Ko Lipe's wild neighbour
The dramatic mountains of Ko Adang loom over Ko Lipe like protective uncles rooted in jungle. These two islands are so close together that, when arriving on Lipe at Pattaya Beach, many visitors assume that Adang’s bulging slopes are part of Lipe’s interior. In fact, the two neighbours in Mu Ko Tarutao National Marine Park could hardly be more different.
The island’s name comes from the Malay word udang, meaning "prawn,” and the surrounding sea was once full of them. This partly explains why dynamite fishermen fought national park rangers after the boundaries of Thailand’s first marine park were drawn to include Adang in 1974. On one occasion, 10 rangers had to radio for an air rescue after bullets sprayed their longtail boat.
While Lipe is now heavily developed, old-growth jungle blankets nearly all of Adang and other islands in the Adang (or Butang) archipelago, including Ko Rawi and Ko Tong. The only humans are found at park headquarters and accommodation in the south; one illegally built resort that we’ve heard will probably close in 2018; and an Urak Lawoi village at Talo Puya Bay to the east. After living here for generations, these “sea gypsies” have been allowed to stay, for now, on land that the park has accused them of encroaching on.
The rest of the island’s 30 square kilometres belong to the jungle and its resident macaques, wild boars, cobras, hornbills and countless other critters. Locals believe that spirits also inhabit the island, a notion that was perpetuated when a Thai woman got lost for several days after a “strange force” made her wander deep into the woods, or so we’ve heard. Trails are minimal and there are no roads, so do be careful when exploring the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)
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