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Het zeiljacht The Red Dragon ni de wateren van Koh Samui in de Gold van Thailand
Het zeiljacht The Red Dragon ni de wateren van Koh Samui in de Gold van Thailand

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

WITH THE RED DRAGON CRUISE FROM KOH SAMUI TO ANG THONG MARINE NATIONAL PARK

Cruise with a fascinating flagship to enchanting beaches and uninhabited islands.

The Red Dragon, it could just be an exciting (comic) book, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, The Red Dragon is the name of a wonderfully old-fashioned Thai cruise ship sailing in the Koh Samui region. In August 2022, we were lucky enough to join a daylong tour to the Ang Thong Marine National Park. We laughed, ate, snorkeled, kayaked, climbed and feasted our eyes. From early morning until sunset, we enjoyed this fun-filled day to the max. 

There is also a Dagon cruise and in addition to a day trip to the Ang Thong National Marine Park, Ko Samui Boat Charter (the owner of The Red and Blue Dragon) organizes another tour called the Southern Samui Island Tour. You can read more about this and the other yachts later in this article. Below you will first read about our Ang Thong Cruise experience.  

De bijzondere Red Dragon Cruise in de wateren van Ang Thong National Marine Park, Thailand

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Free pick up and drop off at your accommodation

A few days before our tour started, we received an email with more explanation and the notification that someone with a minivan would be in front of our beach resort The Stay around eight o’clock. At a little past eight, a minivan was indeed standing in the parking lot of our fine beach resort in Chaweng. After picking up several other passengers in Chaweng and Lamai, we drove on the other side of Koh Samui just under an hour later. We arrived in Lipa Noi, the haven of The Red Dragon, on the west coast of the island.

After the end of our fun and adventurous day, we were dropped off back at our resort in Chaweng, free of charge. Super service!

The Red Dragon Cruise tijdens zonsondergang

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

The extraordinary sailing yacht The Red Dragon

As we stepped out of our van, we were immediately welcomed by the captain and his team with a chilled drink and a smile. Right in front of us it was docked, the majestic two-story Red Dragon. An amazing ship with grandeur, but please pay special attention to the details such as the finishes and beautiful carved teak panels and artwork as well. 

The Red Dragon is a traditional, classic Thai sailing yacht and one of the very largest of its kind in the Koh Samui region. A particularly beautiful yacht that allows you to discover the Gulf of Thailand, the eastern coastal region of Thailand. The large iconic vessel with striking large red sails. Many boat enthusiasts will appreciate the splendor of the teak wooden Red Dragon.

Red Dragon Cruise in een kleine haven van Lipa Noi op Koh Samui, Thailand

Image: Thailand Magazine

De Red Dragon Cruise in het water

Image: Thailand Magazine

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The Red Dragon is 24 meters long, 6 meters wide, 5 meters high and weighs a whopping 76 tons. The impressive sailing yacht has numerous comfortable seats on the lower and upper decks and can carry a total of 74 passengers (excluding crew) . The covered upper deck offers plenty of seating by means of soft mats or seat cushions. We layed and chilled there as royals! 

On their Semi-Private tour, the company assures superb hospitality by having a maximum of 14 guests on the Blue Dragon or 28 on the Red Dragon Classic Thai Yacht (licensed for 74 plus 5).

Downstairs on the main deck is a covered and comfortable lounge and at the very front of The Red Dragon is the sun deck including a jacuzzi. There are also two bathrooms and in this lounge is the dining area with a small kitchen. A delicious and varied Thai lunch is served in the lounge during the afternoon.

Benedendek van The Red Dragon waar gegeven wordt

Image: Thailand Magazine

Bovendek van The Red Dragon waar gechilld wordt

Image: Thailand Magazine

Bovendek van The Red Dragon waar gechilld wordt in de jaccuzzi

Image: Thailand Magazine

Hospitality and service with a smile

During our cruise, the trip on The Red Dragon Cruise to Ang Thong National Marine Park went completely smoothly. At least, for a moment we thought we were stranded on a beautiful tropical island. However, the skilled team resolved that very quickly and competently. After the welcome, we stepped aboard and were asked to hand in our slippers. These were kept in a large plastic container. Wonderful, a cruise where you can be with bare feet on board.

