts the NP headquarter office is one of the last not commercially developed islands in the area. You can get from Pak Bara to Koh Tarutao in about 45 minutes on one of the speedboats that go on to Koh Lipe.
The price is usually 350 THB one way, but only the morning ferry stops there every day. If you go in the afternoon and less than 4 people want to go to Koh Tarutao, you may need to pay double. The park entrance fee is 200 THB for 1-7 days. There is no ATM on the island, so bring enough cash with you.
Accomodation on Koh Tarutao is managed by the NP office and can be reserved in advance via their website, though it seems there is almost always space in the bungalows that are spread behind the beach stretch next to the boat peer. If all are full, you can still stay in one of the tents that the NP office provides. The bungalows are quite basic with cold shower and western style toilet, but clean and quite spacious. There is power from about 6pm to midnight.
Most of the time you will have the beach almost to yourself. There are no corals to see here, but if you are just looking for some relaxing atmosphere, it is definitely the place to go. You can rent kayaks and mountain bikes to explore the island. It is well worth biking the 12km to the other side of the island to see the remains of the former prison, which has been transformed to an open-air museum.
There is a restaurant next to the bungalows, which serves solid quality breakfast, lunch and dinner for reasonable prices.
While Koh Tarutao may not have any snorkeling spots next door and organized trips do not exist, it is well worth spending 2-3 days on Koh Tarutao to relax and get away from the crowds of the tourist centers like Koh Lipe.
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