The park was given Royal decree in 1983 and is Thailand's 12th National Marine Park.
Its coast is primarily dense mangroves thus many of its beaches are mainly mudflats, though there are some nice beaches around the National Park office 10 km north of Kapoe and 45 km south of Ranong.
Hat Bang Ben is a sandy beach by the National Park headquarters and Laem Son Beach is another lovely beach 4 km to the north. Park officials maintain that for those who cannot afford to reach the Surin and Similan Islands, Hat Bang Ben is not a bad choice for snorkelling although the coral has been stifled by sediment in the water. Another sub station with amenities exists on Ko Aow Khao Kwai.
Many of the park's 15 islands are worth visiting and can be easily visited from Hat Bang Ben. Many of the islands bear witness to human encroachment in the form of logging for boat building. In the past, the only effect on these islands was apparently from the odd boatload of fishermen seeking shelter from monsoon storms.
Of these, Ko Kam Yai and Ko Khang Khao offer very good snorkelling and take less than one hour to reach by boat. Enquire at the park office for details. The birdlife within the park is also reportedly abundant with December to February being the best time for birdwatchers to visit when the park fills with migrating birdlife.
How to get there
The National Park office maintains three bungalows and a longhouse at its headquarters and also has one longhouse at Ko Kam Yai. Camping is permitted and tents rented at the park office but, nude and topless bathing is forbidden. If you wish to book accommodation in advance, contact, Headquarters Laem Son National Park, Kapoe District, Ranong Province 85000, or phone the Ranong Office on (077) 823 255, or at the Reservations Office, National Park Division, Royal Forest Department, Chatuchak, Bangkok, (02) 579 0529. There are also a couple of resorts near the park entrance, including Wasana Resort and Andaman Peace Resort with rooms for 300B to 600B and which run boat trips for around 250B per day.
Last updated on 20th July, 2012.