The captain was very friendly and radiated his responsibility to his wonderful crew. The Thai team that helped on board was so nice and kind! They regularly came for a chat and then always asked if everything was satisfactory, if we had any questions and we wanted to receive another chilled drink. Typical Thai hospitality and always with a smile!

Welkomstdrankje aan boord bij The Red Dragon Cruise naar Ang Thong National Park

Image: Thailand Magazine

De Thaise kapitein van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Thaise dames bezig in de keuken van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Food & Beverages

As soon as you set just one foot on board you can have unlimited soft drinks such as Sprite and Cola. But coffee, tea and water are also included in the price. At various times along the way you will also get something tasty to eat and there are always cookies to grab. In the open kitchen, some tasty starters are prepared first. The kitchen staff handed out Gyozas (dumplings), Vietnamese and Thai spring rolls to us. This was accompanied by fresh fruits such as watermelon and pineapple. A tasty number of tasty snacks and more than enough for everyone on board with us.

Eten aan boord van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Appetizers aan boord van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Etem aan boord van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

During the afternoon, a sumptuous lunch was showcased downstairs in the form of a Thai buffet. Fried fish, breaded chicken, chicken satay, fried rice, yellow noodles, white rice and salad were on the menu. On our return trip to Koh Samui, we were given another dessert to complete our meal on board. Two scoops of ice cream with a banana and roasted peanuts, yummmm. 

That evening, back home, we decided to have a nice dinner at The Coffee Club. On board The Red Dragon we had eaten quite a lot and we were in the mood for an easy but tasty meal. The Coffee Club Chaweng is located in Central Samui shopping center, which is close to our sleeping place The Stay Chaweng Beach Resort. Nice and close and a good meal including very good coffee! 

Gebakken vis aan boord van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Eten aan boord van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Dessert aan boord van de Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park consists of more than 40 islands and covers some 250 square meters. Tours are regularly organized from Koh Phangan and Koh Samui to this wonderful national marine park. Almost always with a speedboat, which is why we thought it would be fun to take an authentic wooden yacht to the Mu Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park. Partly because of this, we experienced our visit to the Golden Bowl, which means Ang Thong, in a much more relaxed way than with a fast speedboat. Despite the many beautiful moments, our (literal) highlight was a visit to the viewpoint overlooking the “Emerald Lake”.

The Semi-Private or private Ang Thong tours offer an exclusive private experience – You will have the entire park to yourself!

The tours visit the Marine park’s best attraction when no one is around. Exclusive to the tours, kayaking at the secret lagoon makes for a fabulous experience. Located at the most remote corner of the park we explore the island by kayaks the cruise carry onboard and follow the action from its tender. We snorkeled at islands located 20 minutes’ sail away from the park as visibility at the park is very limited.

The several stops

During our cruise through the Gulf of Thailand, we made several stops in the Ang Thong Marine Park. Each time, everyone on board was asked if they wanted to join us or stay on board to chill. But of course we went along. Let the adventure begin, ahoy!

Ang Thong National Marine Park in de verte

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Rots dat op een biddende aap lijkt in het Ang Thong National Marine Park

Image: Thailand Magazine

Onze gids van The Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Thailand Magazine

Snorkeling

Once docked in the waters of Ang Thong National Marine Park, we went snorkeling near the island of Koh Wao. Beforehand, we were explained everything about the area, the best snorkeling spots and what to look out for. There was quite a current in the sea and the team in charge of Ko Samui Boat Charter clearly told us what to do and what not to do. We were also all stressed to leave marine life alone as much as possible and especially not to touch anything.

Everyone on board could use snorkels and flippers for free. We always bring our own snorkel, but the flippers came in handy! Especially when there is a strong current, a difference of night and day.

Snorkelen in het Ang Thong National Marine Park tijdens The Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Snorkelen in het Ang Thong National Marine Park tijdens The Red Dragon Cruise

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Snorkeling was fun, but perhaps we have become a bit spoiled by our many snorkeling trips in Thailand. Our best snorkeling adventures included the waters of the Surin and the Similan Islands, a true snorkeling and diving paradise. In the sea of Koh Tao you can also snorkel and dive insanely beautifully. There, a few weeks before our visit to Samui, we saw many species of tropical fish and beautiful coral. In the bay of Aow Leuk we even saw some young blacktip reef sharks and countless parrotfish and other (for us unknown) beauties. Aow Leuk is not for nothing our favorite bay on Koh Tao!

