This term, Year 6 enjoyed an overnight camping trip to the Angthong Marine Park. This coincided with our Evolution and Inheritance topic in which the children have been learning, amongst other things, about endangered animals and the importance of habitat preservation. The Park is protected and anyone who visits is expected to follow rules that help to maintain environmental preservation – a great model for the children and an opportunity to observe undisturbed flora and fauna.
First, after saying farewell to parents and land at Nathon Pier, we journeyed by boat to our camping site for the night, located on Koh Wua Talab, adjacent to the Park Headquarters. On the way, after being greeted by the deputy park ranger on the boat, we had an opportunity to visit the viewpoint and the Emerald Lagoon on Koh Mae Ko.
Once we had climbed to the top and admired the beauty of the seawater lake (it is linked to the sea by an underground tunnel) it was impossible not to appreciate nature as we sat quietly for a moment at the top and listened to jungle sounds around us.
It was here that Melanie spotted an oriental pied hornbill and when we climbed down to the lower viewpoint deck we also spotted beautiful bluespotted ribbontail rays skimming the bottom of the lagoon. Sadly, the conservation status of this subspecies of ray is ‘near threatened’ due to intensive fishing.
Nature was all around us and after erecting tents and settling in to our new surroundings, dusky leaf monkeys started to descend from the trees on the mountainside – many bringing their babies – to eat the leaves of the trees close to the beach, again sadly, these beautiful creatures are classified as ‘near threatened’ because of extensive habitat loss.
The last of the boats and tourists left and we had the island to ourselves. Post-dinner fun was provided with spooky stories told by the children which must have aroused the curiosity of a crab who chose to hang out at camp during the night!
An early start meant we were able to enjoy the sunrise and the shoals of fish swimming close to the pier. After breakfast, we packed up camp and climbed to the island’s viewpoint; it was only when we were on the boat, departing to Samui, and we spotted it at the top of the mountain that we realised just how high we had climbed!
We had a wonderful adventure! The park rangers are evidently committed and we cannot thank them enough for all they do to conserve this amazing habitat and all of its animals, so close to our home.