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National Park Accommodation

Go wild

What we say: 3.5 stars

The largest number of bungalows is found alongside park headquarters at Ao Phante Malaka in the north of Ko Tarutao, with a second location a few kilometres further south at Ao Molae. At both sites, expect quiet nights, sea breezes and monkeys who will snatch food and other items if you’re not careful. Power used to shut down at 23:00, but on our most recent visit the ceiling-mounted fan kept humming straight until 06:00.

Who's ready to rought it?

Who’s ready to rought it?

At both Ao Phante and Ao Molae, visitors can rent standard-issue tents from the national park and set them up wherever they please in those vicinities. Sleeping mats and other equipment will run you a little extra, but camping is the cheapest option on the island. Most pitch their tents under the casuarina trees just back from the beach — idyllic spots that aren’t too far from the shared cold-water bathrooms.

Visitor Centre staff told us that it’s not possible to set up tents at Ao Son. However this runs contrary to other reports so don’t be afraid to push the issue if you’re looking for a more remote location (most things in Thailand are flexible). Visitors are also welcome to set up their own tents for the cost of a cheap coffee.

Each of these has two 600-baht rooms at Ao Phante.

Each of these has two 600-baht rooms at Ao Phante.

Ao Phante is the original accommodation area on Tarutao and it’s still where most visitors choose to stay. More like cabins than bungalows, the cheapest rooms come in brown wood-and-concrete buildings shaded by trees, with two rooms situated side by side. Outfitted with benches, tables and clotheslines, the porches are huge.

Love the lots of windows.

Love the lots of windows.

Interiors are also spacious, with hardwood floors, small desks and screened windows with white drapes spanning the walls on three sides. Beds are hard, linens cheap and the only blankets are superfluously heavy. Small bathrooms come with sinks, Western flush toilets and cold-water showers. No mosquito nets are provided, and while we didn’t have a problem sleeping, we did find quite a large spider in the bathroom.

How's it goin' roommate?

How’s it goin’ roommate?

Closer to the beach, the “Rak Thale” (“Love Sea”) bungalows are larger and equipped with lofts, but have fewer windows. Two-bedroom family cottages that sleep four are also available. Ao Phante’s longhouse is sliced into shared rooms with four mattresses on the floor that are rented individually and rely on shared bathrooms. The value on these is poor — either splurge for a private room or take a tent.

A sharp-looking bungalow (villa?) at Ao Molae.

A sharp-looking bungalow (villa?) at Ao Molae.

Down at Ao Molae, a smaller collection of newer concrete bungalows go for the same price as their Ao Phante counterparts but come with larger glass windows facing the sea, vaulted ceilings and better bathrooms. Outfitted with double beds rather than the usual two twins, these are prime for couples in search of seclusion. A small restaurant is located here, but some might feel too isolated away from the main park services at Ao Phante.


    Contact details:

    Ao Phante Malaka and Ao Molae, Ko Tarutao.  T: (074) 783 485, (074) 783 597 
    Email them at: tarutaosatun.go@hotmail.com
    Visit website

    What we were quoted

    Type of room Low season High season Notes
    Family room n/a 1,000 baht Two bedrooms
    Bungalow fan private b'room n/a 600 baht Same price at both sites. Superior bungalows 800 (“Baan Rak Thale”)
    Tent n/a 225 baht 30 baht for your own tent
    Dorm Fan n/a 500 baht

    Added to Travelfish on: 19th March, 2006
    Last visited or updated on: 14th January, 2015

    Last reviewed by:
    Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.
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    Based on 3 ratings and 3 reviews

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    Reviews about National Park Accommodation

    expensive
    By nathantraveler, 30 March 2009
    4.0  stars

    Not great, they should look to Ko Adang for advice!
    By Tennouji, 08 January 2009
    3.0  stars

    Good value accommodation
    By tezza, 12 December 2008
    4.0  stars

    Onward travel