DIVING ON KOH TAO

Would you like to learn how to dive on Koh Tao? We work together with one of the best diving schools on the island, the Dutch Impian. We can even give you a decent discount on several options. If you are interested, send an email to impian@thailandmagazine.com with more information about what you want to do in terms of diving, with how many people and for which period. If you have any questions or wishes, please put them in the mail as well.

A TRIP TO THE SURIN AND/OR SIMILAN ISLAND
We also work together with a company that sails from Phuket or Khao Lak to the Surin and the Similan Islands. You can choose from different tours and even stay in a tent or basic bungalow on the Surin Islands. More information? Send an email to info@thailandmagazine.com with your desired dates, number of people and your questions/wishes.

See some wonderful images of the Similan Islands in Thailand
Click here to see some amazing Surin Islands images
Check out super nice photos of Iris de Laat in our In the Picture #88 here

The “Secret” Lagoon

The second stop is a sea kayaking trip including a visit to a secret place in the park. For an additional cost of 250 THB per person, you can join this kayak tour. If you don’t want to do this, you can stay on board or take the dinghy that they accompany during the kayak tour. From The Red Dragon we transferred to the kayak and together we peddled towards “The Secret Lagoon” of the Ang Thong National Marine Park.

We vertellen je bewust niet waar deze plek te vinden is, maar we kunnen je wel vertellen dat deze in de meest afgelegen hoek van Ang Thong ligt. Onder vakkundige begeleiding werden we een grot in geleid en na een paar minuten kajakken kwamen we uit bij een kleine lagune. Heel erg mooi en bijzonder! Na een klein uur maakten we nog andere stop waarbij we onze onze zeekajaks op een zandbank parkeerden. Hier genoten we nog eens van het pracht en praal dat het Ang Thong National Marine Park te bieden had. Pure ongerepte natuur en kristalhelder water waarbij je de vissen van verre ziet zwemmen. 

De secret lagoon van Ang Thong National Marine Park

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Jump!

After we all arrived safe and sound on The Red Dragon again, we were given some time to chill or swim around the ship. At a height of about five meters, a small plank was made on the upper deck, from which it was possible to jump into the water. After all the kayaks were hoisted back on deck, it was time to cruise toward our last stop of the day.

Vanaf de Red Dragon in het water springen

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Vanaf de Red Dragon in het water springen

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Thale Nai Viewpont

Our last stop was off the coast of Koh Mae Ko. The island with the emerald lake, the blue lagoon or the hidden sea. Many names for an unimaginably beautiful place, that’s tucked away on an island in Thailand’s Ang Thong Marine National Park. After being dropped off on the island’s long plastic pier, we began our considerable climb up the island. For people with mobility problems, we don’t recommend the climb up to the Thale Nai Viewpoint because of the many steep steps. The steps are short and especially downhill can be considered very uncomfortable. 

Thale Nai Viewpoint, onderdeel van Ang Thong National Park in Thailand

Image: Thailand Magazine

Stijle trappen voor Thale Nai Viewpoint, onderdeel van Ang Thong National Park in Thailand

Image: Thailand Magazine

After such a climb, the reward is all the better. From two different platforms, visitors get awe-inspiring views of Ang Thong National Park’s Emerald Lagoon. Once at the bottom, you can take a break and order something to drink. We treated ourselves to a fresh coconut and then took a splash in the lukewarm water.

When it was time to take our dinghy back to the beautiful yacht, our boat’s engine failed to start. Soon a technically competent crew member from The Red Dragon came to help us. Fortunately, the problem was quickly solved and we returned to our beautiful cruise ship smiling. What an experience!

Ang Thong National Park in Thailand

Image: Thailand Magazine

Pier van

Image: Thailand Magazine

Met de dingy naar

Image: Thailand Magazine

On our way back to Koh Samui

The return trip was mostly dedicated to relaxation. We were still enjoying the adventurous day full of impressions and beautiful memories. As we stretched out on the upper deck of The Red Dragon, we looked out at the play of colors of the coming sunset. To end our very fun day, we ordered a beer and toasted to our amazing Thailand 2022/2023 trip. The trip on which we said our “yes I do”.

After docking at a small port on Lipa Noi, we were soon able to board a minivan that took us back to our accommodation on Koh Samui. We were almost “home,” back from another successful day and a fantastic adventure!

Terug naar Koh Samui tijdens schemering

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Southern Samui Islands Tour

Apart from the Ang Thong National Marine Park Tour, Ko Samui Boat Charter also organizes another tour. With the Southern Samui Island Tour you will visit different islands such as Koh Rap, Samui’s Five-Islands, Koh Taen, or Koh Mat Sum. Koh Rap is a newly opened island that offers a tranquil beach, diving, and the opportunity to meet deers that roam there. On Koh Mat Sum it’s the little and big pigs that greet you.  

The Southern Samui Island Tour costs THB 2,400 for adults and THB 1,500 for children. It starts at 9:30 am and lasts until 3:30 pm. Again, you can use the snorkeling gear on board for free. A Thai lunch and drinks such as soft drinks, water, coffee and tea are included in the price. You do pay extra entrance fees for Koh Rap (50 THB p.p.) and for Koh Mat Sun (50 THB p.p.). If you want to kayak at sea, you pay 200 THB for kayak rental.

Koh Rap vlakbij Koh Samui

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Varkens bij Koh Taen vlakbij Koh Samui

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Your own Red or Blue Dragon

Something to celebrate? You can also rent your own yacht including captain and crew. Ko Samui Boat Charter, the company we went to Ang Thong with, rents out The Red Dragon and several other beautiful yachts. Great as a wedding venue or if you have a staff party, birthday or other special moment to celebrate.

A private tour with The Red Dragon consists of, for example, a half day of 4-5 hours, a full day of 7 to 8.5 hours or a sunset cruise of about 5 to 7 hours. The Blue Dragon private charter inclusive of 6 people is priced at about 20,500 THB for half-day and full-day 57,000 THB.  The Red Dragon private charter inclusive of 10 people is priced at about 34,500 THB for half-day and full-day 32,500 THB.  Each additional guest will be about 1,100 THB.

If you book through Thailand Magazine, you get a 5% discount per adult. 

De Red en Blue Dragon

Image: Ko Samui Boat Charter

Of course you’re wondering what such an insanely fun and full-day tour with The Red Dragon costs. The Ang Thong Marine Park tour costs 3,300 THB for adults and children pay 1,800 THB. This does not include the Ang Thong entrance fee of 300 THB for adults and 150 THB for children. If you book through Thailand Magazine, you get a 200 THB discount per adult. 

For the Southern Samui Island Tour, adults pay 2,400 THB and children 1,500 THB. Thailand Magazine readers get a 100 THB discount for one adult person.

Email info@thailandmagazine.com with the number of people, desired period, composition and your requirements/questions.

Thanks!

We want to thank Khun Ron from Ko Samui Boat Charter, the captain of the day and especially the Thai crew very much for the great tour to Ang Thong National Marine Park! We highly recommend this tour to everyone and hopefully many more people will follow and take such a great experience and memories back home with them. Thanks!

Some tips for your Koh Samui visit

Read about our stay at Villa Chi on Koh Samui, Thailand
Lees onze review van The Stay Chaweng Beach Resort op Koh Samui
See our list with the best restaurants of Koh Samui in Thailand

MORE AMAZING THAILAND

Read all about the Saffron Cruise in Bangkok
Here you can find the best restaurants of Koh Tao in Thailand
Lees over de beste restaurants in Bangkok en nog veel meer
Klik hier voor alle informatie over het natuurpark Khao Sok National Park in Thailand
From Thailand with LOVE! June 2020
Click here for all our Picture This artikelen
Click here if you want to see all our articles about Koh Phi Phi in Thailand
Read all about the beautiful beaches and attractions of Khao Lak in Thailand.
Check all our In the Picture entries
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